Vivid portrait photography and accompanying essays declare that all work is women’s work.
Every picture tells a story, and these photos alone, many of them full page or two-page spreads, show women fighting fires, dealing with prisoners, flying planes, taming horses, mining gold, farming oysters, writing, teaching, coaching basketball, and baking—among dozens of other professions. Take the two sisters responsible for Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, D.C., who “had dreamed about opening a bakery since we were young girls,” before getting sidetracked into “careers in fashion and venture capital.” And now? They “bake over twenty-five thousand cupcakes a day and have over three hundred employees across the country.” In addition to bakers, the book includes a butcher, a blacksmith, a firearms and archery instructor, a beekeeper and urban gardener, and a vice president of Google. Many of them are immigrants or minorities; some of them find themselves in fields where there is no family background or female mentorship. They have taken as many different career paths as there are careers, yet much of the advice they offer is straightforward and consistent: Do what you love. Be persistent. Don’t worry about what others think or say. The younger women often recognize that earlier generations of women had it tougher, and they are determined to level the playing field even more for generations to come. The personal testimonies are inspirational throughout, and the photos embody the same spirit. Some are stunning in their composition and color contrast, from the many that are shot in the natural world—the author/photographer biography notes that in addition to his prizewinning commercial work, he is “a photographer specializing in environmental portraiture”—to the ones at the slaughterhouse, the funeral home, and the prison. Says a prison guard, “I will always be an advocate for women pursuing any career interest they have. You’ve got to remember that there are others, somewhere, doing what you want to do.”
A beautiful book that provides genuine encouragement and inspiration.