Format Photography Agency

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

I found out about this group during my recent visit to the National Portrait Gallery in London. The Format Photography Agency was founded in 1983 to promote the work and encourage the career development and creativity of contemporary women photographers, while remaining sensitive to the context in which their images were used and distributed. There were 8 founding members: Anita Corbin, Sheila Gray, Pan Isherwood, Jenny Matthews, Maggie Murray, Joanne O'Brien, Raissa Page and Val Wilmer. Subject matter covered people and issues both in Britain and abroad, which the photographers felt were under-represented in the mainstream 80s media such as the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp and the 1984-85 Miner's Strike.

Sadly, the Agency closed in 2003. Like so many independent photography agencies, Format was unable to compete in a growing market of downloadable stock photography agencies. In spite of this, the ideas and outlook of the Agency are maintained today in the subsequent work of its members.

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