Ashley Morrison's Blog

February 27, 2017

Taking a gamble to live the dream.

As one commission lead to us shooting 9 homes which resulted in 12 magazine features – and the best part (besides the amount of money that we ended up earning), was we had the time of our lives – which is what I would call “Living the dream” smile.

Which 10 years ago, is what we would have regularly done – and so day I’m going to talk about the one that we were actually commissioned to shoot, by Rachel from the BBC Worldwide – who was the Houses & Property Editor at that time for a magazine called Good Homes.

The commission by the way, like most of the commissions that I would receive from magazines (as well as from other types of clients too), was simply what I would call a Purchase Order – as it just informed me that they would agree to pay me X amount afterwards, for the Rights to use my images – but ONLY IF after having seen the final results, they did still actually want to use them (so be sure to read the small print too) wink.

So no, this wasn’t a “Work Made For Hire” type of agreement – which is where the client would agree to pay me for my time & expenses, irrespective of the results – this commissioning document that the BBC had sent to me beforehand, was just to let me know how much they would be prepared to me afterwards, for the Rights to use my work – should the Editor (after having seen the final results) want to use my images for a one time only editorial feature in one of their magazines.

Which like I said before, is pretty much the standard deal with most magazines – as they only want to pay for the use of the work, rather than pay me to do the work for them.

And so when I would have agreed to take on these type of assignments, especially the ones which would have involve a lot of travelling – I would have looked upon the original commission as being like ‘My ticket to travel’, to see what I could produce in that part of the world – not only for the commissioning client to use, but also for others to use as well.

A gamble – yes – but it was one that usually paid off – like it did in this case, as I managed to turn the original commissioning amount, into around £14000 worth of sales over the next few years. So with that sort of money to play with, naturally we had a lot of fun – as we tried to make the most of these opportunities that I had been presented with.

And what an opportunity it was, because if there is one name that will help open doors in almost any country in the world, it’s the BBC.
Which is another story for another time wink.

Anyway, like I said before, the original commission here was for me to provide the BBC with some images of Helen and Peter Hannick’s 18th century Italian farmhouse here…
Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
.. for them to use in their magazine called Good Homes.

Lying between the Tiber and Nera rivers, Poggio le Stalle is a 250 year old estate, not far from the town of Amelia here…
The Italian town of Amelia near Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse.
.. in the Umbria region of central Italy.

Inside was quite dark…
Behind the scenes at Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
.. so I was glad we had driven over with all the lighting gear – as this was one that I actually needed to punch quite a bit of light into – which I did while Marie & Rachel worked on what was in front of the camera – before it was time to photograph Helen here…
Helen Hannick in the living room of her Italian farmhouse near Amelia.
.. looking like she was “rather pleased with herself”, as Rachel would often say wink.

So while the girls turned the place upside down…
One of the first pictures taken in Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
.. before putting it all back together again…
One of the first pictures taken in Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
.. I worked away on the lighting – and this was the final result…
The dining area in Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
.. before moving into the kitchen…
One of the first pictures taken in Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
.. after some serious tidying up from the night before – as Rachel had flown over with some of her friends, who were also enjoying Helen and Peter’s hospitality here, as well as some of the product from the local vineyards wink.

So no shortage of bottles – especially empty ones – which obviously were removed along with the dishwasher…
The kitchen in Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
.. before doing the return shot…
Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
.. and then it was time to go up the stairs…
Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
.. to shoot some of the bedrooms and bathroom.

After that, we headed outside…
Behind the scenes at Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
.. to shoot Helen once again…
Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
.. this time with Michael, who helped her maintain the place – and who also over the next few days, not only show us around but also introducing us to the locals too…
Marie & Michael talking to the local polizia in the Italian Umbria region town of Amelia.
.. as he informed them all that The BBC was in town smile.

Anyway, that was the commission – and this was the result…
Pages 140 to 149 in the March 2007 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine.
.. which meant I did get paid in the end – for having taken a gamble to live the dream smile.

So a big thanks to Rachel from the BBC for this, as well as to Helen and Peter for inviting us in – and should you ever be in Italy looking for a place to stay, then Poggio le Stalle may be the prefect spot for you to live the dream too smile.

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July 2, 2014

Wow, Wow and triple Wow!

Seeing one’s work in print, even after nearly 30 years of seeing it printed, is still the thing I love most about what we do.

It’s like Wow! every time – and the bigger it’s printed or the better it’s printed, then the more Wow it often is – as we would often put a lot into each and every image, which I feel can only really be appreciated, when viewed up close a lot of the time.

So when I walked into the local SPAR supermarket yesterday and quickly looked that the magazine rack, I was totally over the moon – to not only see our work on the cover of the August 2014 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine…
The cover plus pages 72 to 83 of the August 2014 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Janet and Ken Hamilton's villa called 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.
.. but also to see it beautifully printed on pages 72 to 83 – featuring Janet and Ken Hamilton’s villa called ‘Jasmin’ near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.

The French Connection – Transforming a pretty but rather dated French villa, Janet and Ken from Northern Ireland have created their dream holiday home in a style that successfully blends old and new.

Which I talked about shooting here: Kicking off – back in 2010 – as this is were we stayed while shooting for Liz Gibney Interiors in the French Riviera near the village…
The French Riviera village of Saint Paul-de-Vence.
.. of Saint Paul-de-Vence.

Wow! smile

However, the Wow didn’t end there, as a home we shot in Italy back in 2006…
La Dolce Vita - Pages 58 to 71 of the August 2014 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa located near Amelia in Umbria.
.. lead on pages 58 to 71 – featuring Tia and Bruce Weissman’s Italian villa located near Amelia in Umbria.

La Dolce Vita – After a two year search, Bruce and Tia found their dream Italian home, a 300 year old villa complete with stunning gardens.

Which I talked about shooting here the other day: Living la Dolce Vita – while shooting a farmhouse for the BBC near the Italian town of Amelia, which sits on a hill…
The town of Amelia sitting on a hill in the south western corner of Umbria in Italy.
.. in the south western corner of Umbria.

So double Wow! smile smile

And Wow again when I saw this…
Mediterranean Charm - Pages 82 to 94 of the August 2014 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring John O'Callaghan's villa called 'Villa Thalia' at Aphrodite Hills near Paphos in Cyprus.
.. on pages 82 to 94 – featuring John O’Callaghan’s villa called ‘Villa Thalia’ at Aphrodite Hills near Paphos in Cyprus.

Mediterranean Charm – After a number of holidays in Cyprus, John from Belfast wanted a little corner of the sunshine island to call his own and found it in a luxury holiday complex.

Which again I talked about shooting the other day here: The story behind the story – which we shot back in 2006 while shooting a few other villas at Aphrodite Hills, which is nestled in the hills…
The view from Tommy Payne's apartment at Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus.
.. above Paphos in Cyprus.

So that was like triple Wow! smile smile smile

Anyway, stunning repro as always – which is what I love so much about this magazine – so this is just a quick note to say a big thanks to everyone involved here – and especially to Janet, Tia and John once again, for this time making it into this beautifully printed Irish glossy magazine.

From Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

September 15, 2010

The Italian Job

Five homes in Italy – from our trip across Europe in 2006.

1. Tia and Bruce Weissman’s Italian villa called ‘Casa Lara’ which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
Tia Weissman outside her Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.

2. Dizzi Alfons’ 18th-century former farmhouse near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region.
Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.

3. David Law’s converted mill in the Marches region.
David Law's converted mill in the Marches region of Italy

4. Helen and Peter Hannick’s 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.

5. Claudia and Francesco Bachetoni’s villa called L’Arco in the Pianciano hamlet near Spoleto.
Claudia and Francesco Bachetoni's villa called L'Arco in the Pianciano hamlet near Spoleto in Italy.

Enjoy:

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