With co-founders: Lesley Keller and Victoria Sanders
Last month, upon compiling our two-part special with MUTEMATH, I came across photos of the band from the show where our interview with frontman, Paul Meany took place — House of Blues Boston. What drew me to these photos were not only did they capture the moments like all photos do, but more importantly, they captured the emotion of the moment. I discovered the photos were taken by Carter Howe and she was kind enough to allow them to be featured in our part-two special with MUTEMATH, which just happened to be all about emotion.
Upon adding in the photo credit and providing links, I then tripped across a reference on Carter’s site that notes she is part of the Photo Ladies — an incredible organization created by photographers, Lesley Keller and Victoria Sanders. Their mission reads, “The Photo Ladies are a group of women photographers, bound by their love of music and photography, who act as a collective to support, share, and represent one another in the world.” Aside from their inspiring vision, I noticed all the photos featured within the Photo Ladies group capture some element of sincere emotion of the given moment, in addition to showcasing something visually colorful and stunning.
I was fortunate enough to catch up with Keller and Sanders who here, bring us inside how the Photo Ladies came to be and how their approach leads to such remarkable work.
Can you explain what exactly The Photo Ladies is?
Lesley: The Photo Ladies is a global collective of female photographers, primarily with a focus on music/concert photography.
Victoria: We strive to teach, empower, and otherwise provide women of all ages, a space where they’re able to ask questions, vent, and find solutions.
What is the history on how it came to be?
We (Lesley and Victoria) were having a conversation about how ridiculous men treated women in the photo pit, both other photographers, and men in the crowd. We joked how we should start our own photography group, and threw it together that day.
What ultimately do you set out to do?
L: The process…TPL was born out of frustration of how females are viewed in the industry, and this group is meant to provide support and guidance for our fellow female photographers.
V: We hope people learn from our groups — both about photography, the music industry, and how to treat other humans with compassion, respect, and understanding.
What’s the process for joining The Photo Ladies?
The process is first emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with links to your work/portfolio. A handful of core members reviews their work and decides on who to add to the group. We like to keep a good mix of photographers of varying skill levels so everyone can learn from each other. Aside from that, we have an online community that is available for everyone to participate in. (http://www.facebook.com/tplcommunity)
Do you have any most memorable events so far?
V: Reaching 50 members… reaching 200 members… Our Tour Diaries, having well known bands/management, labels reach out to us, knowing who we are, supporting our members.
What do you have coming up?
We have an incredible photo diary we are currently working on with MUTEMATH, as well as Surfer Blood. We hope to have more content on the site ABOUT our members, tutorials, AMAs, etc.
Where can people find you/ your work?
You can find us at http://www.thephotoladies.com , @thephotoladies on instagram and twitter
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In collaboration with/produced by Jeff Gorra