Ashley Morrison's Blog

February 10, 2017

You’re a Genius.

Which is what Dizzi Alfons said to me several times throughout the day – when we were shooting his 18th-century former farmhouse here…
Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. called La Fattoria – which is set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.

Words which I naturally always remember – as that was obviously quite a compliment – especially from someone like Dizzi here…
Dizzi Alfons outside his 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. who was originally from Austria, but now owns property in Paris as well as here in Italy too – which in my book makes him the Genius, as I have never been able to figure-out how I could afford to do that wink.

Anyway, they say in the photography world:

“Amateurs talk about equipment, Pros talk about money, Masters talk about light”.

So from a Pros point of view here, since that is what I see myself as, the big question for me therefore was: What did he actually mean by that ?

Was it because of my photography skills or my lighting skills – or was it in fact to do, with me having obviously worked-out a way beforehand, to enable me to afford to do this type of work at this level ?

Because let’s face it, what I was actually doing here…
The sitting room in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. wasn’t exactly Rocket Science.

However, to be able to afford to travel to Italy with a professional stylist like Marie here…
One of the first pictures taken outside Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse near Luccan in the Tuscany region of Italy.
.. wasn’t exactly a cheap thing to do – and since without her help…
One of the first pictures taken outside Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse near Luccan in the Tuscany region of Italy.
.. I knew my images wouldn’t look anywhere near as good – then the real ingenious part as far as I was concerned, wasn’t so much to do with the work that I was actually producing here…
The sitting room in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. it was more to do with me having figure-out beforehand, how I was going to be able to afford to do this type of work, at this level…
The second floor library in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. that we were now doing here.

Because I’m 99% sure that there are hundreds of others photographers out there, who could in fact produce just as good an images as I did here…
One of the guest bedroom in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. IF ONLY they had the budget to play with and/or IF ONLY they could figure-out how they could possibly afford to work at this level…
The kitchen in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. with a professional stylist like Marie here…
One of the first pictures taken in the dining area of Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse near Luccan in the Tuscany region of Italy.
.. who’s main job is basically to make sure that whatever is in front of the camera looked great…
The dining area in Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. which in-turn therefore made my image look great too smile.

So personally – since I tend to think of myself as a professional, rather than an amateurs or see myself as a Master – I think what Dizzi really meant when he said: “You’re a Genius Ashley”, is more to do with the money side of things – because “No money, No Funny” as one of my friends at college used to say smile.

Which is actually very true, as far as I’m concerned – because if you know that you don’t actually have the money to play with in the first place, then you simply can’t even begin to think of what is really possible.

Anyway, having already figured-out how licensing works (as I’d jointed the AOP back in 2002 and had read their book Beyond the Lens from cover to cover several times, in an attempt to move my business forward) – I was now not only able to live the dream but was also able to afford to create the dream too…
The swimming pool outside Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. for others to see & read about – in the likes of the BBC’s GoodHomes magazine…
Pages 84 to 89 in the February 2009 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine - featuring Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. which is where our work here finally appeared, on pages 84 to 89.

So when I look back at what we did here – The Italian Job – and remember those very kind words of Dizzi’s: “You’re a Genius Ashley” – which obviously made me smile at the time and still do – I can’t help but think to myself, “Yes I was” – because I’d managed to do something here that most will only ever be able to dream of doing.

Unless they too one day, can somehow figure-out a way first, to be able to afford to do what they would love to do – because it basically does all come down to The Money, as that is ‘the thing’ what will ultimately determine what you can afford to do or even think of doing before you begin.

Anyway, all of this happened long time before I started my Blog here, so I’m simply remembering the past today – as I look to the future, to see if I can come-up with another ingenious way to move my business forward – now that I’m older and possibly even a little bit wise too… than a Genius wink.

Seriously though, a huge thanks goes out to Dizzi here…
Dizzi Alfons outside his 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. for making us both feel so welcome at La Fattoria – as we obviously loved ever minute of being part of your dream…
Marie sitting outside Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.
.. which even to this day, we still both talk about – as that was definitely a day that we will never forget, nor do I ever want too – especially as it not ever often that someone will says to me: “You’re a Genius Ashley” smile.

July 2, 2014

Wow, Wow and triple Wow!

Seeing one’s work in print, even after nearly 30 years of seeing it printed, is still the thing I love most about what we do.

It’s like Wow! every time – and the bigger it’s printed or the better it’s printed, then the more Wow it often is – as we would often put a lot into each and every image, which I feel can only really be appreciated, when viewed up close a lot of the time.

So when I walked into the local SPAR supermarket yesterday and quickly looked that the magazine rack, I was totally over the moon – to not only see our work on the cover of the August 2014 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine…
The cover plus pages 72 to 83 of the August 2014 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Janet and Ken Hamilton's villa called 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.
.. but also to see it beautifully printed on pages 72 to 83 – featuring Janet and Ken Hamilton’s villa called ‘Jasmin’ near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.

The French Connection – Transforming a pretty but rather dated French villa, Janet and Ken from Northern Ireland have created their dream holiday home in a style that successfully blends old and new.

Which I talked about shooting here: Kicking off – back in 2010 – as this is were we stayed while shooting for Liz Gibney Interiors in the French Riviera near the village…
The French Riviera village of Saint Paul-de-Vence.
.. of Saint Paul-de-Vence.

Wow! smile

However, the Wow didn’t end there, as a home we shot in Italy back in 2006…
La Dolce Vita - Pages 58 to 71 of the August 2014 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa located near Amelia in Umbria.
.. lead on pages 58 to 71 – featuring Tia and Bruce Weissman’s Italian villa located near Amelia in Umbria.

La Dolce Vita – After a two year search, Bruce and Tia found their dream Italian home, a 300 year old villa complete with stunning gardens.

Which I talked about shooting here the other day: Living la Dolce Vita – while shooting a farmhouse for the BBC near the Italian town of Amelia, which sits on a hill…
The town of Amelia sitting on a hill in the south western corner of Umbria in Italy.
.. in the south western corner of Umbria.

So double Wow! smile smile

And Wow again when I saw this…
Mediterranean Charm - Pages 82 to 94 of the August 2014 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring John O'Callaghan's villa called 'Villa Thalia' at Aphrodite Hills near Paphos in Cyprus.
.. on pages 82 to 94 – featuring John O’Callaghan’s villa called ‘Villa Thalia’ at Aphrodite Hills near Paphos in Cyprus.

Mediterranean Charm – After a number of holidays in Cyprus, John from Belfast wanted a little corner of the sunshine island to call his own and found it in a luxury holiday complex.

Which again I talked about shooting the other day here: The story behind the story – which we shot back in 2006 while shooting a few other villas at Aphrodite Hills, which is nestled in the hills…
The view from Tommy Payne's apartment at Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus.
.. above Paphos in Cyprus.

So that was like triple Wow! smile smile smile

Anyway, stunning repro as always – which is what I love so much about this magazine – so this is just a quick note to say a big thanks to everyone involved here – and especially to Janet, Tia and John once again, for this time making it into this beautifully printed Irish glossy magazine.

From Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

June 29, 2014

Living la Dolce Vita.

One of the things both Marie & I love most about the work that we do, is meeting people – who in many cases turn out to be truly amazing.

And Michael, as seen here with Marie talking to the local Polizia…
Marie and Michael talking to the local polizia in the Italian Umbria region town of Amelia.
.. was one of those people who neither of us will ever forget.

Because not only did he show us around the Italian Umbria town of Amelia, and even got me into their Archaeological Museum to shoot things like the Statue of Germanico here…
The Statue of Germanico in the Archaeological Museum of Amelia in the Umbria region of Italy.
.. but he also introduced us to Tia Weissman here…
Tia Weissman in the garden of her Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. who along with her husband Bruce, owned this fabulous old villa which she called ‘Casa Lara’…
Tia Weissman and Michael outside her Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. which was located just outside the town of Amelia – which one could see on the hill in the distance from her also amazing garden…
Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. which Michael helped her look after, etc.

Well needless to say, we asked Tia could we shoot her place – so she kindly showed us around and I took some quick snaps…
Recce shot of Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. just to give us a idea for what we may need to do…
Recce shot of Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. in both terms of lighting and styling…
Recce shot of Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
… plus as some of the rooms where not really being used, like this guest bedroom…
Recce shot of Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. or had just been used, like her own bedroom…
Recce shot of Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. which clearly she hadn't got round to tidying yet, as she wasn't expecting us – then all of this was good to see beforehand.

Still, we had seen enough to say 'yes' this will look amazing – and so it did…
Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. after we all did our thing…
Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. which included lighting the fires…
Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. and making up the beds..
Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. which really did say this wasn't Ireland…
Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
.. but instead was someone living the dream in Italy.

Yes it was a lot of hard work; however, eight years on and the memories of all that work is long gone.

The memories however of this amazing villa, meeting Michael and Tia, plus the images we produced live on – and so I'm delighted to report that they will be appearing once again, in next months Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine – which should be on the bookshelves next week smile

When 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featured it some years ago, as seen here…
Page 20 to 25 in the September 2006 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa Casa Lara located near Amelia in Umbria.
.. they titled it "Living la Dolce Vita" and so did Property Life magazine too…
Pages 8 to 19 in issue 12 of Templeton Robinson's Property Life magazine featuring Tia and Bruce Weissman's Italian villa Casa Lara located near Amelia in Umbria.
.. meaning living the good life – which is sure was for both Marie & me.

So just ahead of it appearing on the bookshelves next week, I'd just like to say a big thank you to both Michael and Tia here, for making our trip to Italy a truly memorable one – as this for us is one we will never forget.
Thank you.

From Marie & me living la Dolce Vita smile

June 22, 2014

Move your mouse…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 19, 2013

Pianciano Holiday Rentals

Received a request this week from an old client in Italy, who emailed me to say:

A new agency, Holiday Rentals, wants to see your authorization before publishing your photos.

Which I found very interesting – but was actually very pleased to read – as all to often these days, people don’t ask or double check this sort of thing, before going ahead and publishing images, especially on the internet or Worldwide web.

Anyway, this document…
Licence to use
.. is what Claudia was asking for – which I talked about here: Licence to use – and why I highly recommend all photographers use it, to avoid misunderstandings down the road.

So I was very pleased to hear that this Holiday Rentals company was asking for such a thing, rather than just assuming that the person who owned the property, had actually obtained the Rights to use the images from the photographer first.

Anyway, besides this, it was also lovely to have another look at those images again and remember those amazing roads trips across Europe and how we stumbled across this place which Claudia & Francesco call Pianciano – which is a stunning haven in the heart of Umbria.
Comprising of a number villas and this beautiful swimming pool…
swimming pool
.. and relaxation area…
relaxation area
.. on the side of a mountain.

La Roccia villa was the first one we shot, when we first met Francesco 8 years ago, as seen here…
Francesco Bachetoni outside La Roccia villa
.. sitting outside enjoying the view.
This was one of the smallest of the villas, but nevertheless, we just loved what they had done inside…
The living room in La Roccia villa.
.. which included a lovely country kitchen…
The kitchen in La Roccia villa.
.. and three very nice rustic bedrooms like this…
Main bedroom in La Roccia villa.
.. all of which we captured before heading north to shoot 3 other properties, before returning a few days later to shoot L’Arco…
L'Arco villa in the Pianciano hamlet near Spoleto.
.. which was amazing…
The living room in L'Arco villa.
.. from every angle…
The living room in L'Arco villa.
.. as it appeared to be built out of the side of the mountain, so the doorways…
leading into the dining room in L'Arco villa.
.. and rooms themselves, like this dining room…
The dining room in L'Arco villa.
.. just blew us away.

And the view…
The view from L'Arco villa.
.. well needless to say, we both just loved this place.

So when they asked us back a few years later – to shoot IL Cipresso…
IL Cipresso villa in the Pianciano hamlet.
.. with it’s beautiful courtyard area…
Courtyard area at IL Cipresso villa.
.. country kitchen…
The kitchen area in IL Cipresso villa.
.. and bedrooms like this…
Master bedroom in IL Cipresso villa.
.. and this…
Bedroom in IL Cipresso villa.
.. we jumped at it.

And of course, while we were there with all the gear, we shoot their own personal villa…
Claudia & Francesco Bachetoni's villa near Spoleto in Italy.
.. which later appeared in the July issue of Period Living magazine…
Pages 82 to 86 of the July 2010 issue of Period Living magazine.
.. on pages 82 to 86.

Oh I want to be there right now…
Pianciano
.. but in the meantime, I’d just like to thank the Holiday Rentals company for not assuming here – and of course thank Claudia for this wee trip down memory lane – which I thought I’d share with you all, as this all happened before I started Blogging – which is a bit of a same, as those road trips across Europe to shoot places like this where truly amazing.

Anyway – here is Pianciano should you fancy something a wee bit different – which I can highly recommend, as I truly loved everything about this place.

Cheers,
Ashley
www.ashleymorrison.com

September 15, 2010

The Italian Job

Five homes in Italy – from our trip across Europe in 2006.

1. Tia and Bruce Weissman’s Italian villa called ‘Casa Lara’ which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.
Tia Weissman outside her Italian villa called 'Casa Lara' which is located near the town of Amelia in Umbria.

2. Dizzi Alfons’ 18th-century former farmhouse near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region.
Dizzi Alfons' 18th-century former farmhouse set in a rural estate near the medieval town of Lucca in the northern Tuscany region of Italy.

3. David Law’s converted mill in the Marches region.
David Law's converted mill in the Marches region of Italy

4. Helen and Peter Hannick’s 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.
Helen and Peter Hannick's 18th century Italian farmhouse near Amelia in Umbria.

5. Claudia and Francesco Bachetoni’s villa called L’Arco in the Pianciano hamlet near Spoleto.
Claudia and Francesco Bachetoni's villa called L'Arco in the Pianciano hamlet near Spoleto in Italy.

Enjoy:

September 11, 2010

Pianciano hamlet in Italy.

Pianciano is a stunning haven in the heart of Umbria – which we had the great pleasure of being asked to capture, by Francesco Bachetoni and his lovely wife Claudia – who own the magnificent estate – steeped in history and surrounded with ancient olive groves. Their dream was to restore and convert the original farm buildings, which date back to the 15th century, into unique holiday homes.

Opera festivals in near by Spoleto – re-tracing the steps of saints and artists in the historic towns of Assisi, Spello and Foligno – panoramic views over the surrounding hills and valleys, known as the “Green heart of Italy”

Sheer and utter tranquility – and here is the result:
Pianciano hamlet in Italy…

… just for you !!

HomeAway holiday rentals.
Claudia Bachetoni: +39 333-2505284.

May 27, 2010

Raised From the Ground

Filed under: Publish work — Ashley Morrison @ 3:27 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Is the title of our current published work in the July 2010 issue of Period Living magazine…
Pages 82 to 86 of the July 2010 issue of Period Living magazine - featuring Claudia and Francesco Bachetoni's 16th-century borgo which is part of the Pianciano hamlet near Spoleto in Italy.
.. on pages 82 to 86 – featuring Claudia and Francesco Bachetoni’s 16th-century borgo which is part of the Pianciano hamlet near Spoleto in Italy.

Plus this lovely wee note in from the Editor…
With compliments...
.. which reads:

“Hi Ashley
There is the July issue, which looks great – particularly thanks to the Bachetoni feature you did for us – we’ve all fallen in love with it !!
Thanks & speak soon,
Naomi”

So a big Thank You to Claudia and Francesco for all your hard work here – and to everyone at Period Living magazine for this wonderful 7 page spread – from Marie, Mandi & me.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.