Cierra Cegielski and Holly Hanson aren’t your typical biker chics. Instead of tattoos, and motorcycle dive bars, they prefer trendy leather jackets and camping under the stars. The two friends behind the popular Instagram account @LadyTramps document their adventures as they explore the open road on their motorcycles.
Fascinated by these young women, photographer Brook Pifer wanted to celebrate this lesser-known facet of female motorcycle culture. In 2015 she won Getty Images inaugural Repicture Grant, which allowed her to follow Cegielski and Hanson as they rode through Malibu and Joshua Tree, capturing their strength and free-spirited nature.
“You might think of girls on motorcycles as tattooed badasses but these were beautiful, girl-next door types,” Pifer said. “They’re so relatable in a really inspiring way that I thought could appeal to a lot of young girls.”
This series, which she entitled, “She Rides,” is just one of the many examples of strong, empowered women that Pifer captures through her photography.
“Growing up in the photo industry as a woman, I’ve seen and I’ve had experiences with men that are misogynistic. I’ve always wanted to push forward an agenda of equality and have made that a major theme to all my work,” she said. “I want to shoot women in a really strong way.”
Pifer, who’s based between New York City and L.A., creates photo narratives that celebrate independence and freedom largely from a female perspective. She prides herself on making images that are raw and organic that showcase her unique, fun-loving approach to life.
“I don’t want my photos to feel posed or contrived, I want them to feel authentic,” Pifer said. “When I go into a project, I shoot from the heart. You don’t get those really serendipitous moments any other way.”
Growing up outside Pittsburgh, Pifer’s parents bought her a Kodak 110 in second grade and she took to photography right away, snapping photos of her classmates in the hallways.
“My parents supported me to a point but they weren’t necessarily encouraging,” she said. “They wanted me to be a veterinarian or a nurse, but I was very strong-willed even as a little kid, so I think they gave into what I wanted.”
She fell in love with portraiture in high school, and in college, at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, she discovered the power of photojournalism. After graduation, Pifer moved to Orlando, where she began working as an assistant to photographers and eventually relocated to New York City.
Today, Pifer juggles commercial work alongside various photo and video projects. Whether she’s working for herself or for someone else, she approaches the task at hand with the same attitude and style.
“The core of my mission is to inspire others,”Pifer said. “I want to inspire other women to have a strong voice, have an opinion and make cool art.”Explore more of photographer Brook Pifer’s empowering imagery at Getty Images