From the Archive: The Musicians

This week I’m going to talk about a collection of pictures which are relatively recent, but which seem much older. To be honest, anything from 2020 now feels like a different era.

Rachel and Silas

One, a portrait of Rachel Byrt, is already in my Business Portraits portfolio. While the other, featuring Silas Wollston, hasn’t made it in yet, but I think it needs to because it’s a strong image. There are in fact a few potential candidates in the set.

Viola player Rachel and harpsichordist and organist Silas visited my home back in August 2020. It was part social/part portrait session, so for the portraits we made space in our kitchen/dining room for a mini studio. As ever through 2020, the prevailing Covid restrictions were observed.

Working Smart

Being such a tight space, I had to be creative with just a single studio light and a black backdrop which I used as a flag to control the lighting. Our bright yellow feature wall took up backdrop duty. This worked very well for both the colour and black and white photos.

Each portrait required a slightly different setup, but for an impromptu music session I took the studio gear away and captured some action using my medium format film camera.

Because Rachel and Silas are busy professionals, it was important to ensure they had a decent choice of pictures for different areas of their work. Also, without knowing where pictures will be used it was important to have a variety of upright and landscape oriented images. Both Rachel and Silas have their own picture galleries from which they can download what they need, when they need it.

Ready for the Comeback

I would love to do more musician profile work, but of course it’s been a tough time in the creative arts. Fingers crossed 2022 will be the year when live music really gets going again. When it does, I’ll certainly be happy to do my bit whenever it happens.

Ending on a high note.

Now I know you’ll all get emotional at the news, but this will be my last blog article until Tuesday 3rd January. I need a proper break to recharge the ol’ batteries. So I thought I’d share some pictures I shot at the start of December as a last bit of fun for you before the break.

This was the combined 1st anniversary of the new landlord, Mark Birchall, at The Inn at Freshford, as well as a good opportunity for a bit of an early Christmas knees-up for the Freshford villagers and friends of Mark.

To make it extra special Mark asked Sgt Pepper’s Only Dartboard Band to come along as the live entertainment. Just a three-piece (I think Ringo was having a break; that or there wasn’t room for a drum kit), but they still rocked. I’d seen Sgt Pepper at The Cheese and Grain one New Year’s Eve, and I can testify that they’re great fun and very true to the sound of The Beatles, right down to the sarky remarks from ‘John’ and ‘Paul’.

sgt pepper's only dartboard band performing

The audience get into the spirit of the event

Not only was it a pleasure to work for Mark that evening, who has to be the most gregarious pub landlord I’ve ever met, but the music was FAB too. I hope the pictures captured something of the atmosphere which, Sgt Pepper outfits aside, was redolent of an early Cavern gig… not that I ever went to one. I was born in 1966.

Landlord Mark Burchill with the Sgt Pepper band

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers. Only my readers though 😉