A Photographers Fight to the Front

amarisBy Amaris C. I walked into New York City’s Roseland Ballroom armed with my Canon, prepped to cover a private concert by Juanes for work. I made my way through the thickness and found the cluster of photographers from other outlets who were also tasked with the same gig that night. We were to snap photos of the first two songs from the Colombian superstar’s set – that was all.

Out of curiosity, I started eyeing the photographers around me. I was searching for another female face. No women in sight.

I realized then that I was the only female photographer there. It was such a surreal moment for me. I wanted to know why. Why was I the only woman here? It didn’t really make sense. Why wouldn’t there be more female photographers? It even made me a bit nervous inside because I saw a few of the male photographers look at me curiously, sizing me up. Still, there was no time to ponder deeply on this because we were soon rushed to the front of the stage where Juanes had started his guitar-backed poetry for his adoring fans.

For me, the two songs felt as though they stretched and looped over the next two hours. There I was, elbow to elbow with these men, desperate to get the most visually captivating shots of the music icon. I noticed some of the male photographers were careful around me, as if I was a fragile vase. Others were aggressive.

I tried to maintain a realm of professionalism, but I made sure I was still hustling to get the perfect shot. What did they have that I didn’t? I have always prided myself in my aggressive work ethic and go-getter attitude. I decided during those two songs to embrace the fact that I was the only female photographer in the pack. My uncertainty turned into pride. Sure, I wasn’t pushing for women’s rights or anything like that, but my presence itself had a rich existence of its own. I was there. A woman, with a camera. Just like all these other guys.

Can I get a #GirlPower?

Your StoriesErin Bagwell