Close Up: Women In Photo Event

Metro, IdeasTap and Made in Arts London came together last week to host ‘Close Up I: Women In Photo’ at IdeasTap HQ in Bermondsey.  It was an exciting collaboration culminating in an informal networking and panel event that attracted around 100 people.

Influential and experienced industry women including Anna Fox, Jenny Matthews, Jane Hilton and Shoair Mavlian took part in stimulating and thought-provoking talks and a lively debate.

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Shoair Mavlian assistant curator of the Tate Modern spoke about her methods of curating and focused particularly on the Tate’s upcoming exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography.

Jane Hilton, free lance documentary photographer spoke about staying safe in unfamiliar territory whilst working and referenced her series and book Precious, her project which highlights the lives and women working as prostitutes in brothels in the Nevada desert.

Anna Fox, Professor of Photography at University for the Creative Arts at Farnham, explained how importance it is not to underestimate the value of networking in such a ‘lone wolf’ industry.  She reflected how it can be considered to be ‘dirty work’ but ultimately everyone needs friends in the industry, after all this is how collectives are born.

Last but certainly not least Jenny Matthews, photojournalist and war photographer, recounted some of the more hair-raising moments of her career along with her personal highlights.  Additionally she discussed the importance of connecting with and being able to trust the ‘right’ people in the industry.

The four guest speakers then formed a panel with two other photographers, Anita Corbin who is currently working on her 1st Women UK project and Rosa Harvest from Made in Arts London, one of our event partners.  The audience asked questions about the topics covered in the talks, and the panel advised how to get involved in and the importance of working with, a collective.

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After some friendly networking time, the evening drew to a close with the announcement of Metro Imaging’s Close Up Mentorship winner Lynda Laird, who receives an invaluable 12-month mentorship programme with our in-house experts and technicians.

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As a result of the positive and overwhelming response to the event a new umbrella organisation has now been set up. The Old Girls Club (a tongue an cheek poke at the industries’ ‘mythical’ Old Boys Club) hopes to help women within the photography industry connect, network, exhibit and support each other, as well as being home to the #CloseUp talks that will be held 3-4 times a year providing upcoming or returning female photographers the opportunity to meet and hear from well known, established female photographers. The next event is already being planned one for early February 2015. Watch this space…

Images ©
1. Our panel take questions from the audience – (L-R) Jane Hilton, Shoair Mavlian, Anna Fox, Jenny Matthews, Anita Corbin, Rosa Harvest
2. Jenny Matthews and Anita Corbin catch up after the event
3. Mentorship winner, Lynda Laird – Photo by Anita Corbin