Striking Photography From Women Around the Globe

Female photographers are, above all, photographers, but their work, and their access to their subjects, can bear a distinctive mark.
Women on Photography

Women are sorely underrepresented in the ranks of the world’s professional news photographers. In 2017, a fraction of the photographs printed on the front pages of some of the world’s biggest newspapers were taken by women, according to a tally by the organization Women Photograph. Men made up nearly 85 percent of the photographers who entered the World Press Photo organization’s annual contest in 2017, which drew entries from 5,034 photographers in 126 countries. In recognition of International Women’s Day—a day that highlights efforts to expedite gender parity around the globe—we asked a group of female photographers to share some of their photography and insights. All contribute to leading media outlets, including Bloomberg News, traveling the globe on assignment and for personal projects.

Here we take a look at photography from Geraldine Hope Ghelli, Noriko Hayashi, Dania Maxwell, Sarah Pabst, Francesca Volpi, Jeenah Moon, Christinne Muschi, Jean Chung and Carla Gottgens.

Italy

Geraldine Hope Ghelli is an American-Italian freelance documentary photographer based in Rome. She covered the Catalan independence movement in Barcelona for Bloomberg. She studied at the International Center of Photography in New York. Recently, she has been working in the West Bank.

Left: Riot police face members of the public on Oct. 1 in Barcelona outside a school being used as a polling station for Catalonia’s independence referendum (for Bloomberg). Right: Reham Jouhar Aljaml says goodbye to the body of her brother-in-law as she exits her house during his funeral procession in Beit Surik, West Bank, on Feb. 21.

Japan

Noriko Hayashi is a Japanese documentary photographer based in Tokyo. She started taking pictures for the Point newspaper in Gambia when she was a university student.

Left: Former nurse and Alzheimer’s sufferer Asayo Sakai, who was diagnosed more than 10 years ago, walks with her daughter, Akiko, near their apartment in Osaka on Aug. 6, 2014 (for Bloomberg). Right: A photograph showing Kyrgyz Dinara tending to her newborn baby girl after returning home from the hospital. She was kidnapped by a man in October 2012, just 10 days after they met. While illegal in Kyrgyzstan, bride kidnapping still happens in rural areas. Although she was forced to marry, Dinara is now living happily with her family. Such brides are known as “Ala Kachuu,” which translates as “to grab and run away.”

 

U.S.

Dania Maxwell is a documentary photographer based in Los Angeles. She has worked in Colombia and has a master’s degree in visual communication from Ohio University.

Left: A child holds a placard during the Women’s March in Los Angeles on Jan. 20 (for Bloomberg). Right: Ethan Arbelo, 11, runs along the beach in Carlsbad, California, in 2013, an hour after leaving the hospital. Diagnosed in March 2012 with anaplastic astrocytoma grade III, a terminal brain cancer, Ethan was prescribed life-extending treatment. With the help of his mom, Maria Maldonado, he set out on a cross-country road trip to tackle a list of things he wanted to do. California was the halfway mark. He died on July 3, 2014.

Argentina

Sarah Pabst is a German-born documentary photographer and painter based in Buenos Aires. She traveled to Latin America for the first time in in 2005 and has photographed social issues there ever since.

Left: After the death of activist Santiago Maldonado, demonstrators take part in a “Demand Justice” march in Buenos Aires on Nov. 1 (for Bloomberg). Right: The photographer’s brother, Milan, holds his sleeping daughter in his arms on Dec. 25, 2015, nine months before his sudden cardiac death. The image is part of Pabst’s ongoing personal project, “Zukunft,” which deals with family, memories and World War II.

 

Italy

Francesca Volpi is an Italian freelance photographer. She has reported from Ukraine, Honduras, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Italy, the Balkans, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Mexico and Egypt. She has a master’s degree in photojournalism from the Higher Institute of Photography and Integrated Communications in Rome.

Left: A couple embrace on a sofa at the LGBT organization Arcoiris in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Vulnerable populations are even more at risk in violent Honduras. Right: Honduran opposition leader Salvador Nasralla casts his ballot at a polling station during the presidential election in Tegucigalpa on Nov. 26 (for Bloomberg).

U.S.

Jeenah Moon is a photographer based in New York. She was born and raised in Seoul and came to the U.S. in 2007. She graduated from the International Center of Photography in 2014.

Left: Al Maddox, owner of Maddox Watch Co., fixes watches at his shop in Lower Manhattan in 2013. The image is from Moon’s photo essay, “A Song of an Old Watch Man.” Right: Veiled demonstrators make their way through Central Park in New York on Dec. 2, 2017, while participating in a performance art protest during a “Dream Killers” event (for Bloomberg).

Canada

Christinne Muschi has been working as a freelance photographer in Montreal for 18 years and has traveled the world covering news and sports. Her work has been included in PhotoSensitive, a collective of photographers focusing on social issues.

Left: Christinne’s grandmother, “Oma” (Katherine Muschi), reflected in a mirror while she discusses her ideas of beauty and aging in Hamilton, Ontario, as part of an ongoing photo project about the ideas regarding beauty in women over 90. Right: A dog stands in front of dairy cows at a farm in Granby, Quebec, in April 2017 (for Bloomberg).

 

South Korea

Jean Chung is based in Seoul. She has gained international recognition for her work in Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is the author of three essays published in South Korea: “A Photographer in Kabul” (2008), “Tears in the Congo” (2008) and “Struggle for Hope” (2010).

Left: A woman poses in front of the Olympic Rings ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Feb. 8 (for Bloomberg). Right: Next Generation Operation and Information System Task Force assistant manager Ryu Bokyoung poses inside SK Energy Co.’s refinery in Ulsan, South Korea, in November 2017 (for Bloomberg).

Australia

Carla Gottgens divides her time between professional photography and public art. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Sydney’s College of Fine Arts and with a Master’s in photography from RMIT.

Left: A tailings dam at the Fimiston Open Pit mine taken above Kalgoorlie, Australia (for Bloomberg). Right: Indigenous elder Uncle Reg decided to change the pattern of his life after suffering two heart attacks. The life expectancy in the indigenous population is 30 years shorter than that for non-indigenous people. Here, he poses for a photograph in Melbourne in January 2017 as part of an interview for Oxfam’s Close the Gap campaign, which highlighted the state of health among the indigenous population.

— With assistance by Abigail Morgan, Bryn Colton, Tom Hall, and Rhys Absolom