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Debbie Hare Photography Swindon

TGt Meets...Debbie Hare of Debbie Hare Photography - IWD Special

On March 8 it will be the annual day to celebrate women across all walks of life and all over the world. This year's day has the theme #choosetochallenge. We've invited women from across the UK - including Swindon - to take part and share their views. Some have also been kind enough to donate to some fundraising in honour of IWD 2021 we've done in several of our areas including Swindon and Dorset. Many thanks to those who have spared a few pennies to support a local charity at this challenging time.

By Debbie Hare of Debbie Hare Photography who offers Wedding, Personal Branding and Family Photographer based in Ascot, Berkshire. 

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #choosetochallenge – what would you choose to challenge?

A great theme! Due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, this whole year has been a challenge as photographer, I choose to challenge that we need to make the photography industry less male dominated especially in photojournalism, we need to look back at trailblazers like Julia Margaret Cameron, Tina Modotti and Anna Atkins who helped to pave the way for us.

We are lucky in the UK we have a voice; our voices are heard – we need to use them as many aren’t so lucky in the world.

Have you during your career ever challenged a situation where you felt a woman (even its yourself) has been disadvantaged by gender? 

During the last 15 years as a photographer, I definitely have been challenged by men more on the technical side of photography than the creative!!! 

There are lots of gizmos and gadgets that you can buy for photography and I always get the salesman on the end of the phone that enjoys finding ways of outsmarting me on which part I need to buy!! 

Or the guest at a wedding who loves to discuss every camera on the market and expects me to be an expert on each one – believe me I have an answer ready!  

What do you think women offer in particular to the world of business? 

We have so much to offer – we are true multi taskers!  I work full-time with a family and juggle my day everyday; I think women in business are resourceful, intelligent, creative and have an eye for detail and importantly we have to remember we are humankind and not mankind!  

Is gender important when it comes to success in business?

If someone possesses the right attributes for a particular business model then gender should not be an important factor, if they have what it takes to do the job then their success will be shown in the results whether they are male or female. 

Can you name up to three women in business or in your organisation or in the wider business community that you admire? 

How to narrow to just three, a hard question!  

Katy from Katy Photography has to be at the top, I have known Katy for about 12 years, and whenever I get the opportunity to photograph a wedding or work with Katy you know it’s going to be a good day.  She is super creative, fun and is a totally dependable!

In a different industry Helen Patel works as Head of Business development for The Chartered Institute of Building, I totally admire her commitment to her job and how she faces so many challenges in a male dominant industry, she works tirelessly to proactively securing new customers as well as retention of existing ones, ensuring high levels of customer service and the timely delivery of CIOB products and services.

On a famous level I totally admire and love the work of Annie Lebovitz, her photos in Vanity Fair of captures Hollywood’s famous in a classical yet super glamourous and fashionable way!  Each icon becomes iconic!

Can you name up to men in business or in your organisation or in the wider business community that you admire? 

Top of this list is Adrian Knowles, owner of Mailboxes Etc. Richmond and Kingston, who I have known for since my early 20s (YEARS!).  He has mentored me and helped me with my photography business when I first started out, and who I have continued to freelance as a photographer for.  He is one of those people you can call, and he will make time to help and advise you!

I have been following the work of Australian Wedding Photographer Gerry Ghionis for a number of years, he work is world class!  When I want inspiration for my own wedding photography, he is the first place I look!  Look at the highest level and be the best you can be.

What do you think about the gender pay gap? 

I really do think this should have ended! We are in 2021 this needs to change!

This could be because there are more men in senior positions, whilst many women are parenting and juggling jobs and caring for the home.

What do you think about the International Women’s Day movement? 

Such a great initiative for women’s voices to be heard!  To highlight the challenges women, face from different cultures around the world.

And finally: 

As I said at the beginning the last year has been challenging for the whole world living in unprecedented times due to the pandemic but on a business level, I enjoyed meeting the families and listening to their lockdown stories whilst creating a charity doorstep photography project which I had an overwhelming response to raising over a £1000 for the NHS. 

Due to this success, I have now connected to a charity where I donate 10% of sales from my family photography shoots called Sarah’s Trust https://www.sarahstrust.com/ 

Their mission statement is being a voice and ambassador for the forgotten women, children, families and communities around the world. 

On a personal level it has been great to take a moment, reflect, and looking forward to getting back out into the world! 

For more information visit www.debbieharephotography.co.uk

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