Ashley Morrison's Blog

September 8, 2014

The Money Shot.

The Money Shot is like the all important one – which if we get it right, could help the client make a lot of money over the years to come.

Well today I’m going to show one of the first images which made me realist, that what we do, is often more than just turn-up and take some pictures – which then made me realist that charging for just one’s time to take pictures, was all wrong – as that part, is often only a small part of the work involved. Especially when it comes to producing the Money Shots.

Because creating such images can often starts days or even weeks before the shoot – in one’s head – as you plan ahead to insure you get it right on the day.

Anyway, in this case, as I’d already been out to this hotel a few months before to recce it and talk to the marketing people – then that’s really when I started to create the image you will see below.

Which in this case was to be a shot of a bridal couple standing out on the balcony – which as you can see here…
The Redcastle Hotel near the town of Moville on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal.
.. overlooks Lough Foyle.

And this being Ireland, the weather is the one thing you can’t count  on – unless it’s overcast & rain you are counting on, as that’s what it’s most likely to be smile

Having said that, we do get some sunshine and when we do, it can look wonderful – and so in this case the image I had in my head was of the couple standing on the balcony with the sun setting behind them – which I reckoned would look vey romantic – or should I say: that would be the ideal image- to help them sell the dream to any young couple who would be thinking of getting married here.

Anyway, as chance would have it, on the morning of our first day, I woke to see this beautiful sunrise…
Sunrise at the Redcastle Hotel near the town of Moville on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal.
.. so I took a few quick handheld shots of it from my bedroom window.

And then later on, just after breakfast, I took a few more which looked like this…
View from the Redcastle Hotel near the town of Moville on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal.
.. which I also thought may worked as a background – IF when we came to the actual shoot, it just wasn’t what I had been hoping for.

So I was starting to piece the image together hours beforehand – and I’m sure glad I did – because as you can see here…
Setting up the shot.
.. by the time we were ready to shoot, it wasn’t looking so good.

Still, I had this picture in my head – even if it wasn’t in front of me – and so with all the lights set-up and the camera in place, the final touches were added to the bride & groom…
Setting up the shot.
.. by Kathleen & her assistant.

Wasn’t quite as I’d imagine…
Original capture.
.. but by adding a touch of warmth…
Original capture of the Bride & Groom.
.. I reckoned this was as good as it was going to get.

Not exactly a Money Shot I hear you say – but then came the part that nobody sees, which was the image in my head from weeks ago.

Which in this case I did two versions of – this one…
Bride & Groom standing out on the balcony at the Redcastle Hotel near the town of Moville on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal.
.. which I personally loved the look of but knew it may not be right for them – and this one…Bride & Groom standing out on the balcony at the Redcastle Hotel near the town of Moville on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal.
.. which was very close to how I’d pictured it beforehand.

The Money Shot – which I reckoned was worth a lot more to them, than all the other shots we did that week put together – as seen here in this magazine…

The Carlton Hotels ad in the Spring 2006 issue of Northern Irelands Wedding Journal magazine.

(Double page spread ad in the Spring 2006 issue of the Wedding Journal magazine)


.. as well as in almost every other media too, even to this every day…
Screen shot of the wedding page on the Redcastle hotel's website.
.. as seen here on their current web site.

So for all those brides who have asked their photographers to recreate this image over the years – now you know why they struggled to do so – because although it is real, it was only ever real in my head, which was then later created wink

From Marie, Bradley & me at the Redcastle Hotel, on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal, creating images… just for you.

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September 2, 2014

How it looks today.

At the end of each month my computer’s dairy reminds me of which licenses are about to expire.

So this month for example, three are about to expire – and so the reminder emails were sent out yesterday to let them all know ahead of time.

Just a quick note to let you know Licence No. 20120913-00016726 expires on the 30th September 2014.

Description:-
5 images of various rooms and areas at Ashford Castle in Cong.
DVD Reference: 20100712 Ashford
For exclusive use, for Ashford Castle to use these images for:-
Media use: Worldwide web & promotional emails only.
Period of use: 2 years (ends 30th September 2014).
Territory of use: Internet only.
(BUR £200.00 per image).

So if you would like to extend the license period, on one or more of these images, please let us know by the end of the month.

And in this case their reply was:

Dear Ashley
Many thanks but we will NOT be renewing the Licence , as Ashford has been completely Restored in the past year , since Ashford was bought by Red Carnation hotels.
Trust all is well with you and Maire and hope to see you both again soon.
Very best regards

So I decided to have a wee look to see how the castle now looks, as we had talked to Suzie from the Red Carnation Hotels last year about all of this, during this shoot…
The Doorman at Ashford Castle in County Mayo talking to a guest on the bridge.

.. which we talked about here: Welcome to Ashford Castle.

And yes there has indeed been a lot of changes – so I’m not surprised that they no longer need to use our images anymore.

Anyway, many of the new images they now show on their website are of rooms and areas of the hotel we never shot; however, I did notice a few have been re-captured by a London photographer – who says he aims to create natural feeling imagery that brings out the best in people, places and all things in general”.

So was obviously very interested to see how those rooms now looked – both in terms of decor and naturally how they had been photographed too – as I remember this being a tough one to shoot back in 2010, which I talked about here: Ashford Castle in County Mayo.

So here are two of them: “Space to relax and entertain in the lovingly restored Presidential Suite”  – as it looks today…

(The newly restored Presidential Suite at Ashford Castle)

.. as opposed to how it looked back in 2010…
Presidential Suite in Ashford Castle which is located near to village of Cong in County Mayo.

.. and  “Enjoy fine dining in the George V dining room, lovingly restored”  – as it looks today…

(The newly restored George V dining room at Ashford Castle)

.. as opposed to how it looked back in 2010…
The George V dining room at Ashford Castle in County Mayo.
.. when we produced this image of it.

Love what they have done here in terms of decor – but not so sure about those images – so may just reply:

No problems and thanks for letting us know.
 
Trust all is well with everyone at Ashford Castle – and yes, no doubt we will be seeing you’ll again real soon, to produce some new images that you will want to use. 

Since that is what I feel they really now need here – to help them market & advertise this magnificent old castle throughout the world- which currently looks to have been beautifully restored.

Or is that just wishful thinking on my part ?

Anyway, one down and two to go, so we will see how it goes – but I sure would like to make that place sing for them, as it is without doubt, one of Ireland’s most magnificent hotels wink

 
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September 1, 2014

The only constant is change.

Filed under: Photography,Publish work — Ashley Morrison @ 8:47 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After my last blog about A selfie – where I talked about how Ireland’s Homes Interiors & living magazine had opened up doors of opportunity and one of those was when I meet Marie – who I have now being working with over the past 10 years – I thought it would be interesting to show how not only Marie’s style has changed over the years but also how the style of my own photography has changed too.

So looking at this image…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. which was the last one we created of this bedroom in 2008 – and then going back to the first images we produced of it in 1999, which was this…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
..  which was part of a series of images which Marie use to launch her interior design business back then – and Ireland’s Homes Interiors & living magazine use them too in the February 2000 issue…
The cover plus pages 86 to 96 in the February 2000 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Marie and Alan McMcMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. on pages 86 to 96, plus her kitchen made it on the cover too smile

You can see the framing is actually very similar in both and both have clearly been very well styled too – but what a difference 10 years can make – so is it any wonder I don’t charge for my time any more wink

Anyway, to show the transformation over those years, here is the series of images produced in between. This being second image which we created in 2004…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's five-bedroom Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. which was around the time when we both started working together – as part of a home feature, which was then used by a number of magazines, including House Beautiful magazine…
Pages 32 to 39 in the May 2005 issue of House Beautiful magazine featuring Marie and Alan Master's five-bedroom Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. in their May 2005 issue on pages 32 to 39.

In 2006 we then produced this image…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's five-bedroom Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. as part of a Christmas home feature – which again was used by a number of magazines – both nationally as well as locally – including 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 12 to 17 in the December 2006 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Marie and Alan McMillen's home in Belfast.
.. as the lead home in their December 2006 issue on pages 12 to 17.

Also in 2006, we produce this image for Ulster Carpets
Lotus Scroll carpet by Ulster Carpets in the guest bedroom of Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. to show how their Delta Scroll carpet would look in this room – as well as in various other rooms of Marie’s house too – which they then use to help market their Anatolia Range …
Ulster Carpet product catalogue showing two different designs of Anatolia carpet in the sitting room and bedroom of Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. in their product catalogue – as well as on their website, etc, over the past 8 years.

In 2007 we produced this image…
Bedroom make-over by Marie McMillen in her Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. as part of a ‘make-over’ editorial feature which Real Homes magazine ran with in their November 2008 issue…
Pages 136 to 139 in the November 2008 issue of Real Homes magazine featuring the bedroom in Claire & Paul McCann's (Marie & Alan McMillen) home in Lisburn (Belfast).
.. as well as this image…
Summer makeover of a bedroom by Marie McMillen in her Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. which was one of my personal favourites – for this similar type of feature, which appeared  in the May 2008 issue of Northern Ireland Homes & Lifestyle magazine…
Pages 69 to 72 in the May 2008 issue of Northern Ireland Homes & Lifestyle magazine featuring a bedroom make-over by Marie McMillen in her Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. on how to create a ‘Summer time’ look.

And at the end of 2007, we produced this one for a Christmas home feature…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. which appeared in Country Homes & Interiors magazine…
Pages 32 to 38 in the January 2009 issue of Country Homes & Interiors magazine featuring Marie and Alan (Scott) McMillen's home in Belfast at Christmas.
.. in their January 2009 issue on pages 32 to 38.

So there you have it, the changes in both our styles over the years, as seen in this one room – which no doubt would look totally differently again today, as this last image…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. was taken over 6 years ago – and now of course Marie is totally into white and bright…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's new house in Belfast.
.. as opposed to ‘Yella’, as she would often call it – which was naturally partly due how I lit it back then too smile

Over 2000 years ago, Heraclitus of Ephesus, a Greek philosopher known for his doctrine of change being central to the universe, once said:

The only constant is change.

Boy was he right about that – from Marie & me at ampimage.com, who would appear to be constantly changing too smile

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