Ashley Armitage

“The Girls Room was one of the first photo series I ever did, starting in 2015, when I was in college. I went to school for cinema studies and then photography, and both programs showed me how male-dominated art has always been. A majority of what we were studyingwhether it was paintings, films, or photography—was made by white men. It didn't feel relatable to me. The Girls Room started as a project to counter the male gaze. To represent my friends, peers, and community through the viewpoint of a female photographer. 

These photos are a mix of reality and surreality, and some are true documentary photos while others are more staged. One of my favorite things to do is have a friend pose in a space that is meaningful to either of us, whether that's their bedroom or my childhood public swimming pool, and then elevate it a bit.

Ultimately, my favorite thing in the world (and the reason I am a photographer) is connection. If even one person walks away after seeing this series and feels like they can connect to it, I know I've done my job."