Ashley Morrison's Blog

July 7, 2013

Welcome to Ashford Castle.

Filed under: Photography,Work Rest & Play. — Ashley Morrison @ 3:27 pm
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Which was basically our brief this week – as we had been asked to produce 3 images for the new owners of Ashford Castle, the Red Carnation Hotels, to use in their brochures and on their website.

So we headed down the day before, hoping & praying that the rain would stop – as two models had been booked and Suzie, from the Red Carnation Hotels, had flown in from London to oversee us in action.

Anyway, we had a Plan B (as well as a Plan C & D, which we discussed with Suzie the night before, as we joined her for something to eat in the magnificent George V dining room) – should the weather not improve – as each of the images she required, would ideally be a member of staff with guests outside, with the Castle behind them.

Thankfully though, Plan C & D wasn’t needed – because as I woke the next morning it looked like we would be in luck, as the sun was shining Smile

However, this is Ireland where it rains 250 days a year, and so you just know that the next rain clouds won’t be far away.

Anyway, it was all systems go the following morning – so we headed down early to find the ideal spot for the first image – as the brief was to produce:

“.. a falconry shot – introducing guests to the birds in front of the castle.”

Anne Marie from Brendan Vacations, Suzie from the Red Carnation Hotels and Catherine from Ashford Castle were first to arrive…
Arriving at the shoot.
.. so while we waited for the others, we looked around to find the best angle of the Castle that would work for the first image.

And just as we found it the models, Catherin Higgins & John McCormack, arrived – as the sun came out – and so as you can see in the zoom in…
Fingers crossed.
.. Suzie had her fingers crossed here wink

Anyway, while we waited for the birds to arrive and the models to get changed, Stuart (my assistant), Anne Marie & Suzie …
Testing lights.
.. stood in while I did some test shots – as I still wasn’t ruling out Plan B.

Anyway, the birds arrive on schedule – two beautiful Harris Hawks…
Birds arrive.
… from Ireland’s School of Falconry, which is located on grounds of Ashford Castle – however, with no sun in site, it was time to resort to Plan B – which was to shoot the foreground first…
Looking good.
.. check the files to see if we had a least got that part right…
Checking the results.
.. and then wait and wait and wait…
The sun comes out.
.. for the sun to come out, which it finally did.

And the result…
Guests with Harris hawks at Ashford Castle in County Mayo.
.. was an image which I think they will be very pleased with, as I feel it looks very natural – due to the expressions on all their faces.

Will this be the cover shot?
Well I guess we will just have to wait and see – but those hawks are really something special – a USP for sure – so I reckon this could very well be the one.

Anyway, now that sun was out, it was time to move on to create the 2nd image…
Behind the scenes.
.. of the Bag Piper…
Bagpipe player at Ashford Castle in County Mayo.
.. who it seems, would often welcome guest as they arrive at the front of the Castle.
Another USP – and one thing for sure, while he played here, the guests all flocked out to see what was going on – so I wasn’t the only one taking pictures of him in action here Smile

Okay, so with 2 in the bag, that just left one to go:

“.. an arrival shot – staff extending a warm welcome to guests at the entrance of the castle.”

Sounds easy – but without some beautiful light…
.. it wasn’t looking so good.
So we just had to wait and wait and wait – for that one minute window of sunshine, before capturing what was felt to be the best image of the day:
The Doorman at Ashford Castle in County Mayo talking to a guest on the bridge.

Welcome to Ashford Castlejust for you – in association with Brendan Vacations and the Red Carnation Hotels cool

So I’d just like to say many thanks to everyone involved – and especially to the staff at Ashford Castle for making us feel so welcome once again.

Oh – and special thanks to the ‘Big Guy’ up above, for answering my prayers, as I really don’t think Stuart & I could have pulled this off without you Smile



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