I believe space for women is important ... No ... Imperative. Being a lifelong photographer, I also believe a photography workshop for women is imperative.
Why do women need this? Because like most of our world, the field of photography has been shaped by male voices, experiences, and norms. The history of photography features mostly male photographers. Coed photo conferences, retreats and workshops offer mostly male teachers and speakers.
Though this is changing. And Firefly Institute is part of this evolution.
This photography camp/workshop is one-of-a-kind with its high-caliber level of learning opportunity and intimate size fostering real and deep sisterhood. This is a workshop for women, taught by women, run by women, organized by women. Our camp is held at a family ranch passed down by the women of the family since the 1930s. This camp is a space that honors and esteems women.
In assembling a curriculum for camp, I looked for qualified women teachers. There are loads of men teaching photo workshops. While searching high and low to find the just-right teachers and classes, I considered including a male teacher or two to give us the classes I wanted to offer. And then I got very clear ...
Women need to see other women in positions of influence. And women photographers need to learn from other women photographers. We support the "If you can see it, you can be it" philosophy. We women need role models who look like us, even, still, in 2016. So. No boys allowed.
The teachers we have gathered for the Fall 2016 camp are all experts in their field, chosen specifically for camp because they are skilled teachers, generous and kind. Our teachers want to share their knowledge with other women and lift the level of the photo sisterhood to new heights.
Today, women are the largest growing segment in photography and these women are reshaping the industry with female vision. Camera gear is finally being customized to women's needs and preferences. We are seeing more women play significant roles in the ultra-male professions of photojournalism and conflict photography, à la Lynsey Addario and her poignant, funny, terrifying memoir It's What I Do.
With the advent of the iPhone with built-in camera, a photographic revolution exploded on the worldwide scene. Everyone is a photographer nowadays. And with 50% of the population being women, that's a lot of women photographers in the world! Our visual sophistication as a culture has grown enormously and now includes female vision as a much larger part of the whole.
Firefly Institute celebrates women photographers by offering a special space created just for us. Because it's time.