It's a rather timely campaign as England tops its group in the Women's World Cup and there is growing media attention on women's sport in general. But despite this, recent reports show that women's sport continues to receive less than 10% of sports coverage overall.
Adobe Stock's 'Brand Stand' collection aims to shine a light on the women working at the heart of the football industry – from footballers and referees to sports presenters and FA intermediaries – giving them a platform to tell their story and empower other women to follow in their footsteps. With greater visibility of these women, it hopes to support the drive to redress the share of coverage women’s football receives long-term.
The inspirational women photographed for the campaign include former England captain Casey Stoney MBE, the UK’s highest-ranked female referee Rebecca Welch and professional footballer, Anita Asante.
Photojournalist Eliza Hatch, famous for her Cheer Up Luv platform which pairs powerful imagery of women alongside their accounts of sexual harassment, collaborated on the photo-series with photographer Milo Belgrove.
She told Creative Boom: "The aim of this project is in synergy with my own, and capturing these incredible women was a truly inspiring experience. I hope the photo-series helps spread the message that football is most definitely not a ‘man’s game’ by giving publishers access to a more balanced set of imagery on Stock."
Were there any standout moments from the project? "I was in awe of meeting Anita Asante, as she is such an inspiring player and also meeting the UK’s top-ranked female referee Rebecca Welch on her ‘home turf’ in Newcastle – she is such an inspiring woman, unafraid to challenge the norms and pave the way for other women to chase their goals."
And what of Eliza's own experiences as a female photographer? "The challenges are only highlighted when I am in a public space taking a photograph of another woman, as there is still a fascination or almost fetishisation of a woman taking a photograph of another woman, which a man photographing a woman wouldn't experience in the same way, or even with a woman photographing a man.
"This is amplified when I am on location photographing women for my street harassment project Cheer Up Luv, where we often get heckled and catcalled. It is part of the reason I strive to re-address entrenched sexism in society with this art form and to tackle difficult subjects head-on."
Adobe Stock's 'Brand Stand' collection is now available to download.