Rosie the Riveter wins Squamish Exposed Photo Competition

Congratulation to Savannah Cummins for winning the Peoples Choice award during the Arc’teryx Squamish Exposed Photo Competition!  The photos from the 6 photographers were all top notch but looks like the story of Rosie the Riveter and pressing on towards female equality captured our hearts.  Or perhaps it was all about the lipstick, either way Savannah swept in for the win.  She’s busy at a shoot in Tahoe right now but we got ahold of her for a quick chat about the results and her inspiration behind these particular images.

Rosie the Riveter, Heather Lightfoot on the Split Beaver climb in Squamish, BC.
Savannah Cummins winning photo, Rosie the Riveter

So Rosie was victorious and by a landslide we might add.  Congratulations on winning Peoples Choice!

Thank you, I was not expecting this! There was some seriously stiff competition; every photographer brought their own perspective and experience to the event and there were so many amazing photos. BIG thanks to everyone who participated in the vote!

Would you mind elaborating on your concept a little more?  I mean, the climbing and sports photography world is already dominated by women so why is this even relevant? -read sarcasm at these grossly imbalanced communities-

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The Arcteryx Squamish Exposed competition was one of the most challenging shoots I’ve ever done. I’m not a local and this was my first ever visit to Squamish. I had about a day and a half to scout and become as familiar as I could with the area. I picked out a few climbs I wanted to shoot, but I knew that I’d only be able to shoot them if the people I was paired up with were psyched on those objectives as well…trying to plan ahead was a bit of a gamble. When the teams were chosen, I was paired up with Vikki Weldon and Heather Lightfoot. We were the only all-female team and we wanted to have fun with it. I told the girls the climbs I wanted to shoot, then we brainstormed some out of the box ideas like tutu’s, beer drinking, bubble gum chewing, and dolled up women in action on the wall.

We slept on the idea’s overnight, and the next day discussed lipstick and off-widths, and Heather said “we can do it” and the idea was born. We did a little more research on what Rosie represented, got the props to shoot the following day. Vikki suggested the route Split Beaver, and I mean, the name alone sold me on shooting that line to help bring our idea to life. We had a ton of fun shooting both days but the images from that climb were by far my favorite, maybe simply because I have such great memories from the moments we spent at that particular route, or because it turned out to be a powerful image with more meaning behind it than my everyday standard climbing photo.

Heather Lightfoot flexing in the split beaver climb in Squamish
Rosie the Riveter, Squamish style with Heather Lightfoot

It seems as though no one is quite sure on who exactly was the main inspiration behind Rosie the Riveter, however, Naomi Parker Fraley is often referred to as one of the most likely women.  In an interview she once remarked, “The women of this country these days need some icons, If they think I’m one, I’m happy.”  Does this resonate with you at all? In the adventure photography world, specifically climbing, I could probably name 10-15 male photographers that I look up to. I can name 2-3 female photographers that I look up to the same way. I haven’t been in the photography world all that long and by no means consider myself an icon, but I can resonate with the quote above. 

Savannah, you had such a strong slideshow during the Squamish Exposed Competition.  Congratulation on this win and thanks for sharing this message through your unique and creative approach to the story of Rosie the Riveter.  Until next year!

split beaver climb in Squamish, BC
Jacket off entering the wide zone on Split Beaver