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Photo by @christiehemmklok
her toddler’s obsession with firefighters lit a 🔥 under photographer christie hemm klok (@christiehemmklok ). “he had 10 books all about firefighters. i think maybe one of them had a very short-haired woman. that was the extent of it,” says christie.
while in art school, she had the idea to document female firefighters, but her local station in southern california didn’t have any women. this time, she reached out to united fire service women, a nonprofit that advocates for women in the san francisco fire department. “the timing was right,” says christie — their response was immediate. the organization was looking for a photographer to help celebrate the 30-year anniversary of women in the department.
“when women are in male-dominated careers, especially careers like firefighting or something that’s really labor intensive, i don’t think they always get viewed as regular people,” says christie. “the greatest part about the project is that i got to meet every single kind of person, from every walk of life. and that’s the thing, you don’t have to be supernatural to be a female firefighter. you just have to be a regular woman.”
christie is part of women photograph (@womenphotograph ), a global catalog of independent women photojournalists on a mission to elevate female voices. we’re celebrating #internationalwomensday with photographers from the collective. tune in to our story to see projects from around the world.