Alex Heron and Emma Lloyd bring you a hilarious and unapologetic new podcast called Grainsplaining. The podcast is fresh and feminist, with perspectives and discussions about film photography and the community that are important to be heard and acted on. The hosts take on serious issues facing many women in the photography community today but also with a great sense of humor to lighten the delivery.
Going strong now with a few episodes already released, Grainsplaining was created when the hosts behind the well-known Sunny 16 podcast in the UK proposed the idea to Emma and Alex of starting their own podcast.
The two had quickly become friends when they met through an Instagram giveaway and also a #Sheheartsfilm interview. Emma says,
“So, I actually was introduced to Alex through a giveaway I did on my instagram account. To enter you had to comment and tag your favourite female film photographer, and Alex was mentioned by so many people. Then coincidentally at work, Paul [Analogue Wonderland] told me about Alex and said she would be a great person to interview as part of our #sheheartsfilm initiative, and the rest is history! I felt like Alex and I clicked immediately, and shared the same sense of humour and values. I am so glad I met her!”
Both are talented photographers and activists in their own right in addition to coming together to produce the podcast. Alex is a UK based analogue documentary-style portrait photographer who founded the project Breadth: Spanning the Spectrum which documents the lives of those on the autistic spectrum. You can read more about Breadth and see more of Alex’s work on her website here. Emma is a fine art graduate who specialised in film photography and alternative darkroom processes during her degree. She now works as the Marketing Assistant at Analogue Wonderland, where she founded their #Sheheartsfilm initiative. See this link for more information on the project which aims to spotlight female film photographers and support the growth of the female film photographer community.
Both Breadth: Spanning the Spectrum and #Sheheartsfilm are sponsored by Analogue Wonderland, the UK-based analogue photography retailer and film lab that has supported many important film community projects and initiatives.
The response to the podcast has been very positive so far and thankfully Emma says there haven’t been any terrible trolling encounters yet.
Thank the analogue goddesses, it has all been really positive. We have had so many lovely and encouraging DMs. I think people are happy to see young women in the community carving out a safe space for female photographers. We are approaching serious issues in what we hope is a fun and light-hearted way, which I think makes it palatable. We can address big issues without depressing people! The first time we logged into our emails properly, only this week, we had several emails of just well-dones, thank-yous and how much the podcast made people laugh. It was so wonderful, it felt like we were receiving fan mail.
The hosts have asked members of the community to share their experiences, especially relating to their Analogue Airheads episode where they talk about making mistakes with film. There were quite a few folks speaking up about their personal stories in response. Emma says, ‘It is so special and heartwarming that we have made a space or community where people feel safe and comfortable sharing these stories with us, and I feel so grateful for that.’
It’s great to learn that all of the graphics, music, and photos for the podcast were created by women. Graphics were created by Nikki from @thenegativecameraclub, music by Cherylee Legair @clegairphoto, and the photos by Laura at @lauz.cam on Instagram. Emma said when talking about the all-women branding/creator team, ‘I think this contributes to the overall vibe of the show and immediately resonates with people. Our listeners are happy to see girls supporting girls!’
The name Grainsplaining is a take on the term mansplaining, which describes the action of a man explaining something in a condescending, overconfident (yet at times undereducated), and often oversimplified manner to a woman, assuming ignorance and inexperience on the part of the woman.
When I asked the hosts which issue they feel needs the most attention, this is the one.
Unfortunately, there are so many! But I think, as the name of the podcast hints to, mansplaining is one we want to address most. As for me, it is probably the injustice I have been victim to the most often in the film community, out of all the other things that go on. We would often message each other or reply to each other’s stories, just ranting about stupid patronising messages we had got from older men in the community. It is something I am really passionate about stopping and just educating people on. These messages often come from a good place, but there is a way to share knowledge without being rude or demeaning to other film photographers, especially when they are at the beginning of their journey.
The most recent mansplaining experience that sticks out to me is some replies I got to an Instagram story. I had got an email with my wetransfer download of scans from a lab I used whilst traveling. But my email server was down and I couldn’t access them, it was so frustrating! So I shared a screenshot of my story asking for advice. I was then bombarded with dictionary definitions of what wetransfer is! Like, I work in a bloody lab! Of course I know what wetransfer is. It is so insulting, people don’t even read your messages, it’s like they automatically assume stupidity. It really infuriates me. I have also had quite a few patronising or trolling comments on the Analogue Wonderland account. It is such a shame, I know it is the minority but it can really bring me down and I take it personally.
We hope that Grainsplaining can address these issues in a fun and light hearted way, it is important they are talked about and these people are called out for their meanness.
I’ve listened to each episode that is public at the time of writing. So without reservation, I can say that the hosts deliver on their goal to make the podcast fun and light-hearted but they also openly and unapologetically address the issues that many women have experienced.
You can listen to Grainsplaining on most podcast delivery sites such as podbean and spotify. The podcast lives under the “Sunny 16 presents” umbrella so you can also find it on the Sunny 16 website here. Sunny 16 hosts a couple of introductory discussions for Grainsplaining on their own podcast as well which you can listen to here.
Emma and Alex post updates as well as their fabulous photos on Instagram at @grainsplaining. Additionally, you can follow their respective Instagram pages: Alex is @her.on.shoots and Emma is @emmajlloyd_. Looking forward to many more episodes to come!