Ashley Morrison's Blog

August 15, 2016

Only Bedrooms.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 4:57 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Which just happen to be the most important images of them all, especially for many hotels these days – as that is the image that their guests will be looking at, when they go to click on that ‘Book Now’ button on their website.

And since that one image may represent one of many similar type of rooms that are available, then multiple it’s value to them by the number of rooms, times the number of days in the year, times the number of years that they will want to use that image – and you will start to see why that image is a very important to them to get right.

So it may only be another image of a room to me, but to them, it’s may in fact be a lot more than that – and so that is what I try to keep in mind when talking to my clients beforehand, about what the fee would be for providing them with an image to meet their usage requirements.

Because taking a picture of a bedroom is easy – in fact, when we would first go to see them, I would often shoot most of their hotel in less than 30 minutes – and produce images like this…
Recce image of one of the bedrooms in Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. so if it was just some pictures that they needed taken, then there you go, job done Wink

Anyway, 30 years of experience – many of which I worked alongside some of the top advertising companies in the country – means that I know that it’s often more than just a picture of the room they need, it’s an image to help them tell a story or even sell a dream that they need, and it’s often an image that they will want to use not only in various media but also for years to come too, so needs to be just right.

Because there may be a lot of money riding on the back on this image or set of images as is often the case, so to undervalue how important these images are to them, could be a very costly mistake for everyone if they aren’t just right.

So the question is: what does one have to do to ensure that these images (which are in fact very important to them), are ‘good enough’ to meet their needs over the years to come ?

Anyway, below you can see what we recently did – which I will let the pictures speak for themselves – because as they say: “a picture is worth a 1000 words” – so enjoy the story they tell Wink

Unloading the Land Rover outside Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Unloading the Land Rover outside Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

First up was the Deluxe Room…
One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedrooms at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedrooms at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

.. and the final result…
Deluxe Room bedroom at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. to show their Deluxe Room.

Next was the Deluxe Room with a balcony…
One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedrooms at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedrooms at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. and the final result…
Deluxe Balcony bedroom at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. to show their Deluxe Room with a balcony.

Next was the Twin Room…
One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedrooms at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedrooms at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. and the final result…
Twin Room bedroom at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. to show their Twin Room.

Next was the Family bedroom…
One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedrooms at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.

Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. and the final result…
The family bedroom at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. to show their Family Room.

And so it when over the next few days, as we worked our way through their different rooms and suites – between a bite to eat…
Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. few pints of Guinness…
Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. doing one make-up…
Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. straightening the curtains…
Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. fluffing the cushions…
Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. positing the models…
Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. and trying to get the camera to work…
Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. before gathering around the laptop to have one final look…
Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. at images like this…
The Presidential suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. to show the bedroom area in their large Presidential suite.

So it may have been only bedrooms that we had been asked to shoot here, but these 2 trolleys…
Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. should tell you how important we felt that these images were to them.

And as we posed afterwards for a group shot in the rain…
Behind the scenes at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath..
.. we were “Happy, happy, happy” as I would say – because we knew that we had given it our all.

And their comments after seeing the final results:

“Ashley,
I think they are just fantastic. I am so pleased with them. Thank-you. “

Gráinne Ross, Managing Director.

“Hi Ashley,
Thank you so much, they look great! I’m really happy with them.
Thanks again. “

Rosalie Delany, Director of sales & marketing.

Which at the end of the day, is really what counts – as praise is bread to an artist smile..

August 4, 2016

Happy ending

Is the title of our latest published work in the September 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 78 to 79 in the September 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Amy and Pierre-Emmanuel de Leusse's stone-bulit 18th-century cottage called 'La Petite Maison' on the edge of the charming village called Saint-Orens-Pouy-Petit near Condom.
.. on pages 78 to 79 – featuring Amy and Pierre-Emmanuel de Leusse’s stone-bulit 18th-century cottage called ‘La Petite Maison’ on the edge of the charming village called Saint-Orens-Pouy-Petit near Condom.

“Realising a long-held dream, Amy and Pierre-Emmanuel de Leusse discovered the beauty of rural life.”

Which I talked about shooting here: “Day 10” – 6 years ago.

So just want to say Congratulations to you both here…
Amy de Leusse and Pierre Emmanuel outside their house called 'La Petite Maison' which is nestled in the heart of the Gers countryside on the edge of the charming village called Saint-Orens-Pouy-Petit near Condom.
.. for this very happy ending – as it did take us quite a while too, for our dream to come true Wink.

However, a Tall order – which is the title of our other one in this issue…
Pages 111 to 113 in the September 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Karen Dyer's 19th-century farmhouse near the village of Greyabbey in County Down.
.. on pages 111 to 113, featuring Karen Dyer’s 19th-century farmhouse near the village of Greyabbey in County Down – was one we had to wait even longer for.

“Karen Dyer had a grand vision for her family farmhouse, but she had a mountain to climb to make it a reality.”

So I also want to say a big Congratulations to Karen and her daughter Beth here…
Karen Dyer with her daughter Beth in the sitting room of their farmhouse near Greyabbey in County Down.
.. for this very tall order – as after all these years I had almost given up on this becoming a reality too Wink.

In other words: Way to go to you all, for this very happy ending to a very tall order – from Marie, Mandi & me – who didn’t give up on our dreams neither smile

July 26, 2016

“Stop looking at the clock”

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 2:24 pm
Tags: , , , ,

“And start looking at what is actually in front of you, because you are in fact living the dream” – is what I said to my team here, as they were trying very hard to speed things up during this shoot.

Because let’s face it, life really doesn’t get much better than this…
Claudio Salviato on the balcony of the Presidential suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. or at least not for me it doesn’t – as I simply couldn’t afford to even dream of staying at a place like this…
The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. never mind stand on the balcony of their Presidential suite.

So enjoy the moment while it lasts…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. because I can assure you, I was in no hurry to leave Wink

Anyway, the last image was to show that balcony of the Presidential suite and the view of their gardens and golf course – which the day before we talked over with Susie, as we tried to find the best angle…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
..which in the end I reckoned was from the window near the top of the stairs…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. so worth taking a shot of…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. because I would rarely not use a tripod…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. even when working with the 503.

Anyway, other than were it was taken from…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. it was a pretty straight forward shot…
The balcony and view from the Presidential suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. to complete the dream, of what The K Club has to offer it’s extra special guests.

And so it was now time to look at the clock – as we packed…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. because I’m trying to workout how long it will be before we are back here again Wink

July 25, 2016

The master bedroom in the Imperial Suite.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 3:22 pm
Tags: , , , ,

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words – so when trying to produce an image that someone else will want to use, especially if it’s one for them to use to help them tell their story – or in this case, say to their guests: this room would be ideal for you – then I would often question them about who that person is.

Male, female, young, old, business person, bride, tourists, etc, etc – because I want that person to feel that this would be prefect for them too – in fact, I’d really like them to feel that are already there and this is already their room Smile

Okay, I may be getting a bit carried away here – but that is often like my Goal, i.e. to make the viewer feel that they are already there and this is what they are looking at.

And so I have spent the last 30 years trying to produce those type of images – “Just for you”, as we would often say – and so knowing who ‘you’ (the viewer) is, would therefore be important for me and my team to know… hence the questions about the client’s target market, etc, etc.

Because everything in the image, as well as how it’s lit, composed, framed, etc, etc – is all part of the story that we are writing a 1000 words about, when we take a picture or produce and image or even create one, to say what it is that we are wanting to say to the viewer, i.e. you Wink

And so with that in mind, the fun begins – which is basically what happened here, during this shoot of the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite…
One of the first pictures taken of the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. which once lit and styled…
One of the first pictures taken of the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. had us both looking at the scene here…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club.
.. in no time at all – thinking yes that looks pretty good
One of the first pictures taken of the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. so it was time to ask Susie to come have a look.

Arms folded – as you can see here in Claudio’s behind the scenes shot…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club.
.. which isn’t a good sign Wink

Seriously though, Susie really did like it – however, it was this question that I kept asking, about who this person was here…
Detail.
.. because may be it should be this person…
Detail.
.. or even this person…
Detail.
.. or would it be this…
Detail.
.. or this…
Detail.
.. or this…
One of the first pictures taken of the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. which is when she finally said ‘yes’ – like that’s the word I have been look for, to describe this ideal person, who… would want to say in this room, could afford to say in this room, would normally stay in this room .. would stop and look at my picture Smile

Yes, it was a bit like going shopping with one of my daughters, who would tell me that she knew exactly what she wanted, once she would see it Wink

Anyway, that was the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite done – so 4 down and only 1 to go.

July 24, 2016

The Master Bedroom.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 1:09 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

In the Presidential suite, with it’s four-poster bed was next up…
One of the first pictures taken in the bedroom of the Presidential suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. and so while Dianne did a spot of ironing…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club.
.. Claudio once again put a light outside…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club.
.. and I took a quick shot of the kids…
One of the first pictures taken in the bedroom of the Presidential suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. to see if that sort of thing would work.

Which we decided against in the end, as Susie wanted to show that this as the parent’s room or master bedroom in this suite, as it had another bedroom on the other side of the living room that we had just shot.

So we thanked the children for their time, as they had already been amazing – and then Claudio put up another light outside…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club.
.. which as you can see here…
One of the first pictures taken in the bedroom of the Presidential suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. lit up the bed beautifully.

Love it – and almost there I reckoned, as I stood back to let Dianne have a look…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club.
.. while the swear ran down my back, due to this amazing weather that we were getting – which naturally we complained about, as we are just not used to it here in Ireland – so there is just no pleasing us sometimes when it comes to the weather Smile

Anyway, she wasn’t happy neither at what she saw on the screen here…
One of the first pictures taken in the bedroom of the Presidential suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. and Claudio agreed with her – so I was out numbered 2 to 1 Wink

But they were right – as this was the final result…
The master bedroom in the Presidential suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. a few minutes later – so can you spot the difference Wink

Anyway, that was it as we called it a day and headed for the bar – where Claudio and I ‘talked shop’ until the wee small hours of the following day, as this was like living the dream for both of us – with 3 down and only 2 to go Smile

The Presidential suite.

At the at The K Club was next up…
One of the first pictures taken in the Presidential suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. so while I looked at the first images on the screen…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. Dianne worked on the styling…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. as Claudio set up the lights.

Then our star guests arrived…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. as Susie here…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. was wanting to show this as a room that would suit a family too.

So while Dianne worked on the cushions, to try and give them a bit more shape…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. I talked to Susie about how I saw it now, as I wasn’t over convinced that this was going to work…
One of the first pictures taken in the Presidential suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. but by the look on everyone face here…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. I wasn’t actually doing at very good job of Smile

Anyway, kids sitting on the sofa was my thinking here now…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. so after getting a green-light on that, it was time to sort the hair out…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. and then minutes later this was the result…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. as they both posed to perfection – while both of their mothers look on Wink

And so that was two done – one to go before we would call it a day – as none of us were in a rush for this dream to end Smile

July 23, 2016

The Imperial Suite.

This week we where shooting at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare – as they had just recently refurbished two of their top bedroom suites.

So we kicked off in the Imperial Suite – which as you can see from even this first image was pretty amazing…
One of the first pictures taken in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. so while thought about what we should do here, as I looked at first images on screen…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. Dianne started working on the flowers…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. while Claudio took some pictures…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. of us looking like we knew what we were doing smile.

Anyway, after Claudio had set-up the light outside the far window…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. and we had moved the furniture a bit, so as I could see the fireplace – the girls set the table…
One of the first pictures taken in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. while I looked on…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. before the finishing touches were added…
One of the first pictures taken in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. and then it was time for Susie (the sales and marketing manager) to have a look at the final result…
One of the first pictures taken in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. which at the end was this…
The drawing and dining room in the Imperial Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. after I added a bit more to the top & bottom, as they will be wanting to use this image in various media over the years.

And so that it – as it was time to set-up the next shot, as our star guests were about to arrive, so more on that later on – but for now that was one part of the Imperial Suite in the bag.

From Dianne, Claudio & me – living the dream, as we create the dream, at the amazing K Club smile.

July 9, 2016

Freestanding units keep it casual.

Filed under: Publish work — Ashley Morrison @ 2:32 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Is the title of our latest published work in the August 2016 issue of Style at Home magazine…
Pages 100 to 103 in the August 2016 issue of Style at Home magazine featuring the kitchen in Jillian and Jim Donaldson's 1950's detached house in Belfast.
.. on pages 100 to 103 – which features the kitchen in Jillian and Jim Donaldson’s 1950’s detached house in Belfast.

“Stylist at Home Jillian, 46, extended her kitchen and gave it a laid-back country look with standalone cabinets and painted furnishings.”

Which I talked about shooting here: To tell a story – in March of this year.

So just want to say a big Congratulations to both Jim and Jillian here…
Jillian Donaldson in the kitchen of her 1950's detached house in Belfast.
.. for making it into this national magazine – from Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

July 6, 2016

Favourite shot has to be the Michael Jordan one.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 10:01 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

We were shooting a new build house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert this week – which belonged to John Wilson, who owns a gallery and framing business – and being like 6 foot 6 and then some, his passion is naturally basketball which he has played at a fairly senior level over the years.

The Storyline:

“As a little boy, John’s family rented a holiday home in Ballyhalbert where he had fond memories of family holidays – boats, fishing etc.
Initially he loved the idea of a converted barn – but the opportunity to buy one within his budget didn’t arise.
So he decided to look for a site and build from scratch.
Style wise, he likes a slightly eclectic mix of mid century furniture (mostly from his grand parents’ former home) plus some very old rustic pieces he picked up cheaply – alongside some more contemporary items.”

Anyway, John had sent Marie a few pictures of his place a few weeks ago, which she then forwarded on to me with comments like so:
“Love the 2 sofas and footstool and stove ….
Could see us getting a very strong shot here !!!”

IMG_8078

Yes, looks good to me too – and so after re-aranging of the sofas to suit the camera angle, and a quick bit of styling by Marie, the first picture was taken…
First picture taken in the sitting room of John Wilson's house in the County Down village of Ballyhalbert.
.. to let everyone see what the camera was seeing – as it’s not seeing the room from 6 foot 6 up in the air smile

Anyway, after a bit more ‘pushing and shoving’ by John & Marie, lights were in place and so it was time to shoot the man himself…
John Wilson in the sitting room of his house on the outskirts of the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. standing tall and very much at home.

The money shot or the lead shot as we would call it – which is like the all important one – and so that was a ‘slam dunk’ as far as I was concerned smile

Anyway, as the rain poured down we pushed on and slowly worked our way throughout his house, shooting not only each of the over all rooms but also some details shots like so…
Framed picture in John Wilson's house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. before moving up stairs to shoot the bedrooms etc.

The picture John had sent Marie of the master bedroom looked like so…
IMG_8087
.. which Marie said: “I wouldn’t be long sorting this out…”

And neither she was – as it was already looking good by the time I had set the camera up to take this first shot…
First picture taken in the master bedroom of John Wilson's house in the County Down village of Ballyhalbert.
.. which again after some work by John & Marie ended up looking like this…
The master bedroom in John Wilson's house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. where the most time was spent on debating where the basketball should be smile

Seriously thought, it was fun shoot – and the following day after John saw the final results, he replied by saying:

“You work fast Ashley, pictures look amazing!!!”

“Favourite shot has to be the Michael Jordan one but don’t be telling Marie that! haha”

Which refers to this image…
Large framed picture of Michael Jordan titled 'Wings' on the landing of John Wilson's new build house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. of the large framed picture of Michael Jordan titled ‘Wings’ on the landing – which really was stunning – and in itself told the story of who lived here. i.e. someone who is clearly into basketball and beautiful framing of art work too.

A picture that is worth a 1000 words, especially to John – who we would both like to thank for inviting us in and making us feel so welcome, from Marie & me @ ampimage.com

July 3, 2016

Pure Delight.

Is the title of our latest published work in the August 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 39 to 43 in the August 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Amanda and Keith Holly's renovated Victorian townhouse in Belfast.
.. on pages 39 to 43 – Amanda and Keith Holly’s renovated grade B1 listed Victorian townhouse in Belfast.

“Amanda and Keith Holly made major changes to their new house to create a bright shabby-chic look that the whole family clearly love.”

Which I talked about shooting here: “WOW, I take my hat off to you Ashley! Just wonderful” – a few months ago.

So just want to say Congratulations to them all here…
Amanda Holly with her two sons Bailie & Oliver in the sitting room of their renovated Victorian town house in Belfast.
.. for this Pure Delight – and for once again making it into this beautifully printed top selling National magazine – from Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

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