Women in India have often had to struggle with gender stereotypes when it came to job opportunities.
However, when you look at the first Indian woman photojournalist, Homai Vyarawalla, who celebrated her 97th birthday a few months ago, she affirms the belief that Indian women can pursue a career in photography with immense confidence, skill and finesse.
Vyarawalla is a woman who was never affected by the gender discrimination angle of things. She believed in doing the right thing in the right way, and she is an icon for women in photography today.
Women in India have a variety of options when it comes to a career in photography. Gone are the days when they just had assignments in wedding photography or doing baby portraits.
Fashion Photography is increasingly seeing a number of women photographers succeed, and so is travel photography.
Legendary photographer, Margaret Bourke-White, was the first female photographer to get a job with Fortune magazine in the late 1920’s. She was also the first photographer from the West to be allowed into the Soviet Union.
Bourke-White is also known to have photographed Mahatma Gandhi just a few hours before he was killed. Anne Geddes is a notable photographer of infants, and has been an inspiration to many.
Other fields in photography include newspaper and magazine photojournalism, nature photography, culinary arts and food photography, sports photography and several others.
Shilpa Gupta, a 26 year old freelance photographer says “I do a lot of wedding photography, and I’m an artist who sets out to capture the perfect moments of the bride and groom’s special day.”
As Gupta describes it, photography is an art which is just as tricky as painting. The visual aesthetics of the scene have to be perfectly captured. As a woman, Gupta feels that her way of looking at a setting will be different from how a man would see it, and that will reflect in the photograph that she captures.
Aparna Dharmadhikari, who is a Director of Photography, has worked on several TV shows like CID, Don, and Happy Go Lucky. She is one of the first few women to have been successful in this profession.
Women are known to be romantic or artsy while men are considered to have a better technical understanding. Indian women are today busting myths of this sort, and are taken seriously today as professionals.
A woman’s perspective being different from a man’s, can add whole new dimensions to pictures. The sky is the limit ladies – go after your dreams!