Patriarchal Pits: The gendered experiences of female concert photographers

Journal of Gender Studies.

Abstract: While the presence of women in photojournalism is increasing, the way they are treated by their male counterparts remains unbalanced. Drawing from feminist theory and embodiment, this study examines how the gendered experience plays out for women in a particular niche of photojournalism; concert photography. The restricted access of the music scene and the embodied nature of photojournalism combine to present unique barriers for women. In-depth interviews with male and female concert photographers show women still face a form of patriarchal oppression in the field. This is seen through gendered language, such as ‘one of the guys’ versus a ‘mom in the pit’, embodied actions such as direct sexual harassment or indirect benevolent sexism, and in how women are questioned when they identify themselves as a photographer.

Kyser Lough 

Related Research


Sign this or go home: Concert photography agreements as restrictive image control devices

Abstract: Photojournalists covering concerts are increasingly being asked to sign photo agreements in exchange for access to the venue. These agreements sometimes include restrictive terms that begin to limit editorial freedoms and copyright ownership of the images, which can be seen as a problematic form of image control. This study is the first to explore […]

Kyser Lough
read more
Judging photojournalism: The metajournalistic discourse of judges at the Best of Photojournalism and Pictures of the Year contests

(Forthcoming) Abstract: This study promotes how discussions during photojournalism award judging can be used as metajournalistic discourse to gain insight about the definition, boundaries and legitimization of the field. Journalism awards signal value, but the deliberation process offers richer insight via the judges’ comments. This study explores that process in two stages through discourse analysis […]

Kyser Lough
read more