Ashley Morrison's Blog

May 9, 2017

Creature Comforts.

Is the title of our latest published work in the June 2017 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors and Living magazine…
The cover plus pages 66 to 79 in the June 2017 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Lesley and Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow near Portaferry in County Down.
.. on pages 66 to 79 plus on the Cover too – which features Lesley and Lindsay’s cottage style bungalow near Portaferry in County Down.

“Lesley and Lindsay longed to be back in the countryside when they happened to come across the perfect site in Portaferry with plans already in place. They knew instantly it was perfect for them.”

Which I talked about shooting here: Green door – almost 2 years ago to the day.

So Congratulations to both Lesley and Lindsay here…
Lindsay Anderson outside her cottage style bungalow near Portaferry in County Down.
.. for making it into this top selling Irish magazine – but more importantly, I like to say a HUGE Congratulations to Lexie here…
The living room in Lesley Anderson's cottage style bungalow near Portaferry in County Down.
.. for once again being the Cover girl, who is clearly enjoying her Creature Comforts too smile

From Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

April 4, 2017

Flexible Family Living.

Is the title of our latest published work in the May 2017 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors and Living magazine…
The cover plus pages 66 to 79 in the May 2017 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors and Living magazine featuring Anna and Jamie McMinnis' contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. on pages 66 to 79 plus on the Cover too – which features Anna & Jamie’s contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.

“With a growing family in mind, Anna and Jamie bought this architecturally designed home in Holywood with its spectacular views of Belfast Lough and child-friendly garden.”

Which I talked about shooting here: Overlooking Belfast Lough.

So just want to say a huge Congratulations to both Jamie and Anna here…
Anna McMinnis in the living room area of her contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. for not only making it into this top selling Irish magazine but for also making it onto the cover too – from Marie, Claudio, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

January 31, 2017

Ship Shape

Is the title of our latest published work in the March 2017 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine…
The cover plus pages 60 to 71 in the March 2017 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Eleanor and Stephen Blayney's mid terraced house called 'Marathon' in the County Down coastal town of Donaghadee.
.. on pages 60 to 71, as well as on the cover too – featuring Eleanor and Stephen Blayney’s mid terraced house called ‘Marathon’ in the County Down coastal town of Donaghadee.

“Eleanor and Stephen have used colour and light to make their coastal home a favourite port of call for friends and family.”

So just want to say a big Congratulations to Eleanor and Stephen here…
Eleanor and Stephen Blayney in the upstairs sitting room of their mid terrace called 'Marathon' in the County Down coastal town of Donaghadee.
.. for not only making it all Ship Shape for us to shoot, but also for making it onto the cover of this top selling Irish magazine too – from Marie, Mandi, me and the rest of the team here @ ampimage.com
Smile

September 3, 2016

A huge project didn’t faze me.

Is the title of our latest published work in the October 2016 issue of Style at Home magazine…
Pages 16 to 26 in the October 2016 issue of Style at Home magazine featuring Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
.. on pages 16 to 26 – which features Jillian Espey’s former Fisherman’s Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.

“Jillian, 36, saw beyond her old property’s disrepair and transformed it into a stylish seaside cottage.”

Which I talked about shooting here: Everyone sees things differently and sees different things – at the start of this year.

So just want to say a Congratulations to Jillian here…
Jillian Espey at the dining table in the kitchen of her former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
.. for making it into this national magazine which is full of stylish homes and ideas – from Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

September 2, 2016

Calm restored.

Is the title of our latest published work in the October 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 90 to 93 in the October 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi detached house in Belfast.
.. on pages 90 to 93 – featuring Emma and Graham’s Victorian semi detached house in Belfast.

“By repurposing and reimagining, Emma and Graham Given have turned their ‘house of horrors’ into an elegantly practical home.”

Which I talked about shooting here: Like something you would see in a magazine – back in March of this year.

Plus New For Old is the title of our other one in this issue…
Pages 124 to 126 in the October 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring John Wilson's house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. on pages 124 to 126 – featuring John Wilson’s house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.

“Unable to find a home that he loved enough to buy, John Wilson built his own instead using plenty of reclaimed materials for a lived-in look.”

Which I talked about shooting here: Favourite shot has to be the Michael Jordan one – in July of this year.

So just want to say a big Congratulations here, to both Emma…
Emma Cooper in the kitchen of their Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. and John here…
John Wilson in the sitting room of his house on the outskirts of the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. for making it into this beautiful top selling national magazine – from Marie, Mandi & me smile

August 4, 2016

Happy ending

Is the title of our latest published work in the September 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 78 to 79 in the September 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Amy and Pierre-Emmanuel de Leusse's stone-bulit 18th-century cottage called 'La Petite Maison' on the edge of the charming village called Saint-Orens-Pouy-Petit near Condom.
.. on pages 78 to 79 – featuring Amy and Pierre-Emmanuel de Leusse’s stone-bulit 18th-century cottage called ‘La Petite Maison’ on the edge of the charming village called Saint-Orens-Pouy-Petit near Condom.

“Realising a long-held dream, Amy and Pierre-Emmanuel de Leusse discovered the beauty of rural life.”

Which I talked about shooting here: “Day 10” – 6 years ago.

So just want to say Congratulations to you both here…
Amy de Leusse and Pierre Emmanuel outside their house called 'La Petite Maison' which is nestled in the heart of the Gers countryside on the edge of the charming village called Saint-Orens-Pouy-Petit near Condom.
.. for this very happy ending – as it did take us quite a while too, for our dream to come true Wink.

However, a Tall order – which is the title of our other one in this issue…
Pages 111 to 113 in the September 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Karen Dyer's 19th-century farmhouse near the village of Greyabbey in County Down.
.. on pages 111 to 113, featuring Karen Dyer’s 19th-century farmhouse near the village of Greyabbey in County Down – was one we had to wait even longer for.

“Karen Dyer had a grand vision for her family farmhouse, but she had a mountain to climb to make it a reality.”

So I also want to say a big Congratulations to Karen and her daughter Beth here…
Karen Dyer with her daughter Beth in the sitting room of their farmhouse near Greyabbey in County Down.
.. for this very tall order – as after all these years I had almost given up on this becoming a reality too Wink.

In other words: Way to go to you all, for this very happy ending to a very tall order – from Marie, Mandi & me – who didn’t give up on our dreams neither smile

February 5, 2016

Location, Location.

Is the title of our latest published work in the March 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 107 to 109 in the March 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Anna and Jamie McMinnis's contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. on pages 107 to 109 – which features Anna & Jamie’s contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.

“Moving home wasn’t really part of Anna and Jamie McMillen’s plan until they fell for the spectacular views a spacious new-build offered.”

Which I talked about shooting here: Overlooking Belfast Lough last September.

So just want to say a big Congratulations to both Jamie and Anna here…
Anna McMinnis in the living room area of her contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. for making it into this top selling national magazine – Location, Location indeed – from Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

January 18, 2016

Everyone sees things differently and sees different things.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 1:45 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I believe, and would therefore often say to others, that everyone sees things differently and sees different things too, when they look at my work or anyone else’s pictures.

And so it’s what you see or what other people see, rather than what I see, that I have spend most of my life trying to figure-out – as photography is what I do in an attempt to make a living – as I try to create the type of images that they and possibly others too, would want to use, using light to tell the story.

So for me, as a photographer, lighting is often the first thing that I will see or will look at.
(Because obviously one needs light to take a picture – because without it, the camera or recording device that you are using, would not record anything – so all that you would get in the end is a black picture or image)

So light is obviously very important – and being able to control that, has therefore been one of the many things I have spent my time over the pass 30 years trying to master.

However, I know that light is just one of the many things that could make a big difference, so it’s by no means the only thing – and so that leads me to what I’m about to show and talk about here today.

When I am shooting a home, which I’m hoping that an Editor from a National magazine will want to feature, the goal would normally be to produce about 15 images as I know they will at least want to use 10 images – and so, I would usually put a full day aside to take those pictures.

“A full day to take 15 pictures”, I hear you say – “flip me, I could shoot the entire house in less than 30 minutes, as shooting a few rooms isn’t very hard to do.”

And you would be right – because taking some pictures is easy and I too could easily shoot an entire house in less 30 minutes.
However, producing or creating the type of images that someone like an Editor from a National magazine will actually want to use – and would therefore be willing to pay me some money for the use of them – is very different to just taking some picture that others could use if they wanted to, as almost any type of image would good enough in that case, if that was really all that I had to do.

Which basically means that I know that I may have to do a lot more than just take some pictures of whatever happens to be there – because what the camera often records, doesn’t always look as good as what my eyes see or what my brain records when I look around a room.

To help illustrate what I mean – which should also help explain why it would take me so long to shoot a home, as well as why I’d possibly charge a lot more for the use of my work than many others would – I’m simply going to let you see the set of captures that lead up to this one image…
The sitting room in Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
.. of this sitting room in Jillian’s former Fisherman’s Cottage, which we shot last week in the County Down village of Groomsport.

To my eye, I can assure you it looked great – however, as you can see from this first picture that was taken…
The first picture taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
.. it appeared very dark on screen – which was mainly due to the weather outside, as it was raining at the time.

Plus the windows – which were very much in keeping with this type house – were relative small and deeply set in the 2 feet thick walls, so not a lot of natural light would poured in, even at the best of times I reckon.

Anyway, that was my starting point – and so as I knew that this would probably be the lead shot or the one that an Editor would want to go big with at the start of the feature – then it was pretty obvious that I and my team were going to need to do a lot here, should we want to achieve our goal. Which was of course, not just to see if I could take a picture, but was to see if I could produce an image (or set of images in this case) that an Editor from a National magazine would want to use… and naturally want to use badly enough, that she would be willing to pay me something for the use of them too smile

Because at the end of the day, as far as I’m concerned, photography is all about trying to make some money – as this is what I do for a living – rather than for a hobby or for the fun of it.
So if you don’t see me smiling or looking like I’m having a load of fun, that’s because I’m totally focused on my goal – which I know I need to be, if I’m to succeed – because no one has ever paid me for excuses, only for results smile

So this is why I’d ask Marie to help me – and often someone else too, like Claudio here in this case, to help both of us – because people only pay me for what they want to use, not for me to do the actual work for them.
Which means I know I need to produce some images that they will actually want to use, if I’m expecting them to pay me anything afterwards, for the use of our work.

The chicken or the egg, which comes first… type of thing.

Anyway, they say a picture is worth a thousand words – so since I’m obviously rambling on here about all sorts of different things and I know, as I said at the start, “that everyone sees things differently and sees different things too”, when they look at my work – and many of you who are reading this, will be looking at it for very different reasons too, then I’m now just going to let the pictures speak for themselves, to let you see what all we did here.

And for those of you who would often ask me questions about what all I do, because you would like to do this type of work too – I would suggest as you look at each capture frame below, you ask your self what would you have done next, if that was the image that appeared on your screen, after you had taken the picture – because it’s what you would have done next (rather than what we did here) that would result in your image looking different – be it a lot different or just a little bit different in the end… because everyone sees things differently and sees different things too smile

Anyway, I have said enough, so I’ll let you enjoy putting the words to the pictures – as I’m quite sure what you will see here is not what I see…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
The sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
.. which just leaves me to say a big thanks to Jillian here…
Jillian Espey at the dining table in the kitchen of her former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport..
.. for not only inviting us in but also for putting up with us, as we turned her beautiful house upside down smile

All of which should also let you see why, it takes us a full day to shoot a home – and why the amount that I would charge for the use of our work, would therefore naturally be reflexed in all of this too.

Cheers
Ashley
www.ampimage.com

October 25, 2015

The pool with the view.

Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea, is what they wanted the picture to say at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in County Down.

So after agreeing on a price – for me to produce and then provide such an image, for them to use in multiple media for 1 year – I went along to have a look at the pool and took some quick snaps like this…
One of the reference pictures taken of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. which I felt looked most impressive; however, it didn’t really say: Pool with a view.

Liked this angle too…
One of the reference pictures taken of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. and yes, one could now at least see the view, which was pretty Wow on a nice sunny day like this was.

However, there was something about this angle I liked…
One of the reference pictures taken of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. where as you can see here in this darker exposure…
One of the reference pictures taken of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. one could see the sea too.

“The pool with the view, where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea” – perfect.

Now all I had to do was shoot it for real – meaning: Produce an image that they want to use enough, that they would be willing to pay me some money for – which as good as these were, I reckoned they wouldn’t be quite ‘good enough’ to meet their usage requirements smile

So a date was sort of set – as getting good weather I knew was going to be key here, if I wanted that view to look as good as it did here.
There is an old saying here in Ireland: “If you can see the Mournes, it’s about to rain – if you can’t, that’s because it is” – which isn’t far of the truth.
And so it was very much as case of just having to keep an eye on the weather forecast and then making the call that “it’s on” at the very last minute.

The above pictures were taken on the 20th of May; however, due mainly to us being busy at that time – because we had just been commissioned to shoot all of the various Carlton Hotels around the south of Ireland – it wasn’t until Friday the 29th of June that I made that call, that it was on.

Arrived around 1pm and as the first images appeared on screen…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. I was thinking to myself, this is going to look great once I’ve lit it.

So I set-up the lights, re-postioned the camera slightly and then I heard a splash…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. Nooooooooooooooooooo!!! I cried, as the guests who were staying at the hotel jumped in and started to swim about.

The pool obviously hadn’t been closed, like I’d thought it had been when I first set-up – and so it was like: “Houston, we have a problem” – because that Black Tiled pool just didn’t quite look as welcoming when the water wasn’t still & clear… to say the least.

The view outside was okay, as you can see here…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. but not really as good as I would have liked – and so I just had to sit here and wait, and wait, and wait some more – in the hope that things would get better.

A member of staff had also been informed that she may be called upon to doing a bit of modelling too – and so I knew that she would arrive around 3pm – which naturally gave me plenty of time here to figure this all out.

And so I waited.

At 2:45 it looked like this…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. which overall wasn’t bad I thought – so maybe in another 15 minutes or so, the water will stop moving and I’ll be okay.

But then I hear another splash…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. and a few seconds after that, this girl jumps in under the water jets…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. and so once again I heard screams inside my head: Noooooooooooooooooo!!!

Anyway, as it turned out the girl was actually the member of staff that I had been waiting on – so I asked them to turn of the water jets and decided to proceed, as if none of this other stuff mattered.

Two minutes later, that was a rap…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. as I honestly felt I was just wasting everyone time here – as this was clearly never going to work cry

I had this really great picture in my head too – and it obviously looked amazing – but as you can see here, I didn’t really have very much else rolleyes

Anyway, not one to be beaten after 25 years – and since the thought of having to go back and trying again didn’t appeal to me – I decided the following morning to have another look at what I did have here.

Well I did have at least a few images of the pool when the water was totally still – all be it from a slightly different angle.
I did have a few images that showed the Mountains of Mourne sweeping down to the sea – all be it the sky was white.
I did have a few images where the overall pool looked okay – all be it there was no view.
I did have a person in the pool, looking as if they were enjoying the view – all be it there wasn’t one.
And I did have this image…
Millisle beach.
.. which I’d taken a few years early, down at the beach in Millisle, close to were I’m based.

So… they said they wanted me to produce and then provide them with an image that said: “The pool with the view, where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea” – well okay then, “let’s do it” I thought to myself wink

And a few hours later, this was the result…
The swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in the County Down town of Newcastle.
.. after it had been seriously amped as Marie would often refer to what we do.

Anyway, needless to say after seeing the above image, 1 years use very quickly became 3 years use in multiple media – like this double sized billboard…
Double size billboard showing the Spa at the Slieve Donard Hotel.
.. and at the end of 3 years they obtain a new licence for unlimited years use, I’m pleased to say too smile

And so that’s the story behind the image which you can still see to this very day on the Hastings Hotels website…
Page on Hastings Hotel's website about the Spa at Slieve Donard Hotel in County Down.
.. showing “The pool with the view, where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea”.

The magnificent Slieve Donard Resort and Spa is nestled in the heart of County Down where the ‘Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea’. Standing on 6 acres of private grounds, the hotel has been providing the best of Irish hospitality for over 100 years. The Percy French restaurant provides a cosy and friendly atmosphere. The Spa has all the facilities you need to relax and unwind from today’s hectic pace.

In 2015 the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa were awarded a Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

Creating images – because that’s what we do… just for you @ ampimage dot com smile

October 23, 2015

The kitchen is now the heart of our home.

Is the title of our most recent published work in the November 2015 issue of Style at Home magazine…
Pages 90 to 92 in the November 2015 issue of Style at Home magazine featuring the kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. on pages 90 to 92 – featuring the kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson’s period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.

‘Stylist at Home Nicola, 44, put together a contemporary open-plan kitchen with a vintage twist to match her 1920s home’.

Which we talked about shooting here: Free-standing.

So congratulations to Ray and Nicola here…
Nicola Anderson in the kitchen of her period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. your kitchen is now in the heart of many Style at Home readers too smile

From Marie, Mandi & me.

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