Photography Of Inspiring Women

March 31, 2016

 

 Railroad workers, these are wives and mothers of the men who left for war,1943. Nearly 100,000 women, as young as 16 to seasoned railroaders of 55 to 65, are kept America's wartime trains rolling. Railroad companies, once opposed to hiring any women, added women as fast as they could get them.

 

Volunteers learn how to fight fires in Pearl Harbor, 1941. This photo has become so famous for the emotion and strength in each woman's face. It is a mirror of what was left behind in the nation while most men went off to the war.

 

Sabiha Gökçen of Turkey poses with her plane. In 1937, she became the first female fighter pilot. She gained her skills by flying bomber and fighter planes at the 1st Aircraft Regiment in Eskişehir Airbase and got experience after participating in the Aegean and Thrace exercises in 1937. She took part in the military operation against the Dersim rebellion and became the first Turkish female air force combat pilot. She was also awarded the Turkish Aeronautical Association's first "Murassa Medal" for her superior performance in this operation.

 

A Muslim girl covers the yellow star of her Jewish neighbor with her veil to protect her from prosecution in Sarajevo, formerly Yugoslavia. This image speaks not for it's physical beauty, but the beauty in meaning.

 

Maud Wagner, the first female tattooist in the United States in 1907. Wagner was an aerialist and contortionist, working in numerous traveling circuses. She met Gus Wagner, a tattoo artist who described himself as "the most artistically marked up man in America" while traveling with circuses and sideshows at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (World's Fair) in 1904, where she was working as an aerialist. She exchanged a romantic date with him for a lesson in tattooing, and several years later they were married. As an apprentice of her husband, Wagner learned how to give traditional "hand-poked" tattoos and became a tattooist herself. Together, the Wagners were two of the last tattoo artists to work by hand, without the aid of modern tattoo machines.

 

18 year old fighter during the liberation of Paris, 1944. The liberation began when the French Forces of the Interior staged an uprising against the German garrison upon the approach of the US Third Army.  August 25, Dietrich von Choltitz, commander of the German garrison and the military governor of Paris, surrendered to the French at the Hôtel Meurice, the newly established French headquarters, while General Charles de Gaulle arrived to assume control of the city as head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic.

 

Sarla Thakral, the first Indian girl to earn her pilots license in 1936. I chose this image especially for the amount of joy beaming off Sarla as the image is being taken. You can feel the joy in her accomplishment.

 

Komako Kimura, a prominent Japanese suffragist at a march in New York, 1917. What makes this image is that crowd of men behind her, confused, surprised, and disapproving. It leaves Komako perfectly balanced and focused as the center point of them image, promoting her message.

 

Girls delivering very large and heavy blocks of ice after the men were enlisted in 1918. I had never previously seen ice this large in an antique photograph and was blown away by it. It has such a unique effect on the film as the image was taken.

 

 A Swedish lady hitting a neo-Nazi protester with her handbag. The woman was a concentration camp survivor in 1985. Knowing this woman's background, her fierce expression is even more empowering as she delivers justice. 

 

106-year old Armenian lady protecting her house in 1990. I personally love this image because it reminds me of my great grandmother; women ahead of their time in passion and equality. It is an an interesting balance of strength from someone one would usually not expect.

 

The first ladies basketball from Smith College in 1902. Senda Berenson, an instructor at Smith, taught basketball to her students, hoping the activity would improve their physical health. Basketball's early adherents were affiliated with YMCAs and colleges throughout the United States, and the game quickly spread throughout the country.

 

Annette Kellerman posing in a swimsuit that got her arrested for indecency in 1907. Kellermann was one of the first women to wear a one-piece bathing costume, instead of the then-accepted pantaloons, and inspired others to follow her example. Kellerman's swimming costumes became so popular, that she started her own fashion line of one-piece bathing suits. Kellermann helped popularize the sport of synchronized swimming; and authored a swimming manual. She appeared in several movies, usually with aquatic themes, and as the star of A Daughter of the Gods was the first major actress to appear nude in a Hollywood production. Kellermann was an advocate of health, fitness, and natural beauty throughout her life.

 

Kathrine Switzer was the first girl to run the Boston Marathon, even though the organizers tried very hard to stop her in 1967. Switzer trained for and completed the 1967 Boston Marathon under entry number 261 with the Syracuse Harriers athletic club. It was another five years before women were officially allowed to compete . Her finishing time of approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes was nearly an hour behind the first female finisher, Bobbi Gibb (who ran unregistered). She registered under the gender-neutral "K. V. Switzer", which she said was not done to mislead the officials. She claimed she had long used "K. V. Switzer" to sign the articles she wrote for her university paper.

 

Jeanne Manford marches with her gay son during the pride march in 1972. Manford's son Morty, a gay activist, had been beaten while distributing flyers inside a political gathering in New York City. On June 25, she participated with her son in the New York Pride March, carrying a sign that read "Parents of Gays Unite in Support for Our Children" back when homosexuality was still seen as a mental illness and sodomy a crime.

 

Winnie the welder during World War II in 1943. I am intrigued by this image due to the natural innocence of her face compared to the massive flame she is controlling.

 

A women drinking tea on the aftermath of German bombing in London Blitz in 1940. Among the ruble, this woman dealt with her troubles and stress of losing everything by enjoying the only thing she had left, some tea.

 

Two women show their uncovered legs for the first time in history in Toronto in 1937. The gawkng of the men around them resulted in the car accident seen on the left. The bright white the two women are wearing have them stand out and reveal their innocence. As the men in darker clothes, may reveal their darker intentions.

 

Elspeth Beard, was the first English women to travel the world by motorcycle in 1980. The high contrast and bright light really pulls this image together. She was known as a rugged woman and the quality of the image truly represents her. 

 

Margaret Bourke-White, an incredible photographer that climbed the Chrysler building for pictures in 1934. She was an Americanphotographer and documentary photographer. She is best known as the first foreign photographer permitted to take pictures of Soviet industry, the first American female war photojournalist, and the first female photographer for Henry Luce's Life magazine, where her photograph appeared on the first cover.

 

A women protesting after the “Night of Terror” in 1917. The night before, a  group of 33 female protesters, members of the Silent Sentinels who picketed the White House daily to ask for voting rights for women, were brutally tortured and beaten by the workhouse guards and the superintendent, W.H. Whittaker.

 

Anna Fisher, the first “Mother of Space” in the 1980s. She is the oldest active American astronaut today. You can feel in her face her concentration and amazement looking into the depths of space.

 

Marina Ginesta, a 17 year old militant overlooking Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. As she stands before the city with such joy and confidence, you as if Barcelona is hers. 

 

 

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Stephanie Amber

Stephanie Amber Photography is not only my portfolio, it's yours. I have started this photography blog to highlight local and amateur photographers. Submit your photography to the blog to become our next featured photographer. I am a graphic designer and freelance photographer in the greater Boston area. 

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