Music

Photo shoot with The Lost Trades

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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

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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 run 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

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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

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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?

The Year That Will Be 2016

Nearly two weeks into 2016? Where did that time go? Well, I’ve spent some of it doing my Tax return, because that’s such a fun thing to do. I’ve also done a shoot with a band for their upcoming album, which was a lot of fun, if a little chilly at times, (but more on that shoot at a later time). I’ve also been unwell, but don’t worry it was only man flu.

So what am I going to be up to for the rest of 2016? I have know idea, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know!

I’m kidding, I always know what I’m doing… Seriously though, this is what’s on the cards (pun intended) for this year; I will be looking at extending my range of greetings cards, and I will be making it easier for you lovely people to buy my work in it’s various printed forms. I’ve been having discussions with bands and artists about promo shoots and live shoots (admittedly some of these have been whilst drinking, but then my photography is cider fuelled). I’m hoping to be able to spend more time on developing personal projects this year, now that I’ve got a better handle on on the business side of things. I’ll still be getting out into the countryside photographing wildlife and landscapes, which is something I enjoy more and more each time I do it.
A common buzzard in flight over trees
I also have plans for an overhaul of my website to make it a little more streamlined and to show off my work better. I will carry on updating my social media pages, my Facebook page is here
and/or if you’re on twitter go here 

I will continue to take photos at local gigs, because that’s what I love to do; getting up close and personal at the front with both the performers and the crowd.
A harmonica player at a jam at the tree horseshoes in Bradford On Avon
As always, if there is anyone out there how would like to work with me or if you would like to buy any prints please let me know.

Oh, and on a non-photography note (pun intended), I have picked up my drumsticks a few times already this year and fully intend to keep this up, so if anyone is looking for a drummer, just let me know.