NOTES was originally edited by Scottish Photographers Association member Sandy Sharp, who created it to share news and promote the work of both amateur and professional Scottish photographers. For over nine years Sandy guided the magazine, featuring the work of both its members and others. In 2012, circumstances forced Sandy to step away from the project and the publication was for some years in a state of hibernation.

In 2015, Dr Nina Bacos started a conversation with the Scottish Photographers Association and Sandy about taking over the accounts and relaunching the journal as a way to contribute to artist-led discourses around photographic practice in Scotland. To achieve a sustainable as well as multivocal publication, it was clear from the begining that the journal needed to operate through an editorial board. A year later, the first issue was published by TalkSeePhotography & Foco/Phoco in partnership with Scottish Photographers Association. It was edited by Nina Bacos, Melanie Letoré and Ben Rush in collaboration with graphic designer Marco Scerri.