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Podcast Episode 25: This is Steve Gerrard

Honoured to welcome the fab Steve Gerrard on to the Podcast for episode 25! As well as being one of the best wedding photographers in Canada, Steve is also massively known as a music lover, having been a successful DJ himself, and having also photographed hundreds of bands all over the world. That’s why, for this episode, we’ve had a special ‘theme’ – a totally original (!) theme which we’ve called ‘Marooned Mp3s’. Steve had to think of just eight songs that he would choose to have with him if he found himself marooned somewhere, such as a desert island…

So, as well as all the usual chat about photography and life, you can listen to all of Steve’s music choices within this post, as we have embedded YouTube videos of all of his chosen tracks. You can also hear all his tracks (apart from one) on this special Spotify playlist, made just for this episode.

Stick with us today as Steve shares all about:

  • living with a famous name,
  • why he doesn’t like sleep,
  • his past life as a DJ touring the world, and how he got into weddings,
  • the time he went record shopping with Guns n’ Roses,
  • a surprising fact about him that most people would be surprised to know,
  • the relocation of his entire business and life from England to Canada,
  • some SEO nuggets of advice,
  • how the wedding industry differs between England and Canada,
  • what’s been the most effective in terms of marketing,
  • how his music photography influenced the way he shoots weddings,
  • one of his quite famous/infamous images (the traffic cones portrait),
  • how a specific song massively impacted his life,
  • some film recommendations for lockdown,
  • his ‘driving to a wedding’ song of choice,
  • his podcasts of choice,
  • outsourcing,
  • and much more…

Listen on Spotify, Google Podcasts, YouTube, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, or below in this post, where there’s also a full transcript. All our other wedding photography podcast episodes are also on the site.

Alan Law:

Hey Steve, how you doing?

Steve Gerrard:

Hello mate. I am very well thank you. Greetings from the other side of the Atlantic.

Alan Law:

Yeah, you’re miles away. How is it over there? Cause you’re in Canada, aren’t you?

Steve Gerrard:

I’m in Montreal, just outside of Montreal. Obviously I’m not from here, I’m from England. But yeah, I mean obviously all over the world it’s all a bit weird at the moment, but Canada’s not too bad and where we are, we live a little bit out of town and we have a nice big garden so we get to at least be outside and enjoying some space amongst all this. The snow’s almost melted. We still had a little bit snow this week.

Alan Law:

Oh, really? How cold is it then?

Steve Gerrard:

It’s, well, I mean it goes down to like minus 30, but that’s Celsius. But at the moment it’s kind of plus figures. It’ll start going up pretty quick and then in the summer it gets super-hot. So…

Alan Law:

Oh Okay. Cause yeah, it’s gorgeous in England at the moment. My kids are out in the paddling pool at the moment. Lush.

Steve Gerrard:

Really? Wow.

steve gerrard

Alan Law:

I’ve seen photos though on your Facebook that you have some kind of, you have like a swimming pool out there in your garden.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, we do have a pool and nobody’s going in that yet because it’s still frozen.

Alan Law:

Can you ice skate on it?

Steve Gerrard:

No, it’s not big enough for that really. It might still be a little bit dangerous, although I think the ice gets pretty thick in the winter. But my dog does like to run around on the pool when it’s frozen, she’ll just go in there and run around in circles. Which is very cute.

Alan Law:

What kind of dog have you got?

Steve Gerrard:

Just a little terrier. Yeah.

Alan Law:

Nice. Did you bring her over from England?

Steve Gerrard:

No, we got her about four years ago. I’ve been in Montreal just over five years now and we got her just after we got this house, so about four years ago.

Alan Law:

Okay, cool. Nice, nice. So I’ve got to start with the question I think that is going to be on everybody’s lips, though, really. So, you know, how did you go from being one of England’s all-time best footballers to wedding photographer?

Steve Gerrard:

Alan, please. I was like, is he going to ask a football question? No, surely not Alan. Alan would not do that. And he did.

Alan Law:

So you’re not that Steve Gerrard then?

Steve Gerrard:

No, I’m not that Steve Gerrard because I would probably have a better car, a better Hi-Fi system, maybe a bigger house and probably a bigger swimming pool if I was that Steve Gerrard. But it’s weird because when I moved to Canada, I thought that this Steven Gerrard kind of comments would die off and they have to an extent, but I still get them all the time. And in fact, the last thing, the last comment that I got on Twitter, which was today, is somebody who thinks I’m him. So it’s just a constant thing. And there’ll be people listening to this podcast that maybe don’t even know who Steven Gerrard is. And yeah, but for me, it’s a constant battle, but it’s fine. It’s fine. And Steven Gerrard the football has got a brother called Paul Gerrard and so have I. And it’s my brother’s birthday tomorrow.

Alan Law:

Really? Oh, well, happy birthday to your brother tomorrow. That’s a freaky coincidence though.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. And we’re both from the same part of the world because I’m from Chester, which is not far from Liverpool. And I think he’s kind of like from the Northwest up there somewhere. Anyway, what I always say to people, especially if they’re mention it at a wedding, I was just like, unlike Steven Gerrard the footballer, every time I shoot, I score.

Alan Law:

Oh nice, that’s a good one there. You should add that as a tagline on your website. You don’t even like football, do you?

Steve Gerrard:

I’m not really, I don’t really watch sports at all, to be honest.

Alan Law:

I saw that and I recently saw a list of things that you don’t like. And you said watching sports. One of the things on your list though was also sleep. You don’t like sleep?

Steve Gerrard:

No, it’s not, I mean, obviously you need to sleep, otherwise you’re going to die and I don’t like feeling tired. So I understand how that all works, but I just find like every time I have to go to sleep, I’m just like there’s so many other things I’d rather be doing than going to sleep and being unconscious for eight hours.

steve gerrard

Alan Law:

Oh really? I just love sleeping, man. Love it. Me and Oni, we go to bed at like half nine, you know, asleep, yeah, not much later than that. But yeah, we get loads of sleep, man. I love it.

Steve Gerrard:

I would describe it as a daily inconvenience to me doing what I really want to do.

Alan Law:

And what is that? What do you love to do?

Steve Gerrard:

Wow, do you want a list?

Steve Gerrard:

For pleasure. When I’m not working, when I haven’t got editing to do or just, you know, cooking the family meal or something that just needs to be done. If I have proper Steve time, then it probably involves firstly listening to music and properly listening to music, not just having it on while I’m doing other things.

Alan Law:

Does that mean like sitting down with headphones, listening to music or…?

Steve Gerrard:

Well sometimes it’s headphones. It depends what the kids are doing. But I prefer to just sit down and listen to it through a good set of speakers and switch all the lights off and just pour myself a drink and enjoy that moment for as long as I can get away with it. And I also love movies and I was talking to Evelyn about – my wife Evelyn – about this last night. I was just like, I love movies and I don’t feel like I get to watch as many movies as I would like because there’s just so much other stuff going on in life. But when I do get to sit down and watch a good movie then, I always love that.

Alan Law:

That’s cool. I’ll ask you about both of those later as well. And so obviously you’re known massively as a wedding photographer but also massively as a music fan, as a music photographer, as you touched upon then as well. So we’re going to have a bit of a special theme in your episode here, which is totally original game, which we’re going to call ‘Marooned MP3s’, where I’m going to ask you to choose your eight songs that you would have with you if you were marooned somewhere such as a desert Island. So yeah, what would be your first, what’s your first piece of music?

Steve Gerrard:

Okay, so as a music fan, since I was very small, this question is not an easy question to answer and probably after we’ve spoken I’ll think of tons of other songs that I would have wanted to include. But I have given it some thought and they’re kind of in the order that I heard them in my life. So my first choice is going to be Pretty Vacant by the Sex Pistols:

 

Alan Law:

Okay, cool. And why have you chosen that?

Steve Gerrard:

Because up until I heard pretty vacant, I’d heard, well we just used to listen to the radio a lot and my mom used to listen to Terry Wogan in the morning on radio two. And then this band came out of nowhere. I’m showing my age a little bit, the Sex Pistols and it was unlike anything that I’d heard before. And I started buying pretty much everything that they put out, but I was still too young to go into town and buy them. I was like probably about seven. So you can imagine a seven year old at home who’s been listening to radio two and then suddenly becomes a sex pistols fan. So my mum would go into town into the record shop, if you remember those, and buy seven inch singles by the sex pistols. And the first one that I got was pretty vacant. There was one that she brought home and she took it back to the shop because she thought one of the songs was inappropriate for a seven year old. But Pretty vacant is still just like such a, it feels like such a rebellious song and the way that Johnny Rotten kind of spews the words out, and there’s like, he uses word ‘vacant’ and the way he pronounces it is kind of puts the emphasis on the second part of that word.

Alan Law:

Okay. I get what you mean.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. But another thing that I loved about that single, it’s just a seven inchsingle, which I’ve still got downstairs. The B side of it was a cover of No Fun by The Stooges. Which is another just a brilliant punk song. But when they recorded it for that seven inch single, they hadn’t rehearsed it at all. They just went into the studio and played it live and recorded it in one go and then put it on the B side of the single. And that is as punk rock as it comes.

Alan Law:

That’s proper Cool. That’s cool.

Steve Gerrard:

I think that song and that band kind of led on to other things in my musical journey and it also kind of showed a little bit of the rebellious side of my personality I think when I was young.

Alan Law:

Cool. I mean and I wish now that I could play an excerpt of that song, but due to copyright laws I can’t, but if you’re listening to this, you know, while running or jogging or anything, if you head to the site thisisreportage.com, I’m going to include links to all your songs, maybe YouTube videos or at least songs to them on Spotify, whatnot as well so that, so there’ll be on there as well. Cool man, thanks for that. And that’s cool. We’ll go to some more a bit later. So still on the music thing, you used to be a DJ and actually the last person we spoke to on the podcast, Dave Scholes, he knew of your past DJ life and actually been on like a workshop of you, that you were Djing on as well. Didn’t you meet your now wife from that time as well? How did you go from your DJing life to weddings?

Steve Gerrard:

So yeah. I think I fell into deejaying obviously because of my love of music, but it wasn’t something that I planned at all. I used to be involved in the club scene and wanted to put up my own club nights, but I could never find DJs that were playing the kind of music that I really wanted to play. So I ended up doing it until I could find a DJ to do that. And then I ended up just being the DJ.

Alan Law:

What age were you kind of when you were doing this?

Steve Gerrard:

I think it probably started when I was about 20.

Alan Law:

Okay, cool. And this is in Birmingham, Is it?

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, it was in Birmingham. I went to Birmingham to go to university and kind of got involved in the club scene, which is why I didn’t finish university, you know. But then when I started, I was more of an alternative DJ. I was playing alternative, like alternative rock clubs really. And then later on some of my music choices, we’ll touch on this, I got more into different kinds of music, including electronic music and DJ culture. And that took over my life for quite a while. And I quite quickly got a name for myself as a house and break beat DJ and I got to tour the world and like you say, I did meet my wife when I was abroad for a DJ gig. I was in Chamonix in the Alps and she was there snowboarding, I was there to DJ and here we are years later in Montreal with three kids.

steve gerrard

Alan Law:

That is so cool. That’s so cool. And you got married in a place that I know very well down in Cornwall, didn’t you?

Steve Gerrard:

I did. I got married in Cornwall – Polhawn Fort, which I think you know better than me.

Alan Law:

I think it is a venue I shot at the most.

Steve Gerrard:

Is it?

Alan Law:

Yeah, it is beautiful.

Steve Gerrard:

It’s not the best for photographers. It’s a bit dark inside. But it was cool. We went down to Cornwall because we wanted to, we were living in Birmingham at the time. We wanted to get married away from Birmingham and just somewhere that felt like an escape for everybody that came to the wedding. And so we went to Cornwall. We originally had like five venues lined up that we were going to go and see. And Polhawn Fort was the first one that we went down to visit. And we didn’t go see any of the others. We just went there and just loved it, loved the kind of feel of it. We loved the fact we could have our dogs at the wedding. We had two dogs at our wedding. Even though it’s on a cliff top, not probably not the best choice, but yeah. And we had to whole place to ourselves from Monday to Friday and had the wedding on the Wednesday. And it was just brilliant. It just, I just love that place.

Alan Law:

Oh that’s cool. Have you been back since?

Steve Gerrard:

No, I haven’t. I did actually have an inquiry about shooting a wedding there, which felt a bit odd because it wasn’t long after we’d got married there. But then they actually changed venues and ended up getting married in London. So I did shoot the wedding, but it was in London.

Alan Law:

Oh, okay. Who shot your wedding? Did you have, I think I remember asking you. So did you have a friend or did you get, did you hire someone? I can’t remember.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. So when we got married, it was actually pretty much the same year as I launched my photography business. So at that point, like I didn’t know that much about photography and I was kind of a bit skint. Yeah. In the same year I set up my photography business, got married twice and had our first kid.

Alan Law:

Got married twice?

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, I got married twice to the same person though. Yeah, because she’s from Canada, we did the registry office thing and then later on we came down to Cornwall and did the wedding that we wanted to have.

Alan Law:

Okay, cool. That’s cool.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, so because we were a bit skint and because I didn’t really know that much about wedding photography at that point, the people that we knew who were, like… they were learning to do wedding photography at the same time as us, so we knew them through like courses and things. And then one of my good friends who’s a music photographer, she was kind of our main photographer maybe, but we had like two or three people taking pictures at the wedding. So we got some really good pictures. But the kind of consistency that a good photographer that I would choose now would get, we didn’t really get that from our wedding unfortunately. But you know, no regrets.

Alan Law:

No, no, that’s cool. That’s cool. So how did you go from the deejaying to wedding photography then? I mean, were you doing music photography before doing wedding photography as well or, I mean, how did it begin for you?

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. So when I was traveling a lot with the DJing, like I was going all over the world to places that I might never go back to, one of the ways that I decided I was going to kind of explore places – ‘cause I didn’t want to just go in, go to the hotel, go to the gig and then fly out again. I wanted to actually see these places that I was visiting. So I tried to get at least another day to myself in whichever city I was in. And I just had this idea when I was on a plane one time looking through one of the inflight magazines. They tend to have like a feature on a city and then there’s like a whole write up, but there’s a load of pictures that kind of give you an idea of what that city’s about, and I just thought, well maybe I’ll just go wherever I’m going. I’ll try and take the kind of pictures that I’m seeing in these articles. They kind of give a flavour of the city to somebody maybe that hasn’t been there. That became my little pet project because I’ve always loved photography more as, to begin with, more as a viewer. I always collected photography books by some of my favourite photographers but never really took it seriously as a hobby until that point. And then that, that became my little project to go out, explore… and it gave me a reason to be wandering around the city on my own a lot of the time. I had my camera and I was kind of wandering around going down little back streets rather than staying in the main tourist spots and just looking for something that I thought captured something unique about the places that I was visiting. So I wouldn’t really call it street photography. It was more like travel photography is probably the best way of putting it.

Alan Law:

It’s like pre-emptive Instagram shooting.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. If I had Instagram back then, I’d probably be an influencer by now.

Alan Law:

What was one of your favourite cities to do that in?

Steve Gerrard:

Well, actually the first place that I did it, I went to Shanghai in China. And that felt like a great place to start. Apart from anything, that’s where I actually bought my first DSLR. I pretty much got off the plane, went to a camera shop in China because I thought they’d be a bit cheaper there.

Alan Law:

But it must have been.

Steve Gerrard:

I can’t remember if it actually was, but in my head it was. Yeah. So I bought a Canon 300D which I think was called the Rebel in America. And then I was all ready to go around walking around Shanghai, taking pictures and creating amazing art as you do. And it pissed down with rain for like the whole time I was there. So I still did go out. I still did go out a little bit, but it didn’t really start my little project in the way that I’d hoped. But I’ve been to some amazing places thanks to the DJing and now thanks to the photography and I could list a lot of places in Asia I love. The one thing I miss about traveling the most is being in Asia. I always had a great time.

Alan Law:

Cool. I’ve never been, I would love to go some time. I think it’s time for your second music choice then. What’s your second song?

Steve Gerrard:

Okay. Absolute classic, and also the best opening track of any album ever, which is big words. Welcome to the Jungle, by Guns n’ Roses:

 

Alan Law:

Okay. Cool. Okay. And why have you chosen that?

Steve Gerrard:

Guns n’ Roses became a band that kind of changed my life in the late eighties. They’ve since become an absolute mess and I fell out of love with them quite a long time ago. But at that time when that first album, even before that first album came out, I’d been to see them like at least twice. And just that track had such a unique feel to it that I hadn’t heard in any of the things I’d be listening to up until that point. Guns n’ Roses just felt like they still had that punk kind of edge at that time. But they had the classic rock edge taken from Aerosmith influences and things like that. And I just loved everything about that song and that entire album. And I used to have it on a Sony Walkman on a tape, obviously, and just listen to it on repeat pretty much.

Alan Law:

You’ve met Axel Rose, haven’t you?

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, yeah. Actually that year when that album came out, I think I saw them four times in that year. And the first time…actually I’ve met him twice, because the first time we saw him we went down to London. We saw him at the marquee club, which is a tiny club. This is about a few months before Appetite for Destruction came out. And we got there in the afternoon and we met the band because we just went to the venue and the band were outside. And then we actually went record shopping with them. We went to Tower Records in Piccadilly with Guns n’ Roses. And everybody kind of disappeared into Tower Records to go and look for stuff. But Axel didn’t seem that interested and he just sat on the steps in Tower Records and the security asked him to move and he refused. And then he got thrown out.

Alan Law:

Oh, man…you didn’t have a camera then?

Steve Gerrard:

No. Actually, yeah, I did have my camera because obviously years later I got into music photography properly. But I do have some pictures taken on a little camera. I’ve no idea what it was, of guns n’ roses onstage in the marquee. And I have got some pictures of me with guns n’ roses, but they were taken later in the year. So yeah, there you go. And then not long after that…growing up, I had always wanted to go to LA. Like a lot of my favourite bands were from LA, but I always saw, and obviously the whole movie thing with LA, it was always like a place I dreamed of going. And it was, I think the next year after that I went to LA for the first time. Which is where guns n’ roses are from. Welcome to the Jungle is about people arriving in this kind of twisted city where everything goes on. And as we were coming in to land in LA for my first time there – and I’ve been a lot since – I made sure that I put Welcome to the Jungle on my headphones as we’re flying in. So it always reminds me of that time.

Alan Law:

That’s proper cool. Oh, that’s probably cool man. Awesome. Awesome. Cool. Thank you for your second one. We’ll get back to some more in a bit. That’s awesome. Yeah. So then how did you go then from… how did you get your very first wedding; how did that happen?

Steve Gerrard:

So yeah, like I say, I was traveling and taking pictures a lot with the DJing and then I met my wife and then she came to live in England. So for me to keep jetting off around the world DJing felt a bit rude. And the photography, to be honest, I kind of felt like I’d done everything I wanted to do to an extent with the Deejaying. I had some amazing gigs. I got to release an album, which was kind of one of my goals. And then the photography just took all my focus for around that time. So I thought, okay, I’m going to take this a bit more seriously. People were saying I was quite good at it.

Alan Law:

Had they seen your pictures?

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, apparently they’d seen the good ones. But you know, I was still very much a beginner and still learning how to set up my ISO correctly and all that.

Alan Law:

I still don’t know how to do that.

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Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. So, but the music photography came first and I did that for at least two or three years before anybody asked me to do a wedding. And it was actually somebody who used to come and see me DJ who was getting married and had heard that I was getting into photography, asked me to go and shoot their wedding. So well actually before that, one of my friends was going to a wedding and…it was somebody that I didn’t know, but I asked him could he ask them if I could maybe come along and take a few pictures, just I wanted to kind of dip my toe in the water. And he asked them and they already had a wedding photographer of their own booked, but they said it was okay if I came along and kind of stayed out of his way, which I was quite happy to do because I didn’t really know what I was doing anyway. So I did that and then I just gave him the pictures. I didn’t charge them or anything.

Alan Law:

They must have liked them?

Steve Gerrard:

Well this is the thing you see, this is what gave me a little bit of a boost of confidence to do wedding photography, is that I then met my friend again in town one day and he just said, Oh, they really loved the pictures. They liked them more than their wedding photographer’s.

Alan Law:

Oh wow. Yeah, that’s proper Cool.

Steve Gerrard:

So then I was like, oh, maybe this is something that I should look into. And at that point I didn’t know that much about wedding photography at all and most of what I’d seen was pretty bad. But I did see a couple of people whose work made me realise that wedding photography maybe wasn’t quite what I thought it was. One of those people was Jeff Ascough. And then at the other end of the scale completely, there was Jerry Ghionis who was doing more, almost more like fashion photography at weddings, which like I’m not a big fan of that now at all, but it made me realize that you could kind of do whatever you wanted to do at a wedding as long as you could find the people that wanted the same thing that you wanted to do. And yeah, things kind of developed from there.

Alan Law:

Cool, and they developed very well, as well. Was it, like, back in 2006 you shot your first wedding? Was it something like that?

Steve Gerrard:

Well, the one that I did for free, I think it was in 2006 and the first one I actually got paid for was 2007.

Alan Law:

Right. Okay. That’s still a long time. So it’s like 13, 14 years now then. That’s awesome. And you were the very first…your workshop. My very, very first workshop was your workshop, which was a massive, massive thing in my career, you know, massive. I learned so much from that. It was a two day one, wasn’t it, in London? When was that? That was years ago.

Steve Gerrard:

I don’t even know what year it was. I actually did three days because I did a one day music photography workshop and then did two day wedding photography workshop. So it was pretty intense. And that was my first ever workshop in London and last, I think.

Alan Law:

Oh, was it? Oh, but it was so good. I always tell people as well that it was such a great workshop and had a massive impact on my career, man. It was awesome. And if, you know, anyone listening, go on to a Steve Gerrard workshop. It was brilliant, man. It really was.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, I mean I take full responsibility not only for your career, but also for the entire This is Reportage website, which wouldn’t, I don’t think any of that would have happened if it wasn’t for me. So…

Alan Law:

I think it’s true though.

Steve Gerrard:

No, not at all because what you’ve done, you kind of took a few nuggets from what I was talking about and then just ran in your own direction and completely made your own thing out of it. And that’s exactly what I think people should do.

Alan Law:

That’s cool, isn’t it? That is I guess what you want people to do. You don’t want people to go to your workshop and just to be carbon copies. But honestly, I can honestly say that if I hadn’t gone to that workshop, my career wouldn’t have been like it is. It was honestly really massive for me, man. It really was. Cool. Let’s change tack slightly. What is a random fact about you that you think most people would be surprised to know?

Steve Gerrard:

Hmm. Okay. The random fact that I quite often drop in little Facebook comments and things is that I have 11 fingernails.

Alan Law:

Really? Where’s the 11th?

Steve Gerrard:

I don’t think many people want to know that about me at all. That’s probably not the answer you’re expecting. So yeah. Just quickly, I don’t really want to go into too much depth about this answer. When I was a kid, my mom slammed the boot of the car and, accidentally not on purpose, caught my middle finger in the boot of the car and the nail of that finger basically went black and looked like it was about to drop off completely. But then a new nail started growing and who knew that was even a thing, right? A new nail started growing in its place, but then the old one decided it wasn’t dead after all and started growing back. So now on that finger I have two nails, one on top the other.

Alan Law:

Wow. That is, that’s proper cool.

Steve Gerrard:

I think that’s helped a lot in my photography.

Alan Law:

Okay. Let’s move swiftly on from that one.

Steve Gerrard:

Let’s answer it a different way, I think. Oh, I don’t even know what the other answer would be.

Alan Law:

I think that’s good, man. I think a lot of people would maybe be surprised that you’re not a footballer. I guess that’s one of them.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. And if they’d ever seen me play football, then they would realize why I’m not.

Alan Law:

Okay. Let’s go to your third music choice.

Steve Gerrard:

Okay. So this is a song from an album that was released at the end of the eighties, and remains in my top five albums of all time. And the album is Disintegration by the Cure, but specifically it’s a bit of a deep cut on the album. It’s a song called Homesick. So there’s a few kind of hit singles on there, but the album is one of those albums that you need to listen to in its entirety. But every time it gets to this track, homesick, I’m just, I get goosebumps. And I quite like music, a lot of music that’s got a sort of melancholy feel to it anyway, the kind of music that you just want to sit in the dark and kind of vibe out to. And especially if you’re not feeling the best sometimes. Sometimes when you’re not feeling great, you’re listening to melancholy music. It kind of makes you feel better in a weird way.

 

Alan Law:

I know what you mean though.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. And this song, just the opening riff and the whole kind of feel of the song is just the perfect song for that kind of melancholic five-hour moment. I just love it. There isn’t much more I can say about it, but it’s just a song that always gets me. And that’s an album that’s stuck with me and I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of.

Alan Law:

Oh, that’s cool. Cool man. You know, I think I’ve never really listened to the cure at all. I should do.

Steve Gerrard:

It’s weird actually because they obviously have a lot of albums and I don’t really listen to any other album apart from that. I probably should go and delve into some of their other stuff a bit more. But just, whenever I feel like listening to the Cure, that’s my go to.

Alan Law:

That’s cool. And very apt for the moment as well. We definitely need the cure.

Steve Gerrard:

Disintegration. Fitting title.

Alan Law:

Oh man. Yeah. Oh, mental. So a major thing in your life, which I think I’m right in saying, must’ve been, you know, your business and life relocation from England to Canada, you know. How has that been? Was it scary? It must have been a massive decision at the time. What was it like relocating your entire business?

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. So it was definitely scary because it’s a little bit going into the unknown. The fact that we were coming to Evelyn’s hometown made it easier because we had contacts here already. She knew the city, she knew how things worked here. But I didn’t know like how I was going to be received, how like, I already built quite a good reputation as a photographer in the UK. And things were going well. I was getting, again, as many weddings as I wanted each year. So I was pretty much going from that to zero in Montreal. The only people that knew me as a photographer, there was a few photographers here that did know my work already, but that was it. So for the first couple of years that I was here, I was back and forth to the UK all the time because all my weddings were there and there was no… I wasn’t getting any weddings here really for the first couple of years. So it took a while to sort of build things up over here. And I learned a lot about SEO – partly from partl, but yeah, a little bit from you and yeah, I feel like I’m a bit of an SEO guru now and hopefully if you Google Montreal wedding photographer, you will find me on page one. He says.

Alan Law:

Everyone now from their home offices are like, checking that.

Steve Gerrard:

Okay, if everybody does that, Googles it, please go onto my website and spend some time there. Because otherwise Google will think, ah, that’s not what people are looking for. And it’ll actually go the other way.

Alan Law:

That’s SEO gold from Steve Gerrard. That is awesome.

Steve Gerrard:

The amount of time spent on the website and also if you want to get really picky, the last page on my website you should visit is the contact page because that’s, that tells Google that they liked what they saw up until that point so much that they actually decided to get in touch with you.

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Alan Law:

Cool stuff. Nice. So you do more weddings now in Canada though than in England now?

Steve Gerrard:

This is the thing you see. In my head, I was like, the perfect scenario would be if half of my weddings are in the UK and half of my weddings are here in Canada, then that’s just going to be brilliant. I’m going to get a really nice mix of weddings. I’m going to get to travel back to England quite often to stock up on teabags, see my mom and my friends and get some good fish and chips and Freddos, things like that. Important stuff. But actually it’s kind of swung a little bit too much the other way where most of my weddings are here and I’m only getting a couple of weddings a year in the UK, which I kind of would like more but it’s fine. You know, I’m still nicely busy but there’s not as many weddings in this part of the world as there is in the UK. You know, you don’t realize until you move to somewhere like this how many weddings there are in the UK and how spoiled you are and how within a relatively small distance you’ve got just thousands of weddings happening every weekend. Maybe not at the moment.

Alan Law:

Why, is it a lot more spread out where you are though?

Steve Gerrard:

Like the next nearest city to Montreal is Ottawa, that’s two hours away. And there’s nothing in between apart from fields. So we are very spread out. Also in Quebec, especially where I am, a lot of people just don’t get married. They just stay together. They have kids, they build a life together, but they don’t actually get married, especially on the French speaking side of Quebec. So yeah, which is obviously a bit disappointing.

Alan Law:

Are there less photographers though or there are just as many wedding photographers with less weddings or?

Steve Gerrard:

I don’t think there’s as many wedding photographers as there are in the UK, but there’s still way too many.

Alan Law:

Maybe gonna be a bit less after this.

Steve Gerrard:

Well, yeah, the strong will survive I guess, but so yeah, I mean it’s still about trying to stand out from the crowd and develop your own style and educate people to the kind of photography that I do, which is not as common over here. There’s quite a few more traditional wedding photographers here. There’s some amazing wedding photographers in amongst that, but there’s still quite a few that are a bit more traditional in my eyes. Yeah.

Alan Law:

Okay, cool. Okay. It’s time for your fourth music choice, I think. What is your fourth music choice, Steve?

Steve Gerrard:

Okay. I could have picked almost any song by this band because they are and have been my favourite band since they came out since they first started. So you probably already know who I’m going to choose. And that is Pearl jam. So to pick, I didn’t want to pick anything too obvious, but I still wanted to pick a track that when I see them live and I’ve seen them live 19 times.

Alan Law:

19 wow.

Steve Gerrard:

I should have seen them, 21 by now, but two of their concerts got postponed because of the situation.

Alan Law:

Oh No man.

Steve Gerrard:

But the song, Given to Fly is always a highlight when I see them in concert. Part of the thing that I love about Pearl jam not only in their music and the kind of the whole ethos and their views on the world and how proactive they are and how they help the community and they’ve got their own charity and they look after the fans, all that stuff I love about Pearl Jam, but in concert, every night is different. Once I saw them twice in Manchester in two nights and both nights they played over three hours and they only repeated I think three songs on the second one.

 

Alan Law:

That’s quite a catalogue that they’ve got there.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, they have got a catalogue but they actually go out their way to do a brand new set list, each day, dependent on, it’s Eddie Vedder really that does it, depending on the mood of the day and how he’s feeling at that time. And he tries to build a set like just from the moment rather than just having a set list that they use for the entire tour, which some bands do. But it’s a very uplifting song, given to fly. It kind of starts a little bit mellow and then just buils and builds, kind of soars, if you’ll excuse the pun, given to fly, sorry.

Alan Law:

Oh yeah, it’s good.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, but there you go. That’s it. Pearl Jam.

Alan Law:

That’s cool. Is that, like [singing?] Is it that one?

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah.

Alan Law:

Yeah. Yeah. Cool. So I don’t know much Pearl jam, but I bought that single back in the day long time ago. So it’s a great song. Cool. Let’s change tack again now. So let’s talk about specific more about weddings again. So in terms of marketing and getting yourself out there, what’s been the most effective for you in terms of weddings?

Steve Gerrard:

To begin with when I was back in England and just getting going, somebody mentioned to me, like, on one of my courses I was giving, they said you should bring some of what you do in your music photography – and that included not just concerts but like band portraits and things like that – , you should bring some of that into your wedding work. And back then I couldn’t see how those two things related to each other at all and couldn’t see what I could bring from music photography into weddings. But then it kind of made me think, well, maybe I should just do, try and make wedding pictures that I really like rather than try to make wedding pictures that I think couples will like. So there was that element to it. But then I also thought, well, I suppose if you’d taken a picture of a groom with his groomsmen, it’s pretty much the same as taking a picture of a band with the lead singer at the front. The boys, they just want to look cool. And that’s what most bands want to look. They just want to look authentic; authentic and cool. So I kind of slowly but surely started bringing some of that kind of a little bit of an edginess into my wedding photography, I guess. And what I’ve grown to love over time and especially since having kids, which was really much at the beginning of my photography career anyway, is concentrating on relationships and families and the interactions between people, which has nothing to do with music photography, but to try and find a balance there somewhere between what you would call reportage or I think you say Reportage, don’t you?

Alan Law:

I do, yes. But who knows how to say it?

Steve Gerrard:

Yes, there’s a big debate. You should have a big debate on that. I say Reportage. But the reportage side has always been a big part of what I do. But to begin with, it was virtually none of that that really caught people’s attention and sort of, I think the stuff that made people pay attention to me at the beginning was the portaits and some of the quirkier couple portraits and things that I was doing, which I was just doing because I loved that kind of different approach to wedding photography. I took some of the stuff that I was seeing in music magazines when it came to like cool portraits of bands and thinking, okay, how could I not copy that but do something similar that I love, but also would reflect the couple that I was photographing.

Alan Law:

That’s proper cool. And one of your images is pretty famous, I guess, with the cones on the head.

Steve Gerrard:

Well, it’s famous and infamous.

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Alan Law:

Yeah. I’ve been on a workshop where another photographer – who shall remain nameless – was talking about that image but not in a very nice way, as well, man.

Steve Gerrard:

Exactly. And I know exactly who you’re talking about, but the fact that somebody, another photographer on a workshop is using one of my photos… okay, it’s to demonstrate how not to do it. He’s not saying that this is badly taken, it’s my approach that he disagrees with and that’s completely fine. And he and I would never be friends in real life anyway, so I’ve got no problem with it.

Alan Law:

I don’t think he’d be friends with any people in real life.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, that’s true. But yeah, I mean I’m weirdly proud of the fact that somebody took that picture. It had such an impact on them in a negative way that they couldn’t get out of their mind enough that they wanted to vent about it to…

Alan Law:

I think that shows you’ve made it when that kind of thing happens, it really is. Because, you know, it’s so competitive, this market, that you’ve created something, you’ve created loads of things that stands out like that across time as well. It’s a major, major deal.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. And I know it’s not going to be for everybody and that’s absolutely fine. It’s not meant to be for everybody. It’s meant to be for my couples. The couple who we’re talking about with the traffic cones, they used it for their thank you cards and it’s like a half page picture in their wedding album.

Alan Law:

Yeah, that’s proper cool man. It’s proper cool.

Steve Gerrard:

So they loved it. I loved it. Quite a few of the people really liked it. And a lot of people hated it and that just means that I’m not middle of the road and pleasing everybody and none of the music I listen to…let’s go back to the music for a sec; none of the music I listen to would be loved by everybody and some of it would probably be loved by less than 1% of people. So I’ve got no problem with being Diverse. I don’t do it deliberately. I just do what I enjoy, what I enjoy and what I think my couple’s going to enjoy and like.

Alan Law:

And I think that’s absolutely brilliant, honestly. Really. It’s like with weddings, you don’t want to appeal to every bride in the world. You know? You just want to shoot for the people that really get who you are and your clients, obviously must do.

Steve Gerrard:

Exactly.

Alan Law:

Yeah. That’s also a good segue, ‘cause let’s go onto your fifth music choice, I think.

Steve Gerrard:

Okay. So we’re going to change tack quite a bit here because, like I mentioned, later in my life, I kind of discovered electronic music. Up until a certain point, ‘Dance music’ for want of a better phrase, was what I was hearing on radio one. And it was all kind of like, [finally it’s happened], you know, which that’s a great song. But it always felt a little bit kind of throw away to me. And most of the music that I like I think has a bit more substance to it. And that’s kind of why I’m always a bit more authenticity. And then one of my friends who worked in the same club as I worked in Birmingham where we were playing the alternative music, just said have a listen to this. And he lent me a CD, which was the first ever Renaissance mixed CD, which was mixed by Sasha and John Digweed. And I remember I was at home on my own. I was living on my own at the time, I think. And we’re getting back to this listening to music in the dark thing. I remember sitting on the floor in my living room, putting this album on, turning off all the lights, probably had a drink. And the first track on this CD was actually three different mixes of the same track all mixed together. So they kind of, the DJs kind of built the beginning of that mix up using three different versions of the same track. And that track was Song of Life by Leftfield and everything changed in that moment for me. And I’m not, it’s no exaggeration to say that I wouldn’t be where I am literally now, sat on this bed in Montreal if it wasn’t for that track, I don’t think.

 

Alan Law:

Really? In what way?

Steve Gerrard:

Because my view of what dance music was completely turned on its head. I didn’t realize dance music could be this kind of music that just had so much depth and a bit of darkness to it. Like, none of the dance music I had listened to up until that point was in any way dark. It was all happy, happy, you know. Prosecco on the dance floor kind of music. And then this album, and particularly this band, I then went on to kind of discover more of their music, flipped that and made me fall in love with dance music. And within a year I had my decks set up in my house. I was learning to mix records together and I went headfirst into this new kind of music and how to DJ that kind of music. I started collecting the music, obviously, I started going and see the DJs. I started going to see bands like Leftfield and Underworld and people like that. And then my career as a DJ kind of took off and I got to travel the world. I got to meet my wife. Because of my wife, I moved to Montreal and had kids. So yeah.

Alan Law:

That is cool. That is cool. All from that one song.

Steve Gerrard:

And the thing is that was the first ever Renaissance CD. And there’s a track on that CD called Age of love, which is later on in the CD which is a bit of a classic. And years later after hearing that CD and getting into DJ and, and kind of making a bit of a money for myself with the DJing, I actually, me and my friend made a remix of that track, age of love, which was on the first Renaissance CD. And our remix of that track ended up being the closing track on another Renaissance CD.

Alan Law:

Wow. Man, that’s mad.

Steve Gerrard:

Which is pretty amazing.

Alan Law:

Yeah. That’s mental.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. I think that that song had to be in my list.

Alan Law:

That’s proper cool. That’s proper cool. Cool. Okay. We’ll go on to some more music in a bit. You mentioned at the beginning about you’re a movie fan and I think a lot of people around the world have got a bit more time on their hands at the moment. Some of them you know, in lockdown. So do you have any recommendations for? I don’t know, maybe I don’t know about your all-time favourite films or some good films you’ve seen recently, you know?

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, I would struggle to think of my all-time favourite films. I’ve got loads of films that I love, but there’s not many that I would sit down… the film that I watched more than any other is Heathers. Heathers with Christian Slater and Winona Ryder. It’s an old film. I haven’t seen it for ages, but it might not stand the test of time, but I did recently see, Oh God, what is it? The one that just won the Oscar.

Alan Law:

Oh yeah, I forgot though as well. Oh, what is that called? That’s really bad. We both forgotten it.

Steve Gerrard:

I just had it in my head as well.

Alan Law:

About the people working for that family… Everybody listening will be like shouting out the name of the film.

Steve Gerrard:

Oh my God. I just had it in my head and I forgot it. Anyway. That one, that’s a really good example.

Alan Law:

Everybody should watch that. It’s good though, isn’t it? It’s good.

Steve Gerrard:

Have you seen it?

Alan Law:

Yeah, I saw it on the flight to Vegas actually, like two months ago. Yeah, it was really good.

Steve Gerrard:

This is funn we’re talking about a movie that both of us love but can’t remember.

Alan Law:

That’s really bad. Anything else you’ve seen recently?

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. It’s funny…this is the opposite end of the scale from that completely. I’m not a big fan of like, usually if I watch a kid’s movie it’s because we’re trying to keep the kids from killing each other. Or just giving them a bit of a treat. But have you seen Coco?

Alan Law:

Oh yes. I made my wife watch that just last week. It’s amazing.

Steve Gerrard:

It’s so good. Like it’s an animated movie for anybody who doesn’t know it. Disney Pixar movie. It’s beautiful to look at. The whole theme of the story is something that I would completely relate to with the music and all that kind of stuff. I just think it’s absolutely brilliant and somewhat overlooked for a Disney Pixar movie maybe.

Alan Law:

Yes, that’s true.

Steve Gerrard:

And we actually watched it again this week, but the kids didn’t watch it. Me and Evelyn watched it on our own.

Alan Law:

It’s beautiful though. It’s beautiful. Oh, my wife was streaming. You know, it hits you hard.

steve gerrard

Steve Gerrard:

It’s very emotional as well. Yeah, for sure. So I do love that. And I always tell people that I look at The Revenant

Alan Law:

Oh yes. Cool Leonardo DiCaprio, isn’t it? Yeah.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah. Leonardo DiCaprio. And one of the things I would say about the Revenant is, I think I could probably watch it with the sound off because it just looks like a beautiful photo. One after another, after another, after another. The cinematography in that movie is stunning.

Alan Law:

Yeah. Cool. Oh, that’s all good.

Steve Gerrard:

I hate musicals. I know you like musicals.

Alan Law:

I do. I do.

Steve Gerrard:

We tried watching LA LA Land. We tried to watching Rocketman. We made it not even 10 minutes into both because as soon as they break it out into a song, Me and Evelyn just kind of look at each other and go…

Alan Law:

Oh LA LA land is brilliant. I didn’t like the ending, but I can understand the ending, but it’s brilliant. You’re missing out man. You’re missing out on musicals.

Steve Gerrard:

People have told me that and I’m like, maybe I need to give it more than 10 minutes and see if I get roped in. But…

Alan Law:

I love Emma Stone. Emma Stone is awesome as well.

Steve Gerrard:

Oh yeah. I love Emma Stone and I think Evelyn probably loves Ryan.

Alan Law:

Okay, cool. Let’s go onto your sixth music choice. What’s your sixth music choice?

Steve Gerrard:

Okay. This is this is a little bit wedding related because, do you have like a playlist or things that you have specifically for when you’re driving to or from a wedding?

Alan Law:

I don’t, I should. It sounds like a great idea. You do then I guess, do you?

Steve Gerrard:

I don’t necessarily have playlists, but I have certain albums and certain bands that completely get me in the mood for the day. I just find they put me in a positive mood and a kind of go getter kind of mood. So this song is written by a band called the War on Drugs. Do you know them?

 

Alan Law:

I know the name, but I’ve never listened to them to be honest. No.

Steve Gerrard:

Okay. And the song, although I love pretty much everything that they’ve ever done, the song is called Under the Pressure. And it’s just their album and particularly their song, they’re just the best driving music. They’re not the best driving music if you’re stuck in traffic on the M5. If you’re, for you, especially driving through in Cornwall or for me, I’ve been places like driving through the Lake district and where you can properly drive and you have that sense of freedom and you’ve got the beautiful English countryside or wherever you are, this song and that whole album, well, and their last three albums especially, they’re just perfect soundtrack to being out in the open and driving and exploring. But it also just gets you in a frame of mind that I think is good to be in when you’re heading to photograph some of these weddings.

Alan Law:

I should give it a go then.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, but you have to be, you have to listen to it in the right circumstances I think. Don’t listen to it just like in the background while you, well it’s probably quite good editing music actually, but you know, I wouldn’t want people to listen to it for the first time just in the background while they’re tidying the house or something like that. I feel if you listen to it when you’re driving in a car or something like that, then it just works. They are a brilliant band and you know, a little bit under the radar even though they are getting again a lot bigger now.

Alan Law:

Okay. I will check it. It’s funny you mentioned there about listening to whilst editing… I think for my first three years of editing, I was always no music, no YouTube on or anything, you know, just totally in the silence. I don’t know why. Yeah. It’s weird isn’t it? I do listen to music now. Do you always listen to music whilst editing?

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, I always listen to music. Occasionally I do listen to podcasts. There’s this podcast, This is Reportage, have you heard of that?

Alan Law:

That’s quite good one, I think. It’s alright.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, that’s pretty good.

Alan Law:

It was until the latest episode and then it went downhill…

Steve Gerrard:

Are you talking about Dave?

Alan Law:

No. That’s funny. Yeah. What other podcasts do you like?

Steve Gerrard:

I like the Dax Shepard one, the armchair expert. That’s good, funny. No such thing as the fish. You know that?

Alan Law:

I don’t, no.

Steve Gerrard:

Bit of a weird title, but it’s basically the people behind the TV show QI.

Alan Law:

Okay, cool.

Steve Gerrard:

Where they discover random facts and then they just talk about that. And it’s quite often in front of a live audience. So it’s quite funny and entertaining, but you also learn stuff that you can then amaze people with in conversations.

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Alan Law:

That’s always good. Like what Steve?

Steve Gerrard:

Okay. This is my favourite fact actually that I… Some people know it, but a lot of people don’t. And I’m going to ask you if you can get it, which you probably won’t unless you’ve heard it before. There’s only one 10 letter word that you can type using the top row and only the top row of a typewriter. And do you know what that word is?

Alan Law:

I’m looking at my keyboard now. QWERTYUEP?

Steve Gerrard:

No.

Alan Law:

I don’t know. What is it?

Steve Gerrard:

The word is typewriter.

Alan Law:

No ah, clever. Yeah. That’s clever. Talk about editing now. Have you ever tried outsourcing your editing at all?

Steve Gerrard:

I outsource everything.

Alan Law:

Oh do you,yeah? That must work well for you then.

Steve Gerrard:

Well, I say everything. For years I’ve used all kinds of different editing companies trying to find a company that’s consistent and get kind of gets my style. What I want an editing company to do is to just do all the basic corrections. So exposure, colour correction and just that stuff and kind of give it…they usually use my preset, so they come back with, some of them come back looking finished and some of them I just need to do a little bit of sprinkle a bit and magic dust on them with things like gradients and dodging and burning, maybe about a cropping occasionally. You know, getting rid of people’s zits, that kind of stuff. The creative part of the editing I still really like, I enjoy that, I just can’t be bothered with the other stuff. Recently I’ve been using companies that can do all that stuff…I usually send it to them within a couple of days of the wedding, so by a week after the wedding it’s half-edited, so it’s a good starting point and then I get to do the finishing touches on all the images.

Alan Law:

That sounds good, and you’ve found them consistent. Who do you use at the moment, then?

Steve Gerrard:

So….I’m not sure I should tell everybody. No, I’m happy to share really. It’s a company called Oodio; I’m sure some people will know them. And, to be honest, they’ve been brilliant. They’ve been the most consistent out of anybody I’ve ever used, they’re pretty affordable, I think – they’re a lot cheaper than certain other people we could mention. They’re fast; I think I had one that was back within 24 hours.

Alan Law:

Wow. Did you only take ten photos at that wedding?

Steve Gerrard:

Ha, no! It’s usually no more than 5 days until I get it back from them, which is great. The consistency is really good. If you do have a problem, if it’s not quite how you wanted it, if you go back to them, they’ll change it within 24 hours, no charge. And they are reasonably priced. And they’ve also setup a little WhatsApp chat group, where you can send them messages very quickly and they get back to you really quick. But don’t too many people use them because everything will slow down…!

Alan Law:

OK, let’s go to your penultimate music choice then, your seventh music choice?

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, ok, so if anybody knows me or are friends with me on Facebook, they may have heard me a mention a singer called Kathleen Edwards, who is very unknown on sort of global scale. She’s from Canada coincidentally, but I was aware of her back in 2008, I think I first discovered her. And I’ve been a huge fan of hers ever since. Loved everything she put out. For a while I actually got to know her a little bit, because I’d interviewed her for a blog, I’d photographed her a few times, she actually used one of my photographs that I took of her backstage as her promotional shot for a couple of years actually. I just love her music and I think she’s one of those under the radar artists that a lot of people would love but have never heard of. She’s kind of Americana, which is, you know, a lot of acoustic guitar/singer-songwriter stuff, but she can rock out, but she can also be super, super mellow, and I love her lyrics. This song is a song called Asking for Flowers, which is kind of a mid-point for her, it’s not too mellow, but it is quite mellow. It came from when she was on tour, and she got talking to a woman who had just got divorced, and she described the relationship as constantly asking for flowers. It means she was never really being shown the respect or the love she was looking for during their marriage. And Kathleen took that as a title and made this song, which is brilliant. I have had people in my car…she’s got this song called Alicia Ross, which is a really sad song, I won’t go into the details, but I’ve had people in my car when I’ve played that who have been in tears. Anything that can get you that much always has an effect on me. She’s great. She decided she wanted to settle down abit, and try to get an ongoing relationship, instead of fleeting ones that people tend to get when they’re touring the world, so she gave up music and opened a coffee shop in Ottawa, which was called Quitters, because she quit the music business, which she did for years, and now happily she has now got back into music and she’s got a new album coming this year. She hasn’t released anything for a while. A lot of people listening to this podcast will know Bon Iver, and she actually toured with Bon Iver for a while, because she was Justin, from Bon Iver’s, girlfriend for a while. And he produced her last album.

 

Alan Law:

Ah cool man, I’ll have to check her out. Which leads me on to another questions actually: You’ve met lots of famous people, musicians, including Taylor Swift, Eddie Vedder, Liam Gallagher and loads more. Who’s been the most interesting, any particular interesting stories? Big disappointments?

Steve Gerrard:

You know what, people say don’t meet your heroes but I’ve never really had that experience of meeting someone and them being an asshole. A lot of people would expect me to say that about Liam Gallagher but I’ve met him twice and he’s been great. Both times, just really lovley, and genuine, will go out of his way to chat people and stuff. I also DJed with Oasis at Wembley back in 2000, a long time ago.

Alan Law:

Did you, wow!

Steve Gerrard:

Did you not know that? Yeah when they played Wembley stadium, July 21st 2000, and I was their DJ, so I played in between all the bands, onstage to 93,000 people, and I played the afterparty as well. They released that gig as a DVD called Familiar to Millions, which is pretty cool, ‘cause I’ve got that DVD downstairs. They sent me a signed cover after the gig to say thank you.

Alan Law:

Do you miss that time in your life at all?

Steve Gerrard:

I do, yeah. I had some amazing times doing that. I’m not sure it would have carried on if I’d stuck with the DJing. Or maybe I’d be selling out stadiums like Calvin Harris now or something.

Alan Law:

Everything happens for a reason though doesn’t it? You would have much preferred doing this Podcast with me, rather than being a millionaire…

Steve Gerrard:

That’s true. Always look on the bright side of life.

Alan Law:

Let’s go to your final music choice then, Steve Gerrard, what’s your final music choice?

Steve Gerrard:

I’m gonna be a bit indulgent, ‘cause I’m gonna pick a track that we made. Which actually, Dave Scholes, who did your previous podcast, he mentioned it as being his favourite song that we’d done, and he’d managed to get a copy of it. So the track is called Bliss, by a band called Syntax, but we did a remix which is quite different to the original. So it’s kind of like a breakbeat track, and it builds and builds, and it’s got this amazing vocal on – it’s obviously not my vocal as we just did the remix of the track. I’ve never sang on one of our songs. But it’s a brilliant male vocal, and it actually never got released officially, so even now I get people messaging me saying where can I get a copy of the track? And it is on Youtube, so you will be able to embed it. It takes a while to get going; don’t judge it by the first two minutes, ‘cause it was made for DJs, so we always start it off fairly minimal so they can mix the last record into this record, but it’s my favourite thing that we ever made, as far as producers. We used to produce under the name Wrecked Angle, and the day that we finished this track in the studio, I sent it to one of my friends who is quite a well known DJ called James Zabiela – we used to play together a lot – I sent it to him and he included it in his essential mix for Radio 1, which I think is what a lot of people know it from even now, they heard it on that mix. It’s something I’m really proud of as a producer; we didn’t produce tons and tons of music, but that’s one of the ones I still love to this day.

 

Alan Law:

Proper cool. So as well as those eight pieces of music, you can also have a luxury item. If you were marooned somewhere, like a desert island, what would be your luxury item?

Steve Gerrard:

I’ve never really understood this luxury item for a desert island, because most luxury items I would pick would need electricity, and if you’re on a desert island, you probably haven’t got electricity, right? So I’m gonna take a little bit of artistic license. And I’m gonna say my iPhone, which may sound like a bit of an obvious choice, and it’s not because I want to phone the lifeguard to come get me, it’s not because I even want internet, it’s because when I’m not in the house, that is how I listen to music, on my iPhone. And I have got things downloaded so I wouldn’t need the internet. But I can’t imagine not having music for any length of time and not going a little bit insnac.e I think I’d be quite happy on a desert island for a while. I like being near the water, and in the water, and if I can listen to music and I can find something to eat, I think I’d be ok for a while. The ultimate self-isolating.

Alan Law:

And you can also have one book as well. What would be your book?

Steve Gerrard:

OK, I have to make a bit of a confession: I’m not a big book reader. Partly because if I had time to read a book, I’d probably use that time to watch a movie or just listen to music. I don’t think I’ve ever been aquick reader either, so it takes me forever to read a book. So this is the book I’ve chosen, it’s not a book I’ve read yet, it’s by a guy called Edwin Monk, and the book is called How To Build Wooden Boats. That’s the book I would want if I was stuck on a desert island.

Alan Law:

Ha, genius! And if all of your eight pieces of music were in danger of being lost to sea, and you could only save one, which one would you save?

Steve Gerrard:

Alan, it was hard enough to get it down to eight! I’d be so sad to lose all that music that probably Homesick the Cure would fit my mood.

Alan Law:

That sounds a good choice, cool. Man, honestly, we don’t have time for anything else, that went so quickly. That’s been, like, the longest interview but it went so quickly. It was an hour and ten or so, but that’s awesome man, felt like about twenty minutes.

Steve Gerrard:

You’re very easy to talk to, Alan.

Alan Law:

You are, man.

Steve Gerrard:

We’ve had some good conversations in our time. Like whenever I have a wedding in Cornwall, which doesn’t happen very often anymore, but I always make sure to try and catch up with you.

Alan Law:

And it’s lovely. I love seeing you man. But it’s been ages though now. I want to come to Canada, I’ve never been.

Steve Gerrard:

Well it’s definitely your turn to come see me. And I highly recommend, for anyone who’s never been to Montreal, who maybe doesn’t even know much about Montreal that much, I highly recommend it, it’s such a cool city, there’s so many things going on, if you don’t like the cold that much then come in the summer, because summer is brilliant here, there’s tons to do. It gets into the thirties easily in the summer, and there’s always things happening. We have the biggest comedy festival, I think, in the world (well, we normally do, not this year), the biggest Jazz festival, lots of music festivals, food festivals, street art festivals, there’s tons of stuff. Yeah it’s a really cool city, and anyone who listens to this podcast is welcome to crash at my house…

Alan Law:

Ah that’s cool, man, that’s really nice. I’d love to come over and see you there. One day…

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah don’t say one day if you don’t mean it…

Alan Law:

I do mean it, man, I’d love to!

Steve Gerrard:

I have had at least three couples whose weddings I’ve shot, who are from England, come to actually stay with us here at the house. Which is excellent.

Alan Law:

Ah that’s cool. That’s at least three weddings you’ve shot where they’ve liked the photos then.

Steve Gerrard:

At least three, yeah. I’m almost on to double figures now.

Alan Law:

Oh dude that was so good, thank you for sharing, that was just awesome, it’s so great to talk to you.

Steve Gerrard:

My pleasure, thanks for having me. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the podcasts, I haven’t listened to all of them yet, but the ones I have have always been really great, so I look forward to checking out the rest, yeah. Thanks for having me.

Alan Law:

It was an honour to have you and hopefully I’ll see you soon man.

Steve Gerrard:

Yeah, fingers crossed. Bye.

***********************************************************

Steve was so great to talk to; thanks for the fab interview!

You can see lots more of his work on his This is Reportage profile, or his website.

We also have lots more of our wedding photography podcast.

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