Without trying to pit the sexes against each other, it's about time to pay respect to some ladies working their fashion lenses. It's becoming increasingly awesome to see womenswear, and the models showing it off, through the eyes of an actual woman. But it takes more than a trigger-happy index finger to change the game. It's having the awareness to refresh the gaze, in a way that's worthwhile recognising. It's flexing the certain curiosity and assuredness that comes with women taking photos of women. An approach of understanding and lunar connections. A cool sisterhood.
Having assisted Nick Knight for four years in both photograph and film, and continuing a collaborative relationship, Ruth Hogben's got a great grip on high-production shoots. With labels like Margiela, Gareth Pugh, and Alexander McQueen at the top of her CV, you can't be surprised that she was behind the visuals for Lady Gaga's Monster Ball tour.
Recently shooting Young Thug for our Autumn 2015 issue cover, Dazed 100 photographer Harley Weir is perhaps the most unusual version (and amalgamation) of intimacy from a female perspective – her work is specifically human. Whether the focus is family, war, flesh, or spit, it is distinctly human. It is erotic and obsessive. There's an uneasy pleasure in viewing her work, and names such as AnOther, Stella McCartney, and Margiela dig it too.
Immediately hyper-unusual, Brianna Capozzi's photographs are as much focused on the set as they are the models. Not afraid to get weird, every single thing in the frame is interesting. Always. There's a mix of normalcy and absurdity that marks her style distinct – an approach that can't be mimicked. Shooting Julia Cumming in Saint Laurent for the Summer 2015 issue of Dazed – Capozzi’s a photographer who just gets it.
Collier Schorr has been shooting youth, androgyny, and now fashion for over 25 years, both in gallery and commercial contexts. She has developed a really disciplined study of identity, and in that she has created a distinct identity for her work. Another Dazed name, who has gone beyond with campaigns for Comme des Garçons, Jil Sander, and Versus Versace – to name a few.
MARTINA HOOGLAND IVANOW
Motivated by handsome shadows, Martina Hoogland Ivanow photographs in the partial light of the “outsider”. There is only ever half of a story told in her work, and then silence is washed behind a leafy silhouette or shoulder. Introversion is rarely associated with fashion, but Hoogland Ivanow makes it work.
You might unknowingly know Benedict's work from dream shop MNZ – where she produces small editorials for their webstore, which are basically your blueprints for smart-and-cool-girl dressing. She mostly captures an unusual beauty rather than text-book glamour. Her photographs have been on Dazed’s pages, as well as on walls between Larry Clark and Ed Templeton.
There are few fashion photographers more romantic than Julia Hetta. Her pictures look like they've been toiled over with oil-based paints and thinners. Long exposures and natural rays produce dreamy, classical, powerful shots. She makes that moment – just before something might happen – last forever. Her models become royals, upright and in charge. She has made incredible work for Dazed, as well as Acne Paper, Lanvin, Chloé, Hermès and more.
Collins is growing up behind her lens. An affection for nostalgia directs her lighting, and a dissatisfaction with society's standards of how we should look directs her subjects. Recently collaborating with brands like COS and Levis, where she frequently champions the power of the all-girl gang, including members like Joan Jett, artist Phoebe Collings-James and Cherry Glazerr’s frontwoman Clementine Creevy. Mentored by Richard Kern, it's no surprise she's not one to edit out a stray pube or a period spot.
Now 75-years-old, Sarah Moon was a model first, and in the 70s started standing behind the camera. Distinctly French, her work is dark and mysterious romance. Subtle movement from her subjects and unconventional depth of field create night-time visions, which are verging on painterly. Every time she releases the shutter, she ignores every tradition of fashion photography that she's lived through. Thank god for that.
Cass Bird invented standing on a bridge, flashing the cars below, and taking a photo of it. She's an exhibiting photographer, having worked with JD Samson for “JD's Lesbian Utopia”, and The Brooklyn Museum (who have Bird's work in their permanent collection) for “Global Feminisms”, among other major exhibits. She's also a fashion photographer, and an excellent one at that, with a spot as a regular contributor at Dazed. Vogue's Sally Singer wrote the foreword for Bird's book Rewilding and detailed her eye perfectly, “an exquisite and sly celebration of femininity of a very modern stripe.”