Ashley Morrison's Blog

October 9, 2016

By the lake.

Filed under: Photography,Travel — Ashley Morrison @ 9:50 am
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Back in February of this year, I was asked by the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland, to quote them a price for me to produce and then provide them with 6 images to use – and so after some negotiating of the fee, we were given the green light to proceed.

So in August, Dianne and I flew over to see them – to talk more about what they actually needed, as well as see their place for ourselves first hand.

A fairly tale castle…
The Trump International Golf Hotel near Balmedie in Scotland.
.. with a huge Scottish flag in front, is how I would best describe it Smile.

Anyway, one of the last shots we looked at when we were there, was this view from the lake at the back…
The lake at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. which we felt would work well, to show a bride how beautiful their location was, i.e. it would be the ideal setting for her big day.

However, I went on to add in our report…

“Totally weather dependent – so I won’t promise anything here.”

.. as is Scotland after all wink.

Anyway, after lots more talk about what all they needed, last week we headed over to shoot for real – and I had obviously been keeping a close eye on the weather forecast – so instead of starting on Monday​ as planned, due to the weather forecast saying Sunday would be good, we pushed ahead and arrived mid-day Sunday, to set-up for this shot…
Setting up the shot by the lake at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. which as you can see wasn’t looking too​ good at this stage.

Still, it wasn’t long before the sun came out, so having asked at the last minute for a flower girl and a bride to be there, Dianne & I tried to work-out their positions…
Setting up the shot by the lake at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. but there was one slight problem, we didn’t have a bride or a flower girl cry.

Thankfully, ​however, Dianne had brought a wedding dress over with her – and so before I knew it she was wearing it…
Setting up the shot by the lake at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. and was more than happy to stand-in, as some big black clouds started to appear.

But then she disappeared after looking at this image on screen…
Setting up the shot by the lake at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. and re-appeared a few minutes with a new bride…
Setting up the shot by the lake at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. while I watched the sun go behind a big tree, which as you can see meant they were now in the shadows cry.

So lights up…
Setting up the shot by the lake at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. and while Dianne sorted out the dress…
Setting up the shot by the lake at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. Claudio played around with the lighting, to see if he could get the balance right to make it look natural.

Anyway, one of the huge advantages of using a digital system​ is you can obviously see the results right away on screen – and so with everything now in place…
Setting up the shot by the lake at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. it was just a matter of trying out a few different poses – and so this was the final result…
Bride standing by the lake at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. with even a swan swimming past, to complete the​ story we were trying to tell to their target market Smile.

So with one in the bag, it was time to take a look at this bathroom…
Bathroom in one of the bedroom suites at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. which we had said in our report, we felt would look good shoot in the evening.

“candles, towels, late evening feel, girl in bathrobe standing at the window or sitting on the edge of the bath.”

Decided to go in a bit tighter…
Setting up the shot in the bathroom at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. and so with the camera in position, it was time to work on the lighting, styling and positioning of the model..
Setting up the shot in the bathroom at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. which we checked on screen…
Setting up the shot in the bathroom at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. while we waited for the sun to set…
Setting up the shot in the bathroom at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. then checked again and again …
Setting up the shot in the bathroom at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. before everyone started to smile…
Setting up the shot in the bathroom at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. at this the final result…
Bathroom in one of the bedroom suites at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. before we called it a day.

Two done, ten to go – so more to follow, as tomorrow is another day Smile.

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October 4, 2014

Selling the dream.

Wagon packed…
Land Rover loaded up
.. as we were heading down to shoot in County Westmeath near Athlone this week, at the Hodson Bay Hotel – after getting a request to produce 4 images for them to use to help market & advertise their place.

The first was to be the penthouse suite set-up as a honeymoon suite, as promoting weddings was top of their list.

So having arrived the evening before, we talked things over with them again and decided to go for something a wee bit different to what we had originally planned, after Marie here…
Marie standing on the balcony of Penthouse suite at the Hodson Bay Hotel
.. thought this would make for a great bridal shot.

What was she thinking, I hear you say – well it involved getting up very early the next following morning…
Sunrise over Hobson Bay
.. and then wait for the sun to rise.

So while Claudio here – our assistant for the day, who we only contacted the day before via the Photography Ireland forum – stood in…
Claudio Salviato
.. I set-up the camera and started to light it as best I could, while keeping my fingers crossed.

As timing was going to be everything here – as we watched the sun rising…
Sunrise over Hobson Bay
.. the bride appeared…
Model arrives
.. and so it was all hands on board…
All hands on board
.. as I knew this golden light or ‘first light’ as it’s sometimes called, wouldn’t last for more than a couple of minutes.

Beautiful…
Bride standing on the balcony of Penthouse suite at the Hodson Bay Hotel which is situated on the shores of Lough Ree near Athlone in Ireland.
.. but so too was the view…
Sunrise over Hobson Bay
.. which at the end of the day was very much their unique selling point – which was amazing too.

“Sometimes you sell the sizzle, sometimes you sell the steak”

Is an old saying about Advertising photography – so I decided to add some sizzle…
Bride standing in the balcony of Penthouse suite at the Hodson Bay Hotel near Athlone in Ireland.
.. which Marie when she saw it later emailed me to say: 

Wow wow wow wow 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

 .. and Aidan from the hotel called ‘stunning’ & ‘iconic’

As this was about selling the dream – which is actually real, even if one may never be able to capture it quite like this wink

More to follow – as this was to be a long day – but what a start, so I’ll leave it at that for now, as it was time for some breakfast.

Cheers from Marie, Claudio & me at the Hodson Bay Hotel, which as you can see…
The penthouse accommodation page on the Hodson Bay Hotel's website.
.. now really is situated on the shores of Lough Ree near Athlone in the ​Irish county of Westmeath Smile

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