Ashley Morrison's Blog

October 3, 2018

House of Fun.

Is the title of our latest published work in the November 2018 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine…
Pages 82 to 93 in the November 2018 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors and Living magazine featuring Deborah and Graham Swail's semi-detached house in the Belmont area of Belfast.
.. on pages 82 to 93 – which features Deborah and Graham’s semi-detached house in the Belmont area of Belfast.

“Deborah and Graham took a classic base, added a dash of vintage blended with quirkiness and colour to create a uniquely happy home in Belfast.”

Which we talked about shooting here: No ordinary house will make it.

So congratulations to Deborah and Graham here…
Deborah and Graham Swail in the living room of their semi-detached house in the Belmont area of Belfast.
.. for this time making it into Ireland’s largest selling monthly interiors and lifestyle magazine – from Marie and Stuart…
“Marie
.. plus Mandi and me

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September 18, 2018

Classic design that stands the test of time.

Homes & Gardens is one of Britain’s oldest decorating magazines, which has been in circulation since 1919.

“Aspirational yet accessible, stylish, sophisticated and indulgent, Homes & Gardens showcases classic design that stands the test of time.”

Back in 2015 Jacqui and her husband, Peter, returned to Ireland and bought this large, derelict house…
“Large
.. as a renovation project.

Unoccupied for a while it seems, therefore in a terrible state of repair – so they totally stripped it back to brick…
“Totally
.. and removed virtually all the woodwork apart from the staircase – as it seems they really did want a challenge

Anyway, after receiving a call from Janet McMeekin, a London based writer who also once lived here, we were recently invited to take a look – and the rest is now history, as they would say…
“Dianne
.. because before very long Ivan had the lights up and Dianne had everything, including Jacqui here…
“Jacqui
.. looking like something you would see in a magazine.
But not just any old magazine, because yes I’m delighted to say, that 100 years after Homes & Gardens was first launched, you will now be able to see our work in that magazine too

So a big thanks to Ivan & Dianne here…
“Ivan
.. as well as to Janet, because it was “great teamwork” like you said – but most importantly I’d like to congratulate Jacqui and Peter, because if the icing on the cake was winning a heritage award, then this has got to be the cherry on top of that

One to look out for at the start of next year…
“The
.. in Britain’s oldest decorating magazines which showcases classic design that stands the test of time

July 6, 2016

Favourite shot has to be the Michael Jordan one.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 10:01 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

We were shooting a new build house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert this week – which belonged to John Wilson, who owns a gallery and framing business – and being like 6 foot 6 and then some, his passion is naturally basketball which he has played at a fairly senior level over the years.

The Storyline:

“As a little boy, John’s family rented a holiday home in Ballyhalbert where he had fond memories of family holidays – boats, fishing etc.
Initially, he loved the idea of a converted barn – but the opportunity to buy one within his budget didn’t arise.
So he decided to look for a site and build from scratch.
Style-wise, he likes a slightly eclectic mix of mid-century furniture (mostly from his grandparents’ former home) plus some very old rustic pieces he picked up cheaply – alongside some more contemporary items.”

Anyway, John had sent Marie a few pictures of his place a few weeks ago, which she then forwarded on to me with comments like so:
“Love the 2 sofas and footstool and stove…
Could see us getting a very strong shot here!!!”

IMG_8078

Yes, looks good to me too – and so after re-arranging of the sofas to suit the camera angle and a quick bit of styling by Marie, the first picture was taken…
First picture taken in the sitting room of John Wilson's house in the County Down village of Ballyhalbert.
.. to let everyone see what the camera was seeing – as it’s not seeing the room from 6 foot 6 up in the air smile

Anyway, after a bit more ‘pushing and shoving’ by John & Marie, lights were in place and so it was time to shoot the man himself…
John Wilson in the sitting room of his house on the outskirts of the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. standing tall and very much at home.

The money shot or the lead shot as we would call it – which is like the all-important one – and so that was a ‘slam dunk’ as far as I was concerned smile

Anyway, as the rain poured down we pushed on and slowly worked our way throughout his house, shooting not only each of the overall​ rooms but also some details shots like so…
Framed picture in John Wilson's house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. before moving upstairs to shoot the bedrooms etc.

The picture John had sent Marie of the master bedroom looked like so…
IMG_8087
.. which Marie said: “I wouldn’t be long sorting this out…”

And neither she was – as it was already looking good by the time I had set the camera up to take this first shot…
First picture taken in the master bedroom of John Wilson's house in the County Down village of Ballyhalbert.
.. which again after some work by John & Marie ended up looking like this…
The master bedroom in John Wilson's house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. where the most time was spent on debating where the basketball should be

Seriously though it was fun shoot – and the following day after John saw the final results, he replied by saying:

“You work fast Ashley, pictures look amazing!!!”

“Favourite shot has to be the Michael Jordan one but don’t be telling Marie that! haha”

Which refers to this image…
Large framed picture of Michael Jordan titled 'Wings' on the landing of John Wilson's new build house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. of the large framed picture of Michael Jordan titled ‘Wings’ on the landing – which really was stunning – and in itself told the story of who lived here. i.e. someone who is clearly into basketball and beautiful framing of artwork​ too.

A picture that is worth a 1000 words, especially to John – who we would both like to thank for inviting us in and making us feel so welcome, from Marie & me @ ampimage.com

April 1, 2016

Raising the bar.

Is the title of our latest published work in the May 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 116 to 119 in the May 2016 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Amy & Gareth Scott's semi-detached period house in the County Down town of Bangor.
.. on pages 116 to 119 – which features Amy & Gareth Scott’s semi-detached period house in the County Down town of Bangor.

“Amy and Gareth Scott decided to go big and bold when upsizing their family home.”

Which I talked about shooting here: Family living – a few years ago.

So just want to say Congratulations to them all here…
Amy Scott and her son Albert in the kitchen of their period semi-detached home in the County Down town of Bangor.
.. for raising the bar and making it into this beautiful top selling national magazine – from Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

September 20, 2015

Overlooking Belfast Lough.

This week we headed to Holywood in County Down (as opposed to Hollywood in American) were we produce some images of this magnificent house…
Anna and Jamie McMinnis's contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. which belongs to Anna & Jamie McMinnis.

Pretty stunning – as were the view too, as it looked out over Belfast Lough – which on a day like this, was something else.

Anyway, inside was equally impressive – to the eye anyway – but as can be seen here…
One of the first picture taken in the living room area of Anna & Jamie McMinnis's contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. what looks good to the eye, doesn’t always look good for the camera – or at least not as good as one would like it to be sometimes.

So the team when to work on this one – Claudio set-up the lights and Marie…
One of the first picture taken in the living room area of Anna & Jamie McMinnis's contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. well she posed for another ‘a behind the scenes’ image by the looks of it wink

Anyway, after both Marie & Claudio had done their thing, the transform was from the camera’s point of view, was now more like what my eye was seeing, i.e. a beautiful room which would look amazing especially if the sun was pouring in.
So once we had achieved that, then it was time for a shot of Anna – and this was the result…
Anna McMinnis in the living room area of her contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. as she posed to perfection, to complete the story we were trying to tell here.

The kitchen was next…
One of the first picture taken in the kitchen of Anna & Jamie McMinnis's contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. which as you can see here…
The kitchen of Anna & Jamie McMinnis's contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. required very little work, besides the placement of a few very nice cups and the controlling of the light.

And so it was throughout this contemporary style house – Claudio worked on the lighting, Marie posed for another behind​ the sense shot…
One of the first picture taken in the TV room of Anna & Jamie McMinnis's contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. as well as added the final touches too – which, joking aside, I think she is brilliant at – and I took lots of pictures like this…
The TV room in Anna & Jamie McMinnis's contemporary detached house which overlooks the County Down town of Holywood and Belfast Lough.
.. to complete the story that we were all trying to tell – which was simply to say, it looks amazing, as you can see Smile​

Anna’s reply, after I sent her a link to preview our work, as well as her own of course:

“Thank you very much, Ashley, ​for sending us the photographs, they look stunning!”

“Praise is bread to an artist” – so thank you and thank you for inviting us in too – because we felt that your house and what you had done here inside it, was pretty stunning too – so great teamwork​ is how I would see it Smile​

From Marie, Claudio & me overlooking Belfast Lough in Holywood.

February 4, 2015

Free-standing.

An easy one to end the month, as it was a Saturday after all – but nevertheless for me it was a tricky enough one to light – as you can see this kitchen was basically split in two…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. the extended part, which was closer to the camera, is filled with natural light – while the part that I want the viewer’s eye to be drawn through to, is dark.

So it was my ass on the line here…
Behind the scenes in the kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. as other than that, there was very little else needed to be done here, in this lovely free-standing unit kitchen.

Anyway, a blast of ‘sunlight’ and a touch of fill – and we were pretty much here as you can see…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. so other than a few mini teaks, we were ready for Nicola to strike the pose…
Nicola Anderson in the kitchen of her period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. in her perfectly colour coordinated outfit – which without doubt, will be the image that an Editor will want to go big on.

So with the main shot in the bag and the lighting already set-up for this area…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. it didn’t really take us to long to create this next image…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. along with some nice detail shots – before swinging back around…
Behind the scenes in the kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. to capture this cooker area…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. which meant moving the table and re-lighting – but other than that, it was ready to shoot…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. and so this was a nice easy one to end the month – thanks mainly to Nicola & Ray who had done a great job here.

Thereby giving Marie plenty of time to take some great behind (the scenes) shots smile

January 30, 2015

As easy as 123.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 7:45 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

They say ‘Amateurs talk about equipment, Pros talk about money and Masters talk about light’ – which is in some ways is true; however, I reckon most photographers will actually talk about all three, because each is important to them – as most know, one is only as good as the weakest link.

Anyway, today I’m going to talk a bit about lighting – which is something I’ve spend the last 30 years trying to master, as a photographer – who according to Wikipedia:

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.

Anyway, at this time of year, the days are short here in Ireland and it’s not always ideal weather neither, as it often dark & very grey outside – which therefore naturally effects how it looks indoors too. Which was very much the case last week, when we were shooting this 1920’s detached house in Belfast, as you can see here in the 1st frame…
The natural light in the sitting room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. which I took to see what the room looked like first, naturally lit.

Then in this 2nd frame…
Lighting the sitting room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. you can see I added a directional light, while Marie starts to tweak a few things in front of the camera.

And in this 3rd frame…
Lighting the sitting room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. you can see I added some fill light… and there you basically have it.

Well almost – as that was really only the start of it, as there were about another 30 minutes of the girls playing around before we finally asked Megan to strike the pose here…
Megan Edgar in the sitting room of her 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. by which stage, it had been ‘styled to within an inch of your life’ as Marie would say – but that’s another story for another day Smile

So by no means ideal light; however, it was as simple as one…
The natural light in the dining room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. two…
Lighting the dining room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. three…
Lighting the dining room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. and after 30 years of practicing – as well as the odd wee tweak here & thereby Marie who also makes it all look so simple to do – we had the next shot of the dining room here…
The dining room in Megan and Bryan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. in the bag.

And so it was throughout this house – 123, 123, 123 next smile

It was just the 4, 5 & 6 parts that slow us down – but nevertheless, what a great house – so just like to say big thanks to Megan and Bryan here for inviting us in and we will keep you posted once we hear more.

From Marie & me @ ampimage.com near Stormont Park in Belfast.

December 7, 2014

Trading Up

Was the name of the TV programme Louise Lear was presenting at the time – who is probably best know for her role as a BBC Weather presenter – so we where invited along to capture this renovated bungalow in Hertfordshire…
Louise and Ian Lear's 1950's bungalow in the Hertfordshire town of Hatfield.
.. which Louise and her husband Ian, plus their two boys, James & Miles, called their home.

Looking back now at the series of shots taken – like this one of Marie in the kitchen…
Marie in the kitchen of Louise & Ian Lear's 1950's bungalow in the Hertfordshire town of Hatfield.
.. who was sitting in while I tweaked the lighting for this shot…
Ian and Louise Lear in the kitchen of their 1950's bungalow in the Hertfordshire town of Hatfield.
.. was in a way​, a bit like the programme – as each time I shot Marie…
Marie in the sitting room of Louise & Ian Lear's 1950's bungalow in the Hertfordshire town of Hatfield.
.. I then traded her up…
Louise Lear in the sitting room of her 1950's bungalow in the Hertfordshire town of Hatfield.
.. for the Real McCoy wink

Seriously though, couldn’t do it without her, as she is always like one step in front of me, which often puts a new meaning behind the term ‘behind the senses’ – as it’s her behind I often end up capturing…
Marie setting up the shot in the ​living room of BBC TV presenter Louise Lear's 1950's bungalow in Hertfordshire.
.. as she works her magic in front of the camera, to help create beautiful images like this…
Louise Lear with her two sons James & Miles in their 1950's bungalow in the Hertfordshire town of Hatfield.
.. of Louise with her two sons, James & Miles, in the living room beside the kitchen.

The real star of the show as seen here again…
Marie in the sitting room of Louise & Ian Lear's 1950's bungalow in the Hertfordshire town of Hatfield.
.. being traded up…
Louise Lear in the sitting room of her 1950's bungalow in the Hertfordshire town of Hatfield with her two sons James & Miles.
.. for a series of images that have had more hits on our website than any other.

Was I thinking of Trading her Up, I hear you say… no way – but I did enjoy the TV show and so was delighted to meet Louise – a true professional in every way, especially as a young mother whose family were also a pleasure to meet.

Featured in the October issue of BBC Good Homes magazine…
Pages 88 to 93 in the October 2006 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine featuring Louise and Ian Lear's 1950's bungalow in the Hertfordshire town of Hatfield.
.. back in 2006 and in Property Projects in the May 2007 issue…
Pages 6 and 7 in the Property Projects booklet which was in the May 2007 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine and featured the kitchen in Louise and Ian Lear's 1950's bungalow in Hertfordshire.
.. which is hard to believe as it really doesn’t seem that long ago – but there you have it.

So for all of you who Google search her name and then end up on our website as a result, this Blog is for you, to help complete the story behind that picture of Louise smile

July 18, 2011

Labour of love…

.. in Cushendall – and so capturing that was our latest project.

Briege Conway with her daughter Cerys in the kitchen of their Victorian townhouse in the County Antrim coastal town of Cushendall.

When Briege & Stephen decided to buy this house, 9 years ago, on their wish list was: a small traditional town in which to raise a family, plus a period house with character. Despite having no connections with the town, they spotted this house and fell for it, even though it needed a massive amount of work. The fact that Cushendall is on the coast and is also close to beautiful glens and forestry nailed it! Basically, it was a complete gut job – which meant making one room habitable and living there throughout the renovation, while bringing up their young family.
So it was a true labour of love for all.

And I think that showed in our images, as it was all hands on board throughout the day, to capture this stylish…
The dining area in Briege and Stephen Conway's Victorian townhouse in the County Antrim coastal town of Cushendall.
.. urban home.

So we would just like to say big thanks to Briege, Stephen, John and especially to Clerys here…
Briege and Stephen Conway's daughter Clerys on the stairs in their Victorian townhouse in the County Antrim coastal town of Cushendall.
.. who was the Star throughout the day – for making us feel so welcome and letting us capture your beautiful home.

From Marie & me @ampimage.com

April 8, 2011

We felt at home from the first visit !

Is the title of our latest published work in the May 2011 issue of GoodHomes magazine…

.. on pages 76 to 82 – featuring Mandi Millar and her husband Gary Grattan’s 1980s bungalow near the market town of Ballyclare in County Antrim.

“Mandi Millar and her husband Gary Grattan used a consistent colour palette to transform a tired bungalow into a bright and welcoming family home.”

So a big Congratulations to Mandi, Gary and their son Christy here…

.. your BB, as you call it, looks fantastic.

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