Discover the 100 most influential and best-regarded contemporary female photographers, according to a public vote and an RPS jury

It’s been a busy few months for the RPS, with Nan Goldin in particular being honoured and its 2018 Awards. The RPS has now revealed its 100 heroines, a non-ranked list of the top contemporary female photographers. A panel of expert judges whittled down the list after an unexpectedly large number of nominations from the general public. The list includes some famous names, including the aforementioned Nan Goldin, along with Magnum’s Susan Meiselas and Britta Jaschinski, who is the founder of Photographers Against Wildlife Crime (see her image below of a confiscated pair of foot stools made from elephant feet). 

The heroines will be honoured at a special exhibition and they will also receive a medallion named after Margaret Harker (below), the first female president of the RPS. Hundred Heroines was the brainchild of RPS Vice President, Del Barrett. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response, and really impressed by the quality of the nominations and the international reach,” she told AP. Del came up with the idea as a way of raising public awareness of the excellent work being created by women globally. “It was one of those lightbulb moments, where two events came together. It’s been the centenary of woman suffrage, so we were mulling over things we could do for that, but I noticed so many great women photographers when I was travelling abroad, and wondered why we were not seeing their work in the UK.”

Del finds it impossible to pick specific photographers she is pleased to see in the list – “I love them all, they have been like my children over the last few months” – and has revealed plans to expand the idea to cover 100 historical photographic heroines. “This will go to a public vote, so we will rank it,” she explains. “Trying to rank the current 100 Heroines would have been a massive task for the jury.”