Woman at Work: Photographer Gretchen Powers

Photo by Dominique Powers

What made you start doing the amazing things that you do?

I used to make summer videos of my family in Colorado. My parents saw it as a gift which they encouraged, then later pushed me in the direction of documentary filmmaking. I've always been passionate about telling people's stories. The world can feel like a much smaller, more understandable place thanks to documentary films and I've always been drawn to that form of storytelling.

Did you complete any training? If not, how did you learn your trade/skill?

I am a self-taught photographer and filmmaker. I took a few classes in the beginning, went to a filmmaking summer workshop but learned the bulk of what I know from trial and error... Lots and lots of error.

What do you want people to know about being a woman in your field?

Like so many other industries, the film/photo industry is full of men, but I don't feel less than because I am a woman. In fact, I feel photography is one of those professions where, aside from the usual BS, the work you create matters far more than your gender. Sure, I've lost work to men. But not because they are guys, more so because their work or their pitch was as good as, or better than, mine.

What's the biggest challenge you have faced in your work?

Myself. My own self doubt gets in the way of my success on a regular basis.

What are you doing when you’re not working hard?

Cross country skiing, reading historical fiction, gluten free baking, snuggling my pup, writing snail mail love letters to friends.

How do you encourage other women to start doing what you do?

I'd like to think I lead by example. There's no reason not to go after your dreams, even if you need to work several other part time jobs to make it happen.

Who’s a role model who helped you in your journey to where you are?

Jillian Lukiwski (@thenoisyplume) taught me that you don't always need a model in front of your camera: you can use yourself. And she taught me there is strength and tons of creative potential in spending time alone or apart from your partner.

If you could give your 20-year-old-self advice, what would it be?

Chase your dreams. Tell stories you care about. Don't worry about what other people think about your relationship. Embrace your weirdness.

Do you have any special projects or cool things you want people to check out?

My wife and I recently started Powers Provisions, an online storefront where I sell prints and postcards, knit things and beaded rings as well as collaborations with other badass female artists.

We launch collections at least once a month. Sign up for the mailing list or follow us on instagram @powersprovisions to know when the next one is coming!

Follow Gretchen at @gpowersfilm.  Gretchen's pronouns are she
+ her.

Products pictured above