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Women behind the football lens: Female photographers of the beautiful game

13 Jun 2018

Photography is something that we don’t often appreciate —quick snaps on our smartphones makes taking photos simpler and something that almost everyone can participate in. However, taking photographs is much more than tapping a button: it’s about documenting experiences that would have otherwise been left forgotten.

Although the first camera was invented by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826, its development was pioneered by women who had a passion for taking striking images. Constance Fox Talbot was one of the first women to experiment with the new medium of photography and went on to introduce Anna Atkins to it.  Anna is considered to be the first person to publish a book of her own photographic images.

As one of the main sponsors backing the Women Behind the Football Lens event at Stuart Roy Clarke’s exhibition, we take this opportunity to introduce you to the photographers who are the women behind the football lens.

Abbie Jennings

abbie jennings football photographer

Abbie is regularly asked the same question: “Do you even like football?”, which can be frustrating at the best of times when you’ve been a lifelong fan of the sport.

Abbie currently works at the National Football Museum in Manchester where her project ‘We Are Hull’ is being displayed as part of ‘The Game’ exhibition led by Stuart Roy Clarke. Originally from Hull, Abbie won the Redeye Talent Award of 2017 for the same project, which gives a visual insight to her relationship with her father through the love of her local football team.

In 2017, she graduated from the University of Salford with First-Class Honors in BA Hons Photography. She has been part of five other exhibitions across the UK. In her spare time, she also shoots music events.

Hy Money

hy money

Hy was only 19 years old when she arrived in the UK from Bombay with nothing but £15 and a Box Brownie camera to her name. The camera was given to her by her mother who requested nothing but a picture of Buckingham Palace once she had settled into her new life. 

Marrying at 22, Hy spent most of her time taking photographs of her young family. Her photography skills earned her a by-line from a national newspaper on her first attempt.

She started taking pictures at football matches after completing a tour at the Crystal Palace Football Club for her son’s birthday. At this time, women were not allowed on the pitch to take photographs but after a two-year fight, she was accepted by the National Union of Journalists and became a regular photographer on the touch lines at football matches across London. Hy has been acknowledged as the UK’s first female football photographer and her work has featured in books, magazines and sports pages. 

Amy Drucquer

amy drucquer football photographer

Amy started going to football matches with her dad when she was around 10 years old and she pledged herself as a Leicester City fan for life. Alongside her friend Laura Blake, they created ‘This Fan Girl’ — a website that documents women who attend football matches and are unrepresented in the mainstream media.

Achieving so much in such little time, Amy has travelled the country to photograph women at football matches and has worked with Copa 90, the BBC, the Women’s Football Association and Sporf. This helped This Fan Girl develop its online presence and capture a greater audience of female football fans across the globe.

Expect to see many photographs of female football fans sporting their favourite team’s merchandise at the exhibition. From younger fans to those who attend every match, Amy loves documenting real, diverse, football-loving women.

Adrienn Csepelyi 

adrienn csepelyi football photographer

Attending her first football match in 1996 — the Germany vs. England European Championship Semi-Finals — Adrienn found her love for the beautiful game. Starting the ‘Apron Blog’, which has become Hungary’s most popular blog representing women’s football, in 2011, she has become an award-winning journalist and has interviewed many famous faces in football.

She also sits on the Women’s Committee of the Hungarian Football Federation and supported Hungary at the UEFA EURO 2016, where she wore the traditional folk costume in her native village in Eastern Hungary.

Becoming a die-hard Liverpool FC fan in 1996, Csepelyi has even published her own novel which discusses her passion for the team. At the exhibition, expect to see a range of photographs that show the truth of football around the world.

Jessica Hilltout

jessica hilltout football photographer

Jessica’s upbringing sparked her passion for taking photographs. Born in Belgium in 1977, she was exposed to different countries and cultures from a young age and eventually made the move to England where she attended Art College in Blackpool.

Using this to her advantage, she travelled through Central Asia and Africa, which resulted in her exhibition named ‘Faces and Places’. On top of this, she spent six months in Madagascar working on ‘The Beauty of Imperfection’, believing that beauty can be found anywhere in the world.

As she explored these countries, Jessica remained focused on footballs themselves. With many of Jessica’s focuses living in poorer areas, she photographed the balls that they made, showing that passion can be present in those who have nothing but their imaginations. This is something you can expect to see at the exhibition.

Victoria Haydn

victoria haydn football photographer

Victoria’s love for photography began in her early life; her father is a photographer and she had access to all his cameras and lenses.  She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a First-Class Honours Degree in Photography. With her wealth of experience and passion for documenting the world through beautiful images, Victoria is the Senior Club Photographer at Manchester City Football Club.

Being one of the few female photographers in the Premier League, she has become an ambassador for Women in Sport and this is something that she cares about dearly. She aims to tell a story through her photographs and has achieved this by building great relationships with everyone involved; including the players themselves.

Working previously for Manchester Giants, Manchester United and currently Manchester City — exhibition attendees will witness a range of photographs detailing the extraordinary love she has for the sport and those in the community. Victoria is at the top of her game.


Find out more!

The work of these six women is being shown at the Home of Football exhibition in Manchester. 

Plan your journey to the museum today to see these amazing photographs in person!

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