Photography by the numbers

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  • Countdown to Christmas: photographer Meredith Andrews (Photograph supplied)

    Countdown to Christmas: photographer Meredith Andrews (Photograph supplied)

  • Colourful calendar: Meredith Andrews’ 2016 Adventgram (Photograph supplied)

    Colourful calendar: Meredith Andrews’ 2016 Adventgram (Photograph supplied)

  • Dinner date: chocolate chip pancakes for December (Photograph supplied)

    Dinner date: chocolate chip pancakes for December (Photograph supplied)

  • Six of the best: A sushi supper is number six on the calendar (Photograph supplied)

    Six of the best: A sushi supper is number six on the calendar (Photograph supplied)

  • Number one: Nature is another source of inspiration

    Number one: Nature is another source of inspiration


Tis the season for giving and Meredith Andrews loves to share.

The photographer faithfully posts her work on Instagram and December is a particularly busy month.

It is her fourth year compiling an Instagram advent calendar in which everyday objects form the date. For example, a pancake is shaped into a 3 and teacups into an 8; a sushi roll is manipulated to illustrate December 6.

The shots are an amalgam of her newest photography interests, travel and food. The numbers are posted on Instagram as well as a dedicated Adventgram page.

She got the idea from David Sykes, a photographer she worked with in London.

“When I assisted him, I was bored by still life,” she confessed.

“I’m a portrait photographer so it was something I didn’t like doing, but over the last five years I’ve become interested in shooting food, still lifes and flat lays.

“He actually coined Adventgram, but he finds the numbers. If he’s at 10 Downing Street on the 10th [of December] he’ll take a picture of that.

“I adapted it and made it my own. It’s a fun creative daily challenge that takes me out of my normal.”

A regular beachcomber, Ms Andrews collects plastic and compiles it into colourful flat lay photography.

“I’m chaotic in a lot of ways, but I’m overwhelmed with the need to make them orderly. That’s how these come about. I have a huge stockpile of plastics that are all sorted out by colour or whatever they are — toothbrushes, lighters.”

She does the same with plants and flowers.

“Moving back to Bermuda [from Sweden] three-and-a-half years ago, I was so inspired by the botanicals, I would be compelled to make them.

“I’ll go around the garden and pick all the pink flowers or the yellow flowers or whatever I’m doing that day.”

The photographer has taken her best botanical composites and made them into trays. The four designs are for sale at Urban Cottage and 1609 Design.

“I showed the flowers at the Bermuda Society of Arts two years ago and they work quite well as prints, but I started to think about what could work as an object,” she remembered.

“Something people could take if they were visiting the island or makes a nice gift.

“I may develop it and make a physical calendar out of them. I have lots of plans in this area that I’m going to roll out in the next year. Watch this space.

“It’s a healthy alternative to being in front of the computer. The Adventgram was a natural evolution of that.”

It also helps her get in the Christmas spirit.

Her daughter Freya, eight, likes the numbers — her favourite is the chocolate chip pancakes on December 3. Ms Andrews likes the sushi roll she chose for December 6.

Last year, she almost missed December 10.

“It was [Freya’s] birthday party. It was very busy — a sleepover with lots of little girls. I realised, it was about nine o’clock at night and I was making ice cream sundaes, that I hadn’t done my number 10 yet.”

The result was a chocolate sauce number in melted ice cream.

She shoots most of the images on her iPhone.

“They’re are all done in situ,” she said. “If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to message me on Instagram.”

Follow along on Instagram: @adventgram

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Published Dec 18, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 17, 2017 at 10:08 pm)

Photography by the numbers

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