Interview with Overnight Prints

Updated: Dec 31, 2018

Interview with Overnight Prints, Customer Spotlight

Ways Print Empowered Women: International Women's Day

by Zeenath Haniff

March 8, 2018

View the original article here.

March 8 celebrates International Women’s Day, shining a spotlight on the achievement of fearless females who shatter glass ceilings in every way imaginable. Overnight Prints recognizes 4 talented women who choose print as their medium to create art and build thriving businesses.

The 2018 campaign theme to #PressforProgress is exactly what these Overnight Prints customers did to become successful business owners. Turning a passion into a profitable career takes guts, ambition, hard work and talent. For these and so many more reasons, we are proud to be a part of the success of these women business owners.

Emily is a photographer who also runs her family’s farm in Fort Scott, Kansas.

I have been capturing memories for nearly half my life. I am a creature of habit, but I also have a spontaneous wild side that likes to come out. When I’m not busy behind a camera, I can be found spending time with my husband and three dogs.

My husband and I decided a year ago that we needed a change from our busy Seattle lives and headed to Kansas to save my family’s farm. So, along with my photography business, I now run the 300-acre, 130-year-old Dill Farms that acts as a giant studio space for local artists. We have been open for just six short months and have already begun hosting painting and photography workshops! While I love being able to step outside and work from my giant backyard, it is even more magical seeing the amazing photographs that are taken by the talented photographers who visit.

I think the best part of my job is getting to know so many people all around the world. Being trusted to share their stories and capture their memories is such a dream and truly an honor.

Who are your female role models and why?

Of course the number one female role model in my life will always be my mom. As a single mother, she never had it easy but she rarely let that show. She encouraged my sisters and me to live to our fullest potential and follow our dreams. But more than anything, she taught us how to be strong and independent women.

How do women in your industry work toward gender equality?

Over the years, I have noticed a huge change in the business and I can’t wait to see where we go. When I first entered art school, all but two of my professors were male. We only ever studied male photographers. It wasn’t until I left art school and dove into the art world that I started learning more about women photographers. Vivian Maier, for example, is one of the most amazing street photographers, yet she wasn’t mentioned in a single school textbook. In my circle of photographer friends, we are constantly helping each other. We lead workshops and events, recommend each other when we are already booked, and are amazing support systems.

What advice would you give women to stand out in your industry?

In two simple words, be different. There was a time when I was constantly trying to change my style. Social media was filled with gorgeous, bright and airy pastel images. And for a little while, I was shooting that way too. I absolutely love the style, but it isn’t me and I was disliking my work more and more. I am inspired by bright colors and contrast. Once I realized what was happening, I began to shoot in my natural ways again. I felt like me again. Not everyone is going to like your work, and that is okay! What is important is that you are staying true to yourself and creating what makes you happy.

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese

The theme this year is #PressforProgress. What are some changes you’d like to see in your industry? In the world today?

While there has been a rise in female photographers over the years, men are still the majority. For example, most of my online photography groups are filled with men. On average, I would say there is an 80/20 split. I recently joined a portrait group where thousands of talented professional photographers from around the world post their work for feedback. I ended up leaving the group after a few short weeks because the pictures were almost all of overly sexualized female models and taken by men. The beautiful portrait work done by women seemed to get lost and ignored. I could guess if the photographer was male or female based on the photo’s activity. While not all of the male photographers shared this issue, it was clearly the majority. There is nothing wrong with women expressing sexuality through their artwork, but there is a problem with the female body being represented as an object. I would love to see more women getting involved in photography groups and change the dynamic.

In an attempt to create a change, especially here in the Midwest, we have hosted women only boudoir workshops. Instead of having all of the focus on being sexy, we aimed to be empowering. We even got other female local business owners involved, including a woman who designs her own watches and another who creates custom hangers. While it may be a small step, it is a step in the right direction.

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