Skip to content

Music

2020 – The Year Of The Mask

  • by

I think I will always remember 2020 as the year of the mask. It is a year I don’t think I will ever forget, even though I may want to. It has been a tough year for so many reasons. Emotionally, physically, fiscally, mentally and creatively. That said, I do appreciate how lucky I am. I still have my health. Like many people, I didn’t think that something like this would happen in my lifetime. It is more the stuff of Science Fiction and there is still part of me that finds it a bit surreal. As I said, I am very fortunate and very thankful to the NHS, teachers, shop workers and all those who kept the country going throughout this extraordinary year.

We all had to change our plans this year. I even changed the plans I had already changed. As I reflect back on the year, I find it hard to judge. This probably seems an obvious thing to say, but without looking back and judging it, how can we learn from it? But perhaps now isn’t the time to do that. It might be the end of 2020, but it is not yet the end of Covid19. The end is in sight, although still someway off.

This is a reflection of the my year through photography. I was going to pick out just one photo for each month, but for some I couldn’t decide, so there are lots more than 12 to look at. I hope you enjoy them. Enjoy the festive period while staying safe, and I’ll see you in 2021

January

All the way back in January I did a photoshoot with The Lost Trades. It seems like a lifetime ago right now, being in a room with other people. It was such a fun shoot, with great people, you can read more about it in this blog.

3 piece folk group The Lost Trades

The Lost Trades

 

February

February was all about early spring bulbs, which meant being outside as much as possible. Given what was to come, that turned out to be an even better thing than it usually is.

Greater snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii)

Greater snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii)

 

March

March was something of a month of two halves. Going out as much as possible, followed by staying in as much as possible.

Silver birch trees, Bickerton Hills, Cheshire

Silver birch trees, Bickerton Hills, Cheshire

an orange mug of tea, a DSLR camera & a computer

Lockdown Life

April

April was the month I became very grateful for my partners love of gardening and the fact that she relatively recently acquired a bigger garden. It did mean doing more work in the garden, but having that outside space during Lockdown made things easier. It also meant lots of photography opportunities, not just of plants but of wildlife too. 



May

Another month spent at home. Mostly out in the garden, thanks to the nice weather. Plants and wildlife was once again what I saw most of through my lens.

June

June was another month of the same. Although it was also the month I launched my shop, (go and check it out, you know you want to) which might explain why I took fewer photos this month.

July

The month when things started to relax. Leaving the house became a possibility. Although I started the month off by experimenting with some indoor still lifes of plants. I am sure there was a good reason for this, although I can’t remember what it is. 

 

August

A two week trip to the Isles of Scilly took up a lot of my August. It was a little bit odd going from wearing a mask on a busy boat to being the only people on a beach. You could forget for a little while that there was a pandemic.

September

September was more time spent in the garden and preparing for the months to come as best as possible.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Rustic Dwarfs Mixed’

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Rustic Dwarfs Mixed’

October

Photographing autumn colours will never get boring and I tried to make the most of the opportunity. I think the first image here sums up the year quite well.

November

The second Lockdown in England started this month.

Ginkgo biloba leaves and fruit

Ginkgo biloba leaves and fruit

December

And now here we are in December. Short days. Colder, wetter weather. Coronavirus cases on the rise, despite the Second Lockdown. The prospect of a very different Christmas on the way. So I decided I needed to do something fun. Anyone who follows me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter will have seen my Lego Star Wars Advent Story. I have been posting one part each day, but here it is in full (or as much as I have shot at time of writing. I will update when it is finished).

Photo shoot with The Lost Trades

The Lost Trades

Back in January, you know, before the world went crazy and we were allowed to interact with other human beings, I was lucky enough to do a photo shoot with new band The Lost Trades. Although the band was new, the band members were not. I’m not saying they are old, just that I already knew them. I have shot photos with two of them before, Phil Cooper and Jamie R Hawkins. The third member, Tamsin Quin, I had met at gigs in the past. Now they have combined their musical talents to form The Lost Trades.

The plan – as much as there was one

The band were filming a live video session with Dug at Bentham Studios. I went along to take photos while they were recording, and then do a photo shoot once they were finished.

What I wanted to capture was the sense of fun and enjoyment that they get from playing together. That was something that really came across and I wanted to show that in the images I did for them.

It was here that I was going to write about how I approach doing a photo shoot with a band. And I did. However, I soon realised that I had a lot I wanted to write about the subject. So, rather than getting away from the original point of this blog, I’ll write another one about it.

How the day went

A camera recording the Lost TradesI travelled to the studio with Phil, so upon arrival I did some roadying from Phil’s car into the studio. This was interspersed, with hellos, introductions and re-introductions. The next thing to happen was that tea was made, which I found very pleasing. The band and Dug set up while I took some shots, to get exposure levels and the feel for the layout of the room. I did my best not to get in the way and soon they were sound checking, with another round of teas.

The Lost Trades playing at Bentham StudiosIn the end I only took photos of them while they were sound checking and not when they were actually recording. I would have got in the way of the video cameras, probably put them off, and the sound of my shutter would have picked up in the recording. So while they recorded, I sat in the control room with Dug, listening to the beautiful harmonies and drank tea.

The photo shoot

Once they had finished recording, we used the lovely wood clad studio as a background. Taking a variety of shots, some very posed and almost formal.3 piece folk group The Lost Trades

Other shots were much more relaxed and casual. They could be considered ‘outtakes’, but it is those candid, unguarded moments that give an insight into the sense of enjoyment the band have when together.The band The Lost Trades

We then took things outside to add a bit of variety, so we made use of the surrounding open fields.Photo shoot with the lost trades

Next we took the opportunity to make use of what else was available around the studio, mainly an old piano.

This is the moment the piano was spotted.The Lost Trades pointing

Although you can’t go and see The Lost Trades live at the moment, you can still check them out and catch one of their live streams. You can also check out Phil’s, Jamie’s and Tamsin’s solo work as well.

In conclusion…

…tea was drunk…
The Lost trades drinking tea

… recordings were made…

…fun was had…

…photos were taken…

…and don’t forget to check out The Lost Trades.

2017 – Looking back

  • by

2017

2017 – what have I done?

Well, looking back at the blog I wrote at the start of 2017, it seems things didn’t really go according to plan.

I had intended to give my website a complete overhaul in 2017 and add a shop. While I did manage to redesign my website, I didn’t manage to add the shop because I encountered a number of problems. I ran out of server space and once I overcame that issue, I was then unable to find a third party shop interface with safe and secure card transaction facilities that I could (with my limited web design and development knowledge) make work to my liking.

Another thing that I failed to do was to write this blog regularly. I had thought that doing it once a month would be manageable, but I failed to do that. I’m not sure why I didn’t manage it, time just seemed to get away from me.

Also, my experiment of using Redbubble to sell my images was something that didn’t work out. I’m not sure why it didn’t. Perhaps it was because I didn’t promote it enough. Maybe it just isn’t the right platform for me to sell my work. Whatever the reason, it didn’t work for me. I’m going to keep the store open for now and see if anything changes.

That was all a bit negative, wasn’t it? Well, now for the more positive stuff that I did in 2017.

Although selling my images through Redbubble didn’t seem to work for me in 2017, selling through my Etsy shop did. My sales increased, along with my product range. If you head over there to have a look before 31st January 2018, you can get 30% off orders over £15.

I’ve started selling images through a photo library. I started contributing images to it in 2016, but it was in 2017 that my images started to sell. A lot of work goes in to choosing images and preparing them for an image library. It’s work that isn’t seen by anyone else, but it has now started to pay off for me, which is always gratifying.

Also in 2017 I started selling my cards at the Three Daggers Farm Shop in Eddington, Wiltshire. They currently stock 12 different designs of my cards, and the designs they carry will change roughly every three months or so.

I did a number of photo shoots with bands and musicians, which was something I planned to do and actually managed to see though. I did photo shoots with Jamie R Hawkins, Phil Cooper and Scout Killers

Another thing I did in 2017 was my first craft fair. I had hoped to do more than one in the run up to Christmas, but I was about a week or so too late applying so they were mostly already fully booked. I did manage to do one, which was local to me and was only on for a few hours so it was a good introduction into what it takes to do a craft fair.

Learning

Something else I did was learn. Somewhere, I can’t remember where, I read an ‘inspirational quote’. It said something like ‘running a business without advertising is like winking at a woman in the dark, only you know you are doing it.’ Which, despite the weird winking at women thing, made me realise I really need to promote myself better. I think that is something I started to do.

Thank you

Thank you for reading, and thank you for your support. I will try to write my blog more regularly. My next one will be about what I intend to do in 2018.

thank you

2016 Reviewed

  • by

2016 reviewed by Andrew Bert Greaves Photography

Where did the year go? I’m sure I had all 12 months of it here just a moment ago… Nope, I just checked and they have gone.

Well, what to make of the year?

In general it seems that it wasn’t people’s favourite year. Politically some interesting decisions were made on both sides of the Atlantic by the voting public, so 2017 and beyond will be very … interesting.
The year also saw the passing of many people we all look up to and admire, particularly from the worlds of film, TV and music. I fear that this will sadly be a trend that will continue because many of those we look up to have lead very long and full lives.

And what about me?

Well, this year did seem to go really fast. Much of the what I intended to do ended up on the back burner, while I tried to keep pace with life. One of the things I did do was to set up a store on the online retailer Etsy, so it is now easier to own my work.

In the latter half of the year I spent a lot of time focusing on me and I don’t mean self portraits. I am not only an introvert, but can also be shy too (no, they aren’t the same thing). This can make selling myself and my work more of a challenge, which has obvious downsides in a business. I have now started to understand myself better which means I can make the most of my strengths and also overcome my weaknesses. I haven’t by any means conquered it entirely, but I feel I’ve made significant progress. This is starting to sound like a self help blog. But sometimes you’ve got to help yourself, because no one else can do it for you.

Photos

I think I’ll stop with the words now, and finish with some photos. 12 photos in fact, a favourite from each month of the year, I hope you enjoy.


Tell The Hoi playing at The Nest, Bath January 2016

Cows in a muddy field, Wiltshire, February 2016

A jumping Spider next to a Ladybird on leaves, Wiltshire, March 2016

Close up of a mute swan's head

Close up of a mute swan’s head, April 2016

The Bohos playing at The Parade Gardens, Bath for Bath Music Festival’s Party In The City, May 2016


Red bicycle in a field, Wiltshire, June 2016

Neville Staple Band, Village Pump Folk Festival, 2016

Neville Staple Band, Village Pump Folk Festival, 2016


A bee on a blue-spirea ‘Worcester Gold’ flower, Wiltshire, August 2016


A close up of a garden spider (Araneus diadematus) on it’s web, Wiltshire, September 2016


The Model Folk playing at the Stallards, Trowbridge, October 2016

Roses covered in frost, Wiltshire, November 2016

Twisted State Of Mind playing at The White Swan, Trowbridge, December 2016

Photoshoot with Phil Cooper, Singer/Songwriter

  • by

Back on the 25th October 2015 I did a photoshoot with singer/songwriter Phil Cooper. The shoot had been originally planned for the week before, but we had to postpone due to illness (Phil was ill and I was starting to come down with something too). Before the getting ill, we’d had a meeting to discuss ideas about what sort of images Phil wanted from the shoot as well as how they would be used; from social media profile pics and banners to gig posters and album art.

Having decided on an outdoor shoot, and it being October and in England, this didn’t give us a lot of scope when rearranging the photoshoot, so we ended up deciding to do it before Phil played a gig at the Seven Stars in Bristol, as the weather was forecast for that day was for it to be dry, if not bright.

We drove into Bristol Sunday lunch time, aiming to get there at about 12:30. Phil needed to be at the venue for his gig by about 3ish, so that gave us plenty of time. Well, it would have done if we didn’t hit horrendous traffic as we got to Bristol, which we hadn’t been expecting. As we finally got closer to the centre, some time after one o’clock, we noticed signs informing us that the Bristol to Bath Marathon had started in the centre of Bristol earlier that morning, and further signs told us that a lot of the roads had been closed until lunch time, so we at least had an explanation for the surprising numbers of cars on the road. This all meant that we had less time for doing the photoshoot, but first we needed a cup of tea, because we like tea.Phil Cooper drinking tea with his little finger sticking out

Despite the somewhat curtailed time frame for getting the shoot done, we had a relaxed wander along the Bristol Harbourside looking for suitable locations, which we duly found, shooting first at one, and then another. It was all quite straight forward really, we were going for fairly simple images, but with impact and connection. I thought I’d share some of the “outtakes” from the shoot.

Phil Cooper doubling over with laughter
I don’t know exactly what it was that made Phil have this reaction, but I’m  guessing it’s because I’m really funny…


At no point did Phil get bored…


I’m not sure what he was looking for, and he won’t tell me if he managed to find it.

Phil Cooper trying not to laugh
This is a photo of Phil stifling a laugh, because apparently me lying on the cold ground and taking photos of him is something that Phil finds amusing.

Anyway after the successful shoot we went to the Seven Stars for Phil’s gig. At the time I thought I was seeing double because of the cider, but this photo proves it was just a mirror.

Phil Cooper reflected in a mirror as he plays guitar and sings at The Seven Stars in Bristol

To see which photo from the shoot made it on to the front cover of Phil’s new album have a gander at his website here and if you want to see which photos made it into the sleeve notes, well you’ll just have to buy a copy, won’t you?

%d bloggers like this: