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Introducing… Scenario

We’re delighted to hear about this new podcast from Jess McDermott and Kate O’Niell, both huge supporters of what we do at Photo Scratch and responsible for The Old Girls Club as well as being excellent photographers in their own rights. If you’re a fan of podcasts this is sure to become a favourite as the episodes roll out. Some of you will remember Jess’ work from an earlier edition of Photo Scratch.


Scenario is a brand new podcast bringing you the hidden stories from behind the camera.

Creator and host Jess McDermott, follows six different photographers as they embark on their journeys, capture untold stories and handle the unexpected.

Episode 1 – The Penfriend – features Clare Hewitt, an incredibly talented photographer and all-round wonderful person, and her landscape photography project with a twist. She is making work for her penfriend Duke, to put up on the walls of his cell on Death Row in Kentucky, USA. You can start listening now via Scenario website or downloading from iTunes.

The podcast series is the result of over a year of hard work and determination. Jess is assisted behind the scenes by Kate O’Neill as producer as well as a team of creatives – Silje Aura, Daniel Drever and Steven Parker -who have all volunteered their time and wonderful talents!

You can support the podcast on THUNDERCLAP – it’s quick and free. You just pledge a TWEET or FACEBOOK post (already written) and all posts are timed to go out together to create one almighty buzz to attract even more wonderful listeners.


Scenario team

JESS – Creator + Host:

Born in London, Jessica headed north after school to study Visual Communication at the Glasgow School of Art. She graduated in 2008, specialising in photography, and then stayed on in Glasgow for a further four years, taking on a number of large commissions. These included a legacy project for Scottish Opera, which is now on permanent display in the Theatre Royal, Glasgow.  Her work has been featured by The Guardian, Time Out, The Huffington Post, the BBC andThe Photographers’ Gallery online. Her first photography book Females Of The Fringe depicts female comedians at the Edinburgh Fringe and through interviews with the performers discusses the role of gender in comedy. She has been working with co-producer Kate O’Neill since joining The OGC, in 2016. She is a great lover of podcasts, listing among her heroes Starlee Kine and Ira Glass.

Kate BIO – Producer:

Photographer by trade, Kate has been working in the photography industry for over 10 years from shooting portrait and documentary photography to assisting fashion and fine art photographers across the UK & Ireland. Kate is Founder and Director of The OGC, an organisation that supports women in photography. She is also the co-founder of The Precursor Project , an ongoing documentary photography archive and publication. Currently Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Metro Imaging, she is embedded at the heart of the photographic community, supporting and encouraging emerging and existing artists through talks, workshops, portfolio reviews and mentorships!


Loredana Denicola – Photo Scratch #12 write-up

I heard about Photo Scratch at Four Corners, where I am part of LCN (London Creative Networking) program. I decided to apply to showcase my unfinished project “Love, Sex & Relationships’.

I felt I was in need of feedback and conversations to understand how ‘others’ could perceive my project and personal message. The project is unfinished. It comprehends few sections on which I am working (video, photography, book). I feel it is a bit confusing at this stage, too many things together and I was looking for clearer advice on how to better organise my ideas.

I began this project in 2015 while I was in an abusive relationship for 9 months. I was consciously aware of the damage that I was doing to myself but I read somewhere that there is an opportunity in any problem we encounter.

I thought to get out from the anxiety caused by my relationships and I decided, as escape, to interview couples and individuals, mostly strangers or friends of friends, who are or were in a love, sex & relationships. I met 27 people, I asked all of them the same questions that were struggles for me at that moment of my life, collecting 40 hours of interviews, which I summarized in 6 hours of video editing, 17 pictures plus a video trailer of presentation, a book and a short video where I explain what I learn through the process of conversations of Love, Sex & Relationships.

What did I learn from this experience at Photo Scratch?

To start with, I am very happy for the feeling of intimacy that people perceived listening to the extract of video and the pictures that I selected. I saw that spectators were interested and touched by the stories presented. I was pleased for the interest showed, and some of them were queuing to watch the video, which made me proud.

After watching the interview, they were interacting with me, complementing and giving me feedback, either positive & negative and some precious advice that made me think that the project has potentiality to be presented in a gallery and in a book. Some of them told me how to organise the project in a gallery. That was funny but some good ideas came out. The editing needs to be cleaned, a much tighter edit and a much clearer narrative would help. I am aware about the length, none would watch 6 hours of video but at least I want to give 20 min of talk of each person interviewed as they gave me their precious time, their memories and they talk about very personal issues.

‘Excellent, just need more editing work….’

‘The video is really beautiful. You start listening not knowing what you are getting into and it becomes really intimate and you start to develop almost a personal connection with the people being interviewed, especially with the stories you can relate to…’

‘Very personal and intimate. How did you do to get connected in that way?”

‘Powerful, it is incredible how people open up to you…very real..I felt incredibly connected…’

‘Intimacy is very powerful. You breathe it… It is multimedia project, so probably it needs installation/exhibition/gallery. A limited edition of a book would work well’

‘Portrait are amazing…maybe bigger pictures would have work better…’… and more.

The total experience gave me more confidence in pursuing my dreams through my ideas. I have been working on this project for two years, I feel that it needs to be realised and now I am totally convinced that it will be successful. There are many obstacles in my way (editing, English correction, layout of the book, publishing, money etc…) and there is lot of work to do but I see all of them as an opportunity to grow up professionally and as a human being. Thank you Photo Scratch for the opportunity. It was a pleasure to be there.


Daniel J Norwood – Sour Tree Orange

Daniel shared work at Photo Scratch in October 2017.
Port of Piraeus #1
News reports of the financial turmoil and severe austerity measures being suffered by the Greek people motivated me to go there and see for myself what was happening. This led to the idea of the project with the working title ‘Sour Tree Orange’ – fruit that look beautiful but have a bitter aftertaste. I had high minded aims that through simple looking I could discover universal truths in my own quiet moments of reflection and in encounters with people on the streets.
The feedback I received was a useful reality check, but always encouraging and constructive. The sense of disruption was picked up on and people were drawn in by the overall aesthetic. Helpful suggestions included being ruthless with the edit, finding a way to link the main prints, developing the project’s narrative theme and being precise with the language used in the text. All relevant advice. I also made some contacts which could prove useful taking the project forward.
Overall, a very positive experience and I would encourage anyone midway through a project to consider taking part.
You can follow my latest project updates and occasional book reviews on my blog here:
and my website here:

Port of Piraeus #8

Mark A Phillips – Reparation

Mark showed work at Photo Scratch on 9th October 2017 at Hotel Elephant. Here he shares his experience.

Reparacion PScratch-2 (1)

I first heard about Photo Scratch, when attending a Photo Forum event in late 2016.  I came along as a visitor in April 2017, mainly to see what it was all about. That visit encouraged me to apply to showcase my own project. This is the first time I have tried to do something like this, but the instructions Hanna and Phil provide really helped (read them!).

It was whilst attending an academic conference in Cuba, that I was inspired to start the project I showcased: “Reparacion – the never-ending life of Cuban things”. Having shown the work to several people I’d already done an edit (or, so I thought).

What did I learn? – Firstly, people liked the project (!) and I got some interesting feedback about new insights it had provided and some possible outlets. Secondly, it needed a much tighter edit and a much clearer narrative. After listening to these comments and reading the feedback forms it was clear that I actually had three projects and needed to split them (or kill some). For me the timing of Photo Scratch was perfect. I am heading out to Havana again soon to do more work on the project(s). But this time I will go with a much clearer idea of what I need to better tell these stories. Thirdly, and despite my initial trepidation (as a first timer), it was fun and inspiring. Fourth – read the instructions (again!) and make sure you prepare, it takes longer to set up that you think!

So, I have already split the showcased project into three – a more general ‘Reparacion – the never-ending life of Cuban things’ which, based on the feedback, will aim to show more broadly the culture of repair in Cuba. I am also going to continue working on two ‘spin-off projects’, which are more personal perspectives on the lives of Ivan and family who run electrical repair workshops, and Yalisan, who repairs cigarette lighters.  As well as these repair projects, I am also continuing to work on another ongoing project in Cuba, called  Zonas deportivas urbanas, it covers sports areas and their recreational and social use in urban Havana. Feel free to take a look.

And the final thing I learnt – there is lots of encouragement and (free) helpful advice out there … use it.  Thank you.