Ashley Morrison's Blog

November 28, 2016

Black Friday sale.

As we approach the end of another year, it was time to take advantage of the 50% off ‘Black Friday’ sale over the weekend smile.

So some new books have been printed…
A book called Irish Hotels by Ashley Morrison.
.. which even includes the work we did at Straffan House last week…
The dining room in Straffan House at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. which I plan to write about later on this week – so watch this space, as that was a totally amazing shoot smile.

Anyway, Irish Hotels is a large format coffee table book containing a collection of hotel images created by me and my team over the past few years in Ireland – which I’m thinking should make for a very nice Christmas present, as well as hopefully help kick start the new year wink.

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May 19, 2016

What happens if things go wrong ?

Sometimes other photographers would ask me – when I tell them that I only ask my clients beforehand, to pay me for the Rights to use my work, rather than for my time & expenses to do the work for them – what happens if after you spend a lot of time and money producing a set of images, the client then turns around and says that they do not want to use ​them or pay for the use of them?

Or what if are now not prepared to pay as much?
Or what if they want a lot more done to the images first, etc, etc?

Well thankfully that doesn’t happen very often, mainly because I would usually try to put everything down in writing beforehand – as well as ask lots of questions about things like:

Who is your target market?
What do​ the images need to say to your target market?
Which media are you planning on using the images in?
How long are you needing to use them in those media?
Plus where in the World are you going to be advertising in those media?

In other words, it’s a bit like the 5Ws.

Because their answers to those type of questions would then help me understand what it is I need to do to meet their needs.

So it is therefore important that they tell me what they need upfront, and if there is anything specific that they require – be it a look or a style or some retouching done, etc, etc – then that would also need to be put in writing beforehand too.

Because the price that I would be quoting them beforehand…
Recce picture taken in the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. would be for the Rights to use the images that I had created afterwards, so naturally, ​it would be based on that information.

But still, I hear you say: “What happens if it all goes wrong” – for whatever reason – and they end up not wanting to pay or they don’t want to pay as much, etc, etc?​

Well first off, I’d probably want to find out why that was – for example, was it something that I did wrong or didn’t get right or misunderstood?
Or are they now just trying to pull a fast one ?

As a rule of thumb, if someone has invested a lot of their own time and money in a shoot – then it’s highly unlikely that they wouldn’t then want to use the images afterwards.

So, therefore, ​I would say, that 99% of the time if the client did say afterward​s that they did not want to pay for the use the images, the fault would lie at my end.
Which I would then naturally want to learn from – as ‘The Goal’ beforehand would have been, to try and produce some images that they (and possibly others too) would actually want to use – and hopefully want to use a lot too – rather than just see if I could take some pictures… which I know I could probably do with my iPhone icon_wink

Anyway, if I was to say it has never happened or was to say that I have never failed to produce the type of images that a client would want to pay for the use of, that would be a lie – because it has happened and it did actually happen very recently too.

So the question I have to ask myself, is obviously “Why did it happen ?” – because that was not ‘The Goal’ beforehand.

Not always an easy one to answer, because there may, in fact, be a number of reasons as to why it happened – but the bottom-line is: There are no winners when it does happen.
Because they don’t get what they want and I naturally don’t get what I want neither icon_cry

And when that happens, then below you can see some examples of what that this lose-lose type of deal ends up looking like:

This is what this page currently looks like on their website…
What the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill does look like on their website.
.. of the Ocean View Double Room – versus what it could have looked like…
The Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. if I had been prepared to remove the building outside the window, for the same price as I had quoted them before they asked for that.

Which obviously I wasn’t prepared to do, because to do that well – so as one could not tell that it had been retouched, even when viewed at billboard size or in any media at any size – that would probably double​ the amount of time that I would need to spend on creating the image.

And it was the same here…
Galway Bay Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. as a result, this is how that same Atlantic View Suite currently looks on their website…
Screenshot of the Atlantic View Suite Bedroom picture on the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill's website.
.. and this is how their Family room looks…
What the Family bedroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill does look like on their website.
.. which once again, could have looked like this instead…
Family Bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. had I been prepared to replace the view outside the window.

“Forest for the trees” springs to mind – but there you have it – there are no winners is the answer icon_cry

Still, we did all really enjoy our stay in their hotel for a few days – which I talk about here: A lot more to it – and I did end-up with some lovely images for my own portfolio icon_wink

Plus it has given me something to blog about here for the​ second time – so all is not lost, because I at least have been able to put my work to good use cool

October 16, 2015

A lot more to it.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 10:20 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Having recced the hotel last year…
Recce picture taken in the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. and having already produced some images for them to use, which I talked about here: Many hands make light work – we were back this week to shoot the various bedrooms at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.

So while Marie talked to Louise and Sinéad about what she was planning on doing – Claudio began setting-up the lights…
First picture taken in the Classic bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. while I set-up the camera and began to take some pictures, so as to let everyone see what the camera was recording.

The natural light was lovely – so Marie worked quickly…
Marie at work in the Classic bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. but nevertheless, it still took a while to set-up – so Claudio had to hang-out of the upstairs window, after all, to add the finishing touch here…
Classic bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. to the first of 6 bedrooms we were about to shoot.

So that set the standard for the rest…
First picture taken in the Classic double bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. as Marie did her thing, while Claudio tried to figure out how he was going to light it…
One of the first picture taken in the Classic double bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. and in the meantime, Sinéad took some detail shots…
One of the first picture taken in the Classic double bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. as it, all came together…
Classic double bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. in what I can only call ‘great teamwork’.

Because that’s what it basically was throughout the shoot – first starting with a quick shot to let everyone see the angle…
One of the first pictures taken in the Blackrock Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. followed by lots of looking at the screen…
Behind the scenes in the Blackrock Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. thinking…
Behind the scenes in the Blackrock Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. more thinking…
Behind the scenes in the Blackrock Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. and then the final result…
The Blackrock Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. with Sinéad acting the part to complete the story in the Blackrock Suite.

Next…
One of the first pictures taken in the family bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. the family room –
One of the first pictures taken in the family bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. which when light & styled looked like this…
The family bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. where Teddy posed like a pro this time smile

Fresh flowers from the garden…
Marie getting flowers at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. detail shots…
One of the first pictures taken in the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. tips from a Pro…
One of the first pictures taken in the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. controlling the light…
One of the first pictures taken in the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. and the result…
The Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. where once again Sinéad acted the part to complete the story in Atlantic View bedroom.

Not much to it really – although when it came time to pack…
Packing the Land Rover outside the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. there did seem to be a lot more to it, than just taking a few quick snaps with a camera smile

Anyway, just like to say a big thanks to everyone involved here – and especially to Louise and Sinéad for all their help – from Marie, Claudio & me who now look forward to part two in a few weeks time.

May 8, 2015

Many hands make light work.

As one is often only as good as those around you…
Setting up in the Lobster Pot restaurant at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. as well as the subject in front of you of course – which in this case wasn’t a problem, as it was the award-winning coastal Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.

Anyway, that’s where we shooting last week – so quickly looking back that the series of images captured, from the 1st frame through to the last – which by itself, basically tells the story about what all was done.

On arrival, the first room they wanted us to capture was this…
First picture taken in the Ballyvaughan ballroom at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. which they referred to as the Ballyvaughan ballroom suite – which as you can see was all set-up and ready to shoot.

However, they weren’t wanting me to just take some pictures – as they could have easily done that themselves or asked someone more local with a decent camera to do that – no, what they were wanting was some images produced instead, because they wanted to use them, to help not only show the space but also to show what they had to offer their quests… like you.

So this is Your Table
One of the first pictures taken in the Ballyvaughan ballroom at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. in this room – and so that was our starting point – which the girls then worked on, to ensure that everything from the camera’s position was just perfect – which included all those bows on the back of the chairs, as well as obviously the table setting in front of the camera.

So while Claudio (who had kindly once again offered to help assist) and I worked on the lighting, the rest of the team worked on what was in front of the camera – which involved quite a few changes too…
One of the pictures taken in the Ballyvaughan ballroom at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. as things do sometimes look very different to the eye, than they do when you see it on the screen.

Anyway, very pleased with the final result…
The Ballyvaughan ballroom at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. as that says to me: “Your table is now ready in this beautiful room, which can obviously cater for all your friends too… as the last of the candles are​ lit by their well turned-out staff, who are there for you” – or something like that, as they do say a picture is worth a thousand words Smile

Anyway, after the long drive and having spent so much time on that image, we were pretty much ready to call it a day – but naturally the staff were keen to make at start on the larger of the two ballrooms – and so before they set it up this time, they wanted me to give them some idea of what I was thinking of doing.
So I took a quick shot from the corner I was going to be shooting from the following day, to let them see what all I would be getting in…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lettermore ballroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. but then decided to try something a wee bit different, by looking over the Top Table instead…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lettermore ballroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. but that wasn’t quite right and so what was meant to be just a wee quick shot, turned out to be… well as you can see…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lettermore ballroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. hours of fun instead.

Anyway, happy with that for now, I left them to it – because it was time to grab something to eat before hitting the sack, as the Big One was next.

Up at 4:30am – showered, shaved and the first capture was taken of Marie and the model on the balcony…
The balcony at 5:27 in the morning looking out over Galway Bay at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. at 5:30 in the morning.

Hard to imagine what the actual final image would look like at this stage – but nevertheless, everyone worked away on getting their part done…
Bride and Groom on the balcony at 6:40 in the morning at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. as we waited for the sun to rise​.

Which it did, but we were facing South, not East – and so it’s wasn’t quite what I was hoping for…
Bride and Groom on the balcony at 6:46 in the morning at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. even with all the lighting that Claudio had set-up.

Okay, how about I take a picture of this…
From the balcony at 7:08 in the morning at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. and then do this…
Bride and Groom standing on the balcony looking out over Galway Bay at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. now what do you think?

Again, it may not be a picture that one can just take or one that local wedding photographers will ever thank me for – but as I said before, they didn’t just want me to come along and take some pictures, they wanted me to create some images instead, to help them not only tell their story but to let you see what they had to offer you as well.

And so to me, this tells that story – or at least it tells the story I wanted to tell here – which is that they are located right on the beachfront, overlooking the beautiful Galway Bay, which is ‘the perfect setting’ for your big day.

The fact that you may have to get up at 5am to complete that dream… well, just don’t ask me to be your photographer  ​wink

Anyway, after a well deserved breakfast – where we overhear one of their guests tell her friends how she had been woken up at 6am by some noise outside – and when she looked out the window, to her surprise, there was a bride & groom standing on the balcony – to which her husband quite witty said:

“No more wine for you tonight dear”

Smile

Yes, ​it seems all the curtains were twitching – as I’d totally forgotten that all the bedroom overlooked the Bay and the area where we shot – so my shouts & yells had clearly not gone unnoticed. So sorry to everyone who was staying that night, but I hope you enjoyed the early morning show anyway, as that was team-work at it’s best.

But anyway, after breakfast it was back into the Lettermore ballroom suite…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lettermore ballroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. which as I’d said before, we had really pretty set-up the night before – so after the final touches were added, it was time once more for our Bride & Groom to step-in…
The Lettermore ballroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. and ‘strike the pose’ – which they did to perfection to complete the story.

Huge lighting job, but not as complex the next one, which as you can see here…
One of the first pictures taken in the bar at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. was the bar.

A roaring fire, good food, a pint of the black stuff and a bit of craic – is what an Irish bar is all about to me – and so this was the end result…
The bar at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. which again was a huge team effort, as every last detail was like a word in the story that we were trying to tell.

The surprise one came next – which was to be taken in the Lobster Pot restaurant – as I was originally thinking of something like this…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lobster Pot restaurant at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. to capture that area of the room – but as the guys cleaned the windows, Louise and Sinéad sat in for a quick shot…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lobster Pot restaurant at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. and that was it – which end-up looking like this…
The Lobster Pot restaurant at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. as once again the models struck the perfect pose – but not until after, as you can see from the first image above, a huge team effort.

And so it when throughout the day…
The conservatory at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. and into the following the day, which ended here in their cafe…
One of the first pictures taken in the cafe at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. which once again was a tricky one to light – so thank you Claudio, as I couldn’t have done it without you – but it wasn’t just the lighting, it was everything – which is why I titled this: “Many hands make light work” – because there really was a lot of people involved in creating these images here…
The Cafe restaurant at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. not forgetting their wonderful​ chef of course, who struck the pose in this final image, before we called it a day and headed home.

And the comment from their boss after seeing the final results:

“Hi Ashley / Marie

I must say it’s yet another batch of fantastic quality images. I believe a great collaborative effort was made by all involved over a few long days well done.

I will review the preview images with Sinead and Louise over the coming days and either Sinead or Liouse will get back to you ASAP.

Thanks again.”

And from the marketing girls themselves who were involved:

“Hi Ashley
They look brilliant. It was great to work with you both again, we really learn a lot watching you both.
We’ve been showing the pictures to a few others and they’re getting a great response – we’ve never seen the hotel look so good!

We’ll be in touch soon,

Thanks again for everything!”

Plus:

“Hi Ashley/Marie,
Thank you so much for both your dedication last week. The photographs are proof of the great effort put in and we are excited about getting a new bank of imagery.

I will pass your feedback on to all the departments involved here.

Speak to you soon.”

As I said at the start: “One is only as good as those around you”, so Marie & I would like to thank you all too, as this one really was a team effort – which no doubt I will receive ‘hate mail’ for, from all those wedding photographers whose brides want that balcony shot wink

Anyway, thank you all, from Marie, Claudio & me @ ampimage, as many hands did indeed make lighter work here.

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