Posted on February 6, 2014
A while ago I read an article about how talent alone wasn’t enough to guarantee success in the music industry. To make it big, an artist also needs a whole bag of tricks which include charisma, drive, stage presence and the ability to be in the right place at the right time. Well, singer/songwriter, Matt Creer, has all of the above. I don’t do music reviews, I don’t know enough to sound even remotely knowledgeable, but I’ve heard Matt, seen him live, and he’s good, very good. What I do know is that he looks good and he looks comfortable on stage, like he was born to be there. He also looks fantastic in front of the camera.
I did these promo’ shots with Matt this week, it was an uncomplicated and enjoyable shoot, we got everything we wanted in less than an hour…which is good, because the temperature was down to about 3 degrees! Matt turned-up wearing a down jacket and a wooly hat, but as soon as they came off he looked as though we could be in California – total professional!
Former student of the Royal College of Music, London, Matt Creer has established himself as an exciting voice on the UK music scene. The Manx singer songwriter is steadily gaining supporters all over the world and recently attracted the attention of the American TV and film industry. His finger style guitar and rich vocal harmonies are reminiscent of artists such as Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and The Civil Wars. His first album “Lanterns” (2011) was a self-produced, self released record. The title track has become a firm favourite with all who hear Matt’s music and enjoys frequent radio play. Matt’s EP “Islands” (2013) has been received with even greater enthusiasm. In November 2013 his song “Don’t Let Me Go” which was co-written and performed with singer Katherine Crowe, reached number 5 in the UK iTunes Singer Songwriter Chart. Matt’s eagerly anticipated second full length album will be available later this year.
A regular performer in the UK and further afield, Matt has performed with respected artists such as Paul Carrack (Mike and the Mechanics), Beverly Craven, Chris T-T, Garrison Starr (LA), Bess Rogers (NYC), Alex Berger (NYC) Richard Walters, O’Hooley and Tidow and Jess Morgan (UK). He has also completed two solo headline tours of the UK and is one of a growing number of independent artists pioneering the UK house concert movement.
Posted on February 2, 2014
Posted on January 29, 2014
First of all, I’ve had a few comments about the new format and layout of this blog, it seems that people miss the old Gridspace theme because “It looked less like a blog and more like a website”…but that’s what this is – a blog, a dumping-ground for my photographic meanderings and thoughts. I do have a dedicated portfolio website in the pipeline, so if you just want to look at photographs without my ramblings, it’ll be up and running in the next couple of months, I promise. You can also follow me on Facebook
I’m not really publishing much in the way of ‘serious’ portraiture at the moment because I’m saving it all for my exhibition at the end of March this year. It’s a dangerous game though, I have portraits sat in a Lightroom folder, titled EXHIBITION, and I keep looking at them, editing them, tinkering with them…I need to just leave them alone, because I know exactly what’s going to happen – come March 20th I’ll be sick of the sight of those photos. Every last one of them. Another issue I have is that I’m quite single-minded, if I’m not shooting portraits for my show, ‘serious portraits’, then I’m not really shooting anything else, unless it’s completely different. This alternative creative outlet comes in the form of instant film. I love instant film like the french love cheese.
Say what you like, try to convince me with £500 software or 79p iPhone apps – you can not fake the look of instant film. All images here were made using a Fuji Instax 200 wide camera. I’ll shoot some more Impossible Project 600 just as soon as I’ve sold my kidney to pay for the film…
Posted on December 17, 2013
Posted on December 5, 2013
Manx music legend, Davy Knowles, is back on the Isle of Man and I had the pleasure of spending the day with him, shooting portraits around various locations. Davy, who now lives and works out of Chicago, is back on home soil to perform a gig at The Gaiety Theatre in Douglas. (Try and get tickets, but I think they sold-out pretty fast!)
I’ve photographed Davy a few times over the last few years, the first time was at the end of his European tour when he played at The Heineken Area in Amsterdam alongside the likes of Joe Satriani and Sonny Landreth. Although I’ve taken hundreds of photos of Davy, I’ve never been 100% happy with the results, I’m not sure Davy has either, but this latest session was different, I think our biorhythms must have been in tune, because I couldn’t be happier with the results.
“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough” – Robert Capa
We’ve had some pretty spectacular winter storms here on the Isle of Man, cancelling the ferries and causing the usual chaos. I had taken a few photographs of the waves, in my home town of Peel, from the comfort of my van, but they really weren’t doing this maritime display of force any justice. So, I dashed home, put my Canon G15 into an underwater housing and walked the 100 metres from my house to the promenade. By the time I got there the police and civil defence had blocked-off both ends to stop vehicles, but they didn’t appear to be that bothered about me wandering around. I stayed on the prom’ for about 15 minutes before my hands became too cold to operate the camera, I walked back up my street, soaked to the skin and got into a hot bath.
Posted on December 3, 2013
I’ve photographed a lot of people over the last few years, hundreds of people, possibly thousands. Of all these people, there is a handful that I keep going back to make portraits of time and time again, Bonzo Slater (above) is one of those people. I must have photographed Bonzo at least 15 times, in various locations around the Isle of Man, most of the locations being within spitting distance of a pub…
A new subject for me is Graham Brunström. Graham is currently waiting for a kidney transplant and is pictured here connected to his dialysis machine in his bedroom. Graham was actually due to have a transplant early next year, but there’s been a set-back with the donor, so this probably won’t go ahead. Graham pointed-out that there is only a limited time that he can receive dialysis and that “the clock is ticking”. Despite all of this, Graham remains very positive.
Above is musician, Chris Gray, another repeat and habitual subject. I took Chris out into the hills and photographed him using just the headlights from my van. I wanted a kind of grungy, snapshot look to the image. It appears to have worked.
Posted on November 22, 2013
Follow me on Facebook - Phil Kneen Photography
Posted on November 1, 2013
Ric - Olympus OM1/Kodak Tri-X 400 double exposure
Ric – Fuji Xpro1 and VSCO film
Matt - Fuji Xpro1 and VSCO film
Matt – Fuji Xpro1, VSCO and Photo Shop (fake advert for his birthday)
Jess - Fuji Xpro1 and VSCO film
Posted on October 23, 2013
This week there’s been a slight change of plan – I’m not driving to Moscow anymore, I don’t fancy the idea of traversing Belarus, I’ve heard a lot of bad things about the country. Also, visas are needed for Belarus and Russia, which would add nearly £1000 to the cost of a trip that I’m already planning on a very tight budget. So, I’m driving to Crimea in Ukraine instead, it’s about the same distance and I’ll get to go through Romania on the way back, a country I’ve always wanted to visit.
Joining me on this epic road-trip will be writer and very good friend, Trevor Gibbs. Trevor has been my ‘partner in crime’ for a few projects, the last one being our joint essay on Yellowknife and the surrounding area in North West Canada. Trevor has travelled extensively all over the world, knows his stuff and is generally good to have around, he also loves a good road-trip…
Road-trip images – Mamiya 7II and Kodak Portra 400 film
Portraits – Fuji X-Pro1, edited using VSCO Film
Posted on October 15, 2013
This week I’ve started planning my next big adventure, a road-trip of epic proportions – The Isle of Man to Moscow and back – a 4000 mile round trip. I’ve been all over the world, but never this part of the world, and what better way to see it?
This probably isn’t a lot of people’s idea of fun, but I can’t think of anything better; load a vehicle with supplies and just drive, stopping off whenever and wherever you like. Another thing that really appeals to be is the minuscule amount of planning that’s needed – no flights to book, no connections to miss and no accommodation to pay for (I’ll be sleeping in my vehicle…) As I said, I have no plans as to who or what I’ll be photographing, it’ll just be anybody or anything that I like the look of.