Can you give us a short introduction on what Bell Collective is actually doing and who is part of it?
Bell Collective is a collective of female professional photographers, whose aim is to change the stereotype surrounding female travel and creative choices, which is mostly being pushed on social media.
When you state that you wish to “change the stereotypes surrounding female travel what exactly do you mean by that?
When you scroll through Instagram, you often are faced by the same pictures, portraying female travelers – over and over again. Beautiful women are posing in beautiful dresses in front of some beautiful buildings or landscapes. Photographed by someone else (very often male photographers).
Our goal as photographers is to show, that you don’t need to be on your own picture to be successful. Neither do you need to always photograph the same places with a popular filter over it. Women travel to different places and take different pictures, which not always have to fall into a particular standard. Travel photography can be about documentation, reportage, architecture, nature and landscape as well as concentrate on people and cultures. So many options to show this world we live in. There are many professional photographers who are women and they want their pictures to be seen and their voices to be heard. We want to inspire the young generation as well – so that more girls are inspired by role models, whose success is not based on their looks and social approval.
Can you give us an example of a stereotype that really annoys and how you would like people to rather look at female travelers?
There are obvious stereotypical pictures, where women are portrait as passive models, muses, and tender flowers, which need to be taken care of. I don’t mind these kinds of pictures per se. We all sometimes want just a cute picture of ourselves being taken by our boyfriend or a friend. But we at Bell Collective don’t want this kind of visual to become the only representation of a female traveler.