Ashley Morrison's Blog

February 19, 2014

Industrial Chic & Shabby Chic.

Shooting a Victorian terrace in Belfast this week, which belongs to Kelly Ann and Dominic – along with their two young children Evie, aged 2, and Rory, who is only 7 months old.

The Storyline:

The major work had been done when the couple bought the home but they have spent the last couple of years putting their own stamp on it – Dominic loves a little bit of Industrial Chic – whereas Kelly Ann loves a little bit of Shabby Chic – so they have had fun finding a balance between the two !!

The weather at this time of year isn’t ideal, so even in house like this, that has made full use of the natural daylight…
First picture taken in the living room of Kelly Ann and Dominic Preston's Victorian mid terrace townhouse in Belfast.
.. on a grey old rainy day, it still needed a lot to light it.

So we started in the main downstairs living area – which was at the back of the house – and that’s were we took the shot of Kelly Ann…
Kelly Ann Preston in the living room of her Victorian mid terrace townhouse in Belfast.
.. before her daughter Evie stood-in to copy her mother’s pose…
Evie Preston in the living room of her parent's Victorian mid terrace townhouse in Belfast.
.. and then informed her father ‘it was his turn’ – which made us all laugh smile

As Marie later commented when I sent her this image:

That’s the most adorable and bright wee one we’ve ever met I reckon – sure she even had you playing on her xylophone – the “big scary man” was no bother to her 🙂

Anyway, we slowly worked our way through to the front of the house, which is where the kitchen was…
The kitchen in Kelly Ann & Dominic Preston's Victorian mid terrace townhouse in Belfast.
.. which was a bit unusual – as that is where one would normally expect the living room to be – but as you can see that worked very well…
The kitchen in Kelly Ann and Dominic Preston's Victorian mid terrace townhouse in Belfast.
.. and in fact made a lot of sense.

Lots of stairs up to the bedrooms – but with high ceiling and double windows…
Master bedroom in Kelly Ann & Dominic Preston's Victorian mid terrace townhouse in Belfast.
.. they were very easy to light…
Master bedroom in Kelly Ann & Dominic Preston's Victorian mid terrace townhouse in Belfast.
.. and so we rattled thought this one in record time, after a bit of a slow start.

Shattered – but very pleased with this one – as we both felt Kelly Ann & Dominic had got the balance just right here, between Industrial Chic & Shabby Chic.

So just want to say a big thanks to both of them for making us feel so welcome – and to Evie as well, for letting me play with her xylophone smile

From Marie & Me @ ampimage.com in Belfast this week.

February 16, 2014

Pay as you go.

Recently on Facebook another Irish photographer said he was doing a little research on the hospitality side of things and I was wondering what people thought of this work?

Well naturally I had a look at this photographer’s website and noted under the photographer’s Services section, he said:

“Often hospitality photographers will discount the up front shooting rate only to charge a licensing fee in the following years after the shoot.
We issue a copyright license for the client to use the photographs for any media for an indefinite period. This is built into our initial costs so the client pays once and once only.”

This made me smile, because in other words, what he is basically saying here is: some photographers give Hotels an option on how to pay for the use of their work, whereas he doesn’t.

So it would appear that his clients have to either agree to pay him the full amount up front, for him to provide them with images that would be ‘good enough’ for them to want to use in all media for the next 10+ years or else he’s simply not interested in taking the assignment on.

Whereas other photographers will be happy to take the assignment on and provide their clients with images that would be ‘good enough’ for them to want to use in all media for the next 10+ years – and then help their clients out, by offering them a ‘pay as you go’ type payment plan.

Which is what I do when asked to produce images like this…
The swimming pool with a view of the Mountains of Mourne sweeping down to the sea at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in the County Down town of Newcastle.
.. which the client by the way – before they saw the final result – didn’t want to pay much for. Because not every client can afford or will want to have to pay for what it costs to produce such an image, out of their current year’s marketing budget. So to help them spread the cost, without me having to drop the standard of my work to stay within their current year’s marketing budget, I offer them a ‘Pay as you go’ type payment plan – whereby they only need to pay for 1 years use at a time, for example.

Note: Hotels don’t ask their guests to buy the room of them, they just ask their guests to pay for the use of the room – be it for 1 night, 2 nights, a week or however long their customers need to use it for, i.e. ‘Pay as you go’ and see how it goes.

Same thing here.

So licensing my images this way, is simply a way to help my clients spread the cost of what those type of images may have cost me to produce, as producing images like the one above of the ‘pool with a view’ at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel – that this client then did actually wanted to use for years to come in various media, like on this double size billboard…
Billboard showing the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Hotel.
.. after seeing the final results – will usually have cost me a lot more to produce, than an image like this…
The swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in the County Down town of Newcastle.
.. which not surprisingly, they didn’t want to use at all wink

In other words, I do not ‘discount the up front shooting rate’, I simply ask my clients to pay for the amount of use that they require of my work, AFTER have I have produced it – just as they would, if I were to ask them for a price.

February 15, 2014

A lighting challenge.

After a relative easy week shooting in the marquee at the five-star Doonbeg golf resort (which I read this week in the Irish Times, has now been bought over by US property mogul Donald Trump), where it was basically all lit – this week wasn’t so easy.

So we were back down in County Clare again, this time to shoot a number of areas inside Dromoland Castle, with the Land Rover fully loaded…
Unloading the camera and lighting equipment from the Land Rover outside Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. as I knew this was going to be a lighting challenge for sure.

Anyway, first up was to create a meeting style image in the newly decorated Terrace Room – so after Marie had finished setting it up…
Marie setting up in the Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle.
.. Carl blocked the sun light, which I wasn’t actually expecting…
Setting up in the Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle.
.. and we had our first image in the bag…
The Terrace Room set-up for a business meeting at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. before heading to the Lounge area, where it was clear from the start that this is where we’d have to work for our money…
Setting up in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. but thanks to everyone and especially to Carl here…
Setting up in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. who worked hard on the lighting – and then posed as the waiter while Marie lit the fire…
Setting up in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. it only took us 2 hours to create this image…
Fireplace in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. which I was very, very pleased with – as this one had really worried me.

Then it was back into the Terrace Room again…
Setting up in the Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. this time to shoot it as it would be setup for a banquet during the day…
The Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. and /or at night…
The Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. so basically we shot it both ways – to be sure, to be sure, as they word say here in Ireland smile

The following morning it was into the Cocktail bar…
Setting up in the Cocktail bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. which was formerly the Castle library – so while Carl setup the lights outside…
Setting up in the Cocktail bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. we moved the furniture so as to see the fireplace…
Setting up in the Cocktail bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. before adding the finishing touches to create this image…
The Cocktail Bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. which again I was personally very pleased with – as this one had worried me too, mainly due to how I would light it.

After that, it was over to The Inn at Dromoland to shoot the Presidential Suite, which required a bit of work as they wanted just one image to capture it all – so while Marie did her thing…
Setting up in the Presidential Suite at The Inn at Dromoland in County Clare.
.. Carl & I did our thing – and for the fun of it, being close to Valentines day and all that, I decided to add a scene from the film Gone with the Wind – staring Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara
The Presidential Suite at The Inn at Dromoland in County Clare.
.. and Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes – who I was named after it seems smile

So that was it – after what I can only describe as a major lighting challenge – it was time to load-up the Land Rover once again…
The Land Rover outside Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. and head home in the rain – very tired but very pleased with the end results.

Anyway, just like to a big thanks to everyone involved – especially to Mark & Fiona from Dromoland Castle for making us feel so welcome.
From Marie, Carl & me @ ampimage.com in County Clare.

February 8, 2014

What prompted you to do what you do ?

As Meryll Frost, the most courageous athlete of 1945, once said:

‘They say behind every great man there’s a woman. While I’m not a great man, there’s a great woman behind me.’

So with one day to go before we headed home – Marie (who has become the great woman behind me) & I decided to go for it – and to take another gamble by put our money where our month was – because we were here anyway with all the gear, so why not make the most of it !!

David had introduced us to Margaret & Barry Harris, who where from Birmingham in the UK – and they had invited us over to look at their villa…
Harris' villa in Spain.
.. located in Javea on the most Easterly tip of Spain.

When asked: ‘What prompted you to buy a place in the sun?’ they said:

Over the years we have always enjoyed our foreign holidays – there’s nothing quite like that feeling of leaving behind grey skies and stepping off a plane at the other end in balmy heat! But it’s not just about the weather – we love the whole relaxed friendly lifestyle that you experience abroad. Buying a property is a big step and you need to be sure you will get plenty of use out of it. In our case, we run our own business, which thankfully has reached the stage where we no longer need to be at the helm for 12 months of the year. When weighing everything up, we knew that between ourselves, our friends and family, we would get great use out of a foreign home! And although it wasn’t our main motivation for buying, we also anticipated that the villa would be a good capital investment – and with prices rising in the area, this has proved to be the case.

Perfect…
Margaret & Barry Harris' villa located in Javea on the most Easterly tip of Spain.
.. so we have a good story to tell – and so all we need now, is to produce some images to go along with that, which would appeal to the magazine Editors & their readers.

So having recced the place a few days before…
Harris' villa in Spain.
.. we set about doing our thing…
The living room in Margaret & Barry Harris' villa.
.. by re-creating each of the original images we took…
Harris' villa in Spain.
.. to bring it more into line with what we felt an Editor would expect to see…
The dining area in Margaret & Barry Harris' villa located in Javea on the most Easterly tip of Spain.
.. and their readers too…
Harris' villa in Spain.
.. whenever they flick the magazines…
Master bedroom in Margaret & Barry Harris' villa located in Javea on the most Easterly tip of Spain.
.. such as these…
Pages 162 to 167 in the October 2005 issue of Real Homes magazine featuring Margaret and Barry Harris' villa located in Javea on the most easterly tip of Spain.
.. (Pages 162 to 167 in the October 2005 issue of Real Homes magazine) – which at the end of the day…
Pages 12 to 21 in issue 17 of Templeton Robinson's Property Life magazine featuring Margaret and Barry Harris' villa located in Javea on the most easterly tip of Spain.
.. (Pages 12 to 21 in issue 17 of Templeton Robinson’s Property Life magazine) – is what it’s all about, as that is all that anyone is every going to really see.

So this is when I realised it doesn’t really matter what it cost us or how long it took us or even if we had been asked to take the pictures beforehand – because all that others are interested in, is the final results.
If the results are good and they want to use our work, then they will pay me for the use of my images – rather than to do the work, as the work will have already been done my then, and so they aren’t really interested in paying for that.

The penny had finally dropped – and so this was the start of a whole new way that Marie & I then moved our business forward – which I’ll write more about over the following months, as it was truly amazing what lead from this change in our thinking here.

From Marie & me @ ampimage creating the dream of living the dream in this beautiful part of Spain.

February 4, 2014

Traditional Style.

Is the title of our latest published work March 2014 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine…
Pages 82 to 92 in the March 2014 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Davina and Ian Callen's cottage near Seaforde in County Down.
.. on pages 82 to 92 – featuring Davina and Ian Callen’s cottage near Seaforde in County Down.

“Davina and Ian let their love of craftsmanship and traditional cottage interiors gently style the home they’ve created in the heart of the Irish countryside in picturesque Seaforde near the beautiful Mourne Mountains in County Down.”

Which Marie talked about here: Understanding Interior Styles – at the time when we shot it.

Anyway, in my traditional style, this is just a quick note to say a big thanks to everyone involved here for their hard work – and congratulations to Davina & Ian once again, for making it this time into this beautifully printed Irish glossy magazine.

From Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

February 2, 2014

Adventures in Wonderland

Christian Dior were at the Lodge at Doonbeg in County Clare this week, so we were asked to come along and cover the event – which was being held in their marquee…
Setting up in the marquee at the Lodge at Doonbeg.
.. and I have got to say it looked amazing…
The marquee set up for Dior at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.
.. for such a business event.

Anyway, the following day they set-up for the ‘Adventures in Wonderland’ party…
Setting up in the marquee at the Lodge at Doonbeg.
.. so from my point of view it was simply a case of setting up the camera and waiting to see what would un-fold…
Setting up in the marquee at the Lodge at Doonbeg.
.. then making some last minute changes to the lighting, to capture the stunning set-up…
Setting up for Christian Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party in the marquee at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.
.. with and without their staff in it…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party in the marquee at the Lodge at Doonbeg in County Clare.
.. minutes before everyone began to arrive…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. to enjoy a wonder meal…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party in the marquee at the Lodge at Doonbeg in County Clare.
.. and a night to remember…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. which I did my best to capture…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. going around the various tables to record the laugher…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. the hugs…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. the dancing…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. and the smiles…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. before the Mad Hatters Tea Party
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. which I think almost everyone enjoyed…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
..as they took it in turn to climb in..
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. to the Hatter’s tea cup..
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. quickly posing for the camera…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. before climb out again…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. one after the other…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. as this was the ‘Adventures in Wonderland’ party…
Dior's 'Adventures in Wonderland' party.
.. thanks mainly to the guys from the Lodge at Doonbeg – who then worked throughout the night to have it all set-up for the next morning…
Setting up in the marquee at the Lodge at Doonbeg.
.. for the final business meeting…
The marquee set up for Dior at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.
.. which once again looked amazing.

So there you have it, the marquee being used in a very different way by Christian Dior – to how we shot it before…
The marquee set for a wedding at the Lodge at Doonbeg in County Clare.
.. for the Lodge at Doonbeg back in 2009 – and their Adventures in Wonderland party.

From Marie & me @ ampimage this week in Doonbeg.

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