What unique perspectives do women bring to photography?
Something I hear from editors recently is that generally speaking, women tend to be a little more sensitive, a little more dedicated to long-form personal narrative and really getting into a story. A lot of slower social documentary work is done by women. They form close bonds with subjects and they’re let in. But it doesn’t just fall along the lines of men and women. There are incredible male social documentary photographers and incredible female war photographers. So I hesitate to make generalizations about what women are stronger at.
But we also just have different access. If we’re talking about stories in the Middle East, a woman is going to get very different access than a man would be able to. There are certain communities where you cannot work if you are male.
Why is this subject so important right now?
There’s a growing empathy gap. Looking at America specifically, I think we’re having a harder and harder time understanding people who are different from us and who have had different experiences. We have these two deeply divided populations who don’t listen to each other and don’t seem to want to listen to each other. We have to figure out how to fix that. We have a liberal media and conservative media and the overlap between those is very slight. People pick the one that reinforces their worldview, and that’s really scary and dangerous.