The Female Photographers Taking The Industry By Storm

The convergence of feminism and fashion photography is bigger than ever. The use of the internet, as well as other social platforms such as Tumblr and Instagram, has prompted a massive boom in self-promotion, which means we’re seeing people surface beyond those that have caught the attention of the usual popular magazines. 

A girl gang of independent, fresh, young and self-confidant girls are taking the fashion photography industry by storm. Depicting females in refreshingly realistic ways, without any of the fairy tale photoshopping or glamorous getups. These women are putting real girls back on the map in an inspirational and empowering way.


Arvida Byström

[Photo Credit: Arvida Bystrom’s Instagram]

Arvida’s pastel colour-palette and self-portraiture has gained her more than 90k followers on Instagram. The Tumblr Queen uses the internet in every way possible, expressing everything from gender expectations to sexuality. Don’t let the pretty pink pastel backgrounds, coupled with her innocent pink hair, fool you. Her elegant images touch on important taboo issues such as female body hair and periods.

[Photo Credit: Arvida Bystrom’s Instagram]

She even recently started creating video art with the recent launch of her Selfie Stick Aerobics video, yes you heard me selfie stick aerobics. We couldn’t believe it either but its real.  It’s no wonder this cool girl has worked with i-D, Nasty Gal, Wonderland Magazine and Vice, just to name a few.


Valerie Phillips

[Photo Credit: Valerie Phillip’s Instagram]

Valerie Phillips has worked closely with Arvida and it’s easy to see why. Valerie also has a love of everything nostalgic from her youth. That means a lot of stickers, colourful hair and other pink wistful items.

Her photography focuses on bringing honest representations of girls back onto the scene. She depicts beauty in a similar way to which a young girl would before she grows up to know the full spectrum of the media’s glossy beauty notions. Her portraits are refreshingly honest and candid, showing the innocence of young girls with no make up and unwashed hair.

[Photo Credit: Valerie Phillip’s Instagram]

Valerie has produced several photo books including a book titled “Stop asking me about Amy I only spent one day with her”. A collection of images she took when she spent a day with Amy Winehouse before her death in 2011. 


Petra Collins

[Photo Credit: American Apparel]

Petra is considered one of Canada’s top young photographers and is a main catalyst in feminist art becoming mainstream. She creates a visual guide to girl power and chances are, if you have an Instagram, account you will recognise her work. She focuses on uncovering what is hidden or repressed from our culture.  She controversially created a line of t-shirts for American Apparel in 2013 with images of vaginas, breasts, menstrual blood – you name it, she’s done it.

The sometimes uncomfortable imagery however, is often overtaken by the pure beauty she manages to capture. Collins also had her Instagram deleted that same year for posting a picture that showed her pubic hair emerging from her bikini bottoms.

[Photo Credt: Petra Collin’s Instagram]

She recently curated a book called ‘Babe’, a collection of work by female artists who are all capturing the voices of young woman today.


Nadia Lee Cohen

[Photo Credit: Nadia Lee Cohen’s Instagram, Nadia Lee Cohen @ DMB. London]

Nadia’s photography caught everybody’s eye for being truly unique. Her work perfectly combines both modern and vintage styles in a way we didn’t think was possible. Her pieces often have a 60s and 70s vibe with oversaturated colours, vintage props and lots of dressing up. No one can beat her setting of a scene and her styling of her subjects anywhere from a fast food chain to vintage boudoir.

[Photo Credit: Nadia Lee Cohen’s Instagram, Nadia Lee Cohen @ DMB. London]

She is currently working on her successful series ‘100 Naked Women’, which she continues to shoot between London and Los Angeles.


Vivian Fu

[Photo Credits: Vivian Fu]

Photographer Vivian Fu will change the way you see Asian women. She challenges the representation of Asian women through a series of self-portraits, exploring her own identity. Her deeply intimate images of herself, friends and boyfriend create a compelling series showing love and tenderness through the strength of photography.


Mayan Toledano

[Photo Credit: Mayan Toledano for It’s Me And You]

Mayan has created our perfect teen dreamland in a series of images and we just cant get enough. Her dreamy, soft environments help to act as a form of escapism. The nostalgia can’t help but take you back to all those happy teen years in your bedroom, so we never want to stop looking at them. Just put on some Boyzone or Hear’say and sink right back to your youth.  

[Photo Credit: Mayan Toledano for It’s Me And You]


Maisie Cousins

[Photo Credits: Maisie Cousins]

Maisie Cousins, from London, concentrates on exploring themes of power and femininity mixed in with nature and technology. She recently took part in an all-girl exhibition ‘Female Matters’. Her art shows an unusual mix of substances that immediately catch your eye, snail on a boob anyone? However, the unusual mix always has a certain intriguing elegance that makes us unable to look away.

[Photo Credit: Maisie Cousins]


Rupi Kaur

[Photo Credit: Rupi Kaur’s Instagram] 

Earlier this year Rupi’s ‘Period’ series went viral after it was removed from Instagram not once, but twice. The photograph that shows a woman lying on a bed wearing clothes stained with menstrual blood has now been seen over 30 million times.  She proved an important message about what is depicted as a ‘violation’. Half of the population get periods and have probably woken up like that at least once, so why should it be censored. Her artistic work certainly does touch a nerve and we can’t wait to see what this young artist does next.