A new generation of women riders is emerging and a talented young photographer is setting out to capture it on film. “I didn’t see any images that depicted who I was or the women I started riding with,” says Lanakila MacNaughton, of Portland, Oregon, “so I set out to take some shots of those girls to see where it would go.” Where it went was up. “It started taking off like wildfire,” she says.
Twenty-four-year-old Lanakila (pronounced Lah-nah-keela) posted her initial photos on a website (some of which weve posted here) under the project name of The Womens Motorcycle Exhibition, calling it a traveling photography show. She says immediately requests starting coming in from all over the world for her to shoot photos of “real” women who ride. Right now shes focusing on photographing women in the U.S. while she figures out how to monetize her new passion that has her meeting lots of exciting women motorcyclists. “I’m seeing a new kind of attitude, a new wave of women riding who are independent, young women with amazing bikes.”
In addition to capturing images of woman riders, which shes been doing now for a little over a year, she shares each womans story beside her photo. “I’m trying to change the industry, make the industry see who its real market it is,” Lanakila explains.
She shoots on a vintage 1973 Hasselblad camera with medium format film, which means the photos are of a higher resolution and can be blown up to gallery size. No digital photography here. Each roll of film has just 12 shots. Lanakila explains why she loves shooting the old fashioned way. “The chemicals on the film make the colors mix differently and react to light differently each time so no two shots are alike. Its a different kind of mood and emotion. You get vignetting and scratches.”
While shes been a photographer for eight years, The Womens Motorcycle Exhibition is where shes enjoying focusing her efforts right now. It came about just as she began learning to ride a motorcycle back in July 2012.
8 thoughts on A New Generation of Women Riders
I am a 55 year old woman who rides my own bike. I ride a 2003 Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster. Let me tell you, I look at these pictures and they’re not realistic. They look like ads to me.What I see when I look at these photos is a model who is selling a bike. The pictures are not realistic. If you want to take glamour shot with you and your bike, these are the perfect type of pictures. As a matter of fact, I would like pictures of myself on my bike like this. But they would be for me, not anyone else.
This is great. The retro edgy look of these photos invoke a sentimentality that draws you in. I think it will help inspire new young women riders. Keep up the good work. I hope to see your exhibit come to NH. Live free or die
It’s because of women like us who have been riding a very long time back when there were few of us out there and we had to ride with the boys that these new younger women riders can do what they want now. We have paved a lot of the way for these girls! Enjoy! You will all learn in your own way.
I too am not impressed with the photos. I only saw one photo that the rider appears to be concerned with protection. Are these truly women that ride or just models? If not models, then it looks like road rash waiting to happen.
I love this, everything about this. To me, riding is a sport that I love and am passionate about MY way. These ladies have style and that is exactly what inspires other future riders like me. It’s not about a tour across the states to everyone. It’s about the ride with a group, or yourself, that is fun to you — it’s just everyone’s idea of fun is different.I am a female rider and I am 34. Started riding my own at 24 (with my husband’s full support). I can’t connect to many of the female riders I meet because they want there to be a “women power” emotional story. I ride because I like to ride. That’s my story. Why can’t it be sexy, fun and thrilling? Guess that makes some women uncomfortable…like tattoos. Not everyone sees riding free the same way. I see it your way, and it’s amazing.
You asked for comments. I am not impressed with the woman rider kissing her man and not paying attention to the road…nor of the dress on some of the riders? Models? On the introduction photos. I really don’t get a positive image from many of the photos presented; they don’t do any favors for the women who taking riding a motorcycle seriously…and are trying to upgrade the image of a woman biker. I have been riding, as a “single” rider, for 54 years and have worked to improve the image of women bikers. Just some comments from a different perspective.
Good to see young women taking up the sport — and most not doing it to be a “sex” symbol! Back when I was a kid, there were very few women solo riders, and I was fortunate my male friends lent me their bikes! LOL! They trusted me and knew I was serious, not frivolous! Good luck to the ladies of today!