March is Women’s History Month and we’re taking a closer look at what it’s like for women in the creative industry, specifically when they’re working in roles that are dominated by men.
Case in point: even though women creatives make up 40% of the industry, only 18.5% of the people behind the camera are women.
Graphic Designer and all-around creative, Katarina Gentry has been an avid content creator for years. From paper to digital art to drawing with red wine, she loves challenging the boundaries of art mediums. She received her degree at the Academy of Arts in San Francisco and most recently, works at Creative Digital Agency. There, Katarina gets to expand on her photography, videography and editing skills.
“I have always thought about photography and videography as a hobby, not a job,” says Katarina. “In the past, my photography was very personal to me and fueled entirely by wanting others to see my perception of the object. I think the biggest creative discovery for me, working in the industry, has been learning to take a step back from being the only voice in the picture to find a way where my personal style aligns with the client’s vision and personality of the audience; until the finished result feels like a collaboration between the creator, the client, and the audience.”
Videographer Grace Haymond started her creative journey by producing fun videos on her YouTube channel when she was 12 years old. These videos were her way of expressing herself, as well as trying out new creative techniques with her editing and shooting style.
“I started videography before photography, which is more unique since usually, it’s the other way around,” says Grace. “My first video was very personal to me, but as I started to grow my YouTube channel in high school, some of the staff from the school recognized my work and asked me to shoot some videos for the school which was really cool. That was when I realized I could earn a living from creating content.”
Now, Haymond works for an advertising agency where she gets to express her creativity to clients.
“Working for an agency like Creative Digital Agency is very unique and presents its own set of challenges,” says Grace. “Before I started working here, my projects usually revolved entirely around the client. You’re just trying to match their style and predetermined vision. But at CDA, it’s all about the audience. There is a lot more creative freedom to the work when you start from the mindset of the target audience and then find alignment with the brand.”
In a climate where things like an authentic voice and relatability to a target audience are becoming quintessential for brand marketers, it seems counter-intuitive to have just 18% of the behind-the-camera talent reflect 50% of the population. But the landscape is already changing. Modern production techniques, equipment, and distribution channels have created an environment where women behind the camera are not restricted to sole-function positions such as filmmaker or video editors. There’s been an industry shift to more women directing entire productions, from ideation, shooting, producing and editing it to align with their voice as women — which is great news for brands.
“Women in the past felt like they were not able to have a voice,” says Gentry. “Now, women creatives are saying that we have a voice, and you will hear it. I think it’s really empowering that we’re able to be so free and open, and that’s showing the next generations that it is ok to be true to yourself. That’s really freeing, as an artist and as a woman.”
The development of digital content platforms has created an entire generation of women content creators with expertise on all sides of the camera. We are so excited to see what these talented emerging artists and creatives will show us next.