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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Photography and Sexism: Is it a Thing?

The BBC recently posted an article (dated September 14) regarding the marketing strategy for the new Nikon 850D, and the lack of female photographers utilized in the campaign.  The original article can be read here:
Nikon in spotlight over sexism row but for the sake of convenience, the text is below:
"Nikon has acknowledged criticism from the online photography community over the lack of female photographers in its recent advertising.

Last week the Japanese company began a campaign featuring a team of 32 professional photographers, all men, as brand ambassadors to promote their latest camera, the D850, in Asia.
Asked by social-media users why no women were used as ambassadors, Nikon said female photographers had been invited to a meeting it had organised ahead of the campaign, but none had been able to attend.
However, some photographers remain unappeased by Nikon's statement."

Our hashtag #ItsNotPink was born out of the frustration of photography products (largely products for carrying photography equipment) being designed and developed by and large for the average male, with the marketing adage "shrink it and pink it" applied when they wanted to appease women.  As a serious and professional photographer, who happens to be female, I found it rather offensive that there was the notion that I would be happy with anything as long as it was pink, and/or emblazoned with sparkly bling. 

"Here, use this pretty little pink camera and sparkly hand bag and leave the serious gear to us guys."

Nikon said that none of the women invited were able to attend.  How many did they invite?  With 32 ambassadors, were at least half those invited women?  Could they not contact more if the initial invites declained? I am pretty sure there are at least 16 serious female photographer in the world that would be willing to take this on to give the ambassadorship equal weight.

It's time to stop this. Camera makers are more than happy to take our money and use our images when it comes to promoting their products.  It is time for equal billing and equal opportunities.

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