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5 women behind the lens who are setting the tone for photography

Some photographers prefer film, while others prefer digital. Some choose black and white, while others privilege color.

In occupying a position behind the lens, what all photographers share is the ability to choose what they want in the frame and outside the frame and use their gaze and subjectivity to capture an array of people, environments, worlds, and experiences that incite curiosity for the eye of the beholder.

From documenting life on the road, capturing the energy of your favorite live concert performances to taking intimate and raw portraits; meet these five women creating some incredible visuals that will transform your IG feed into a captivating photography portfolio.

Raven B. Varona


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Got the heart of a giant, don’t you ever forget.

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At the age of 26, Ravie B may have landed the coolest job in the world. She was recently on tour with Beyonce and Jay Z as their official photographer. On tour, she captured awe-inspiring visuals of The Carters, On the Run II tour that has repeatedly sold-out stadium arenas around the world.

Traveling on the road with the world’s most popular power-couple created a narrative that is comparable to the storyline of Almost Famous. Incredibly, however, Varona’s story is real and the other is a movie.

Fun fact, Varona tweeted about the prospect of photographing The Carters OTR tour four years ago. Well, I guess her story is proof that if you put your ideas out into the Twittersphere they shall manifest???


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Born in the Bronx, Varona grew up in New York City and is also an NYU graduate.

While it is apparent Varona has taken photos for some of the biggest names and brands, she has a natural curiosity for people and places. She developed her love for photography from an early age, and recalled in her website’s about page,

“I used to look at photos of strangers, places I’d never been, and ask my mom to tell me stories about them, I’d also just make up my own.”

Varona has had exclusive access to the intimate backstage moments of The Carters’ tour and has also documented the live concert performances of J-Lo, Drake, Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, The Weeknd, Cardi B, and many more. Plus, Varona also shoots with major brands such as Nike, Beats for Dre, and Finish Line.

Renell Medrano


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It’s cold in London

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Medrano is another up and coming photographer from the Bronx. As a graduate of Parson’s School of Design, Medrano has a strong background in fashion photography.

Though Medrano is comfortable in both the medium of digital and film, in an interview with W Magazine, Medrano emphasizes the magical quality film photography evokes for her, describing how it reaffirms her love for photography.

If you scroll through her IG feed, her photos are indeed magical.


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Medrano continually explores using different color palettes in her photography. One of the many things which make her body of work so stunning is that it conveys a timeless quality which is typically easier to be rendered in a black and white aesthetic.

Medrano’s visuals are so spectacular. It is no surprise that she has been lured in by the fashion world to photograph for major publications.

Renata Raksha


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Monthly sexy selfie #boredomeyes

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Originally from Russia, Raksha is an NYC based photographer and filmmaker.

Her photography portfolio is laden with celebrities, from Rihanna, Charli XCX and St Vincent.

Renata’s non-commercial work and photography is definitely worth looking at due to its eclecticism.


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@kembrapfahler_ @kingkongmagazine

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Raksha often puts masks and prosthetics on her models and subjects. These props are a way to combine her love and artistic interest in sculpture with the photographic medium.

In addition, motifs of nature are included in her work as the photographer draws from her upbringing in Russia and the nation’s cultural affinity to past artistic movements and styles such as Romanticism.

Hana Knizova

Born in the Czech-Republic, Knizova is a London-based photographer that has done editorial work and personal projects.

She has been featured in publications such as The Fader, VICE and Sleek.

Her subject matter is often orientated around youth and there is an intimacy that is threaded throughout her portraiture.


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August 2018

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Her notable series ‘Young Hollywood’ captures a collection of aspiring actresses, models and actors living and toiling away in La La Land, aka, Los Angeles. Her work explores notions of ambition, the sentiment of ‘following your dreams,’ and the aspiration for fame and fortune that are embedded in the city’s culture.

Her other project, Hamr na Jezeře, is a moving collection of portraits from a teenage detention center in the Czech Republic that explores issues around institutionalization, the notion of displacement, and estrangement that is often experienced by those detained.

Elle Pérez

Bronx-born, Pérez lives and works in NYC.

She has recently made strides in the art world with a solo exhibition on 47 Canal and an exhibition at the MoMa this year.

The arrangement of her subjects are both intimate and distant.


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Festival de las Máscaras, Hatillo

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Her photography seeks to break down the boundaries between public and private life and explore ideas around sexuality and queerness.

Fragmented female body parts have typically been regarded as a visual mode in which women are objectified. The fragmentation of her subjects probe into notions of identity construction and plays with the idea of desire and the queer gaze.