Ashley Morrison's Blog

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

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May 2, 2016

Reception/Guest Relations Desks.

“If we can get two together then great. We’d also like one showing the Guest Relations with our new Guest Relations Manager if the two desks shot doesn’t work. Hope this makes sense!” – was the brief that was sent along with this image…
Reception-Guest-Desk.
.. to show their new Guest Relations Desk, which had only recently been completed.

So that was next on the list – and so off to work we went – starting as usual by taking a picture to let everyone see what the camera sees…
First picture taken of the Reception area at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. followed by lots of discussions about what they wanted to image to say and how best to going about saying that…
Behind the scenes during the shoot of the Reception area at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot of the Reception area at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot of the Reception area at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot of the Reception area at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. until Alan and his wife arrived to assumed their positions – and then this was the final result…
The Reception area at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. which a few days later was on their Homepage…​
Screenshot​ taken of the home page on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. to welcome you to the Killarney Park Hotel.

So that was four in the bag and one to go.

May 1, 2016

Deluxe Family Room.

Filed under: Photography,Web links — Ashley Morrison @ 5:01 pm
Tags: , , , ,

“Could include breakfast tray on the bed? This image is to show off that we have family rooms (two doubles)” is what John wrote – along with these 2 pictures…
Picture of the deluxe family room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Picture of the deluxe family room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. which he sent, to let us see what it looked like.

The 2nd image begin the one that I liked the look of the most, as I felt the window and seating area were important to show – and Dianne agreed. So on arrival that is where I first set up the camera, to see how looked – which surprisingly looked very good, as you can see here…
First picture taken in the Deluxe Family Room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. and so we were almost done wink

Well not quite – and so once again I will let the pictures which Claudio took, tell what all happened next – because when it comes to creating an image that they will want to use, rather than taking a picture that they could use if they wanted to, it usually means having to do a lot more than just pressing the bottom once or twice

Anyway, we were at least off to a good start – so this actually didn’t take very long…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Deluxe Family Room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Deluxe Family Room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Deluxe Family Room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Deluxe Family Room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Deluxe Family Room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Deluxe Family Room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Deluxe Family Room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Deluxe Family Room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

.. for us to end up with this…
The Deluxe Family Room at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. which they once again weren’t long on putting to good use…
The accommodation page on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. a few days later.

So just want to say a big thanks to Alan and his family here – as they were The Stars of the show – and so that was it for that day, as it was time for a pint of Guinness… or was it 2 or maybe it was 3, as we did produce three images that day after all Smile​

There is taking a picture…

Filed under: Photography,Web links — Ashley Morrison @ 10:42 am
Tags: , , , ,

.. that someone could use if they wanted to – and then there is creating an image that they would want to use – which is something that I would often say to a new client, who would be looking to hire a photographer for a few days, to take a bunch of pictures of their place.

Because if what you want, is just for someone to come along and take a load of pictures, then anyone with a decent camera should be able to do that for you – so just go with whoever is the cheapest.

However, if what you want instead, is for someone to come along and produce & then provide you with some images that you would want to use afterwards, then first we would need to talk about what all you needed to use them for, etc, etc – because there are more than 100 different ways to shoot any subject.

And since each of those ways could greatly affect the outcome as to whether you would want to use them or not, then “spray & prey” as it’s sometimes called, is not really the ideal way to go about it, as you could end up with nothing that would really say what it is you are wanting the images to say.

A picture being worth a 1000 words and all that wink

Common Law of Business Balance:

“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.”

So on that note, I’ll now let the pictures tell the story of what we were doing this week down in County Kerry, at the Killarney Park Hotel, with John and his team – who we have worked with before, which I talked about here: Keeping it real.

So like a well-oiled machine, everyone (pretty much) knew what they needed to do this time – and so I will now let the pictures speak for themselves, starting with the first taken…
First picture taken in the Junior Suite bedroom at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. and so it beings…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Junior Suite bedroom at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Junior Suite bedroom at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Junior Suite bedroom at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Junior Suite bedroom at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Junior Suite bedroom at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Junior Suite bedroom at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Junior Suite bedroom at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Junior Suite bedroom at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

.. through to the final result…
The Junior Suite bedroom at Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. which in less than 48 hours, was on their Homepage for the World to see…
Screenshot​ taken of the Home page on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. what we had created for them to use to tell their story.

So that was one – next up was the dining room – which once again I will let the pictures tell the story, as there were lots taking by both myself & Claudio here… who I have got to say, has really become very good at the old lighting – as you can see – because this was indeed a tricky enough one to light, even though that is (hopefully) not what anyone will ever see, as that is not what we want you to even notice smile

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.
.. whereas 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 a 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 main​ 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-positioned the camera slightly and then I heard a splash…
One of the main 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 main 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 modeling 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 main​ 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 main 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 main 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 off 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 main 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 roll eyes

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 biased​.

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 license for unlimited years use, I’m pleased to say too

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 cozy 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 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.

August 30, 2015

Six of these plus a whole bunch of these.

The fun continued at the Breaffy House Resort
One of the many pictures taken at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. as the weather quickly changed and blew everything away with it.

So we headed inside as it started to rain, to shoot the new Healy Mac’s bar…
First pictures taken in Healy Mac’s bar at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. which looked amazing – especially when the sun poured in through the large windows, which it clearly wasn’t anymore.

Anyway, with six of these…
Bowens 3K packs.
.. plus a whole bunch of these…
3K flash heads outside.
.. and we were all set to go…
Marie & Claudio in the bar at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. as Marie & Claudio assumed the position that the models would later be in.

So while we waited for everyone to arrive…
In the bar at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. we did some test shots – with Claudio sitting in once again, this time with Mary Lee
Mary Lee & Claudio in the bar at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. and then when everyone else arrived, it was time to start shooting for real…
Shooting in the bar at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. and this was the final result…
Healy Mac’s bar at the Breaffy House Resort in the County Mayo town of Castlebar.
.. after a few different outfit changes.

Next up was the restaurant – so with the camera in the ideal position
One of the first pictures taken in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. everyone started to do their thing…
One of the first pictures taken in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. while we did ours…
Shooting in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. hair sorted…
One of the first pictures taken in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. emails checked…
One of the first pictures taken in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. time to shoot…
Shooting in the restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. and this was the result…
The restaurant at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. after we had turned the place totally upside down smile

The large Banquet suite was next…
Shooting in the Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. which after Claudio had lit – with six of these plus a whole bunch of these – the models were given their instruction…
Shooting in the Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. while I checked to see how it looked…
Shooting in the Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. then more instruction…
Shooting in the Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. the result…
The Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. a final check…
Shooting in the Banquet suite at the Breaffy House Resort in County Mayo.
.. and that was it.

Which just left what we had started…
Claudio Salviato looking for the mark on the ground outside the Breaffy House Resort.
.. which I talked about here: Doing whatever it takes.

And so that was it – a big thanks to everyone involved here – from Marie, Claudio & me at ampimage – as it was then back to the Healy Mac’s bar – tired, wet but very pleased with the results – to enjoy six of these plus a whole bunch of these smile

August 22, 2015

How hard can it be !

At the end of last year we were invited along to take a look at some of the bedrooms at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club (also known as The K Club), near Straffan in County Kildare, which they were wanting us to possibly shoot sometime.

So we were shown around by their Marketing people, and while Marie talked to them about what all they wanted, who their market was, etc, etc – I took some quick pictures like this…
Recce images of one of the bedrooms at The K Club located near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. just to see what the camera saw, as well as get an idea of what I may have to do later on.

Anyway, last week we were back – but this time we didn’t just come to take some pictures, we were here this time to create some images that they would want to use instead.
So needless to say the wagon was fully loaded, which naturally took some time pack as well as unpack that evening on arrival…
Unloading the Land Rover in front of the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. but anyway, we kicked off the following morning in the Superior bedroom…
One of the first pictures in the Superior bedroom at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. which by 10:47 we were ready to let Orla here…
Superior bedroom at the K Club
.. see this final result…
The Superior bedroom at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. to have it signed-off, so to speak.

Then it was over to the Barton Suite…
One of the first pictures taken in the Barton Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. where Marie worked her magic as usual – while Stuart…
One of the first pictures taken in the Barton Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. well he was obviously tired, so he decided to lie down on the job wink

Still, very pleased with the result…
Barton Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. as was Orla too.

Next up was the Liffey Deluxe suite…
One of the first pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. so it was all hands on board once again…
One of the first pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. to create this image of the sitting room area…
The Liffey Deluxe suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. before swinging the camera around…
At work
.. doing what we do …
One of the first pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. to end up with this…
Liffey Deluxe suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. which once again Orla seemed very pleased with.

The Presidential Suite was next…
One of the first pictures taken in the Presidential Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. which we rearranged…
One of the first pictures taken in the Presidential Suite.
.. styled…
One of the first pictures taken in the Presidential Suite.
.. and then lit to look like so…
The Presidential Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. to show both the sitting room area and the bedroom this time – before calling it a day…
Outside the Presidential Suite
.. and enjoying a glass of wine outside.

Next morning I told Marie how I’d caught a fish this big
The Viceroy Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. or maybe I was showing her a possible camera angle wink

Either way, it was the huge Viceroy Suite next…
One of the first pictures taken in the Viceroy Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. were Marie as usual worked her magic…
One of the first pictures taken in the Viceroy Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. while Stuart and I worked on the lighting, to end up with this image…
The Viceroy Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. before a quick change…
Creating the Bridal Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. to create the Bridal Suite…
The Viceroy Bridal Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. which it seems, it is also regularly used for.

Pretty Wow !!

Anyway, next up was the Liffey Suite…
One of the first pictures taken of the Liffey Suite.
.. which was one of the bedrooms we had taken pictures off before (which I showed above) – and so after the team had done their thing, this was the end result…
The Liffey Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. as Stuart hung out the window to fill the room with beautiful light.

Next morning we started with​ Suite 6…
One of the first pictures taken in Suite 6 at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. which thankfully was on the ground floor, as it was bucketing down outside – so lights up and raincoats​ on…
One of the first pictures taken in Suite 6 at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. as we knew we had to be quick here…
Suite 6 at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club.
.. to capture this suite’s U.S.P, which we felt the waiter highlighted to perfection.

The last room was dark due to it raining outside…
Bedroom Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
… and much smaller than the others too – so please wait outside…
Bedroom Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
.. while I have a look…
Pre-viewing the final results.
.. at this the final bedroom image…
Bedroom Suite at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Golf Club
… before packing-up and loading-up…
Packing up to leave.
.. tired but very happy – that we had actually made it look, as if we hadn’t done anything at all here, besides just take some quick pictures of what happened to be there, with a really good camera.

Because, like how hard can it be, to shoot a few bedrooms smile

Anyway, from Marie, Stuart & me – we hope we have made you want to stay at The K Club – as that was our goal here when we creating images – which is a truly amazing place in the beautiful County of Kildare, as you can clearly see.

June 21, 2015

How much does it cost to take a picture ?

That’s often the first question a client will ask.

Well, ​the answer to that would obviously depend on a number of things, some of which one may be able to estimate beforehand, especially if it was something that you could totally control. However, when it involves shooting a subject where many things are possibly beyond your control, like the weather for example, then it’s not so easy.

Charge for your time & expenses, is often what you will hear other photographers say – but how much is that really worth to your client, if at the end of the day, they are not happy with the results and don’t really want to use any of the images that you have taken ??

In other words, is one image which may have only taken you a second to capture – which they do actually want to use and use a lot – worth more to them than 1000 images they don’t want to use at all?
And if it’s an image they want to use a lot, rather than one which they don’t want to use very much, is that then worth more to them or is it still only worth the same amount as the time it took you to take it?

Questions I’ve asked myself many times over the years, as well as asked other like-minded photographers too – as the difference between being asked and not being asked, often comes down to how one answers these type of questions… right at the start.
Because if you get it wrong, then you may not get the opportunity to show what you can do or you may not be able to afford to do what you would like to do ​if you had the money to do whatever it takes.

Which brings me to this latest assignment which I did this week – which on the face of it, sounded liked an easy one – as it was just a couple of exterior shots the client wanted to be taken.
Sure anyone could do that – so why he asking me?​? – because it’s not like I’m the cheapest guy in town or that I even live in a town close by – quite the opposite in fact.

Anyway, according to Wiki:

A photographer [the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning “light”, and γραφή (graphê), meaning “drawing, writing”, together meaning “drawing with light”] is a person who takes photographs.

And so that was what I had to be asked to do last week, i.e. take some pictures of their castles.

Having recced them both the week before – and keeping in mind that it rains here in Ireland, over 250 days a year – I knew it was all going to be about timing, i.e. being in the right spot at the right time – as that’s what exterior shots are all about.

Anyway, the first was Bellingham Castle in the heart of the medieval village of Castlebellingham in County Louth – which I knew needed to be an early morning shot – ideally ‘first light’ as it’s known​ in the business. So was up at 3am to be sure (to be sure) I was on location and in the ‘right spot’ to capture that perfect moment.

At 5:30am it looked like this…
One of the first images taken at around 5:30 in the morning at Bellingham Castle in the heart of the medieval village of Castlebellingham in County Louth.
.. by 6:30am it looked like this…
One of the images taken at around 6:30 in the morning at Bellingham Castle in the heart of the medieval village of Castlebellingham in County Louth.
.. and by 8am it was a rap…
Bellingham Castle in the heart of the medieval village of Castlebellingham in County Louth.
.. as they would say in the Movie business – as even their Irish Wolfhound posed to perfection around about then too  Smile

Then it was over to Cabra Castle outside the town of Kingscourt in County Cavan – where they had closed off the parking area in the front of the hotel, to ensure it would be ready for me to shoot at 2pm – which was the time I reckoned the light would be ‘just right’ here.

So at 1:45pm, it was all hands on board as the light came around onto the front of the Castle…
Setting up the shot at Cabra Castle outside the town of Kingscourt in County Cavan.
.. while I took the first few shots from the Cherry Picker they had hired – and by 2pm it was all over…
Cabra Castle outside the town of Kingscourt in County Cavan.
.. due to perfect origination and preparation by Howard and his staff here – as well as their Irish Wolfhound too of course, who posed like a pro  Smile​

And so that was it for the day – lots of pictures taken but only 2 images created, to tell the story using light – which in this case, was all done by the Big Guy up above.

So how much does it cost to take a picture?
Well the answer could be ‘not very much’ – but if you were to change the question to ‘How much would it cost to produce some images that I would actually want to use and use a lot’ – well then the answer to that could be very different, as that may be a lot harder to achieve.

Anyway, I must have done something right here, as they do want to use these images for at least the next five years in multiple media throughout the world, so a great result for everyone in the end – as they got what they wanted and I achieve what I wanted too Smile

Cheers
Ashley
www.ampimage.com

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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