Aperture Conversations

Celebrating Women of Street Photography

Tuesday, April 13

7:00 p.m. EDT

Aperture Foundation, in collaboration with Prestel Publishing, is pleased to present a conversation between leading street photographers Melissa O’Shaughnessy and Gulnara Samoilova, moderated by Aperture senior editor Denise Wolff. Traditionally a male-dominated field, street photography is increasingly becoming the domain of women. In this discussion, we’ll celebrate two publications featuring the work of women in the field—Perfect Strangers: New York City Street Photographs (Aperture, 2020) by Melissa O’Shaughnessy, and Women Street Photographers (Prestel, 2021) by Gulnara Samoilova.

Both titles offer comprehensive and refreshing additions to the tradition of street photography. In Perfect Strangers, O’Shaughnessy enters the territory with clarity and a distinctly humanist eye. Through her curious and quirky vision, we witness the play of human activity on the glittering sidewalks of New York. Meanwhile, Samoilova’s new book showcases one hundred contemporary women street photographers working around the world today, their photographs accompanied by personal statements about their work. In turns intimate and candid, the photographs featured in Women Street Photographers offer a kaleidoscopic glimpse into what happens when women across the world are the ones behind the camera.


Melissa O’Shaughnessy
 (born in Minneapolis, 1960) is a New York–based photographer. Her work is included in Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz’s Bystander: A History of Street Photography (2017 edition) and has been featured in numerous exhibitions around the world. She is a member of UP Photographers.

Gulnara Samoilova (born in Ufa, Russia) is a photographer based in New York and founder of the @WomenStreetPhotographers Instagram feed and traveling exhibition. A former Associated Press photojournalist, she received national and international awards for her photographs of the World Trade Center and surrounding area on 9/11, including first prize in the World Press Photo competition.

Women Street Photographers, founded in 2017 by Gulnara Samoilova, is an online and in-person community providing support for and amplifying the work of women artists from all races, ethnicities, creeds, generations, abilities, and sexual and gender identities around the world today.

Image: Gulnara Samoilova, Cloud Eaters, 2018. © Gulnara Samoilova

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