As the 100-year anniversary of women getting the vote draws closer, so too does the First Women 2018 launch date of the complete collection of First Women. In a year that has included Tate Britain, sheepdogs and Top of the Pops, the First Women team has clocked up an astonishing 20,000 miles to photograph 27 new firsts. The journey this year has been exciting – From Bute House in Edinburgh to the gritty training ring of an Olympic Gold Medalist …to the living room of a Booker prize winner and the studios of Radio 4 – via the world-famous Crucible Theatre in Sheffield – It had been a privilege and inspiration to photograph these women who simply consider their status-quo-breaking work, ‘just doing the job they love.’
Even at this point in our social history, images of strong, inspiring women are still sorely lacking. Unrealistic ideas of feminine beauty continue to pressure women to strive towards a media-created ideal. The First Women portraits seek to capture instead the soul-felt drive to self-realisation… and the true beauty that resides in living that in every day of your life within your work.
As we move towards preparations for the 2018 launch, we carry some questions with us raised by the 89 women photographed so far…
Do we really know how to identify with and welcome strong women?
Are women still compromising to make in-roads to male-dominated fields?
How can we best celebrate the achievements of women in order to make lasting change and allow any young woman or man growing up today to believe they can live their passion in the modern world?