Ashley Morrison's Blog

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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June 28, 2015

Creating the dream.

Our latest road trip took us to this wee place…
Maggie & Robert Graham's 18th century Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. which was a beautifully restored traditional Irish thatched cottage, by Maggie & Robert Graham, near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.

Anyway, having already seen images for what it looked like inside…
Recce picture of the sitting room in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. Marie came well prepared to transform it, into the sort of thing you would see in a magazine – since that was our goal.

So just before we left, she emailed me to say:

Have just taken an old dust sheet out of the tumble drier to cover up the sofa …… Crumpled as hell and I love it 🙂

I will either fail miserably with this wee place – or it will be my finest hour !!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

And sure if nothing else, it will be a lovely couple of days in a beautiful part of the world 🙂

And so she did, as you can see in the first picture I took…
First picture taken of the sitting room in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. which when lit as if the sun was shining in, ended up looking like this…
The sitting room in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. after the fire was lit and we played around with the re-positioning of a few items.

To the right was this little room…
Recce picture of a bedroom in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. which once again Marie transformed…
Bedroom in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. as I as filled the room with some sun light – and upstairs was the master bedroom…
Recce picture of the master bedroom in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. which is actually were we started – so while Marie sorted out the bedding, etc…
First picture taken of the master bedroom in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. I once again worked on the lighting – and the result was this…
Master bedroom in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. which we were both very please with.

As Marie would often say to clients:

Photography and Styling go hand in hand – if they sing from the same hymn sheet – voila.
If they don’t – then it can be a loooong and very unproductive day !!!!

Which is very true – because without her, I honestly won’t have known what to do here…
Recce picture of the kitchen in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. but between us, we just started to sing…
One of the first picture taken of the kitchen in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. and so while Marie worked on the styling, I worked on the lighting…
One of the first picture taken of the kitchen in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. and before you know it… voila…
The kitchen in Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. another masterpiece had been created smile

Wow !!!!

I truly didn’t think we’d get anything so good when I saw the first cut 🙂

It was when the vintage white linen went on the table that it suddenly came together.

And so it when throughout the day – which just left the outside to shoot, which we completed the following morning as the sun came out to play…
Maggie & Robert Graham's Irish thatched cottage near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal.
.. to complete the dream.

Which is basically what we do, when it comes to creating images which we are hoping others will want to use, be it for a feature in their magazine or for advertising.

Selling the Sizzle, as well as showing Steak smile

Anyway, the reaction to date has been…

“Wow and indeed Wee!!!!!absolutely stunning. You must be v proud of having pulled something of this level off!! Also very special that a wee thatch cottage is styled so uniquely!!! Big pats all round!!!”

.. from Stuart who has assisted us on may such shoots.

From Janet…

“Now Marie – Wow! Triple wow! I am totally blown away by what you have achieved here. Seriously, that is astounding!!!!

You have made a totally run down cottage into a MOST desirable rental!!! You have played to its strengths – it’s rustic/shabbiness and given it charm by the bucket load…and all without even a lick of FB paint – Hee hee!!! Your wee sis is seriously impressed. You have excelled yourself Madam!!! Blimey no wonder you’re tired Marie. You are one talented lady “

.. who’s varies properties we have shot over the years, including one of my all time favourites: Jasmin near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.

And from Claudio – who we have recently been working with quite a bit on our latest hotel work – after seeing the first of the preview images which Marie sent him:

“OMG!!

wow… fair play to both of you!!
I’m not too sure I’m looking at the same house here lol!!

You have done a beautiful work setting up this room, your experience and vision really comes through in a house like this.
I don’t think Ashley could have done anything here without you…
I can see his sunshine light coming through but it’s the décor of the room and your abilities of hiding a pretty average looking furniture by creating a luxury look in a very simple way…
honestly Marie, well done!!

thanks also for forwarding on your before images.. a great example of been able to see past what’s in front of you!! Your determination has paid off!

looking forward to the rest now!!”

So there you have it – creating the dream – by Marie & me near the village of Kerrykeel in County Donegal smile

May 17, 2015

Green door…

.. what’s that secret you’re keepin’? – as Marvin Moore wrote in the lyrics which Bob Davie, Frankie Vaughan and Shakin’ Stevens all had a hit with over the years.

Well we will come to that later, as we left what was behind this green door…
The summer house in the garden at Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow near Portaferry in County Down.
.. until the end of the day.

In the meantime, behind the other doors in this house which belonged to Lesley & Lindsay, was where Marie worked her magic…
First image taken of the dining area in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. adding those finishing touches…
The dining area in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. while I played with the lighting.

The Storyline:

“Lesley loves traditional country style – she grew up on a farm.
This couple have made their dream come true by buying a home “off plan” (which they happened to stumble upon) and which they have put their own stamp upon.
They did most of the work themselves too.”

I actually photographed their last home some 20 years ago, which was featured in one of the very first issues of Northern Ireland’s Home & Living magazine, which they still had a copy of – so naturally they knew what to except this time – and it showed, as this first image shows…
First image taken of the sitting room in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. because other than some minor adjustments to suit the camera angle and a bit of lighting, we had little to do here…
The sitting room in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. and it was the same in the kitchen – as the sun poured in…
First image taken of the kitchen in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. but nevertheless, the girls still worked hard to make it look perfect…
One of the images taken of the kitchen in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. and so all that I had to do, was working on the lighting once again…
The kitchen in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. as everyone, including their dogs kept a close eye on things…
Image taken in the living room of Lesley Anderson's cottage style bungalow
.. as well as on me…
The living room of Lesley Anderson's cottage style bungalow
… since this was obviously their home too smile

Away, lots of images were produced here – which for the most part where all pretty straight forward – but we still had move a few things around to suit the camera, like in this bedroom for example…
First image taken of the bedroom in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. so while Lesley & Marie play around inside…
Image taken of the bedroom in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. Lindsay helped me with the lights outside…
The bedroom in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. so it really was all hands on board here to create these images – which isn’t really what would have happened 20 years ago, as I usually just turned-up back then and shot what was there.

Anyway, then there was obviously the garden to shoot too…
Lesley Anderson outside her cottage style bungalow near Portaferry in County Down.
.. and behind that green door as well – which I think the girls were most excited about.

“So what’s that secret you’re keepin’?” I hear you say – well no doubt all will be revealed when it’s featured – so you will just have to wait to see, as it was a very long day to say the least smile

Anyway, a labour of love for sure – so when Marie sent Lesley the link to let her see the final preview images the following day, I wasn’t really surprised at her reply:

“Hi Marie,
I LOVE them!!! I sat down with my coffee and biscuit to go over them all and it brought a tear to my eye.
Yourself and Ashley have done a wonderful job and they have made me cry with happiness.
Love from a tearful Lesley.”

Because it’s like years of hard work on their part, captured in a small moment of time by us, which they will then hopefully have very fond memories of for years to come… possibly even behind that green door too smile

Anyway, just want to say a big thanks to Lesley and Lindsay for inviting us in – and we will kept you posted once we hear more.

From Marie & me at ampimage.com in the Strangford Peninsula of County Down.

April 16, 2014

Summer house welcome

Filed under: Photography,Travel,Work Rest & Play. — Ashley Morrison @ 2:10 pm
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After shooting Rick & Maria’s beach house in Mystic, we headed to the the Cape Cod town of Chatham – were after a day on the beach, we shot this 1930’s cottage…
Gene Galeziowski and Rosemary Fuller's 1930's New England cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham.
… which belonged to Gene & Rosemary Fuller.

The sign outside said to it all…
Welcome sign outside Gene & Rosemary's cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. as we were indeed made very welcome – so as the sun was out, Marie set about setting-up the first shot in the garden…
Marie setting up the shot in the garden at Gene & Rosemary's cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. where we quickly captured Rosemary and her daughter…
Rosemary and her daughter in the garden at their cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. enjoying a glass of ice cold water, before heading inside to start upstairs…
Setting up the landing shot
.. where we produce images like this of their landing area…
The landing in Gene & Rosemary's cottage
.. as well as of their bedrooms…
One of the bedrooms in Gene & Rosemary's cottage
.. before a spot of lunch which Rosemary had kindly prepared for us…
Rosemary in the kitchen of her cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. a chat with Bob who was kindly helping us out once again…
Marie & Bob in Gene & Rosemary's cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. and then back to work, adding the final touches…
Marie settin up the kitchen shot in Gene & Rosemary's cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. to what was a surprising tricky room to light…
The kitchen shot in Gene & Rosemary's cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. but we must have done okay in the end, as BBC Good Homes said ‘Yes’ to this one too…
Pages 108 to 113 in the February 2006 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine featuring Gene Galeziowski and Rosemary Fuller's 1930s Cape Cod cottage in the New England town of Chatham.
.. and so ran with it in their February 2006 issue on pages 108 to 113 smile

So 2 in the bag and 5 to go – on this amazing 10 day return trip to America, from Marie & me @ ampimage.com in New England.

October 29, 2013

Let it snow.

Filed under: Publish work — Ashley Morrison @ 4:50 pm
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Is the title of our latest published work in the December 2013 issue of Period Ideas magazine…
Pages 42 to 48 in the December 2013 issue of Period Ideas magazine featuring Julie and David Morrow's Edwardian terraced cottage near the County Down town of Comber at Christmas.
.. on pages 42 to 48 – featuring Julie and David Morrow’s Edwardian terraced cottage near the County Down town of Comber at Christmas.

“Julie and David Morrow’s pretty cottage is tailor made for a cosy Christmas and the couple love decorating their home every winter.”

And a wee message in from Julie to say:

“Delighted we’re in Period Ideas at Christmas. Just waiting for that front cover issue, then I’ll have arrived!! Lol.”

Because I did mention to her at the time, that I could see this image of her…
Julie Morrow outside her Edwardian terraced cottage near the County Down town of Comber at Christmas.
.. making it onto a cover someday – which I still can – so hang in there Julie 🙂

Anyway, besides saying ‘Let it snow’ now that I have a new wagon to play with – I’d also like to say a big thanks to everyone involved here once again – and especially to Steve at Chilli Media for making this one happen.

From Marie & me @ ampimage.com

April 3, 2011

Camelot cottage

After the last few days shooting in the south of England, it was over to Rock – a coastal village in Cornwall near Wadebridge. To meet James Ram, a young photographer based in that area, who was keen the learn the ropes.

James had lined up 2 homes for us, the first was a converted cottage…
Tanya Leech outside her cottage near Wadebridge in Cornwall.
.. which was owned by Tanya Leech & Graham, who among other things, have a mutual love for sailing.

Tanya is also a very talented seamstress – so she and Graham decided to set up a curtain making business here in Cornwall, to help finance their dream of sailing the world. They bought these two badly converted holiday cottages, and over a period of almost 3 years, they have completely gutted, unified and transformed the cottages into what we photographed today…
Setting up the shot in Tanya Leech's cottage.
.. Camelot cottage
Tanya Leech outside her cottage near Wadebridge in Cornwall.
.. as it is now know.

Beautiful…
The living room in Tanya Leech's cottage near Wadebridge in Cornwall.
.. and a great story too…
Bedroom in Tanya Leech's cottage near Wadebridge in Cornwall.
.. which we are all looking forward to seeing in print real soon.

So a big thanks to James here…
James Ram in Tanya Leech's cottage near Wadebridge in Cornwall.
.. for all his hard work – and to Tanya & Graham too, for inviting us in to record and tell your amazing story.

From Marie, me and the rest of the team @ ampimage.com.

January 25, 2011

How beautiful images…

.. and a photo shoot can change peoples’ perceptions and feelings for their home.

A lot of the discussion at yesterday’s shoot was whether the owners of this very pretty cottage style bungalow…
Patricia and Christopher Abbott's detached cottage in the County Down town of Bangor.
.. should move to a larger house in order to get more space – or stay put and extend.

They’d tried putting their home on the market – but selling homes in the current climate is difficult to say the least!!
After a while, people trying to sell their home can become very disenfranchised and disheartened.
They begin to wonder “what’s wrong with my home” !!

So when a team like ourselves come along ‘out of the blue’ and tell them their home is gorgeous and we’d like to shoot it for a magazine – it often reminds folk why they fell in love with the home and bought it in the first place.

And then when they see our final images, which are all about lifestyle…
Patricia Abbott in the living room of her detached cottage in Bangor.
.. and atmosphere…
Patricia Abbott in the living room of her detached cottage in Bangor.
.. which is different to how the Estate Agency’s photographer’s picture below looks…
54641135.jpg
.. which is more about showing the space – they suddenly seem to look at their home with fresh eyes, remember the lovely times they’ve enjoyed there…
Finuala in her bedroom.
.. and begin to feel happy with it once again.

Which this is actually something we’re encountering quite a lot, especially over the last few years.

And the upshot with yesterday’s shoot – well Yes, it very much looks like the Patricia and Christopher are going to stay put and extend.
They have remembered what a unique home they have and why they fell in love with it in the first place !!

Anyway, just like to say a big thanks to Patricia and Christopher for making us feel so welcome yesterday – and we hope you & your family enjoy your new found unique home, for many more years to come 🙂

From Marie & me @ www.ampimage.com

December 24, 2010

It’s Christmas eve…

Filed under: Photography,Work Rest & Play. — Ashley Morrison @ 4:45 pm
Tags: , , , ,

.. and so the last of the images were produced today, out in the snow…
Julie Morrow outside her Edwardian terraced cottage near the County Down town of Comber at Christmas.
.. of Julie Morrow outside her Edwardian terraced cottage near the County Down town of Comber.

So now all that’s left to say is: Merry Christmas everyone!!

Cheers,
Ashley.
www.ashleymorrison.com

November 25, 2010

The northern tip.

Just back from shooting a fabulous little Irish cottage…
Sarah and Geoff Mitchell's cottage called Paddy Mors near Fanad Head in County Donegal.
.. owed by Sarah & Geoff Mitchell, near Fanad Head at the northern tip of Donegal – famous for it’s stunning scenery and magnificent lighthouse.

So needless to say, we couldn’t go all that way and not photograph the lighthouse…
Fanad Head light house in County Donegal.
.. despite freezing weather and high winds…
Mitchell-32b
.. and also take some shots of Sarah and her little twin boys Rupert and Archie too..
Sarah Mitchell walking with her twins near Fanad Head in County Donegal.
.. walking along the winding lighthouse road – before enjoying a pint of Guinness in front of a roaring fire in the local pub to warm us up 🙂

Anyway, the story line:

Geoff is a builder and Sarah previously worked in the media but is now a full time Mum.

Both Sarah and Geoff spent many childhood holidays in Northern Donegal and always dreamt of one day buying a holiday home there.
After several years of looking, they finally found this little place.
It is located in Fanad Head which is virtually the most Northernly tip of Ireland and consists of a stunning lighthouse, approx 8 traditional houses and a pub !! The cottage was very dilapidated and run down but the couple have completely re-furbished it.

So started in the living room…
Setting up the living room shot Sarah and Geoff Mitchell's cottage.
.. which Marie quickly styled while I lit it up…
Living room in Sarah and Geoff Mitchell's cottage.
.. before going into the kitchen, which clearly required a few Red Bulls…
Setting up the kitchen shot Sarah and Geoff Mitchell's cottage.
.. and some major tiding too …
The kitchen in Sarah and Geoff Mitchell's cottage.
.. as we had been using this room as our base – before heading up to the bedrooms…
Setting up the bedroom shot Sarah and Geoff Mitchell's cottage.
.. which I just loved…
Master bedroom in Sarah and Geoff Mitchell's cottage.
.. everything about.

Anyway, just like to say a big ‘Thank you’ to Sarah & Geoff, who own Paddy Mors cottage here, for making us feel so welcome.

They sure have done a fantastic job – as it’s the perfect hideaway to enjoy a complete break & just relax.
So we hope the Editors will like it too – and look forward to seeing the full set images in print real soon.

From Marie & me in beautiful county of Donegal.
www.ampimage.com

November 1, 2010

It’s Christmas time…

.. and the first of the magazines are out.

We have 3 in 25 Beautiful Homes this month:-
Paula and Declan Strain’s Victorian detached house in the County Down town of Newry – titled “Wish upon a star”
Pages 44 to 49 of the December 2010 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Paula and Declan Strain's Victorian detached house in the County Down town of Newry at Christmas.
.. on pages 44 to 49.

Helen Madden’s ground-floor apartment in Holywood – titled “Gift Wrapped”
Pages 67 to 71 of the December 2010 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine - featuring Helen Madden's ground-floor apartment in Holywood at Christmas time.
.. on pages 67 to 71.

And Collette & Sam McNulty’s cottage-style terrace near Doonbeg in County Clare – titled “Surprise package”
Pages 134 to 137 of the December 2010 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Collette and Sam McNulty's new-build cottage-style terrace near Doonbeg in County Clare at Christmas.
.. on pages 134 to 137.

More to follow over the next few days – so be sure to watch this space 🙂

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