The Role of Gender in Photographic Works: Do Men and Women Capture Different Photographs?


1 Assistant Professor, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran

2 -M.A. Student of Photography, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran


Gender usually plays a significant role in the works of photographers and
causes men and women to take different photographs. Nowadays, photographs
and photography have a crucial and pivotal status in societies. The majority of the
events and accidents unfolding in various parts of the world are communicated
to the people via newspapers, magazines, internet and television, and undoubtedly,
photographs play an imperative role in all of these media. It is not surprising
that photography is called ‘the eyes of modernity’ and imagining the world without
photographs is very difficult. Additionally, one of the topics that researchers
have paid a lot of attention to in the past century is the subject of gender, and
the similarities and differences between men and women. Female photographers
have always been an irrefutable part of the history of photography, and today, we
are seeing a dramatic growth in their presence and success in different genres of
photography. Hence, this question is raised that ‘do men and women capture different
photographs?’ Some valuable researches have been carried out in the past
decades on the subject of gender and also the differences between how men and
women see, but only a few have focused on the differences between male and female
photographers. In this article, the hypothesis was accepted by assessing the
following aspects: studying the differences between men’s and women’s point of
gaze (where one is looking); examining the differences between male and female
photographer’s emotions; studying and comparing the works of various photographers;
examining the working conditions of photographers; reviewing the different
reactions a single subject might have towards a male or female photographer; and
finally, studying some of the interviews and memoirs of successful photographers.
Generally female photographers are more drawn to story, narrative and emotion,
but many males are also drawn to such subjects; male photographers are
more drawn to technical and action-filled subjects, but many females are also
drawn to such subjects. Hence, for each stereotype regarding photographs and
gender, numerous photographers or photographs can be found that challenge or
defy it. Men and women capture different photographs but this should not give us
the excuse to impose our stereotypes and clichés on a particular photographer,
whether male or female.