Women in Wildlife Photography

Let’s change the balance!

The field of nature photography is disproportionately male, and far fewer women than men enter wildlife photo competitions. BigPicture is proud to be a women-led and jury chaired photography competition with gender-balanced judging panels. We’ve awarded and celebrated the work of over 40 women wildlife photographers since its inception in 2014. But collectively, we need to do more to address this broad and complex issue of gender imbalance in wildlife photography. We’re continuing to find ways BigPicture can make a bigger impact. If you have ideas for how we can help, email bigpicture@calacademy.org.

Women in BigPicture

Judges: Led by jury chair Suzi Eszterhas since the competition’s inception in 2014, our judging panels have always featured incredibly talented women—and in the last 5 years we’ve ensured that at least 50% of the panels consisted of female judges.

Suzi Eszterhas (Chair)

Sandra Bartocha

Inka Cresswell

Daisy Gilardini

Melissa Groo

Morgan Heim

Esther Horvath

Cristina Mittermeier

Kathy Moran

Margot Raggett

Rathika Ramasamy

Tui De Roy


Sophie Stafford

Ami Vitale

Winners and Finalists: We’ve awarded 43 female winners and finalists, which includes 3 Grand Prize winners (out of 7). However, overall that makes up only 14% of total winners and finalists, which is not enough—we know we have more work to do here. Our new submission platform now provides more visibility into entrant demographics and we’re also seeing women are disproportionately represented in entries; we’ll be monitoring trends moving forward.

2020 Terrestrial Wildlife Winner

2020 Photo Story Winner

2019 Art of Nature Winner

2018 Grand Prize Winner

2018 Aquatic Life Winner

2018 Photo Series Winner

2017 Grand Prize Winner

2017 Art of Nature Winner

2017 Winged Life Winner

2017 Human/Nature Winner

2016 Grand Prize Winner

2015 Aquatic Life Winner

2015 Human/Nature Winner

2015 Youth Winner

2014 human/nature winner

Resources for Women in Wildlife Photography

A Brave Conversation (Livestream Recording): Watch this unusually brave, straightforward conversation about the issues and challenges faced by women in the still male-dominated field of wildlife photography—as well as the unique skills and perspectives women bring to this work—via panelists Suzi Eszterhas (BigPicture jury chair and renowned wildlife photographer and founder of Girls Who Click), Susan McElhinney (National Wildlife Federation Photo Director), and Her Wild Vision's Jaymi Heimbuch and Morgan Heim (BigPicture judge).

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