Fund Females of the Fringe

In the lead up to summer last year, I was reflecting on an image I had taken four years earlier for 'Time Out'. It was a group photograph of 81 female comedians, staged as a response to lots of press at the time, which had stated that there are only a handful of female comedians and attributed this to their under-representation on television.

This event in 2009 had such a positive energy with everyone there to stand up and be counted and referring to it as a class photo. I thought it would be great to do a follow up to this image, however this time I wanted to return and rephotograph everyone individually. The group photograph was great for showing how many female comedians perform at the Fringe each year, but this time I wanted to showcase individual comics, their comedic styles and their opinions on gender. And so Females of the Fringe was born.

Throughout the summer, I put out the feelers and tried to contact as many female comedians as possible who would be performing at the Fringe. And then when August came, I donned my big camera kit and tiny dictaphone and made my way to each comedian's venue to photograph and interview them just before or after their show. I could be seen weaving my way across Edinburgh attempting not to take people's eyes out with my bag, and protruding umbrellas, that is almost bigger than I am. My aim was to capture a broad cross-section of comedians from the established to up and comers with styles across the comedy spectrum and I was really pleased with the outcome. The work features thirty-two comedians including Jenny Eclair, Sarah Millican, Susan Calman and last year's panel prize winner Adrienne Truscott.

Once I had edited and gauged initial reactions of the work, I was confident that it could work well as a book. Last August, was such a fantastic year to be at the Fringe for observing great female comedic talent and I hope to contribute to that ongoing positivity and momentum by releasing the book for sale at the Fringe this year. However, anyone wanting to get in early and also be thanked in the book can get a pre-sale copy now.

I am funding the initial print run through the crowd-funding site Indiegogo, but the campaign ends on 1st May, so if you would like to support the book and see it first please visit this page HERE!


Jessica McDermott is a freelance photographer, follow her on Twitter @jessmcfilm

You can now buy pre-sales of her book Females of the Fringe on her crowdfunding page HERE!

Pictured: Females of the Fringe