Photo Gallery

“Before the New China was established in 1949, Chinese women were looked down upon by society.  In 1950, we started working as camerawomen for the Television Media Department.  At that time, very few women worked in camera.”
Chen Jin Ti, Camerawoman/Producer (Beijing, China)

“When we go outside of Kabul to other provinces…of course, we face lots of problems.”
Marie Ayub, Camerawoman (Afghanistan)

“I think women were trained as helpmates.  We like to help people.  We like to aid.  So we're perfect for working with a director, because we want to help him get his vision.”
Joan Hutton, CSC, Director of Photography
(Toronto, Canada)

Ratna Das, Camerawoman  (Kolkata, India)

(left to right:)  Pioneer camerawomen Yu Li Hua, Chen Jin Ti, Cui Shu Feng, Shu Shi Jun, Zhao Yan, Zhou Kun (Beijing, China).  Shu Shi Jun traveled throughout China with Mao Ze Dong, filming the new People’s Republic of China in the early 1950’s.

“I saw a film for the first time in a small box.  I felt they showed the whole world in it... It made me want to show people our world.”
Leelaben Paben, Video SEWA
Video SEWA Camerawomen (Ahmedabad, India)
www.videosewa.org
 

“The most obvious example of covert discrimination is when you don't get the job. You know it's not a lack of qualifications. You know it's either gender-based or ethnicity.  And unfortunately, you can't prove it.”
Mary Gonzales, Camera Operator (Hollywood)

“I may be biased, but the numbers of women with sparkling eyes and guts keep growing.  The number of women in the Camera Department itself is rapidly growing.”
Akiko Ashizawa, JSC, Director of Photography
(Tokyo, Japan)
www.dp-ashizawa.com

“This work  of being a cinematographer is for me a fabulous job.  It's like being an artist.”
Agnès Varda, Director (Paris, France)

“I went to the Red Sea, shooting on board an Australian frigate as part of the first Gulf War.   I would have never been offered that 10 or 20 years earlier.  It also shows how much physical risk there is to a lot of the work we do.  I ended up crushing a vertebra right at the end of that shoot.”
Jan Kenny, ACS (Australia)

In memoriam,
Brianne Murphy, ASC
Director of Photography (Hollywood)
1933-2003
“The Motion Picture and Television Academy awarded me a Technical and Scientific Academy Award for designing and manufacturing a camera car…To know that I’ve done something to make other cameramen’s lives safer is very important to me.  No shot is worth a life, yours or anyone who works with you.” 

“I’ve been working for Senegalese Television since January 2000.  I'm comfortable with my work, because I do it with love-- it's my passion.”
Aminata Wade, Camerawoman (Dakar, Senegal)

“During wars, most people aren't getting killed.  Most people are surviving, one way or another.  And I wanted to report on how people were coping in war.”
Nancy Durham, Video Journalist (London, England)

“All of my friends are lawyers making lots of money, but they're feeling unfulfilled, now that they're in their 30's.  My mother says, maybe it's worth it, because you're doing something that you love.”
Stephanie Martin, Director of Photography
(Argentina/Los Angeles)

“By 18, in Spain, you were supposed to pick a career, and…[my family] wanted me to study law -- but not me.  I studied image and sound in the film faculty in Madrid.”
Teresa Medina, AEC (Spain/Los Angeles)

“I started in 1968.  Looking back, I would say that sexism was really more prevalent than racism.”
Emiko Omori, Camerawoman/Director (San Francisco)

“What I do is not only for the money, but because it feeds my soul and my heart.”
Celiana Cardenas, Director of Photography (Mexico)

“It's like being a painter, really:  you have a blank canvas in front of you and you begin, and it's something that carries you along.  And I don't know if painters can ever stop painting.  Hopefully cinematographers never retire, they just grow old.  So who knows--as long as the world doesn't give up on me, I won't give up on it.”
Sue Gibson, BSC, Director of Photography
(London, England)

“I think 1,800 people took the test for the Camera Assistant Training Program. In the live action category, they only took seven people.  I was the only woman they took.”
Sabrina Simmons, one of Hollywood’s first female camera assistants, now a director (Los Angeles)

“My choice has been to keep my efforts in the indie world.... I certainly don't want to be anywhere where I'm not embraced with open arms.”
Nancy Schreiber, ASC  (New York/Los Angeles)

“I was this woman with a pretty strong character, who could keep my men from drinking and fighting and could keep them in line, working well, and reserve good relations with the crew.  That was my specialty.”
Marina Goldovskaya, shooting in the former U.S.S.R.

“I love it when my kids are proud:  ‘Mom, I saw you!  We watched at the awards night!’  More than the awards, it’s seeing your children watching what you do and saying they’re proud of you.”
Lee Meily, Director of Photography, The Philippines.

“In my opinion, you won't experience difficulties only because you are a woman. It's quite the opposite sometimes: you might even get treated better as a woman... You know guys!”
Rozette Ghaderi, Director of Photography (Tehran, Iran)

“I started shooting, and…I discovered that the key to my shooting was using the camera as a vessel, a receptacle.  By this, the act of shooting becomes yin…  The yang takes over when I light, when I become the dominant, aggressive force.  I make the light happen.”
Geraldine Kudaka, former Camera Assistant (Hollywood)

“There’s something about embarking on your first movie as a cinematographer with a first-time director that you can never recapture.  It’s like losing your virginity, in a certain sense.”
Amy Vincent, ASC, Director of Photography
(Hollywood)

“I wish that I did more studio pictures.  I think we all wish, once we get into doing studio pictures,  that we could stay there.”
Sandi Sissel, ASC, Director of Photography.
www.sandisissel.com

“I personally think my biggest job is to ensure the safety and well-being of my crew.  I’ve gotten many e-mails from crew people saying, ‘Thank you so much, because this is the first time that any DP has ever asked me, 'Are you ok?  Are you doing ok?'"
Ellen Kuras, ASC (New York/Los Angeles)

“In 1975, when I got into the Camera Assistants Training Program, I was pretty much the first woman anyone had seen on the set.”
Leslie Hill, one of Hollywood’s first female camera assistants, shooting Christmas Eve on Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1976).

“I felt like I really was interested in imagery and the intensity that images have on people-- how they affect people in quiet, but very powerful ways.  So, I was pretty sure from the get-go I wanted to be a cinematographer.  I transferred to NYU and started shooting as soon as I could.”
Lisa Rinzler, Director of Photography (New York) 
Photo Credit:  Jendra Jarnagin, DP

“People do not see, because they’re blind between the ears.  If you are told that any individual belonging to a certain group is going to be incompetent, that’s what you are going to believe, unless you actively challenge that perception.”
Estelle Kirsh (Hollywood/New York)

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