Ashley Morrison's Blog

December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

To you all…
Amanda McGuile with her son at Christmas time in their Victorian terrace which overlooks Bangor Marina in County Down.

Julie Morrow outside her cottage near Comber in County Down at Christmas.

Helen Madden in the sitting room of her home in Holywood at Christmas.

Marie McMillen outside her 1920's semi detached house in the tree-lined Cherryvalley area of Belfast at Christmas time.

Sarah Mitchell in the living room of her Victorian gentleman's detached house called Ivy Lodge in the County Down town of Bangor at Christmas.

Nicola Nemec and her childern playing in the snow outside their farmhouse near Armoy in County Antrim.

Paula Strain in the sitting room of her Victorian detached house in the County Down town of Newry at Christmas.

Marie McMillen in the sitting room of her detached 1960's house in Belfast at Christmas.

Amanda Cunningham her children in the sitting room of their double fronted mid terrace house in Belfast at Christmas.

.. and a very prosperous and Happy New Year to you all as well.

From Marie, Mandi & me smile

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December 17, 2015

A ‘Work Made For Hire’ type of agreement.

A question that was recently asked on one the photography forums, in connection with coming-up with pricing to shoot for a Kitchen and Bath Designer, was this:

“What are your thoughts on setting an hourly rate for this type of interior shooting. Is there a downside to pricing it this way?”

My answer, since this is a question I have asked myself many times over the years too, (which I have now decided to post on my blog here, for others to read as well, who may be wondering the same thing) was this:

There are advantages and disadvantages to agreeing to do (what I would call) ‘Work Made For Hire’, verses just ask someone beforehand, to pay you for ‘the Rights to use the work’, that you are agreeing to hire yourself to do.

Understanding the difference and what one would actually charge for, if it was either one or the other, is (I believe) very important for an artist (like yourself) to understand.

One is basically where you would ask the client beforehand (when you are quoting a price), to agree to pay you (either before or afterwards) to do the work for them – and the other, is where you ask the client beforehand (when you are quoting a price), to agree to pay you afterwards, for the use of the work that you are agreeing (to hire yourself and possibly others as well) to do.

And then I went on to try and explain what my understanding of a ‘Work Made For Hire’ type of agreement was, by saying:

If I was wanting someone to help me for a day, to create some images for others to use, (an assistant or a stylist for example) I would (usually just) simply agree to pay them beforehand, for their time and expenses. So if I (their client) was wanting to keep their expenses part down to a minimum, then I (the client) would obviously need to supply them with anything and everything that they were going to need to do the work that I (the client) wanted them to do for me.

So unless beforehand, I (the client) had specify asked them to bring something along that day, like a camera or some lights or a computer or some cushions or some flowers, etc, etc – then for the most part, they would just turn-up with their two hands in their pockets and expect me (the client) to supply them with everything that I (the client) wanted them to use or work with.

So that’s what I would call, a ‘Work Made For Hire’ type of agreement.
(Please note: I do understand that in America, the term Works Made for Hire is a Legal Term; and so therefore, it may mean something slightly different as a result – but I believe it’s based along these same lines of thinking).

So what the actual work was used for (or even not used for), by me or anyone else, would therefore not come into it.
The assistant or stylist (or the person who was being hired) would still get paid for their time, plus for any expenses that they occurred during that day, irrespective of how much or how little the work was used or even by whom.

So that keeps it nice and simply, for both them (the person being hired) and me (their client) to understand, what the deal is and what they are going to be paid for or will be paid for afterwards.

So with this type of deal, in your case, it would therefore be all about: Expenses, Expenses, Expenses – as that would be the only real difference between one job and another, i.e. what camera they wanted you to use, lights they wanted you to use, lenses they wanted you to use, computers they wanted you to use, etc, etc… because you could even take the pictures with your iPhone, if all they wanted you to do, is turn-up and take some pictures.

So not a bad way to work as far as I’m concerned – as you may actually get to play with some really neat stuff, like a Phase One camera system for example or some Profoto lights – IF you fully understand how it works, and they are prepared to pay for all of those things as well, as for your time to do the work.

However, it would all really need to be agreed to beforehand – and ideally put in writing too (a signed agreement) – because after all the work is done, it’s that pre (written) agreement that would be the all important thing here… as far as a Judge would be concerned, should they not pay you afterwards and you ended up in court over that.

As for asking someone beforehand (when you are quoting a price), to agree to pay you afterwards, for the Rights to use the work that you are going to (agree to hire yourself and possibly others as well to) create – that’s a completely different deal and/or thing altogether – so should you want to know about that, you can read more about what I have already said about that type of deal here: Licence to use.

In other words, I believe both ways can work and both ways can work very well in your favour too, IF you fully understand the difference between the two and don’t start mixing them up or try to exchange one for the other – because that’s when things can often start to go pear-shape, based on my own experience over the past 30 years or so.
Double page spread advertisment for a National Trust kitchen by Mark Wilkinson in the August 2006 issue of Country Living magazine.

So I hope that helps this photographer, answer their own question here – because at the end of the day, it’s thier business, to run it as best as they see fit – as there is no Rule Book for self employed people (or people who agree to hire themselves or employ themselves), which is what I am assuming, is what this photographer is.

Anyway, your thoughts on all of this, as usual, are most welcome too – as it is, like I said at the start, a question that I have asked myself many times over the years too, i.e. each time before I quoted a price smile

Cheers,
Ashley
www.ampimage.com

December 16, 2015

Looking back.

As I look forward to what 2016 may have in store for us.

Currently trying to tidy-up the studio a bit – or the Top Hen House as I call it, as that is what it once was – and I do still remember as a young boy, collecting eggs in there every day after school to make some money – which after about 10 years, was enough to enable me to buy my first camera smile

Anyway, as you can imagine, 40 years on, there isn’t any hens in there anymore; however, there is now a lot more in there than just that one wee camera.
Mountains of stuff in fact – and boxes piled high with stuff that does bring back a lot of memories too.

Especially the props and items we would have used on jobs like this…
The room set inside a warehouse near Dungannon where we were prodcing an image of the Ribbed Shaker Sandy Birch kitchen by OS Doors Ltd.
.. which is we were shooting kitchen & bedroom sets a warehouse near Dungannon.

Ten years ago – but it really doesn’t seem that long ago that Marie here…
Marie working in the room set inside a warehouse near Dungannon where we were prodcing an image of the Ribbed Shaker Sandy Birch kitchen by OS Doors Ltd.
..and the guys from OS doors…
Working in the room set inside a warehouse near Dungannon where we were prodcing an image of the Ribbed Shaker Sandy Birch kitchen by OS Doors Ltd.
.. were working on this set.

This was actually just one of 5 sets that was built…
One of the room sets inside a warehouse near Dungannon where we were prodcing an image of the Ribbed Shaker Sandy Birch kitchen by OS Doors Ltd.
.. all which we were also able to shot from different angles too…
One of the room sets inside a warehouse near Dungannon.
.. which meant we were able to work on some while the others were still being completed…
One of the room sets inside a warehouse near Dungannon.
.. so needless to say, this was a huge lighting…
One of the bedroom sets inside a warehouse near Dungannon.
.. and styling job too…
Prague-Ivory bedroom doors by OS Doors Ltd with French fabrics known as 'toile de jouy' and 'ticking'
.. which actually kept us pretty busy throughout that year – as there was something like 60 kitchen & bedrooms sets to shoot in total.

This being the very first one we shot…
A Ribbed Shaker sandy birch kitchen with island unit by OS Doors Ltd.
.. which was then use in their over sized A3 catalogue, as seen here…
A Ribbed Shaker sandy birch kitchen with island unit by OS Doors Ltd.
.. along with just a few of the other images we produced at the time too.

And I see they are still using many of these images on their website too….
A Ribbed Shaker sandy birch kitchen with island unit by OS Doors Ltd.
.. even after all this time – as well in their more current ‘Posh Kitchens Cosy bedrooms’ catalogue…
Kitchen and Bedroom door catalogue by OS Doors Ltd.
.. which included many new images that we produced in the showroom at their factory too.

Anyway, I still have many of the items that we used in these images, in boxes gathering dust – so I think it’s time that much of that was sent to the local land-fill site. Still, some of the stuff is pretty timeless I reckon – which is often what we would aim for too, when we are creating images for others to use, i.e. timeless images that they would want to use of years to come.

So just looking back here, as I look forward to what 2016 may have in store for us, as we approach the end of another year – as I really enjoyed doing this type of work.

From Marie & me @ ampimage.com

December 8, 2015

Up to my neck in it.

After days of rain and very overcast skies, I finally saw there was going to be a break in the weather, so I decided to go back and shoot the exterior of Rosemary’s cottage, that we had shot the interior of a few weeks ago – which I talked about shooting here: Wanting to be there.

Anyway, as you can see here…
First picture taken of the exterior of Rosemary and Harold Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. the sun was indeed shining and the sky was blue… with hardly a cloud in sight.

Perfect – bar the fact that the sun was shining on the back of the house, rather than on the front – which I knew it would probably be, as we had already been there a few weeks ago.

So I came prepared for that – but not really for the mud – so I was sure glad I was wearing my Brasher shoes and the camera gear was in Pelican cases, because to put it mildly, I was up to my neck ankles in it smile

Anyway, running of a car battery, the 3K did the trick – and so this was result…
Rosemary and Harold Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. which I pretty much managed to get in one in the end, after a few attempts to get the balance right.

Was it worth the effort ?
No it wasn’t, would be the answer for many – however, the way I see it: if this was going to be ‘The Image’ that a magazine would want to use at the start of the feature, and my name was going to be on that page beside it, for all the world to see – then I would obviously want ‘That Image’ to be a good image – so from my own personal point of view, since I would see Magazine work as being a big part of my portfolio too, then Yes it was very much worth the effort.

Still you can’t beat The real McCoy of course – which was how it was when I shot the exterior of this house in Belfast…
Siobhan and Barrie McQuillan's semi detached house in Belfast.
.. later on that same evening – which we also shot the inside of, earlier on in the week – and so more on that later, because what’s behind that door, was not what I was expecting smile

Which is actually one of the things I love so much about this type of work, i.e. seeing how creative other people are – because it never stops to amaze me, as to how unique some people’s homes really are.

Anyway, that’s what I was up to over the weekend – besides being up to my neck in mud of course – so just a wee Blog on that, for my own personal records – since I reckon no-one will ever know otherwise – or even care, to be honest – when they see the final results in print.

December 3, 2015

Time Travellers.

Is the title of our latest published work in the January 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 122 to 124 in the January 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Lynne and Hugh Doherty's 1940's semi-detached house in the Belmont area of Belfast.
.. on pages 122 to 124 – featuring Lynne and Hugh Doherty’s 1940’s semi-detached house in the Belmont area of Belfast.

“Swapping their new-build home for a much older property threw up some interesting design challenges for Lynne and Hugh Doherty.”

And the other one is called Lucky for some on pages 138 to 141…
Pages 138 to 141 in the January 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Lisa and Conor McCann's detached house located in Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. which features Lisa and Conor McCann’s detached house located in Rosetta area of Belfast.

“Lisa and Conor McCann were in the right place at the right time when it came to finding their dream home.”

Which I talked about shooting here: Straight forward – a few months ago.

So our first published work in 2016 – time travellers, lucky for some indeed smile

Anyway, just want to say a big Congratulations to both Lynne & Hugh and to Lisa & Conor, for making it into this top selling national magazine – from Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

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