LeightonD, Photographer

LeightonD's Photographic life.

Beauties Among the Beasts…Women in Modern Photography

Beauties among the beasts

L-R Heather, Latoya, Dawn, Krystal, Carissa

Last night while at our Pictage Users Group (PUG) monthly meet up in Jacksonville, FL, hosted by Scarlett Lillian, I looked around the table at Scarlett, Sarah DeShaw and Cheryl Joy Miner and for some reason I was so surprised at their…ahem…”youth.” All of them are under 30, yet are competing day-to-day with photographers who have had businesses longer than these women have been alive.

These women are phenomenal! Not only the photographic and business sense, but also in their humanity. I often talk to OUTSTANDING women photographers such as Trudy Hamilton, Latoya Roberson, Dawn McCarthy, Carissa Glanton, Heather Whitson Blackwell, Tasha Prescott, and Krystal Blase, amongst others; and I have come to notice that these younger female photographers tend to be more approachable and humble than their male counterparts. They tend to have a certain sincerity that I think us macho, male photographers often lack.

Many people complain about a “glass ceiling” but photography is probably one of the most male dominated industries out there outside of professional sports, politics, and the military.

I admit it, I can often be cocky and on a good day arrogant, but these women, as good as they are, are ALWAYS PLEASANT. Sure I have to hear about Dawn’s ‘Chicken Fried Chicken’ and Trudy’s “tea rush,” but they are always cool calm and collective.

I often wonder how are these women treated in the industry? Are they embraced, shunned, or looked down upon? Some of these women I know are PERSONALLY persecuted by jealousy or by envy. Yes none of us are perfect, but if you are booking 20+ weddings a year, in the bracket I want to be in, and I struggle to get 5, it doesn’t matter how good my photos are, there is something I’m doing wrong! But many fail to admit that.

I know in Jacksonville, Florida alone, both Dawn and Scarlett give a lot of themselves to their photographic community. In the little time I have known Trudy, I have learned a lot. I know their lives are not perfect, and I am pretty sure we ALL wished that we could get ONE MORE CLIENT this week, or one more wedding booked for next year.

What is amazing that in a time when many turn to photography as a second career, these women have started well before their 30’s. They always have an energy about them…and frankly, they are always happy to see me! lol. But really appreciate not only the professional, but personal friendships that I have developed with these women.

So what are some things I have learned from these women?

  1. Have patience! (Latoya)
  2. Invest in your clients (Dawn)
  3. Invest in your MENTAL aptitude! (Trudy)
  4. Light yourself on fire and people will gather around to watch you burn (Scarlett)
  5. You don’t have to be tall to get a good shot (Krystal)

Ok I need to go now…lol until next time happy people!


About Leighton DaCosta, Photographer

International Wedding, Portrait, and Fashion photographer based in Miramar, Florida. Also a Pilot and a LEAN technician.

10 comments on “Beauties Among the Beasts…Women in Modern Photography

  1. LDPhotography
    August 24, 2010

    My point exactly! lol. thanks for the feedback!

  2. Trudy
    August 24, 2010

    You are exactly correct in the sentiment “I know their lives are not perfect, and I am pretty sure we ALL wished that we could get ONE MORE CLIENT this week.” <–AMEN. I am always careful and open to let people know who I truly am so they don’t glamorize or idealize me and see the reality…one that is challenging and difficult yet pleasurable and inspiring on this photographic journey.

    Wow, I appreciate you considering me for your post. Very humbling. Thank you.

  3. Allie Brooke
    August 24, 2010

    Thank you for posting that! So sweet! I am sorry I was unable to attend last night…
    I have found myself working with predominately male photographers and have felt a bit “run over” as of late. I miss visiting with the ladies! Many with children of thier own, They truly are an inspiration to me!

  4. Harmony
    August 24, 2010

    That was an excellent, sincere and insightful read Mr. DaCosta:) Thank you for extending your appreciation to the talented ladies in your line of work – You’ll get many karmic brownie points for that one:)lol

    Peace and Love – Harmony

  5. Isaac D. Parker
    August 24, 2010

    Very informative! I’m sure a lot of women that have inadvertently slipped under the radar could appreciate someone of your caliber paying tribute to their work. With that being said, these ladies truly are grandmaster of their art.

  6. Veronica Collins
    August 25, 2010

    This article was a very nice read. I must say [Latoya Roberson] definitely has patience. My family & I was one of her fist customers, I’ve seen her grow to a very productive photographer. This all happened because of her patience.

  7. Dawn McCarthy
    September 9, 2010

    I am not sure how in the world I missed this post…until now. But I wanted to thank you Leighton! This post is interesting in so many ways! I have been both embraced and shunned by certain people in the industry…I think that’s to be expected. The one thing that will never waiver is me staying true to my authentic self! I might be talking about frying chicken one second and then speaking in front of a crowd on how to be invested in your clients the next second…the point is no matter who I am speaking to I am always my genuine self. I am well aware that I am not everyone’s cup of tea 😉 but for you to blog about me being professional, approachable and pleasant…I say mission accomplished. Colleagues not competitors, right? : )

    • LDPhotography
      September 9, 2010

      Thank you Dawn for the response. You are truly one of my inspirations not just in imagery but in marketing and the BUSINESS of photography. People talk about style, and advantages and disadvantages, but they forget that you always hd the opportunity to give up juts like some others have. You invest in your clients, and they see that. It’s not about a “price” but a VALUE. Some men think that women have the “advantage” because they can empathize with brides and expecting mothers, but the reality is that you really put them first. And that is what people want. to feel important.

      If I client feels the person they have hired works for THEM, they will be more receptive to your work!

  8. krystal
    February 29, 2012

    I just stumbled upon this now! Never knew you wrote this! I am so humbled! Thank you!!!

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This entry was posted on August 24, 2010 by in Uncategorized.
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