What’s women’s work? Photo series challenges stereotypes

A colleague introduced Chris Crisman to the subject of this portrait (above), which inspired his ongoing series “Women’s Work,” images of women on the job in male-dominated fields.

“With a lot of jobs, like butcher and farmer—that archetypal blue-collar job—they photograph really well,” says Crisman. “But traditionally they’re all men.” He was intrigued by this subject’s story—that she’d left a graphic design career to train to become a butcher. And he realized he’d never seen a female butcher. “I thought, that would be a cool picture,” he says, so he asked his colleague if he could contact her for a portrait. 

The session and the resulting portrait so inspired Crisman that he decided to make more portraits of women working in traditionally male fields, eventually tracking down a pig farmer, a gold miner, a lobster fisher, and others. He hopes the series shows girls (his daughter included) that they can pursue any profession. “Any job you might want as a girl, there is already somebody out there doing it.”

Amanda Arnold is the associate editor of Professional Photographer.