Beauties Among the Beasts...Women in Modern Photography

Beauties among the beasts

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 until next time happy people!

Leighton DaCosta

Hello, I'm Leighton and I help people around the world tell their story. Let me introduce myself. Whether it's for online dating, or a professional profile, it always seems that the "About Me" section is always the hardest to write. Not because you have nothing to say about yourself, but because you want to be sincere, genuine, interesting, and brief all at the same time. I have never been a fan of writing about me in the third person, like: "Leighton DaCosta, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to Brooklyn, NY at an early age when his parents wanted to form a new life for themselves and their children. In the third grade, the family moved to Orlando, Fl, where Leighton considers his home town. After spending 3 tours in the Navy, he settled in Jacksonville, and now Miramar, Florida, where he now calls home. Today, still wanted by many, he does work as a fashion and wedding photographer. If you have a wedding(or photo shoot)... if no one else can help... and if you can find him... maybe you can hire... ok.. this is not The A- Team." But you see what I mean? What do you know about me? How can we connect? Did you know that my FAVORITE food is Pizza and Sushi? Or that my favorite color is Purple? When I go to the wine bars, I usually order Mimosas, because even the cheapest champagne tastes great with some good ole OJ. When I travel, I like staying in nice hotels. Not because of the name, (even though I AM partial to Hyatt) but because of the bathrooms. One of my favorite hotels is the Viking in Newport, Rhode Island. Small rooms, but AWESOME bathrooms. I LOVE TO EAT, and eating as much as I have, has led me to be about 100 pounds more than I was in High School... Yeah there is some muscle there, but if it was all muscle, I'm sorry folks, I wouldn't be taking photos, I would be retiring from the NFL. If you want to see some of my favorite dishes, follow me on Instagram. Because of that, I find myself now in the gym more than ever. Trying to stay fit and alive... I workout, so I can EAT! Well that's enough for now, if you want to know more about me, follow my blog. Better yet, I want to find out more about YOU. So let's talk!