In Case You Were Wondering--

This is what it looks like when a man is photographing a woman for a story about her personal experiences being sexually harassed by her extremely powerful boss for many years. Why didn't a woman get assigned this portrait?


Alreadymade Editors
What to do ?

How to best address this recurring issue: from the photographer's POV, when we are excited to see a women's empowerment cover--excited to read all about the amazing advances or insights that hard work and persistence by women has finally resulted in-- and then we read the byline and BAM. It was photographed by a guy. 

From the perspective of many of the photographers in Alreadymade, we are very aware of the stats and hiring practices, so when we see a cover about women's issues, we hope that one of our female peers must have been hired. -"that would have been the one job they HAD to hire a woman for, right?"   But no. 

It is a missed opportunity and, really, in 2018, just plain wrong to hire men to photograph for a feminist piece of content.

But: It is a thing- that female photo editors prefer to hire guys. especially tall  charming guys.

So what is a gal to do? 

The path, post photo degree is glaringly different for a woman and man who want to make it in the world of photo. Firstly, women rarely get hired as photo assistants- so the knowledge and community that the little band of photo assistants- those boys in black jeans, are afforded is gendered already.

then, the vast majority of photo buyers are women, and they are leaning toward hiring men- for editorial, for ads- all of it. it is culturally unculcated that we all think women are less competent. its the unconscious bias. then guys are often shooting scantily clad women for their portfolios so it creates a mental wall from the comaraderie that they might otherwise find with other women photographers starting out.


so what happens is that men build their portfolios quickly and more smoothly than women who are just as driven, just as talented but who are missing these peer networks, and the support of the gatekeepers who are unconsciously, or even consciously hiring mostly men who are refining their skills, tweaking their lighting ideas, sharing gear and tech ideas.

Since with photo, just like in most fields, the more you do it, the better you get, men have that where does that leave the women photographers? 

Please chime in with your experiences of starting out in photo, please confirm or add your perspective. thanks!


Editorial Cover Statistics

Entertainment Weekly

Cover Assignments, 2014-2017





Women's Health




Harper's Bazaar


Men's Health





2013-2017, Annie Leibovitz was the only woman.

Vanity Fair

Alreadymade Editors
Entertainment Advertising Statistics

According to one of the top creative agencies which designs blockbuster movie posters, of the special key-art shoots they were sent to "finish", out of 143 shoots, only 17 were shot by women. 

Entertainment Key Art

Alreadymade Editors
Implicit Bias

Implicit bias is everywhere and necessary to survive, but it also stands in the way of half of the population being treated fairly. Watch this video created by Google. 

Alreadymade Editors
Martha Swope

Martha Swope - who died just last year at the age of 88 - was a professional photographer who worked for decades in NYC photographing ballet and theater BTS and PR. Scroll to image 7: this is what a photographer looks like.

Alreadymade Editors
Five #Femvertising Findings:

1. Contrary to popular belief, consumers actually pay attention to advertising

  • 87% of women and 73% of men report that they do not ignore ads (Q23j)
  • In 2014, there was zero recognition on the term "femvertising," today 1 in 5 women and men are aware of the term (20% women, 18% men). (Q4)
  • 64% of respondents believe ads have become more generally inclusive of gender, race, and sexuality in the past year. (Q7)
  • In 2014, 77% of respondents noticed that advertisers were spending more time thinking about how they portray women.  Two years later, that number rose to 82%. (Q6)
  • 88% of women and 74% of men report remembering ads that feature positive female messages.  The main driver for recall with women is because they see themselves & people they know reflected in the message.  The main driver for men is that these ads match their values. (Q9 & Q10)
  • 59% of women have followed a brand in social media because they like what they stand for (Q23c)
  • 56% of respondents remember seeing at least one of the ads nominated for a 2016 #Femvertising Award (Q20)
  • 47% of women have shared an ad with a pro-female message, up from 45% in 2014 (Q23d)

2. Both women & men feel unrepresented, underrepresented, and misrepresented in most of the ads they see

  • 62% of women and 67% of men believe they do not see people like themselves in ads (Q23k)
  • When asked how women are portrayed in ads, one third of men (33%) feel it is in a positive light, compared to just 17% of women.  (Q2)
  • The perspective flips when asked about how men are portrayed in ads, half of women (53%) feel it is positive, compared to just 33% of men. (Q3)-
  • 60% of women and 49% of men believe it is important that the people who create ads are diverse (Q23l)-
  • The top 3 brands that respondents say portray women in a negative light are: Beer commercials, Victoria's Secret and Carl's Jr/Hardee's (Q14)
  • When thinking of the negative portrayal of women, the most frequently mentioned ads were: Reebok "Cheat on Your Girlfriend, Not Your Workout" (2012), Geico "Tarzan" (2016), Dr. Pepper "Ten" (2011) and DirecTV "Marionette Wives" (2014) (Q14)-
  • The top 3 brands that respondents say portray men in a negative light are: Beer commercials, Axe body spray, laundry/cleaning commercials (Q15)
  • When thinking of the negative portrayal of men, the most frequently mentioned ads were: Summer's Eve "Manly Mistake" (2014), Hanes socks "Paste" (2010) and United Healthcare "Pool Vault" (2016) (Q15)

3. The message -- and the image -- matters

  • An overwhelming majority -- 97% of women and 90% of men -- think the advertising we see has an impact on how society views women (Q17)
  • 90% of women and 65% of men believe portraying women as sex symbols in ads is harmful (Q23e)
  • 85% of women and 78% of men believe gender equality is not only a woman's issue but a human rights issue (Q23g)
  • 83% of women and men believe that any brand can find a way to authentically deliver a pro-female message.  This is a significant increase from 2014 when 74% of women believed any brand could create pro-female ads. (Q13)
  • In 2014, 75% of women said they wanted to see real women in ads.  Today, that number jumped to 82% of women, but men are not nearly as interested in seeing real images.  Just 65% of men report they like it. (Q8)
  • 2 out of 3 respondents offered advice to brands on how to market to them (see answers in Q24)

4. Women are more likely to purchase products from brands that support women

  • 92% of women indicate they might support a brand because they promote and hire female executives (VP level and above). 78% of men agree. (Q21)
  • 88% of women indicate they might support a brand because they have a female CEO.  74% of men agree. (Q22)
  • The majority of women (56%) say they would be more likely to support a brand that shows non-stereotypical men in their ads.  Interestingly, most men (49%) say it makes no difference to them. (Q19)
  • The majority of women (53%) say they have purchased a product because they like how a brand and their advertising portrays them, up slightly from 2014 (52%) (Q23a)
  • Almost half (46%) of women have stopped buying a product because they didn't like they way they were portrayed in that brand's ad (Q23b)
  • Far and away, Dove is the most recognized brand for sending positive messages to women and girls, with 65% of all respondents believing they make an impact. Rounding out the rest of top 10 brands doing it right are:  Always (39%), CoverGirl (36%), Nike (32%), Olay (29%), Secret (28%), Playtex (27%), Hanes (26%), Yoplait (25%), and Pantene (25%). (Q12)

5. You can't be what you can't see -- the next generation continues to be the reason why #Femvertising is so important

  • Just like in 2014, the #1 reason women like pro-female ads is because they are important for younger generations to see.  This was also the #1 reason for the men we surveyed. (Q11)
  • 92% of women and 80% of men believe how women are portrayed in ads has a direct impact on girls' self-esteem.  This is up slightly from 2014, when 91% of women also held this belief. (Q23f)
  • 63% of women and men believe we should hold brands responsible for using their advertising to promote positive messages to women and girls (Q16)

Source: SheKnows Media, Online survey, fielded in Sept. 2016, 3,822 responses total

Alreadymade Editors