Why are there so few female wildlife photographers?

Wildlife photography has traditionally been the preserve of men, but there's no reason why this can't change, says Suzi Eszterhas.


What’s the problem?

Female photographers are in the tiny minority in this field, and I know from personal experience that it’s not easy to break through. But there’s no good reason why it should be male-dominated – I founded Girls Who Click (GWC) to enthuse and encourage young women to enter this immensely fulfilling career.


How will you do it?

Through a network of the country’s most esteemed female nature photographers, GWC will offer free workshops for teenage girls across the US. Our website will also offer young photographers an interface through which to sell their best work, with all proceeds going to conservation organisations around the world.

Can GWC help UK women photographers?

Not yet, but we hope to go global once funding has been secured. Right now, we’d be delighted if teenage girls elsewhere signed up to our newsletter and followed our social media, where we’ll be posting lots of helpful information.

Why aren’t there more female wildlife photographers?

There’s no single reason. One factor might be physical safety concerns: women are raised not to be alone in isolated places and nature photography requires this. Combining it with motherhood is tough – you often need to be away from home for long periods and that’s challenging because of mothers’ typical role as primary caregivers. There’s also a lack of female role models.

Why weren’t you put off nature photography?

From being a small child, I was absolutely obsessed with being a wildlife photographer – nothing was going to put me off! There were obstacles to overcome but I never seriously considered giving up. I was also fortunate in having mentors who believed in me and gave me the confidence I needed to stick with it. It’s exactly this kind of difference Girls Who Click is trying to make in young girls’ lives.

Main image: © Amber Hockeborne

Suzi Eszerthas is an award-winning photographer and founder of Girls Who Click.


This article first appeared in the March 2018 issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine. Take a look inside the current issue and find out how to subscribe.