You’ve likely heard of some of the biggest names featured in a new childrens book about iconic female photographers, including Dorothea Lange, Annie Leibovitz, Vivian Maier, and Eve Arnold, among others, but you might not know the stories of these (and other) incredible women. In “Extraordinary Women with Cameras: 35 Photographers Who Changed How We See the World,” author Darcy Reed and illustrator Vanessa Perez have curated a wonderful collection of stories that profiles 35 important female photographers and explores the impact each has had on shaping the photography industry over the last 200 years.

A Look Inside the Book

Women with cameras book review Dorothea Lange

Among the talented women photographers featured in the book, readers learn about “Dorothea Lange’s haunting portraits of American history, Margaret Bourke-White’s bravery as the first female war correspondent in WWII, Florestine Perrault Collins’ influential images depicting Black life in the 1920s, and Anne Geddes’ joyful and elaborately-staged portraits of adorable babies,” to name just a few.

Each profile features a colorful illustration of the artist, and the book also explains key photography terms, offers photo project ideas (which readers are encouraged to try on their own), and shares suggestions for other women photographers to study.

Women with cameras book review Carrie Mae Weems

Here’s a note from the author: “If you’ve ever snapped a selfie or posed with your friends for a group shot, you’re following in the footsteps of these truly extraordinary women,” says author Darcy Reed. “We hope this book inspires you to pick up your own camera and start snapping interesting photos. Who knows? Maybe your work will be featured in a museum or book one day!”

We recently interviewed author Darcy Reed to learn more about her inspiration for creating the book as well as some of the challenges she faced while bringing it to life. Find the interview below!

Interview with Darcy Reed

What inspired you to create this book?

Women with cameras book review Annie Leibovitz

I read stories to my toddler twin nieces all day, and my sister and I noticed a lack of kids books focused on women photographers. We decided there was a gap that needed to be filled in the kid’s books world.

What is the biggest challenge in the creation of this book?

Choosing which photographers to include! There are so many amazing women photographers out there, which made it very difficult to narrow down. But it’s a nice problem to have! We included a list of photographers for further reading at the end of the book. Also, some photographers have produced work that is very mature so finding that balance in what to say for young readers to understand was a little tricky at times.

Do you have a favorite story or photographer from the series? If so, what is it and why?

Women with cameras book review Ming Smith

It’s so hard to pick one, but Ming Smith’s life story stood out to me. I didn’t know much about her life and career, and it was fascinating to learn about such a groundbreaking artist. She’s still working today.

For photographers and writers looking to create impactful projects like this, could you share your process of coming up with your concepts and ideas?

My advice would be to research what the market is lacking and try to develop a concept to fill that gap. Also, if you have a unique concept that you’ve never heard of before, why not be the first?

What are you currently working on? What’s next?

I finished a book for Insight Editions that comes out in October called Captain Marvel: The Tiny Book of Earth’s Mightiest Hero. It’s a cute, gifty book about a badass superhero. I’m also working on different ideas to hopefully turn Extraordinary Women into a series.

About the Author

Darcy Reed: Linked In | Amazon Author Page

Darcy Reed Author HeadshotDarcy Reed is a writer, editor, and actor. Her books include: The College Bucket List, Disney: Ninety Years of Mickey Mouse, Wonder Woman Trivia Deck, The Photography Trivia Deck, Captain Marvel: Tiny Book of Earth’s Mightiest Hero, Extraordinary Women With Cameras, and Shakespeare: Famous Last Words. In her free time she enjoys cooking, playing with her twin nieces, and following Pearl Jam on tour. She lives in Sonoma County, CA.