Ashley Morrison's Blog

February 10, 2017

You’re a Genius.

Which is what Dizzi Alfons said to me several times throughout the day – when we were shooting his 18th-century former farmhouse here…
Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. called La Fattoria – which is set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.

Words which I naturally always remember – as that was obviously quite a compliment – especially from someone like Dizzi here…
Dizzi Alfons outside his 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. who was originally from Austria, but now owns property in Paris as well as here in Italy too – which in my book makes him the Genius, as I have never been able to figure-out how I could afford to do that wink.

Anyway, they say in the photography world:

“Amateurs talk about equipment, Pros talk about money, Masters talk about light”.

So from a Pros point of view here, since that is what I see myself as, the big question for me therefore was: What did he actually mean by that ?

Was it because of my photography skills or my lighting skills – or was it in fact to do, with me having obviously worked-out a way beforehand, to enable me to afford to do this type of work at this level ?

Because let’s face it, what I was actually doing here…
The sitting room in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. wasn’t exactly Rocket Science.

However, to be able to afford to travel to Italy with a professional stylist like Marie here…
One of the first pictures taken outside Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse near Luccan in the Tuscany region of Italy.
.. wasn’t exactly a cheap thing to do – and since without her help…
One of the first pictures taken outside Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse near Luccan in the Tuscany region of Italy.
.. I knew my images wouldn’t look anywhere near as good – then the real ingenious part as far as I was concerned, wasn’t so much to do with the work that I was actually producing here…
The sitting room in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. it was more to do with me having figure-out beforehand, how I was going to be able to afford to do this type of work, at this level…
The second floor library in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. that we were now doing here.

Because I’m 99% sure that there are hundreds of others photographers out there, who could in fact produce just as good an images as I did here…
One of the guest bedroom in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. IF ONLY they had the budget to play with and/or IF ONLY they could figure-out how they could possibly afford to work at this level…
The kitchen in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. with a professional stylist like Marie here…
One of the first pictures taken in the dining area of Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse near Luccan in the Tuscany region of Italy.
.. who’s main job is basically to make sure that whatever is in front of the camera looked great…
The dining area in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. which in-turn therefore made my image look great too smile.

So personally – since I tend to think of myself as a professional, rather than an amateurs or see myself as a Master – I think what Dizzi really meant when he said: “You’re a Genius Ashley”, is more to do with the money side of things – because “No money, No Funny” as one of my friends at college used to say smile.

Which is actually very true, as far as I’m concerned – because if you know that you don’t actually have the money to play with in the first place, then you simply can’t even begin to think of what is really possible.

Anyway, having already figured-out how licensing works (as I’d jointed the AOP back in 2002 and had read their book Beyond the Lens from cover to cover several times, in an attempt to move my business forward) – I was now not only able to live the dream but was also able to afford to create the dream too…
The swimming pool outside Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. for others to see & read about – in the likes of the BBC’s GoodHomes magazine…
Pages 84 to 89 in the February 2009 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine - featuring Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. which is where our work here finally appeared, on pages 84 to 89.

So when I look back at what we did here – The Italian Job – and remember those very kind words of Dizzi’s: “You’re a Genius Ashley” – which obviously made me smile at the time and still do – I can’t help but think to myself, “Yes I was” – because I’d managed to do something here that most will only ever be able to dream of doing.

Unless they too one day, can somehow figure-out a way first, to be able to afford to do what they would love to do – because it basically does all come down to The Money, as that is ‘the thing’ what will ultimately determine what you can afford to do or even think of doing before you begin.

Anyway, all of this happened long time before I started my Blog here, so I’m simply remembering the past today – as I look to the future, to see if I can come-up with another ingenious way to move my business forward – now that I’m older and possibly even a little bit wise too… than a Genius wink.

Seriously though, a huge thanks goes out to Dizzi here…
Dizzi Alfons outside his 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. for making us both feel so welcome at La Fattoria – as we obviously loved ever minute of being part of your dream…
Marie sitting outside Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. which even to this day, we still both talk about – as that was definitely a day that we will never forget, nor do I ever want too – especially as it not ever often that someone will says to me: “You’re a Genius Ashley” smile.

November 9, 2016

Congratulation Mr President.

An absolutely amazing achievement – so “Way to go Mr Trump”…
US election 2016 results on BBC News as Donal Trump declares victory to become the 45th President of the United States of America.
.. from all of us at ampimage.

And thank you also for the opportunity to be part of your dream over the years – both in here Ireland at Doonbeg…
Bedroom in one of the Courtyard cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. and in Scotland here too…
Bathroom in one of the bedroom suites at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. at Aberdeen.

So “Way to go you, Mr President” – from me and all of us at ampimage – for this truly amazing achievement.

As I’m now able to say: Creating images to tell a story… not just for you, but also for 45th President of the United States of America too smile.

September 4, 2016

Forward thinking.

With a shoot coming up a few weeks time, which will mean not only travelling with Dianne & Claudio, but also with all my gear as well as theirs – then it was time to think about how I could put more stuff up on top of the wagon – without spending more than I needed to or putting a roof-rack up there that couldn’t be easily removed by me (on my only) once I was back at the base.

I already have 4 roof bars for the Land Rover – which I bought a few years ago to carry 8×4 sheets of plywood and insulation boards – so at first I considered just using a sheet of marine plywood – which when everything would have been put on top of it and strapped down, would have worked fine.

However, I thought, what about when all the gear is of it – how will I then make sure that it doesn’t fly off ?

Anyway, after having looking once again at all the various roof racks available for this type of Land Rover by various companies throughout the UK – including the beautiful Highlander roof rack by Safety Devices (which neatly follows the profile of the vehicle’s roof), which I absolutely love the look of – I finally decided to call in to see the guys at Coates Engineering, one day after going for my daily swim at the Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex – which is were I tend do a lot of my ‘forward thinking’ these days, as I remember those wonderful days in the past, when I was actually able to swim more than 100 metres without having to stop to catch my breath wink

Anyway, this was the result…
A 6' x 4' sheet of galvanised steel mesh bolted on to the roof bars of the Land Rover.
.. which is a 6′ x 4′ sheet of galvanised steel mesh – which they designed some bolts for, as seen here…
A 6' x 4' sheet of galvanised steel mesh bolted on to the roof bars of the Land Rover.
.. to hold it to the roof bars…
A 6' x 4' sheet of galvanised steel mesh bolted on to the roof bars of the Land Rover.
.. from underneath…
A 6' x 4' sheet of galvanised steel mesh bolted on to the roof bars of the Land Rover.
.. which is then held in place from above by this little plate…
A 6' x 4' sheet of galvanised steel mesh bolted on to the roof bars of the Land Rover.
.. and squared of at the back to prevent me from catching it as I push the cases up there…
A 6' x 4' sheet of galvanised steel mesh bolted on to the roof bars of the Land Rover.
.. as some of them are quite heavy.

Perfect…
A 6' x 4' sheet of galvanised steel mesh bolted on to the roof bars of the Land Rover.
.. and I think it looks pretty good to, after I painted it black, since image is everything after all wink

So there you have it – a very simple and cost-effective solution in the end – which simply means we are now already to go, on our next exciting adventure smile

May 19, 2016

What happens if things go wrong ?

Sometimes other photographers would ask me – when I tell them that I only ask my clients beforehand, to pay me for the Rights to use my work, rather than for my time & expenses to do the work for them – what happens if after you spend a lot of time and money producing a set of images, the client then turns around and says that they do not want to use of them or pay for the use of them ?

Or what if are now not prepared to pay as much ?
Or what if they want a lot more done to the images first, etc, etc. ?

Well thankfully that doesn’t happen very often, mainly because I would usually try to put everything down in writing beforehand – as well as ask lots of questions about things like:

Who is your target market ?
What does the images need to say to your target market ?
Which media are you planning on using the images in ?
How long are you needing to use them in those media ?
Plus where in the World are you going to be advertising in those media ?

In other words, it’s a bit like the 5Ws.

Because their answers to those type of questions, would then help me understand what it is I need to do to meet their needs.

So it is therefore important that they tell me what they need upfront, and if there is anything specific that they require – be it a look or a style or some retouching done, etc, etc – then that would also need to be put in writing beforehand too.

Because the price that I would be quoting them beforehand…
Recce picture taken in the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. would be for the Rights to use the images that I had created afterwards, so naturally it would be based on that information.

But still I hear you say: “What happens if it all goes wrong” – for whatever reason – and they end up not wanting to pay or they don’t want to pay as much, etc, etc ?

Well first off, I’d probably want to find out why that was – for example, was it something that I did wrong or didn’t get right or misunderstood ?
Or are they now just trying to pull a fast one ?

As a rule of thumb, if someone has invested a lot of their own time and money in a shoot – then it’s highly unlikely that they wouldn’t then want to use the images afterwards.

So therefore I would say, that 99% of the time, if the client did say afterwards that they did not want to pay for the use the images, the fault would lie at my end.
Which I would then naturally want to learn from – as ‘The Goal’ beforehand would have been, to try and produce some images that they (and possibly others too) would actually want to use – and hopefully want to use a lot too – rather than just see if I could take some pictures… which I know I could probably do with my iPhone icon_wink

Anyway, if I was to say it has never happened or was to say that I have never failed to produce the type of images that a client would want to pay for the use of, that would be a lie – because it has happened and it did actually happen very recently too.

So the question I have to ask myself, is obviously “Why did it happen ?” – because that was not ‘The Goal’ beforehand.

Not always an easy one to answer, because there may in fact be a number of reasons as to why it happened – but the bottom-line is: There are no winners when it does happen.
Because they don’t get what they want and I naturally don’t get what I want neither icon_cry

And when that happens, then below you can see some examples of what that this lose-lose type of deal ends up looking like:

This is what this page currently looks like on their website…
What the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill does look like on their website.
.. of the Ocean View Double Room – verses what it could have looked like…
The Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. if I had been prepared to remove the building outside the window, for the same price as I had quoted them before they asked for that.

Which obviously I wasn’t prepared to do, because to do that well – so as one could not tell that it had been retouched, even when viewed at billboard size or in any media at any size – that would probably doubled the amount of time that I would need to spend on creating the image.

And it was the same here…
Galway Bay Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. as a result, this is how that same Atlantic View Suite currently looks on their website…
Screen shot of the Atlantic View Suite Bedroom picture on the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill's website.
.. and this is how their Family room looks…
What the Family bedroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill does look like on their website.
.. which once again, could have looked like this instead…
Family Bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. had I been prepared to replace the view outside the window.

“Forest for the trees” springs to mind – but there you have it – there are no winners is the answer icon_cry

Still, we did all really enjoy our stay in their hotel for a few days – which I talk about here: A lot more to it – and I did end-up with some lovely images for my own portfolio icon_wink

Plus it has given me something to blog about here for a second time – so all is not lost, because I at least have been able to put my work to good use cool

March 15, 2016

Like something you would see in a magazine.

About a month ago Marie visited a friend of Jillian’s, whose kitchen we where about shoot – which I talked about us shooting here: To tell a story – and she sent me an email to say:

“Welllll – I had a lovely morning meeting Emma – Jillian’s friend.
She is really good fun and totally up for a feature.
Couldn’t believe it – I have admired this house for years.”

The storyline:

The couple had always yearned for a period home – and as they had some experience renovating/extending their previous homes, they weren’t afraid to tackle one that needed a lot of work. And this one needed a vast amount of work as it had been badly converted to flats. Emma sourced period salvage items wherever possible to bring the house back to its former glory. She even built a little guest annex in the back garden using lovely old architectural salvage.

Anyway, Marie attached a few pictures to let me see it – this being one of them…
The sitting room of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. and so last week it was time to see what we (as a team) could do.

The weather forecast said it would be cloudy for most of the day but didn’t predict there would be any rain; however, as we set-up for the first shot of the sitting room here…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. it started to rain – or drizzle as we would call it, as that is what it usually is here in Ireland.

Anyway, while Stuart set-up the lights, Emma – whose beautiful house this was – was all go and totally focused as you can see here…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. which is the sort of image I would often joke about, and say “Well that’s the homeowner shot done” when I capture something like this smile

Seriously though, Emma did work hard throughout the day here – and was clearly very pleased with what she had achieved – and so besides keeping a close eye on what was appearing on my screen, she recorded all her hard work too, on her iPad…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. which put me to shame, as she made taking pictures look so easy wink

Anyway, after about 40 minutes of great team-work and a quick change of trousers too, it was time for Emma to strike her pose…
Emma Cooper in the sitting room of her Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. which she naturally did to perfection – as one would expect from a former cover girl, who clearly hadn’t lost her touch.

And the comments from the team the following day, when I sent them this image:
Stuart: “Absolutely beautiful!!!”
Mandi: “oooh lovely!!”
Marie: “Love it 🙂 “

I love it too – but like I said above, I’m very aware that the reason why people say things like that, when they look at my images, is because a lot of work will have gone into making them look like that – which sometimes I capture…
Emma Cooper cleaning the door handle during the shoot in her Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. just for the fun of it – as well as to complete the story here in my dairy – as this is what one doesn’t see when you are looking at the pictures in a glossy magazine.

Because this really was all about teamwork…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. followed by attention to detail…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. lots of fine tuning…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. and then finally – it was time to strike that perfect pose once again…
Emma Cooper in the kitchen of their Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. as you naturally would do, especially when there is a crowd of people standing behind the camera all looking at you, saying: “That’s like something you would see in a magazine” smile

Before starting all over again…
One of the first pictures taken in the bedroom of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. to make it look like I did nothing at all, bar take some quick snaps with a very good camera, of whatever happened to be there…
Daughter's bedroom in Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. on a very nice day too.

Which in this case it was – as we all had a lot fun here, creating what I have no doubt will be, what you will see in one of the biggest selling glossy magazines very shortly.

And so on that note I’d just like to end by saying a big thanks to Emma and her husband Graham here – from Marie, Stuart & me – for inviting us in to tell your story – which is not only like something that you would see in a magazine, it will be something that you will see in a magazine… and hopefully very soon too smile

March 5, 2016

To tell a story.

Filed under: Photography,Work Rest & Play. — Ashley Morrison @ 10:36 am
Tags: , , ,

Because that is basically what we do, i.e. We try to create some images to tell a story, which we are hoping that others will want to read – and of course want to read badly enough, that they would be willing to pay us some money for the Rights to use our work – because this is what we do for a living.

So I’m basically a writer who uses light and a camera to tell a bunch of stories – and Marie checks my spelling and grammar smile

Anyway, the story line in this case was: A friend of Marie’s called Jillian and her husband Jim, recently purchased a beautiful 50’s detached house in their ideal location in Belfast; however, they found that the kitchen was to small and they really wanted a multi functional family space instead – so after lots of hard work to make their dream come true, while trying to stay within their budget, Jillian invited us along to photograph the final result.

Could have picked a better day to shoot it, was my thinking when the first images appeared on screen…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Jillian and Jim Donaldson's 1950's detached house in Belfast.
.. as it was ‘black as a boot’ outside, due to the fact that it was raining – but then this is Ireland, so nothing new about that smile

Anyway, with the camera in position, Marie set about doing her thing…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Jillian and Jim Donaldson's 1950's detached house in Belfast.
.. while I tried to figure out how I was going to light this – because it just didn’t seem to look as good on screen here, as it did to the eye.

Of course it didn’t help that I had forgot to bring my lighting stands with me – which was a first, as I had never don’t that before in all the years I have been doing this cry

Anyway, after a 2 hour drive back to the studio to get the stands, I was then good to go…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Jillian and Jim Donaldson's 1950's detached house in Belfast.
.. and about 30 minutes after that, it was time for Jillian to strike the pose – which as you can see she did to perfection…
Jillian Donaldson in the kitchen of her 1950's detached house in Belfast.
.. after we had made a few small changes to suit the camera.

So after a very slow start, which was all my fault, we then rattled of a number of other images to show the rest of this room, as well as details like this…
Shelves in the kitchen of Jillian and Jim Donaldson's 1950's detached house in Belfast.
.. to show the attention to detail – to complete the story.

A story, which I’m delighted to say, you will be able to see and read more about in the August issue of Style at Home magazine later on this year.

Which just leave me to say a big thanks to Jillian and her husband Jim for inviting us in to tell their story – as that’s what we do smile

From Mare & me, the story tellers, @ ampimage.com

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

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.

November 29, 2015

Wanting to be there.

Short winter days here in Ireland, means either having to work much quicker than usual or having to put 2 days aside rather than one, to get the job done.

Well one of the the job in question this week was at Rosemary’s cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone – which we decided to go to the day before we had planned to shoot it, to see if we could at least make a start.
And I’m very glad we did, because due to the weather it was very dark, even in the middle of the day – but like they say, the show must go on.

Anyway, we decided to kick-off in the sitting room – so after we had moved a few things to where we thought they would work best for the camera, I took my usual first shot…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. to see how it looked – before adding some directional light…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. which just didn’t seem right – or should I say, feel right, as it’s that feeling of ‘wanting to be there’ that we often try to create or capture when doing this type of work.

So while I played around with the lighting, Marie played around with what was in front of the camera – as we both watched it getting darker and darker outside…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. even though it was still only about 3:30 in the afternoon.

Anyway, leaving the shutter open for about 16 seconds after a blast of light – and this was the result…
The sitting room of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. which we were both very happy with in the end – as it now looked like something you’d see in a magazine – which was obviously our goal here smile

Anyway, that was it for the day – but at least we had made a start – which was good – and so it was time for a beer in front of the fire, as there was “No work in me” as Marie would often say smile

Next morning we were up bright & early of course; however, it wasn’t until after 8 before there are any real sign of some light – and so it wasn’t until about 9:30 before we really managed to make a start on the kitchen area…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. by which time help had arrived – as Claudio jointed us…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. and so we started to move more quickly as a result.

Anyway, 20 minutes later and it was time for Rosemary to smile for the camera
Rosemary Bothwell in the kitchen of her cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. as the rain poured down outside – on what can only described as a very missable winter’s day here in Ireland.

Still, “the show must go on” as they say – and so with Claudio helping on the lighting, it wasn’t long before we were heading upstair to shoot the bedrooms – which once again were rather dark on a day like this…
One of the first pictures taken in the guest bedroom at Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. until Claudio lit them up…
Guest bedroom in Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. and Marie had styled to ‘within a inch of her life’ of course – which she has normally done long before I arrive.

Anyway, that was basically it – and the good news is, that it was all well worth it too, as we got a “yes please” the following day from the Editor of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine, who said they would love to run with it in one of their Spring issues next year smile

So a big thanks to Rosemary for inviting us in – and to my team, thank you for all your hard work too – as I know I simply couldn’t do any of this without you guys.

Cheers from me in sunny Ireland, where it only rains about 225 days a year Irish smile

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