After our interview with Arsenal photographer, David Price, recently, it got us thinking: Do the women’s side have their own ‘tog and, if not, why not?
Arsenal’s photographers have almost become celebrities in their own right. Stuart MacFarlane and David Price have over around 316,000 Twitter followers between them and their matchday images are shared by hundreds. However, I’ve noticed that the same doesn’t seem to apply for a women’s photographer. In fact, when I first started this piece, I wasn’t sure if we even had a separate person to take pictures of the women’s side.
The main images of the women’s football matches found on social media appear to be from the Arsenal Women’s official Twitter and Instagram accounts. On other platforms, such as Getty, the images were credited to names I didn’t recognise in association with the Gunners.
Firstly, I asked Daily Cannon’s women’s football expert Sylvain Jamet whether Arsenal did have a separate ‘tog for the women’s side. He revealed that there isn’t, although David Price is often there.
“There’s just not enough content for a full time job,” Sylvain explained. He also said there are several freelance photographers who attend the matches. Naomi Baker, for example.
When I asked Pricey himself about this, he also verified that he does try and get to as many women’s games as he can, as does Josh Smith. However, it’s difficult to find time between his duties for the men’s team and his own personal life.
He also backed up what Sylvain mentioned about lack of content. Although there are 38 games per Premier League season for the men’s side, not to mention the League Cup, FA Cup and European competitions, the women’s side have far less. Some months, they only play once. Therefore, there’s not quite enough demand to hire someone full-time.
What’s more, the FA have apparently changed their photography supplier. Therefore, while the WSL used to have all their match photos supplied by Getty, this year they have to go through agencies like Silverhub. This means they’ve had to scale right back on their content as funding to women’s football is still tight.
“It’s a real shame,” Pricey admits.
This is a prime example of how women’s football has become trapped in a cycle. Lack of funding means that there’s not much exposure. The less exposure there is in the way of high quality images, the less demand there will be and, again, even less funding.
By the sounds of it, there doesn’t appear to be an official Arsenal Women’s photographer role opening up at the club any time soon. And while there’s still so much uncertainty surrounding the women’s game, I don’t see that changing.
We’ve reached out to Arsenal Football Club for comment.