#IWD2022: Creative Women - Christina Davies & Rachel Ovenden
08 March 2022 by Michelle
Meet Christina Davies and Rachel Ovenden, the talented photographers behind the striking portrait images for Creative Lancashire's International Women's Day 2022 project featuring trailblazing creative women with a connection to Lancashire.
We commissioned Christina Davies and Rachel Ovenden to take a series of portraits of our featured women for this year's Creative Lancashire International Women's Day campaign.
This included images demonstrating how these women #BreakTheBias, which is the theme for this year's International Women's Day.
Let's find out more about these two talented creatives, before we ask them to share their thoughts on breaking the bias to create a more diverse and inclusive world.
Christina Davies, AKA Fish 2 Photography, is based in Preston, Lancashire. She started her business in 2008 doing weddings and family photography.
Since then Christina has branched out to specialise in branding, interior, and commercial photography. She loves working with small Lancashire and North West-based businesses.
I always knew I wanted to do something creative; it was my everything, even at primary school.
I attended Runshaw College where I did a GNVQ in Art and Design and I loved the photography part of the course. But I was told by the career counselor that I would never work in the creative industry, as opportunities were extremely rare.
So I went to UCLan instead while I figured out a way forward, doing Audio-Visual Media Studies and Design Studies.
Over the next few years I worked in various creative roles, including at the BBC, as a model maker on a Sci-Fi show.
In 2008, I took the leap into doing what I really wanted to do, and Fish 2 Photography was born.
I now specialise in branding and interior photography. I work with local businesses to create the perfect photography for them. I call it ‘photography filled with personality’, and as the old adage goes: ‘people buy from people’ - so really showcasing who you are and what you do as a business helps clients to understand your products, services and values.
I believe photography is uniquely powerful in creating visual connections that enhance clients' experiences of your business.
Scroll through a gallery selection of Christina's images below
My interest for photography started when I was studying at college. I had the chance to second shoot at a wedding and loved every moment of it.
Since then, I have focused my efforts towards becoming a full-time photographer whilst also gaining a degree in Photography from Leeds Arts University along the way. I have always loved the idea of knowing my work brings such sentimental value to my clients.
With weddings put on hold in 2020, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and try my hand at commercial photography.
I love the diversity this gives my work. The skills I have learnt throughout the past couple of years have helped me progress in my practice.
I now split my time between weddings, events, interior photography, product photography and various other commercial projects.
My focus is on a natural approach, which I use to capture the atmosphere and culture of businesses in Lancashire, helping them to share their story and values in a more creative and transparent way.
Scroll through a gallery selection of Rachel's images below
As creatives, how do you think we can create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world in our creative industries?
CD: One thing that I do believe will make a difference long term is investing into the next generations and finding ways to create opportunities for children from all backgrounds to engage with creative professions. Since my son started school, I’ve become more aware of how many of the things that my kids take for granted, other children might never have experienced.
One thing I’ve recently started is running a photography club in a local school. In many ways, photography is more accessible than ever with the development of smartphone cameras, but it’s been amazing to see kids getting enthusiastic and learning new tricks to get better angles, and also to give them the opportunity to use some of my equipment.
I also think we need to expose our children to lots of cultures and art early in life so they find fascination in art and in different peoples expressions of creativity. If we do so, maybe our world would be a little more accepting and caring.
RO: In an industry where there is already so much competition, it is important for not only women, but everyone, to promote community and collaboration.
To those already inside the world of creativity, we should be using out voice and our position to seek out ways to create opportunities for everyone, and achieve equal representation in all areas.
Through this, we can be part of the progression that the industry needs to evolve.
The women featured in our International Women's Day series.
What are you doing as a creative to help #BreaktheBias?
CD: I work with a lot of fantastic, small, female-run businesses and as a female myself I really love supporting and working together with women. It’s very important we hold each other up and support each other. I find it exciting that I’m able to use my skills to help women promote themselves and their work.
It’s a very big belief of mine that everyone is different, unique, and special and if we work together - men and women - we can really make a huge change in the world. I am actively teaching those values to my son and daughter, and I hope that through in
RO: I continuously try to collaborate with, support and promote women in Lancashire and beyond.
The photography industry has been a heavily male-dominated world and the undercurrent of competition instead of community has been apparent since I entered into the industry.
As a young women in a position to help, I see it as my duty to help women follow their creative passion and succeed in their fields. Where possible I provide support and experience to set them up to independently progress and contribute to what is becoming a wonderful community of creatives.
Find out more about the women featured in our International Women's Day 2022 series here.
International Women's Day 2022
International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.
IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.