Ashley Morrison's Blog

August 30, 2015

Six of these plus a whole bunch of these.

The fun continued at the Breaffy House Resort
One of the many pictures taken at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. as the weather quickly changed and blew everything away with it.

So we headed inside as it started to rain, to shoot the new Healy Mac’s bar…
First pictures taken in Healy Mac’s bar at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. which looked amazing – especially when the sun poured in through the large windows, which it clearly wasn’t anymore.

Anyway, with six of these…
Bowens 3K packs.
.. plus a whole bunch of these…
3K flash heads outside.
.. we were all set to go…
Marie & Claudio in the bar at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. as Marie & Claudio assumed the position that the models would later be in.

So while we waited for everyone to arrive…
In the bar at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. we did some test shots – with Claudio sitting in once again, this time with Mary Lee
Mary Lee & Claudio in the bar at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. and then when everyone else arrived, it was time start shooting for real…
Shooting in the bar at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. and this was the final result…
Healy Mac’s bar at the Breaffy House Resort in the County Mayo town of Castlebar.
.. after a few different outfit changes.

Next up was the restaurant – so with the camera in the ideal position
One of the first pictures taken in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. everyone started to do their thing…
One of the first pictures taken in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. while we did ours…
Shooting in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. hair sorted…
One of the first pictures taken in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. emails checked…
One of the first pictures taken in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. time to shoot…
Shooting in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. and this was the result…
The restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. after we had turned the place totally upside down :)

The large Banquet suite was next…
Shooting in the Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. which after Claudio had lit – with six of these plus a whole bunch of these – the models were given their instruction…
Shooting in the Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. while I checked to see how it looked…
Shooting in the Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. then more instruction…
Shooting in the Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. the result…
The Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. a final check…
Shooting in the Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. and that was it.

Which just left what we had started…
Claudio Salviato looking for the mark on the ground outside the Breaffy House Resort.
.. which I talked about here: Doing whatever it takes.

And so that was it – a big thanks to everyone involved here – from Marie, Claudio & me at ampimage – as it was then back to the Healy Mac’s bar – tired, wet but very pleased with the results – to enjoy six of these plus a whole bunch of these :)

August 29, 2015

Doing whatever it takes.

The brief was very simple – as they just wanted “a shot of the bridal couple at the car with BH entrance in background”.

It was one of many images that they had asked us to take, for them to use over the next few years in their advertising & marketing material – so it was of down to the Breaffy House Resort in the County Mayo town of Castlebar last week, to see what we could do.

The weather forecast wasn’t looking great for most of the week – but it did say we may get some sunshine on the first day.
So after a brief talk about what we would try and shoot – taking into account that the models from Catwalk Model Agency had been booked for the following day – we decided to start with some of the exterior shots first.

The big one naturally being the “shot of the bridal couple at the car with BH entrance in background”.

Easy… except we didn’t have the bridal couple nor weather wise was it looking too good, as you can see here…
One of the first pictures taken at the Breaffy House Resort.
.. as I set the camera up to take the shot.

Still, I had this vision of what it could look like – so after finding the ‘perfect spot’, we moved the car into position and while we waited for the sun to come out, I took some quick shots of Marie & Brenda…
Marie & Brenda outside the Breaffy House Resort.
.. to let everyone see how wonderful it could look – but I’m not sure anyone believed me :)

Anyway, minutes later the sun came out – so they rolled out the Red Carpet…
One of the first pictures taken at the Breaffy House Resort.
.. but something at my end, as you can see here, wasn’t quite right.

One frame after another…
One of the first pictures taken at the Breaffy House Resort.
.. were looking very odd…
One of the first pictures taken at the Breaffy House Resort.
.. and it just seemed to get worst the more images I took…
One of the first pictures taken at the Breaffy House Resort.
.. be it to the card or to the laptop – which I still haven’t got to the bottom off, as I just don’t know what the problem was here.

Nightmare !!

But anyway, thankfully there was one frame that was okay – which was this one…
One of the first pictures taken at the Breaffy House Resort.
.. thank Gee – because it wasn’t long before the clouds rolled in once again.

Anyway, that was a rap – or should I say, I was at least able to say I had got the first part – because as I said before, the models were not arriving until the following day and the weather forecast was rain, rain and then more rain, until late in the afternoon.

And the weather forecast was right too – so it wasn’t until after 5pm the following day, that we managed to get out again to shoot the second part.

So while Claudio tried to find the mark on the ground…
Claudio Salviato looking for the mark on the ground outside the Breaffy House Resort.
.. which had been totally washed away by this stage – I did my best to get the camera back into the same position as the day before.

Then it was up with the lights, just before it started to rain once again…
Claudio Salviato looking for the mark on the ground outside the Breaffy House Resort.
.. as I knew I needed to make it look as if the sun was shinning of them.

The clock was ticking, the light was fading and I (along with the all the gear) was soaked – but it was Showtime…
One of the first images taken of the Bride & Groom outside the Breaffy House Resort.
… as this was it…
Bride & Groom outside the Breaffy House Resort.
.. now or never.

Anyway, here you have it – the final result…
Bride & Groom outside the Breaffy House Resort in the County Mayo town of Castlebar.
.. because we do actually work really hard, to make it look like we didn’t do any work at all – by doing whatever it takes – because as you know, the camera never lies :)

Anyway, just want to say a big thanks to everyone involved here – especially to Brenda and all her staff here at the Breaffy House Resort… from Marie, Claudio & me at ampimage.

August 22, 2015

How hard can it be !

At the end of last year we were invited along to take a look at some of the bedrooms at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club (also known as The K Club), near Straffan in County Kildare, which they were wanting us to possibly shoot sometime.

So we were shown around by their Marketing people, and while Marie talked to them about what all they wanted, who their market was, etc, etc – I took some quick pictures like this…
Recce images of one of the bedrooms at The K Club located near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. just to see what the camera saw, as well as get an idea of what I may have to do later on.

Anyway, last week we were back – but this time we didn’t just come to take some pictures, we were here this time to create some images that they would want to use instead.
So needless to say the wagon was fully loaded, which naturally took some time pack as well as unpack that evening on arrival…
Unloading the Land Rover in front of the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. but anyway, we kicked of the following morning in the Superior bedroom…
One of the first pictures in the Superior bedroom at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. which by 10:47 we were ready to let Orla here…
Superior bedroom at the K Club
.. see this final result…
The Superior bedroom at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. to have it signed-off, so to speak.

Then it was over to the Barton Suite…
One of the first pictures taken in the Barton Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. where Marie worked her magic as usual – while Stuart…
One of the first pictures taken in the Barton Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. well he was obviously tired, so he decided to lie down on the job :)

Still, very pleased with the result…
Barton Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. as was Orla too.

Next up was the Liffey Deluxe suite…
One of the first pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. so it was all hands on board once again…
One of the first pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. to create this image of the sitting room area…
The Liffey Deluxe suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. before swinging the camera around…
At work
.. doing what we do …
One of the first pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. to end up with this…
Liffey Deluxe suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. which once again Orla seemed very pleased with.

The Presidential Suite was next…
One of the first pictures taken in the Presidential Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. which we rearranged…
One of the first pictures taken in the Presidential Suite.
.. styled…
One of the first pictures taken in the Presidential Suite.
.. and then lit to look like so…
The Presidential Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. to show both the sitting room area and the bedroom this time – before calling it a day…
Outside the Presidential Suite
.. and enjoying a glass of wine outside.

Next morning I told Marie how I’d caught a fish this big
The Viceroy Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. or maybe I was showing her a possible camera angle :)

Either way, it was the huge Viceroy Suite next…
One of the first pictures taken in the Viceroy Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. were Marie as usual worked her magic…
One of the first pictures taken in the Viceroy Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. while Stuart and I worked on the lighting, to end up with this image…
The Viceroy Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. before a quick change…
Creating the Bridal Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. to create the Bridal Suite…
The Viceroy Bridal Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. which it seems, it is also regularly used for.

Pretty Wow !!

Anyway, next up was the Liffey Suite…
One of the first pictures taken of the Liffey Suite.
.. which was one of the bedrooms we had taken pictures off before (which I showed above) – and so after the team had done their thing, this was the end result…
The Liffey Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. as Stuart hung out the window to fill the room with beautiful light.

Next morning we started in Suite 6…
One of the first pictures taken in Suite 6 at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. which thankfully was on the ground floor, as it was bucketing down outside – so lights up and rain coats on…
One of the first pictures taken in Suite 6 at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. as we knew we had to be quick here…
Suite 6 at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. to capture this suite’s U.S.P, which we felt the waiter highlighted to perfection.

The last room was dark due to it raining outside…
Bedroom Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
… and much smaller than the others too – so please wait outside…
Bedroom Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. while I have a look…
Pre-viewing the final results.
.. at this the final bedroom image…
Bedroom Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
… before packing-up and loading-up…
Packing up to leave.
.. tired but very happy – that we had actually made it look, as if we hadn’t done anything at all here, besides just take some quick pictures of what happened to be there, with a really good camera.

Because, like how hard can it be, to shoot a few bedrooms :)

Anyway, from Marie, Stuart & me – we hope we have made you want to stay at The K Club – as that was our goal here when we creating images – which is a truly amazing place in the beautiful County of Kildare, as you can clearly see.

August 7, 2015

Nestled in the Sperrin Mountains.

Near Limavady in County Londonderry, is where Kim & Derek’s barn extension can be found – and so that’s where we were a few weeks ago…
Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension nestled in the Sperrin Mountains near Limavady in County Londonderry.
.. to produce some images which we were hoping an Editor from one the leading interior magazines would want to use.

So it was all hands on board – as I set up the camera, Marie set about doing her thing…
First picture taken in Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension nestled in the Sperrin Mountains near Limavady in County Londonderry.
.. and Claudio, who had jointed us for the day, set up the lights outside.

Fifty-five minutes later, it was time for a coffee break…
Kim Loughery in her barn extension near Limavady in County Londonderry.
.. as I asked Kim to smile :)

From there we worked our way up through to the kitchen at the back, which as you can see was looking pretty good as is…
First picture taken in kitchen of Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension in County Londonderry.
.. and so therefore only needed the lights moved a bit out of frame, to create this image…
The kitchen in Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension in County Londonderry.
.. before returning back down to the sitting room area here…
First picture taken of the sitting room in Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension in County Londonderry.
.. to capture it from the other direction.

Which in the end, I reckon was my favourite image of the day…
The sitting room in Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension nestled in the Sperrin Mountains near Limavady in County Londonderry.
.. as it surprised everyone, because it wasn’t how any of us had really pictured it beforehand.

Anyway, with Claudio’s help throughout the day and with all that Kim & Derek had done here, we seemed to fly through this one – and produced, what I felt, was some great images too.

The final one being that of the exterior image…
Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension nestled in the Sperrin Mountains near Limavady in County Londonderry.
.. which I had to wait for, as the sun really only ever hits the front of the barn in the late afternoon.

Still a beauty, as far as I was concerned – because it sure wasn’t what I would have expected to see nestled in the Sperrin Mountains – especially inside what once was an old barn, which clearly it is no longer.

Fantastic job Kim – and Derek too – and so all that is left to say, is thank you once again for inviting us in, from Marie, Mandi, Claudio and me – who all loved what you did here on your family farm – and so it came as no surprise to get a ‘yes please’ from an Editor so quickly – so we will keep you posted on that, once we know more.

August 6, 2015

Working hard or hardly working !

Near the seaside town of Portaferry in County Down, is where you will find this thatched cottage…
Jill and David Crawford's thatched cottage near the town of Portaferry in County Down.
.. which belongs to Jill & David Crawford.

“Picture perfect” as they would say – but nevertheless Marie here…
Marie in the sitting room of Jill and David Crawford's thatched cottage near the town of Portaferry in County Down.
.. still had to work on the finishing touches, as there is often a difference between something looking good to the eye and looking good for the camera.

So while I worked on the lighting, Marie kept a close eye on what was in front of the camera…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jill and David Crawford's thatched cottage near the town of Portaferry in County Down.
.. and between us, this was the result…
The sitting room in Jill and David Crawford's thatched cottage near the town of Portaferry in County Down.
.. which when done well, we believe shouldn’t look as if we did anything at all.

Which in itself, can sometimes causes problems, especially when it comes to quoting – because people often feel that I should be able to produce lots of images like this in a day – whereas if the true be told, each shot sometimes takes hours to produce and then there is the pre-planing part too, especially at Marie’s end – as things like flowers, throws and cushions, etc, just don’t happen to appear out of thin air on the day :)

Anyway, I guess that is why I often like to show our ‘starting point’ or the first image captured – like here…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Jill and David Crawford's thatched cottage near the town of Portaferry in County Down.
.. because then that kind-off lets people see what all was done – which in this case, was probably a lot more than anyone would think – but anyway, here is the final result…
the kitchen in Jill and David Crawford's thatched cottage near the town of Portaferry in County Down.
.. which is all ‘The World’ will see, when it’s featured in the various magazines over the next few years.

As that’s our goal: to produce a set of images that either someone will want to use a lot or that a lot of people will want to use or even both if we can manage it – because the more our work is used, the more we will earn – or at least that’s the theory :)

Anyway, delighted with this one, so a big thanks to Jill & David for inviting us in and we will keep you posted on when it will appear next year.

From Marie, Mandi & me – who actually do work every hard, to make it look like we didn’t do any work at all ;)

July 31, 2015

No ordinary house will make it.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 9:54 am
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On the outside, it looked pretty much like every other house in the street…
Deborah & Graham Swail's semi-detached house in the Belmont area of Belfast.
.. but inside, as far as we were concerned, it was very different – and so that’s what we wanted to capture – as it’s what Deborah & Graham had done inside, that resulted in us getting in touch with them.

“One in a million” as they would say – because that is basically all that will ever make it into a national magazine.
So even to be asked if you would be up for it, means your house must be pretty special – never mind an Editor later saying they would like to feature it – because it seems that 95% or more of the homes they are offered, are turning down – according to a very good article which Anthony Harrison wrote about here, on How to get your house into a magazine.

Which is something we do have to remind ourselves of every now and again, because it’s not as easy as it looks.

Anyway, we loved what Deborah & Graham had done here…
First image taken in the sitting room of Deborah & Graham Swail's semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. and so when the Editor of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine asked if we had anything on file that would suit one of their up & coming issues, i.e. had fires lit inside – we replied “Just give us a day or two” :)

So with the help of Marie and Stuart here…
Marie and Stuart in the living room of Deborah & Graham Swail's semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. who also assume the positions which I later shot Deborah & Graham in here…
Deborah & Graham Swail in the living room of their semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. after they returned from work – we lit the fires, straighten the cushions and did our thing – to end up with images like this…
The sitting room in Deborah & Graham Swail's semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. as well as take lots of details of things like this…
In the sitting room of Deborah & Graham Swail's semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. to help complete the story – that this was no ordinary house – especially to be found in Belfast.

Anyway, both Deborah & Graham seems to enjoy the whole thing – as the ‘Craic’, as they would say here in Ireland, was good…
Deborah & Graham with Marie in the kitchen of their semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. as were the results too…
The kitchen in Deborah & Graham Swail's semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. thanks to everyone’s hard work.

So this one came as no surprise in the end, when the Editor of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine finally said ‘Yes please’ to it – but then again, we wouldn’t have ask them if they would be up for it nor would we have submitted it to the Editor, if we hadn’t been 95% sure in the first place – because that would have been a total waste of everyone’s time.

So a big thanks to Deborah & Graham for inviting us in – and congratulations too for making it into 25 Beautiful Homes magazine – where you will be able to see the rest of the images we took and read more about what all they did, etc, later on this year.

From Marie, Mandi, Stuart & me at ampimage.com

July 28, 2015

Congratulations!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will just let the pictures here of my daughter, Chloe…
Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony in July 2015.
.. and her friend Vicky…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony in July 2015.
.. graduation ceremony at the University of Northampton speak for themselves – as I recorded them throughout the day having fun…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. and being very much part of the iPhone & Selfie generation…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. which is how I and no doubt they will remember it…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. for years to come…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. as they will have lots of pictures…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. to remind them…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. of their big day..
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. and the proud smiles…
Chloe Morrison with her Mum and sister at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. which was recorded from every angle…
Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. right up to the end.

So congratulations Chloe, from a very proud Dad…
With my daughter Chloe in front of the Congratulations sign at the Royal & Derngate during the University of Northampton's Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. who enjoyed every minute of it too.

July 27, 2015

The Safe House.

From the road, it may not look like it’s much more than a few old barns on the top of the hill – however, if you go around to the back, then you will start realise it’s a lot more than that – as you can see here…
Dominic & Louise McGuane's renovated farmhouse called The Safe House near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.
.. which is the renovated farmhouse of Dominic & Louise, which they call ‘The Safe House’ near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.

And inside – with the help of Swiss Architect, Jean Claude Girard – well as you can see here…
First shot taken in Dominic & Louise McGuane's renovated farmhouse near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.
.. it wasn’t quite what one would expect to see neither in this part of the world.

Anyway, after Marie I had done her thing and I had done mine – we were ready for our first main shot of the day, which was of Louise and her little Jack Russell dog…
Louise McGuane in her renovated farmhouse called The Safe House near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.
.. in the living room – before turning around towards the dining and kitchen area…
Marie in Dominic & Louise McGuane's renovated farmhouse near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.
.. which really did look pretty amazing…
The living room in Dominic & Louise McGuane's renovated farmhouse called The Safe House near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.
.. as this huge window…
Marie in the dining area of Dominic & Louise McGuane's renovated farmhouse near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.
.. the largest I believe in any home in Ireland – and that huge amount of white, did make it feel very spacious – as well as make even this large dining table look quite small…
The dining area in Dominic & Louise McGuane's renovated farmhouse called The Safe House near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.
.. and then there was the stairs and kitchen…
First image taken of the stairs in Dominic & Louise McGuane's renovated farmhouse called The Safe House near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.
.. which believe it or not, required me having to use every light I had with me, as I wanted to draw your eye through the image…
The stairs in Dominic & Louise McGuane's renovated farmhouse called The Safe House near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.
.. because that sure doesn’t look like what one would expect to see inside a few old barns on the top of a hill, especially over on the west coast of Ireland.

Anyway, impressive to say the least – as was the rest of the place – but to see that you will have to wait for it to appear in a magazine, as this is what I’d also call a Safe House for us to shoot :)

So a big thanks to both Dominic & Louise for inviting us in to their Safe House – and we will keep you posted once we know more.

From Marie & me @ ampimage.com having fun in County Clare.

June 28, 2015

Creating the dream.

Our latest road trip took us to this wee place…
Maggie & Robert Graham's 18th century Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. which was a beautifully restored traditional Irish thatched cottage, by Maggie & Robert Graham, near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.

Anyway, having already seen images for what it looked like inside…
Recce picture of the sitting room in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. Marie came well prepared to transform it, into the sort of thing you would see in a magazine – since that was our goal.

So just before we left, she emailed me to say:

Have just taken an old dust sheet out of the tumble drier to cover up the sofa …… Crumpled as hell and I love it :)

I will either fail miserably with this wee place – or it will be my finest hour !!!!!! :) :) :)

And sure if nothing else, it will be a lovely couple of days in a beautiful part of the world :)

And so she did, as you can see in the first picture I took…
First picture taken of the sitting room in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. which when lit as if the sun was shining in, ended up looking like this…
The sitting room in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. after the fire was lit and we played around with the re-positioning of a few items.

To the right was this little room…
Recce picture of a bedroom in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. which once again Marie transformed…
Bedroom in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. as I as filled the room with some sun light – and upstairs was the master bedroom…
Recce picture of the master bedroom in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. which is actually were we started – so while Marie sorted out the bedding, etc…
First picture taken of the master bedroom in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. I once again worked on the lighting – and the result was this…
Master bedroom in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. which we were both very please with.

As Marie would often say to clients:

Photography and Styling go hand in hand – if they sing from the same hymn sheet – voila.
If they don’t – then it can be a loooong and very unproductive day !!!!

Which is very true – because without her, I honestly won’t have known what to do here…
Recce picture of the kitchen in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. but between us, we just started to sing…
One of the first picture taken of the kitchen in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. and so while Marie worked on the styling, I worked on the lighting…
One of the first picture taken of the kitchen in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. and before you know it… voila…
The kitchen in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. another masterpiece had been created :)

Wow !!!!

I truly didn’t think we’d get anything so good when I saw the first cut :)

It was when the vintage white linen went on the table that it suddenly came together.

And so it when throughout the day – which just left the outside to shoot, which we completed the following morning as the sun came out to play…
Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. to complete the dream.

Which is basically what we do, when it comes to creating images which we are hoping others will want to use, be it for a feature in their magazine or for advertising.

Selling the Sizzle, as well as showing Steak :)

Anyway, the reaction to date has been…

“Wow and indeed Wee!!!!!absolutely stunning. You must be v proud of having pulled something of this level off!! Also very special that a wee thatch cottage is styled so uniquely!!! Big pats all round!!!”

.. from Stuart who has assisted us on may such shoots.

From Janet…

“Now Marie – Wow! Triple wow! I am totally blown away by what you have achieved here. Seriously, that is astounding!!!!

You have made a totally run down cottage into a MOST desirable rental!!! You have played to its strengths – it’s rustic/shabbiness and given it charm by the bucket load…and all without even a lick of FB paint – Hee hee!!! Your wee sis is seriously impressed. You have excelled yourself Madam!!! Blimey no wonder you’re tired Marie. You are one talented lady “

.. who’s varies properties we have shot over the years, including one of my all time favourites: Jasmin near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.

And from Claudio – who we have recently been working with quite a bit on our latest hotel work – after seeing the first of the preview images which Marie sent him:

“OMG!!

wow… fair play to both of you!!
I’m not too sure I’m looking at the same house here lol!!

You have done a beautiful work setting up this room, your experience and vision really comes through in a house like this.
I don’t think Ashley could have done anything here without you…
I can see his sunshine light coming through but it’s the décor of the room and your abilities of hiding a pretty average looking furniture by creating a luxury look in a very simple way…
honestly Marie, well done!!

thanks also for forwarding on your before images.. a great example of been able to see past what’s in front of you!! Your determination has paid off!

looking forward to the rest now!!”

So there you have it – creating the dream – by Marie & me near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal :)

June 21, 2015

How much does it cost to take a picture ?

That’s often the first question a client will ask.

Well the answer to that would obviously depend a number of things, some of which one may be able to estimate beforehand, especially if it was something that you could totally control. However, when it involves shooting a subject where many things are possibly beyond your control, like the weather for example, then it’s not so easy.

Charge for ‘your time & expenses’, is often what you will hear other photographers say – but how much is that really worth to your client, if at the end of the day, they are not happy with the results and don’t really want to use any of the images that you have taken ??

In other words, is one image which may have only taken you a second to capture – which they do actually want to use and use a lot – worth more to them than 1000 images they don’t want to use at all ?
And if it’s an image they want to use a lot, rather than one which they don’t want to use very much, is that then worth more to them or is it still only worth the same amount as the time it took you to take it ?

Questions I’ve asked myself many times over the years, as well as asked other like minded photographers too – as the difference between being asked and not being asked, often comes down to how one answers these type of questions… right at the start.
Because if you get it wrong, then you may not get the opportunity to show what you can do or you may not be able to afford to do what you would like to do, if you had the money to do whatever it takes.

Which brings me to this latest assignment which I did this week – which on the face of it, sounded liked an easy one – as it was just a couple of exterior shots the client wanted taken.
Sure anyone could do that – so why he asking me ? – because it’s not like I’m the cheapest guy in town or that I even live in a town close by – quite the opposite in fact.

Anyway, according to Wiki:

A photographer [the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning “light”, and γραφή (graphê), meaning “drawing, writing”, together meaning “drawing with light”] is a person who takes photographs.

And so that was what I had be asked to do last week, i.e. take some pictures of their castles.

Having recced them both the week before – and keeping in mind that it rains here in Ireland, over 250 days a year – I knew it was all going to be about timing, i.e. being in the right spot at the right time – as that’s what exterior shots are all about.

Anyway, the first was Bellingham Castle in the heart of the medieval village of Castlebellingham in County Louth – which I knew needed to be an early morning shot – ideally ‘first light’ as it’s know in the business. So was up at 3am to be sure (to be sure) I was on location and in the ‘right spot’ to capture that perfect moment.

At 5:30am it looked like this…
One of the first images taken at around 5:30 in the morning at Bellingham Castle in the heart of the medieval village of Castlebellingham in County Louth.
.. by 6:30am it looked like this…
One of the images taken at around 6:30 in the morning at Bellingham Castle in the heart of the medieval village of Castlebellingham in County Louth.
.. and by 8am it was a rap…
Bellingham Castle in the heart of the medieval village of Castlebellingham in County Louth.
.. as they would say in the Movie business – as even their Irish Wolfhound posed to perfection around about then too :)

Then it was over to Cabra Castle outside the town of Kingscourt in County Cavan – where they had closed off the parking area in the front of the hotel, to ensure it would be ready for me to shoot at 2pm – which was the time I reckoned the light would be ‘just right’ here.

So at 1:45pm it was all hands on board as the light came around onto the front of the Castle…
Setting up the shot at Cabra Castle outside the town of Kingscourt in County Cavan.
.. while I took the first few shots from the Cherry Picker they had hired – and by 2pm it was all over…
Cabra Castle outside the town of Kingscourt in County Cavan.
.. due to perfect origination and preparation by Howard and his staff here – as well as their Irish Wolfhound too of course, who posed like a pro :)

And so that was it for the day – lots of pictures taken but only 2 images created, to tell the story using light – which in this case, was all done by the Big Guy up above.

So how much does it cost to take a picture ?
Well the answer could be ‘not very much’ – but if you were to change the question to: ‘How much would it cost to produce some images that I would actually want to use and use a lot’ – well then the answer to that could be very different, as that may be a lot harder to achieve.

Anyway, I must have done something right here, as they do want to use these images for at least the next five years in multiple media throughout the world, so a great result for everyone in the end – as they got what they wanted and I achieve what I wanted too :)

Cheers
Ashley
www.ampimage.com

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