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Female in Photo: 20 of the Best Women Photographers in 2021

Female in Photo: 20 of the Best Women Photographers in 2021

I’m coming up on my fourth year writing for The Phoblographer. I’ve been nothing short of amazed at the standard of photography that’s gone to digital print throughout that time. It seems each year outdoes the last, with photographers constantly improving on the work from the year before. I also love that the amount of submissions we get from women photographers is steadily increasing, highlighting their voice in the space. In this piece, we’re going to focus on them and show you the best women photographers we’ve featured in 2021.

Caitlin Fullam Is One of the Best Women Photographers

Caitlin Fullam has a selection of landscape shots that are so dreamy you’ll think you’re fast asleep while looking at them. But you’re not. You’re wide awake, and you’re enjoying some fabulous photography. Beautiful shots of the moon, hazy, delicious colors, and soft puffy clouds are all part of this fantastic set of images. Enjoy more of them here.

Karyn Easton’s Mesmerizing Photos Make Her One of the Best Women Photographers

Karyn Easton has work we don’t often see. We love it when that happens. It allows us to show the world a different approach to photography, something that’s important in our over-saturated industry. While the photos seem complex, the concept is simple. Photos of oil bubbles floating in a water dish. To see how she did it, check the full story out here.

Maren Klemp’s Beautiful World Makes Her One of the Best Women Photographers

Maren Klemp crops up on the site often. The reason is that each series she does makes it impossible for us to ignore. In this latest installment, Klemp takes us on a journey to a world we’ve never been. A young girl is the protagonist of this story, and the narrative revolves around Klemp’s experimentation with infrared photography. Read about it here.

Laurie Freitag’s Take on Childhood Makes Her One of the Best Women Photographers

To her sadness, Laurie Freitag doesn’t have many photos of herself from her childhood. Because of that, she wants to ensure her children don’t have the same experience. Freitag is working on a long-form series she calls The Lost Years to ensure that doesn’t happen. In it, she documents the everyday life of her children, hoping to give them a story when they grow up. Read about it here.

Dolly Ave Is One of the Best Women Photographers Working in Advertising

A limitation of ad photography is the amount of creative freedom a photographer has. But Dolly Ave broke that trend, with major brands flocking to have her style used for their products. Her work is playful and trendy and shows she has a bright future ahead of her. See more of her work here.

Rachael Talibart Take on Seashells Make Her One of the Best Women Photographers

Birling Gap, East Sussex, 2020

Most photographers that visit the beach point their lens towards seashells. Few make anything compelling. Rachael Talibart, however, created a set of images full of motion and rich details. Her seashell photography highlights what you can do when you think outside the box, making her one of the best women photographers we’ve featured this year. See more of her work here.

Pinhole Photos Make Sharon Harris One of the Best Women Photographers

Want to know something cool about Sharon Harris? She makes her own cameras! Want to know something cooler? She creates awesome photographs with them. Pinhole photography may seem a dying trend, but Harris is keeping it alive with her spectacular work. In a recent interview, she shared everything, from building the cameras to designing her scenes. Fascinating stuff, and you can read about it here.

Tarryn Goldman Blew Our Minds with Her Creative Photography

All the work we feature is top-notch. However, now and then, we see work that just raises the bar. At first glance, you may think Tarryn Goldman used Photoshop to make images that look like oil paintings. She didn’t. Instead, she came up with a creative concept to fool the eye of the viewer. Honestly, this is some of the best work we’ve seen all year, regardless of gender. Check out how she does it here.

Delphine Queme Settles an Overcrowded Mind

Minimal photography burst to life in recent times. Delphine Queme shared her take on the genre, providing a series of peaceful and vibrant images. I like to spend a little longer with minimal photographs, as I feel the response they evoke takes a little more time. I felt settled, satisfied, and content when looking at these images. Check them out here.

Lynsey Weatherspoon Shares Her View of BLM

Photo by Lynsey Weatherspoon

Lynsey Weatherspoon is a documentary photographer on a mission. That mission is to share the struggles faced by the black community on a day-to-day basis. Last year saw the rise of Black Lives Matter, as protests hit the streets around the U.S. Weatherspoon shared a powerful documentation of what she saw, and she speaks about it in more detail here.

Mattea McKinnon’s Work Is Breathtaking

Why do we love the photography of Mattea McKinnon? Because she helps us forget the stress of life and takes on her travel journies. She has been to many corners of the world, and with that she’s able to show her audience different cultures, attitudes to life, and the beautiful nature we share on earth. She also offers good insight into how she plans her trips. Take a look here.

Dina Goldstein Shows of 30 years of Work

Dina Goldstein is a legend of the photo industry. For 30 years she’s been working at this wonderful craft, and throughout that time she’s seen and shot it all. Earlier this year, she released a 30 year retrospective of her work. It’s a beautiful trip down memory lane, and her story should inspire all aspiring photographers. The good news is she has no plans to hang up her camera and has plenty of creative juice left in her. Read her interview here.

my12seconds Explores Her Form

my12seconds began a self-portrait series to help her better understand herself and her body. Using her Leica M8 (a camera that has a 12-second timer), she posed in different settings and only did one take for each shot. It’s a splendid series and one you can read more about here.

Chloe Jafe Photographed the Women in the Japanese Mafia

2019, Osaka.
With Taka.

What makes Chloe Jafe one of the best women photographers? Her ability to tell important stories. Living in Japan, she tackled a topic few others would: the mafia. She spent time with women who were connected to the Yakuza in some way. She explains the meaning behind the body art that covers them, and shares their stories in the process. Read about this powerful story here.

Mariana Cheoo Creates Gentle Self Portraits

“I started photography as a way of expressing my internal issues,” Mariana Cheoo told me. She continues, “Depression and anxiety, a statement as public as exposing myself completely naked, began to be softened – and it was initially scary.” We empathize with any struggle a human endures. And we adore it when they use photography as a way of understanding their battles, with the aim of overcoming them. That’s what Cheoo did, and she did it beautifully. Take a look here.

Melissa O’Shaughnessy Brings Together the Wonderful Diversity of NYC

Melissa O’Shaughnessy has spent seven years photographing the people of New York. She has a deep understanding of the intricacies that make up life in the Big Apple. She analyzed differences, similarities, patterns, and coincidences, then she turned it all into a photobook! It’s wonderful work, and you can see more of it here.

Cath Simard Creates Majestic Photographs in Beautiful Destinations

Cath Simard is a maverick. She travels the world, goes on long hikes, and creates majestic photographs. Does she have a thrill for danger? Maybe. But overall, it’s her thirst for nature and complex, creative photography that drives her to do what she does. We spoke to her on Inside The Photographer’s Mind, and she shared it all in a candid one-hour interview. See it here.

Vanessa Charlot Shares Her Story

Vanessa Charlot was deemed so talented, her old photography teacher gifted her a Leica. She didn’t disappoint. From there, she’s gone on to have a great career, working with large publications and brands. She loves to tell a story with her images and combine it with the written word. Talented, ambitious, and determined: Charlot has it all. Read more about her story here.

We’ve interviewed a lot of other great women on our YouTube Channel. Be sure to subscribe.

Tiina Törmänen Makes Magical Moments

Tiina Törmänen is one of the best women photographers because of her ability to make magic in the form of imagery. Each year she returns to the same lake, documenting different narratives to tell one long-form story. Working out of Finland, she highlights the beauty of one of the world’s greenest countries. It’s fabulous stuff, and you can see more of it here.

Nannimensch’s Photographs Are Poetic

Poetry in photos is a difficult thing to achieve. Nannimensch does it effortlessly though, and her images are thoughtful and deep. On developing her dark, moody style, she told us, “I’m always a bit surprised when people say my pictures are “dark”. I never thought about what style I had or wanted to develop. I always did what seemed right to me… what wanted to come out of me. There was never a plan or a specific goal. I just wanted to be myself. Maybe I’m a dark person? I don’t know… I don’t really feel that way. But a thoughtful person, maybe. A little melancholic sometimes. Parties and small talk were never my thing…” Check out her work here.

Thanks for Your Support

The reason The Phoblographer is able to share the very best women photographers is because of your continued support. We’re happy you enjoy reading what we do, and we’re thankful you continue to do so. Support the above photographers by checking out their websites, giving them a social follow, or investing in a print or NFT.

Big thanks to all the above photographers! We’re happy to be able to give you a platform to shine. Thanks for reading.

Lead photo by Chloe Jafe. All images used with permission.