Ashley Morrison's Blog

March 11, 2015

Riviera living SAVOIR FAIRE.

Is the title of one of 2 features we have in the April 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine…
Pages 22 to 27 in the April 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine featuring Janet and Ken Hamilton's villa called 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence
on pages 22 to 27 – featuring Janet and Ken Hamilton’s villa called ‘Jasmin’ near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.

“Janet and Ken Hamilton transformed a dated villa into their dream holiday home.”

Which we talked about shooting here: Kicking off back in 2010.

And ‘Mix & MATCH‘ is the other one….
Pages 38 to 45 in the April 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine featuring Mairead and Owen McIntyre's Victorian terrace in the university area of Belfast.
on pages 38 to 45 – featuring Mairead and Owen McIntyre’s Victorian terrace in the university area of Belfast.

“Mairead and Owen Moore beat the bargain-hunters and bagged the Irish home of their dreams.”

Which we talked about shooting here: How good back in 2010 as well.

So from the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence, to the capital city of Northern Ireland, I just like to say a huge thanks to everyone involved here – and especially to Steve at Chilli Media for this great result too.

From Marie Mandi & me at www.ampimage.com.

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July 16, 2014

A former goat shelter.

After crossing the Irish Sea – on route to meet Rachel from the BBC, to shoot Duncan’s French Riviera villa in the hills overlooking Cannes, which I talked here: In the Dragons’ Den – we stopped to meet landscape designer Bradley Viljoen, and shoot his four-bedroom hillside villa…
Marie McMillen sitting outside Bradley Viljoen's hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. formerly an agricultural goat shelter building, built in the mid 19th-century, near the French village of Cordes-sur-Ciel in the Tarn region of France.

As a garden and landscape designer based in London England, Bradley Viljoen spends his time creating other people’s dreams. A few years ago, along with partner Mark Smith, they decided it was time to do something for them – they decided to live the dream across The Channel in France.

“The idea was to create a beautiful home and garden to enjoy whenever we could, with the hope of living there permanently one day,” says Bradley. “We would rent it out for a few weeks a year to generate a bit of income so we could continue to improve the property and to create a garden.”

No work in her…
Marie McMillen in the sitting of Bradley Viljoen's hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. but nevertheless, when a home looks this good…
The sitting of Bradley Viljoen's hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. who could blame Marie for just wanting to sit down and enjoy it – as Bradley & Mark had done a fabulous job here.

“We’d spent quite some time checking out various regions, firstly via the online agencies and then by visiting various regions. We didn’t really know much about the Tarn until we actually visited it back in the summer of 2001. But once we came here we just fell in love with it,” says Bradley. “Southcentral France has a wonderfully diverse landscape of rolling plains to gentle mountains, it’s crisscrossed by rivers and lakes and enjoys a rich heritage of ancient villages, castles, churches, and gastronomy. We just felt it was the ideal spot for us among the rolling vineyards and unspoiled natural environment.”

Still, a bit of work was needed to light the place and get everything tickety-boo for the camera – but Bradley here…
Bradley Viljoen in the kitchen of his hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. was more than ready and as you can see, had the whole place, including the bedrooms…
Master bedroom in Bradley Viljoen's hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. sitting up looking pretty much picture perfect.

“We wanted to achieve something that would embrace the best of living at home with the best of living out here and I’m pleased with how it’s all come together – our little bit of entente cordiale.”

So we actually managed to rattle through this one quite quickly, but the wonderful memories have lived on much longer – as we managed to get this featured in Britain’s No.1 Home Magazine, Ideal Home
Pages 84 to 88 in the July 2006 issue of Ideal Home magazine featuring Bradley Viljoen and Mark Smith's mid 19th-century hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. which appeared the following summer in their July issue – and also in Templeton Robinson‘s Property Life magazine too, the year after that…
Pages 38 to 46 in issue 10 of Templeton Robinson's Property Life magazine featuring Bradley Viljoen and Mark Smith's mid 19th-century hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. which I’ve got to say looked absolutely stunning.

A former goat shelter it may have been, but definitely not any longer – and so we’d just like to say a big thank you to both Bradley & Mark, for this very special day which we will always remember.

From Marie & me in the Tarn region, having fun on route to the French Riviera, to meet Rachel from the BBC for the very first time & the famous Duncan Bannatyne too smile

July 14, 2014

In the Dragons’ Den.

At this French Riviera villa, which is set high in the hills overlooking Cannes
Duncan Bannatyne's French Riviera villa which overlooks the city of Cannes.
.. is where our next assignment was – which had been organised by Rachel from the BBC.

And yes it was none other than Scottish entrepreneur, philanthropist, author and television presenter, Duncan Bannatyne‘s family hideaway – who is most famous for his appearance as a business angel on the BBC programme Dragons’ Den.

Anyway, it was a beautiful day in the Côte D’Azur, as you can see – and so while Rachel, Duncan and his PR agent Robert Montague, headed off to the shops to pick-up a few bits & bobs – Marie & I when about setting up the first shoot – which was of the main living area.

And so on their return, the first image of the room had been created – which we then quickly showed them on the laptop screen…
Duncan Bannatyne with Rachel Watson, Robert Montague, and Marie McMillen, in his French Riviera villa which overlooks the city of Cannes..
.. before shooting Duncan standing again the large sliding doors…
Duncan Bannatyne in his French Riviera villa which overlooks the city of Cannes.
.. so as not to disturb the cushions of course – and looking very pleased with himself, as Rachel would say wink

So with the Dragon in his Den shot over, it was then over to the other side of the room to shoot the dining area…
Setting up the dining room shot in Duncan Bannatyne's French Riviera villa.
.. as well as a few detail shots, before stopping for a bite to eat…
Duncan Bannatyne with Rachel Watson, Robert Montague, and Marie McMillen the kitchen of his French Riviera villa.
.. shooting the kitchen and then outside to work on this area…
Duncan Bannatyne outside his French Riviera villa with Rachel Watson and Marie McMillen.
.. which as you can imagine, was one of Duncan’s favorite spots to sit…
Outside sitting area at Duncan Bannatyne's French villa overlooking Cannes.
.. and look out over Cannes – which is where I’d sit too, if I was a multi-millionaire wink

Why did you choose France?
‘When we first visited the South of France five years ago on a caravan holiday, we had a wonderful time. The following year we came back again and rented a villa in Cannes for a month. We really got to know the Côte D’Azur and I decided to buy a villa in the area, first and foremost as a place to unwind – but wearing my Dragons’ Den hat, I knew it would also be a good investment.’

Stunning…
Duncan Bannatyne by the pool at his French Riviera villa which overlooks the city of Cannes.
.. right up until the sun when down – which is when we all then posed for a group shot …
Rachel Watson, Marie McMillen, Robert Montague and myself, Ashley Morrison, with Duncan Bannatyne outside in the garden of his French Riviera villa which overlooks the city of Cannes.
.. outside in the barbecue area – which I had to light, as it was now late and almost dark – before enjoying a glass of wine and calling it a day.

Featured at the start of the follow year – titled Luxurious French Villa
Pages 86 to 92 of the January 2006 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine featuring Duncan Bannatyne's French Riviera villa which over looks Cannes.

Duncan Bannatyne, from BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den, found the perfect retreat in the South of France.

.. on pages 86 to 92.

And a few years later on the cover of Templeton Robinson‘s Property Life magazine too…
Pages 12 to 18 plus the cover of Issue 21 of Property Life magazine.
.. as well as inside on pages 12 to 18 – which I’ve got to say looked amazingly well.

By Marie & me – who for a day, dreamed that we were millionaires too smile

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.

June 22, 2014

Move your mouse…

.. over the original picture that was taken to see the final image created.

Finally finished updating the Before & After section on our Interior website here…
Chalon style kitchen by Hayburn Wood Products.
.. so as to not only let people see what was done, but also to show that there are more than 100 different ways to shoot any subject…
Chalon style kitchen by Hayburn Wood Products.
.. and that all images are not the same or even close to being the same sometimes – even if they were taken by the same photographer.

Which is something we often need to point out to clients when they ask us for a price to take some pictures?

Because there is a big difference between giving someone a price to turn-up to take some pictures…
Janet Hamilton's villa 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.
.. and being asked to giving someone a price to produce some images…
Janet Hamilton's villa 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.
.. that they would want to use.
As one could just involve turning-up and taking some snapshots of whatever happens to be there like I do when we recce a place…
L'Arco villa at the Pianciano hamlet near Spoleto in Italy.
.. whereas the other could involve hours of work…
L'Arco villa at the Pianciano hamlet near Spoleto in Italy.
.. and a team of people, etc – especially if they are wanting some images created that they will actually want to use in various media for years to come.

Which is why we would often ask about their usage requirements – and then take that information into account when quoting a fee for the use of our work after we have created it.

Because 9 times out of 10, even when it looks to be sitting perfect to the eye…
black gloss and walnut kitchen in Wendy Taylor's home in Comber by Robinson Interiors.
.. the sort of image that they will want to use…
black gloss and walnut kitchen in Wendy Taylor's home in Comber by Robinson Interiors.
.. may still need to be lit and styled, etc, etc – and so that is what this section on our website shows, i.e. I can take some pictures or we can create some images.

So enjoy this newly updated section by moving your mouse over the original picture taken to see the final image created – which includes many images that were produced a number of years ago in various countries, which the clients are still using to this very day to promote and advertise their business – as well as some of our most recent work.

May 27, 2011

Déjà View…

.. is the title of our latest published work in the July 2011 issue of Period Living magazine…
Pages 74 to 82 in the July 2011 issue of Period Living magazine featuring Janet and Ken Hamilton's villa called 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.
.. on pages 74 to 80 – featuring Janet and Ken Hamilton’s villa called ‘Jasmin’ near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.

“When Janet and Ken Hamilton started looking for a French getaway to renovate they were delighted to find a villa they’d stayed in years before.”

And this lovely wee note from the magazine’s Features Editor…
Compliment slip
.. which really made my day smile

Plus we are also delighted to hear that the feature has already attracted a very nice enquiry – a reader who has just seen the villa in the magazine, wrote to say: “simply have to stay there”.
Having stayed there for the photoshoot, we can totally endorse the fact that it is stunning.
Janet & Ken did a superb job on it in every way – the ultimate “I want to be there” sort of place – overlooking the French Riviera village of Saint-Paul de Vence.

So a big Merci to everyone involved – nous voulons être là aussi.

À la votre
Marie & me.
www.ampimage.com

October 15, 2010

Spot the difference.

On Day 7 – our last day’s shooting in the South of France – we shot another project for Liz Gibney…
Setting up the shot
.. this time, a very elegant and stylish villa near the French Riviera village of Saint-Paul de Vence…
The living room in Liz and Jim Gibney's villa near the French Riviera village of Saint-Paul de Vence.
.. which they had worked on.

It was for the most part, sitting up perfect…
The master bedroom before it was lit
.. so really just needed to be lit…
The master bedroom in Liz and Jim Gibney's villa near the French Riviera village of Saint-Paul de Vence.
.. after Marie & Liz had tweaked a few things to suit the camera.

So it was like ‘spot the difference’ on day 7 – and then on day 8 we packed-up and heading North, to the beautiful rural Armagnac region of France.

Which means more to follow – so watch this space !!

From Marie & me on our road trip across France.
www.ampimage.com

October 12, 2010

Jasmin

Woke up this morning to a beautiful day here in Saint Paul-de-Vence
The view from Janet's balcony.
.. and so we decided to make the most of the good weather and the amazing view…
The view from Janet Hamilton's villa 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of Saint Paul-de-Vence.
.. from the balcony of Janet’s villa – which we were shooting today.

The storyline:

The setting is simply out of this world – you can clearly see the stunning medieval village of St Paul De Vence from the balcony – and the villa itself was built in traditional Provençal style. Every direction you turn, there are beautiful towns and places to see and visit – from sleepy little villages in the mountains to buzzy cosmopolitan towns on the coast – bliss!!

Janet and her husband Ken toyed with all sorts of ideas about furnishing and decorating their villa – which incidentally is called Jasmin Villa because Jasmin trails over the balcony – when you throw open the shutters, the scent fills the air and is something else !!

Anyway, it was then into the main bedroom, which Marie sorted out very quickly…
Setting up the bedroom shot in Janet's villa.
.. while I lit it up to complete the dream…
The main bedroom in Janet Hamilton's villa 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of Saint Paul-de-Vence.
.. before finally heading down to courtyard area…
Setting up the courtyard shot at Janet's villa.
.. which Marie styled to perfection…
The courtyard at Janet Hamilton's villa 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of Saint Paul-de-Vence.
.. as I put up netting to reduce the contrast, before we sat down to enjoy what we had just shot 🙂

So that was basically day 4 – which we would like to thank Coup de Foudre for the tablecloth and cushions – and Janet for giving us the opportunity to produce such lovely images – in what has got to be one of the most beautiful places in the world.

From Marie & me – in the French Riviera.
www.ampimage.com

October 11, 2010

Coup de Foudre

Saint Paul-de-Vence in the South of France.

We are currently working with Liz and Jim Gibney who provide a complete interior design and refurbishment service. Today’s shoot was in their very stylish shop/studio which is located in a beautiful historic building in the heart of the town.

As well as wanting great images for their new website and marketing campaign, Liz and Jim are keen to promote their business on an ongoing basis using the various forms of social networking. This certainly seems to be increasingly a major element of any current marketing campaign these days ……. the way of the future ?????

Great to work with such a pleasant and professional couple – good “craic” as well as hard work !!

When a few finishing tweaks were needed to enhance this image, Jim swung into action…
all hands on deck
.. to re-position a chandelier and fit curtain poles, etc, as photoshoots such as this…
The interior of 'Coup de Foudre' in the French Riviera village of Saint-Paul de Vence.
.. are often about ‘all hands to the deck’ !!

Anyway, a great day’s work – and very pleased with how it’s going…
The interior of 'Coup de Foudre' in the French Riviera village of Saint-Paul de Vence.
.. so looking forward to capturing more of their projects later in the week.

That was day 3 from Marie & me in Saint Paul-de-Vence.
www.ampimage.com

October 10, 2010

Heaven on earth.

Is how I would describe the area where we are currently shooting in, which looks towards the French Riviera hilltop village…
The view from Janet and Ken Hamilton's villa called 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of Saint Paul-de-Vence.
.. of Saint Paul-de-Vence.

Anyway, on day 2 we made a start at shooting Janet & Ken’s villa…
Janet Hamilton's villa 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.
.. which they called Jasmin – because Jasmin trails over the balcony and so when you throw open the doors, the scent fills the air… and it really is wonderful 🙂

So started with the dining table area…
setting up the dining table shot.
.. which always a favorite shot of Marie’s…
The dining area in Janet's villa near Saint Paul-de-Vence.
.. and then turned around to shoot the main living area…
Setting up the living room shot.
.. which was already pretty much lit – so all that was needed was a wee bit of styling…
Living room in Janet's villa near Saint Paul-de-Vence.
.. which was basically the same when it came to some details shots…
Writing desk in Janet's villa near Saint Paul-de-Vence.
.. of this writing table area for example.

Lovely – so we shot the downstairs and then called it a day – before heading into Saint Paul-de-Vence, as it was time to eat some olives, French bread and drink that lovely wine… Oh la la style 🙂

From Marie & me.
www.ampimage.com

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