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Musings: God Made Me Female!

By 14/07/2009December 29th, 20097 Comments

I’ve always considered the world of photography as a predominantly male industry (which it is!) and initially when I considered joining the ranks of wedding photographers, I thought, “Oh my goodness, I’ll have to grow a goatee, wear an ugly vest and talk tech all the time.” Well, that was like 2 years ago, and now, after having met lots and lots of cool female photographers like Jenny Sun, Fiona Lim, Anna-Rina, Asther Lau, and myself included *ahem*… I am jumping for joy. There’s hope for us yet!

I can look stylish and hot as a female photographer! It sounds incredibly vain, I know, but hey, at least I’m being honest!


I’ve thought through some of my strengths and weaknesses of being a female photographer, and thought I’d share some here:

– I can connect with the brides out there who are usually my first point of contact during any form of client consultation. I am genuinely excited to hear about their wedding plans, how they met their fiance and what kind of decorations they’ll be having on their big day. You know, girly talk.

– On the shoot day, I can get access where most male photographers cannot. For example, brides would usually allow me to be in the room while they change. They have no qualms cupping their breasts in front of me while my shutter goes clicking away.

– I have more wardrobe options than male photographers. Yay!

– When I started photography, I didn’t really focus a lot on the technical aspects of it, but rather the composition and story of each shot. I think that is still one of my greatest strengths. I look for emotions and storyline above everything else.

– I smile a lot to people. I think that warms them up and breaks the ice. Ok, ok, this is not really a gender difference.


– I’m female and small. Being small can be another blog post in itself, but the fact that I’m female, most people would tend to look at the male photographers first before looking at me. They probably think that I’m a guest taking photos. They are quite surprised when I command the situation especially during group shots etc!

– The other male photographers I shoot with can shoot off anything technical in one breath, talk about the latest gadgets in the market, explain ALL the features in the various camera bodies available in the market AND refer you to the websites that has great reviews about them. I am a little slow in these things. :)

– I cannot push large heng tais away, especially those that block my view during the chip san leong session.

– I like to be pampered way too much, so sometimes I spend my hard earned cash on things like massage sessions and pigging out sessions with my girlfriends.

So, what are your thoughts out there? What are the advantages or disadvantages of being a female/male photographer?

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • David says:

    I think generally it is the same but brides tend to be more open with female photographers I guess. Are they?

  • Harjit says:

    I like your post. Kudos to you for getting out there and getting the job done, female or not. You are a great photographer!

    Regarding the bridal sessions where brides are more comfortable with female photogs, I think that is more of a Malaysian / Asian thing. It’s not so much of a case here in the US. We do conduct bridal getting ready shots and they are just as comfortable with us male photogs. The issue is more societal / cultural where males and females are more segregated in Malaysia. Heck, you can’t even kiss in public and showing affection in public is frowned upon.

  • Suwen says:

    Great shots are great shots regardless, period. Shots here are great and they tell a lot of things, but not the gender of the photographer.

  • Grace Tan says:

    Thanks for your comments! Harjit: It’s not taboo to kiss in public in Malaysia, but if you’re living in Kelantan, it’s a different story altogether!

    Suwen & David: Yeah often times I can’t tell whether a photo was taken by a male/female photographer. I guess a lot of the differences felt is more social.

  • satkuru says:

    i saw the link to your site via twitter and i have to say i am awe-struck when i first opened it :D and i too realized that there are some photos that you will never see if it was a male photog and that’s being with the bride in the room itself :)

    doesn’t really matter if you are a female photog. you are definitely one of the few wedding photographers that have captured my attention lol. i just kept browsing thru your achieves :P

    seriously love you work :D

  • Grace Tan says:

    Satkuru, thanks for your comments! Really appreciate all that you’ve said, and I had a peek at your blog too! :) Some lovely travel photos there. Keep up the good work!

  • Belinda says:

    hello….love your works..and your promo sounds great.but discovered ur website a bit late as i did pre wedding shot already..

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