Ashley Morrison's Blog

July 25, 2017

An enchanted castle in wilds of Ireland.

One doesn’t often see this here in Ireland…
“Weather
.. but when you do and you have a Client who is based on the other side of the country, that is wanting an image to help them target the market that they wanting to appeal to, then one does need to try and make the most of it.

And so it was last Monday, because back in May we had talked to Howard – who’s other 2 castles we had shot before, which I talked about here: How much does it cost to take a picture – about shooting Markree Castle here…
“Drive
.. which is partially moated by the River Unshin, as seen here…
“River
.. in County Sligo – and is one of four castles that are listed under Romantic Castles Ireland.

So this was one of the 2 images he was looking for: “An enchanted castle in wilds of Ireland – away from it all.”

Anyway, July was the month we were waiting for, as the other image he was after was this one…
“Garden
.. which was at the back – “The perfect venue for your wedding” – and so we obviously wanted the garden to be in full bloom… hence July, as that is when it will be looking it’s best.

So 2 shots: one was a morning shot, the other was an evening shot – so the ideal situation would be to shoot the front one showing the river in the evening, stay over night and then do the garden and terrace area at the back in the morning – as I reckoned the one at the front would need to be shoot at around 8pm and the one at the back would be around 8am.

That would be ideal – and could have worked out just like that here too, bar the fact that there was a wedding on, and they had booked the entire place for both Monday & Tuesday.

Anyway, a decision had to be made, because like I said at the start, you don’t see a weather forecast like that every often here in Ireland – and so I emailed both Howard and Claudio that morning to say:

“Car is packed – so I’m going to go for it – as it could be another few weeks before we see sunshine like this again, according to the forecast.
So I should there around 6pm.”

To which Claudio replied:

“Perfect! I’ll be there at about the same time.
Will they get the props u think?”

The ‘props’ he was referring to, was of course the outfits for the fisherman and the people on the horses – which they had talked about here…
“Concept
.. in reply to “Our Thinking” back in May – when all of this was discussed and they had told us who they were wanting this image to appeal to, as well as what they wanted it to say to that market, etc, etc.

Anyway, I emailed Claudio back to say:

“Don’t think they will be there – so anything you can get your hands on would be great.
The main thing is the castle… everything else is an extra”

Howard did however email back to say that the hotel manage had been informed about us coming – and that a fisherman had been organised and would be there at around 6pm too.

So with a 4 hour drive ahead, I hit the road – and about 30 minutes later I received an email from Claudio to say:

“Boots, trousers and rod sorted.”
“Props

To which I replied:

“Excellent stuff – now just need a few people on horses to ride past.
Seriously though – it’s the castle looking good that is all important here – so will be giving it my best shot”

Anyway, I arrived around 5:30pm and immediately set up the camera and started to shoot – because as you can see here…
“First
.. the sun was already hitting the front of the castle.

Close to prefect, I reckoned – as I didn’t want the sun to come around to much behind me, as that would then start to make it look flat. So basically that was it – one click and I was done wink

So by the time Claudio arrived, I was nowhere to be seen…
“Behind
.. but was obviously still around – as I’d clearly given the shirt of my back
“Behind
.. to do a bit of fishing instead wink

Away, new shirt on and back behind the camera…
“Behind
.. as Claudio helped the member of staff into the waders and boots…
“Behind
.. before he ventured in…
“Behind
.. to help complete the story.

Perfect timing too…
“Behind
.. so I snapped away…
“Behind
.. each time he throw the line out…
“Behind
.. which with the Flexbody, is like one frame per second minute wink

Still, I only needed one frame – and this was it…
“Behind
.. as he finally managed to get the hang of it – and was actually starting to enjoy it too, before he lost the weight.

Add a few puffy white clouds – as one would expects to see that here in Ireland – and this was the final result:
“Markree

“Excellent stuff – now just need a few people on horses to ride past.”

– was still at the back of my mind as we began to pack – when all of a sudden Claudio spotted 2 girls on their horses down by the river.

So I grabbed the 503…
“Behind
.. and started to shot…
“Behind
.. because this was the image I had in mind all along…
“Markree
.. as Howard had originally said:

“I think this one featuring a fisherman and a horseman would work.”

Or what about walking along the path Claudio…
“Behind
.. or better still, along the road…
“Behind
.. as that would be much easier for me to create an image like this…
“Markree
.. or even this…
“Markree
.. although that may all be a bit to much – as it now looks like you are no longer away from it all – which was part of the original message I was trying to say here.

Anyway, the best shot of the day was this one…
“Behind
.. as far as I was concerned – although this one is pretty good too…
“Behind
.. so would just like to say a Big Thanks to Claudio for all his help here – as well as for these two wonderfully images to complete the story – because even if no-one else likes them, I love them – as this is what I call “living the dream” at an enchanted castle in wilds of Ireland – away from it all smile

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November 9, 2016

Congratulation Mr President.

An absolutely amazing achievement – so “Way to go Mr Trump”…
US election 2016 results on BBC News as Donal Trump declares victory to become the 45th President of the United States of America.
.. from all of us at ampimage.

And thank you also for the opportunity to be part of your dream over the years – both in here Ireland at Doonbeg…
Bedroom in one of the Courtyard cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. and in Scotland here too…
Bathroom in one of the bedroom suites at the Trump International Golf Hotel near Aberdeen in Scotland.
.. at Aberdeen.

So “Way to go you, Mr President” – from me and all of us at ampimage – for this truly amazing achievement.

As I’m now able to say: Creating images to tell a story… not just for you, but also for 45th President of the United States of America too smile.

May 1, 2016

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 effect the out come, 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 Home page for the World to see…
Screen shot 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

November 29, 2015

Wanting to be there.

Short winter days here in Ireland, means either having to work much quicker than usual or having to put 2 days aside rather than one, to get the job done.

Well one of the the job in question this week was at Rosemary’s cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone – which we decided to go to the day before we had planned to shoot it, to see if we could at least make a start.
And I’m very glad we did, because due to the weather it was very dark, even in the middle of the day – but like they say, the show must go on.

Anyway, we decided to kick-off in the sitting room – so after we had moved a few things to where we thought they would work best for the camera, I took my usual first shot…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. to see how it looked – before adding some directional light…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. which just didn’t seem right – or should I say, feel right, as it’s that feeling of ‘wanting to be there’ that we often try to create or capture when doing this type of work.

So while I played around with the lighting, Marie played around with what was in front of the camera – as we both watched it getting darker and darker outside…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. even though it was still only about 3:30 in the afternoon.

Anyway, leaving the shutter open for about 16 seconds after a blast of light – and this was the result…
The sitting room of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. which we were both very happy with in the end – as it now looked like something you’d see in a magazine – which was obviously our goal here smile

Anyway, that was it for the day – but at least we had made a start – which was good – and so it was time for a beer in front of the fire, as there was “No work in me” as Marie would often say smile

Next morning we were up bright & early of course; however, it wasn’t until after 8 before there are any real sign of some light – and so it wasn’t until about 9:30 before we really managed to make a start on the kitchen area…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. by which time help had arrived – as Claudio jointed us…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. and so we started to move more quickly as a result.

Anyway, 20 minutes later and it was time for Rosemary to smile for the camera
Rosemary Bothwell in the kitchen of her cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. as the rain poured down outside – on what can only described as a very missable winter’s day here in Ireland.

Still, “the show must go on” as they say – and so with Claudio helping on the lighting, it wasn’t long before we were heading upstair to shoot the bedrooms – which once again were rather dark on a day like this…
One of the first pictures taken in the guest bedroom at Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. until Claudio lit them up…
Guest bedroom in Rosemary Bothwell's cottage near Fivemiletown in County Tyrone.
.. and Marie had styled to ‘within a inch of her life’ of course – which she has normally done long before I arrive.

Anyway, that was basically it – and the good news is, that it was all well worth it too, as we got a “yes please” the following day from the Editor of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine, who said they would love to run with it in one of their Spring issues next year smile

So a big thanks to Rosemary for inviting us in – and to my team, thank you for all your hard work too – as I know I simply couldn’t do any of this without you guys.

Cheers from me in sunny Ireland, where it only rains about 225 days a year Irish smile

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 captured 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 is 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 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 raise.

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 beach front, 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 shooting – 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 add, 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 prefect 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 wonder 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 who’s brides want that balcony shot wink

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

February 1, 2015

Windows on the World.

Is the title of our latest published work in the March 2015 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine…
The cover plus pages 70 to 83 in the March 2015 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Fiona and Brian Shiells' architectural new build near Dungannon in County Tyrone.
.. on pages 70 to 83, plus on the cover too – featuring Fiona and Brian Shiells’ architectural new build near Dungannon in County Tyrone.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! It took ten planning applications before planners accepted Brian and Jane’s contemporary design in the heart of County Tyrone’s countryside.”

Which we talked about shooting here: Little to do here.

Anyway, making the cover once again was Wow, as that’s now 3 in a row – but even more Wow, is how this home looks in this absolutely beautifully printed Irish glossy magazine… over all those pages too !!

So delighted to see this – and so would just like to say a big congratulations to Brian and his wife once again, for this time making it into the cover too – and a big thanks everyone else involved here as well.

From Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com – smiling as we look through the windows on the World smile

August 2, 2014

Victorian Vintage.

Is the title of our latest published work in the September 2014 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine…
Pages 82 to 95 in the September 2014 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Keith and Amanda Cunningham's renovated double fronted mid terrace house in Belfast.
.. on pages 82 to 95 – featuring Keith and Amanda Cunningham’s renovated double fronted mid terrace house in Belfast.

“Amanda and Keith used vintage inspiration and shabby chic furniture to transform dingy workplace offices into a stunning forever family home in Belfast.”

Which we talked about here: Never work with children or animals – when we shot it.

Anyway, a massive 14 page spread which looks really stunning – so this is just a quick note to say a big thanks to everyone involved here – and congratulations to Keith and Amanda here…
Amanda Cunningham in the living room of her renovated double fronted mid terrace home in Belfast.
.. once again, for this time making it into this beautifully printed Irish glossy magazine.

From Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

February 15, 2014

A lighting challenge.

After a relative easy week shooting in the marquee at the five-star Doonbeg golf resort (which I read this week in the Irish Times, has now been bought over by US property mogul Donald Trump), where it was basically all lit – this week wasn’t so easy.

So we were back down in County Clare again, this time to shoot a number of areas inside Dromoland Castle, with the Land Rover fully loaded…
Unloading the camera and lighting equipment from the Land Rover outside Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. as I knew this was going to be a lighting challenge for sure.

Anyway, first up was to create a meeting style image in the newly decorated Terrace Room – so after Marie had finished setting it up…
Marie setting up in the Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle.
.. Carl blocked the sun light, which I wasn’t actually expecting…
Setting up in the Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle.
.. and we had our first image in the bag…
The Terrace Room set-up for a business meeting at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. before heading to the Lounge area, where it was clear from the start that this is where we’d have to work for our money…
Setting up in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. but thanks to everyone and especially to Carl here…
Setting up in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. who worked hard on the lighting – and then posed as the waiter while Marie lit the fire…
Setting up in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. it only took us 2 hours to create this image…
Fireplace in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. which I was very, very pleased with – as this one had really worried me.

Then it was back into the Terrace Room again…
Setting up in the Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. this time to shoot it as it would be setup for a banquet during the day…
The Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. and /or at night…
The Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. so basically we shot it both ways – to be sure, to be sure, as they word say here in Ireland smile

The following morning it was into the Cocktail bar…
Setting up in the Cocktail bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. which was formerly the Castle library – so while Carl setup the lights outside…
Setting up in the Cocktail bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. we moved the furniture so as to see the fireplace…
Setting up in the Cocktail bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. before adding the finishing touches to create this image…
The Cocktail Bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. which again I was personally very pleased with – as this one had worried me too, mainly due to how I would light it.

After that, it was over to The Inn at Dromoland to shoot the Presidential Suite, which required a bit of work as they wanted just one image to capture it all – so while Marie did her thing…
Setting up in the Presidential Suite at The Inn at Dromoland in County Clare.
.. Carl & I did our thing – and for the fun of it, being close to Valentines day and all that, I decided to add a scene from the film Gone with the Wind – staring Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara
The Presidential Suite at The Inn at Dromoland in County Clare.
.. and Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes – who I was named after it seems smile

So that was it – after what I can only describe as a major lighting challenge – it was time to load-up the Land Rover once again…
The Land Rover outside Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. and head home in the rain – very tired but very pleased with the end results.

Anyway, just like to a big thanks to everyone involved – especially to Mark & Fiona from Dromoland Castle for making us feel so welcome.
From Marie, Carl & me @ ampimage.com in County Clare.

January 18, 2014

Until the next time.

Kicked of the second day at the Ice House in one of their deluxe bedrooms…
Setting up a bedroom shot at the Ice House Hotel.
.. with little sign of any good weather in sight according to the met office.

There remains no let up in sight to the unsettled conditions with showers or periods of rain expected to continue over the rest of the week and into next week.

So it was a case of trying to create the feeling that the sun was shining in here – as their unique selling point of these rooms was very much to do with the amazing river view outside the windows – which meant Marie ended up not only having to style the room – using mainly items which FoxFord Woollen Mills had kindly offered to let us use – but also having take this shot too…
Deluxe bedroom at the Ice House Hotel in Ballina.
.. while I acted as her assistant and held the lights in place.

As I’d often say to clients: I can light up a room, but I can’t light up the world – we are good, but not that good 🙂

So this was a case of having to think a wee bit outside the box here – and then making a call on what else was worth trying to shoot, as it was very dark and grey outside.

In other words, avoid windows if at all possible, was my thinking – and so we decided to shoot the bathroom in one of the Heritage bedroom suites…
Bathroom in one of the Heritage bedroom suites at the Ice House Hotel in Ballina.
.. which we both felt looked amazing and was a unique selling point of theirs for sure.

Before setting up to create the last image, which wasn’t of me looking worried…
Setting up in the kitchen at the Ice House Hotel.
.. but was of their head chef Anthony Holland…
Head Chef Anthony Holland at the Ice House Hotel in Ballina.
.. while he added some final touches to his creations.

And so with little sign of good weather insight, we decided to leave it at that – which was a bit of a same really, as there was still so much more we could have shot if the weather had been better.

Anyway, until the next time, as they say – that was basically it for us.

So just like to say a big thanks to everyone involved – especially to Carmel from The Marketing Department, Ken form the Ice House Hotel and the folk at FoxFord for helping us out here.

Oh, and a special thanks to the models too – as you were both great to work with.

From Marie & me @ ampimage.com

January 17, 2014

Better late than never.

Due to the poor weather we had to put our first shoot of the year back a week – still better late than never – so we headed down to Ballina in County Mayo over the weekend to produce a number of images at the Ice House Hotel, while keeping our fingers cross for a wee bit of sunshine.

Weather is always a major concern at this time of year, but there was a 50% chance of some sunshine – so rather than waiting, we kicked of in the bar…
Setting up the bar at the Ice House Hotel.
.. as they had two models booked – and so everyone set about doing their thing, which including rearranging the drinks…
Setting up the bar at the Ice House Hotel.
.. and asking Carmel form The Marketing Department to stand in as well, while I lit it up…
The bar at the Ice House Hotel in Ballina.
.. to capture our first, of hopefully many great images of this year.

Anyway, the rain stopped and the sky turned blue – so it was straight into restaurant…
Setting up the restaurant at the Ice House Hotel.
.. lights up, get everyone in place quickly and minutes before it started to rain again, we managed to get our second image in the bag…
The restaurant at the Ice House Hotel in Ballina.
.. which I was delighted with, as this was a biggie for both them & us.

Marie’s favourite next, a bedroom…
Setting up the Riverside bedroom suite at the Ice House Hotel.
.. which actually took some time to set-up & light – and so while Carmel cleaned the rain drops of windows, Ken looked on and captured the moment…
Setting up the Riverside bedroom suite at the Ice House Hotel.
.. while Marie & I added the final touches…
Riverside bedroom suite at the Ice House Hotel in Ballina.
.. to their riverside bedroom suite.

Short days and ever changing weather meant we then really only had time to create one more image – so it was back to the restaurant…
Setting up the restaurant at the Ice House Hotel.
.. to wait for the twilight moment…
Setting up the restaurant at the Ice House Hotel.
.. to capture a romantic moment…
The restaurant at the Ice House Hotel in Ballina.
.. and an image that got two thumbs up from everyone involved – which was a really nice way to the end the day – before Marie & I collapsed in a heap.

So better late than never – that was day one and our first shoot of the year – which was followed by serval well deserved pints of Guinness smile

From Marie & me @ ampimage.com in the Ice House in County Mayo.

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