Given that photographer June Canedo has been clocking up our double taps on Instagram for quite some time, International Women’s Day seemed like the perfect opportunity to profile the work of the photographer on It’s Nice That.
Her series Brazilian Girls, shot on the beaches of Brazil where June grew up, spring-boarded the photographer into the public eye three years ago with a straight-up representation of the country’s often fetishised women. Swapping the gym-honed bodies of Victoria’s Secret angels for naturalistic beach shots of laughing teenagers clutching cocktails, Brazilian Girls raises a caipirinha to “girls” of all ages.
“My photographs are for women, primarily women of colour with multi-dimensional sexuality. I think it sits amongst the women who are continuously disheartened by the Americana cover girls with boyish hips,” June tells It’s Nice That. “There just isn’t enough honest representation of women in pop culture so I strive to make work that portrays women realistically.” Among June’s most recent work is a campaign for emerging New York brand Gauntlett Cheng’s S/S17 collection featuring her mum Rogeria Canedo serving no-holds-barred cowgirl realness in diamante and pearl earrings and the kind of wig that would turn Dolly Parton green with envy.
“I make work that I would have liked to see as a teenager and hope that it encourages other women of colour to pick up the camera,” June says. “There aren’t enough of us in the industry because most of us are victims of systematic oppression. Until women of colour are working as artists, getting equal pay to white women and men, the quality of the work will stay stagnant because it will continue to project the reality of white people. Women of colour need to be the ones photographing other women of colour. We need to be able to have our own reality portrayed through our own lens. We need someone like us photographing our bodies.”
June sent us a series of her favourite female-focused images from the last few years which you can see below.