Ashley Morrison's Blog

February 8, 2014

What prompted you to do what you do ?

As Meryll Frost, the most courageous athlete of 1945, once said:

‘They say behind every great man there’s a woman. While I’m not a great man, there’s a great woman behind me.’

So with one day to go before we headed home – Marie (who has become the great woman behind me) & I decided to go for it – and to take another gamble by putting our money where our month was – because we were here anyway with all the gear, so why not make the most of it !!

David had introduced us to Margaret & Barry Harris, who were from Birmingham in the UK – and they had invited us over to look at their villa…
Harris' villa in Spain.
.. located in Javea on the most Easterly tip of Spain.

When asked: ‘What prompted you to buy a place in the sun?’ they said:

Over the years we have always enjoyed our foreign holidays – there’s nothing quite like that feeling of leaving behind grey skies and stepping off a plane at the other end in balmy heat! But it’s not just about the weather – we love the whole relaxed friendly lifestyle that you experience abroad. Buying a property is a big step and you need to be sure you will get plenty of use out of it. In our case, we run our own business, which thankfully has reached the stage where we no longer need to be at the helm for 12 months of the year. When weighing everything up, we knew that between ourselves, our friends and family, we would get great use out of a foreign home! And although it wasn’t our main motivation for buying, we also anticipated that the villa would be a good capital investment – and with prices rising in the area, this has proved to be the case.

Perfect…
Margaret & Barry Harris' villa located in Javea on the most Easterly tip of Spain.
.. so we have a good story to tell – and so all we need now is to produce some images to go along with that, which would appeal to the magazine Editors & their readers.

So having recced the place a few days before…
Harris' villa in Spain.
.. we set about doing our thing…
The living room in Margaret & Barry Harris' villa.
.. by re-creating each of the original images we took…
Harris' villa in Spain.
.. to bring it more into line with what we felt an Editor would expect to see…
The dining area in Margaret & Barry Harris' villa located in Javea on the most Easterly tip of Spain.
.. and their readers too…
Harris' villa in Spain.
.. whenever they flick the magazines…
Master bedroom in Margaret & Barry Harris' villa located in Javea on the most Easterly tip of Spain.
.. such as these…
Pages 162 to 167 in the October 2005 issue of Real Homes magazine featuring Margaret and Barry Harris' villa located in Javea on the most easterly tip of Spain.
.. (Pages 162 to 167 in the October 2005 issue of Real Homes magazine) – which at the end of the day…
Pages 12 to 21 in issue 17 of Templeton Robinson's Property Life magazine featuring Margaret and Barry Harris' villa located in Javea on the most easterly tip of Spain.
.. (Pages 12 to 21 in issue 17 of Templeton Robinson’s Property Life magazine) – is what it’s all about, as that is all that anyone is ever going to really see.

So this is when I realized it doesn’t really matter what it cost us or how long it took us or even if we had been asked to take the pictures beforehand – because all that others are interested in, are the final results.
If the results are good and they want to use our work, then they will pay me for the use of my images – rather than to do the work, as the work will have already been done by then, and so they aren’t really interested in paying for that.

The penny had finally dropped – and so this was the start of a whole new way that Marie & I then moved our business forward – which I’ll write more about over the following months, as it was truly amazing what lead from this change in our thinking here.

From Marie & me @ ampimage creating the dream of living the dream in this beautiful part of Spain.

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January 26, 2014

One of the greatest discoveries a man makes.

As Henry Ford once said:

One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.

So we are in Spain with all our gear, sitting by the pool after having shot what we came here for – and I’m thinking: “this is an opportunity, not a job” – so we asked David, the local real estate agent who was keen to promote the area to the UK market, if he had anything else on his books for us to look at while we were here.

Well, he naturally jumped at the opportunity and so took us out to see this property…
Spanish Finca located near Javea.
.. which was a restored Spanish Finca (farmhouse) set amidst vineyards and almond groves near Javea or Xabia (as known in Valencia) in this beautiful part of the Costa Blanca.

The property was built around 300 years ago for a farmer, his family, and animals – all sharing the same building. In fact, the courtyard would have been a corral with the animals feeding from a trough which is now part of the wall beneath the kitchen window.

Yes, I can work with that…
Black's Spanish finca located near Javea on the Costa Blanca.
.. but what’s it like inside…
living area inside Spanish finca located near Javea.
.. or should I say, what could it look like…
Black's Spanish finca located near Javea on the Costa Blanca.
.. as the recce images…
living area inside Spanish finca located near Javea.
.. are just our starting point…
Black's Spanish finca located near Javea on the Costa Blanca.
.. to give us an idea of whether it’s worth spending more time on…
Kitchen inside Spanish finca located near Javea.
.. doing whatever we feel needs to be done…
the kitchen in Black's Spanish finca located near Javea on the Costa Blanca.
.. to not just take some pictures…
Kitchen inside Spanish finca located near Javea.
.. but to create images…
the kitchen in Black's Spanish finca located near Javea on the Costa Blanca.
.. that others would want to use.

THE STORY
The couple had dreamed of owning a place like this since their student days but were almost put off by the prices of renovated fincas – until they decided to undertake the work themselves and create the archetypical holiday home we all dream of – exposed stonework, beamed ceilings, terracotta floors and ochre colour-washed walls.
Mind you, they had to learn that Spanish and UK deadlines aren’t always the same!

Anyway, Marie had clearly a lot to do here…
Bedroom inside Spanish Finca located near Javea.
.. while I just had to figure out how to light this place…
Master bedroom in Black's Spanish Finca located near Javea on the Costa Blanca.
.. with just one main light…
Bedroom inside Spanish Finca located near Javea.
.. as the power supply was, to say the least…
Bedroom in Black's Spanish Finca located near Javea on the Costa Blanca.
.. minimum.

Still, the natural light was very good, as our recee images showed…
Bathroom inside Spanish Finca located near Javea.
.. so it was just a case of making the most of that…
Bathroom in Black's Spanish Finca located near Javea on the Costa Blanca.
.. to create what was to become one of the most fantastic periods of my life.

So I’d just like to thank David and also his wife Christine here…
Christine & David Black outside their Spanish Finca located in Javea on the Costa Blanca.
.. for not only their time but also for this Opportunity – as that’s how I started to view at this type of work and almost every other assignment from this point in time onwards.

Featured in the October 2005 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine…
Pages 24 to 28 in the October 2005 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine featuring Christine and David Black's converted Spanish farmhouse near Javea on the Costa Blanca.
.. on pages 24 to 28, plus in the 4th issue of Templeton Robinson’s Property Life magazine…
Pages 12 to 17 in issue 6 of Templeton Robinson's Property Life magazine featuring Christine and David Black's Spanish Finca located in Javea on the Costa Blanca.
.. on pages 12 to 17 – as well as in many other magazines around the World too (which unfortunately I’m unable to show here because I wasn’t able to pick-up a copy of those magazines here in Ireland).

From Marie & me @ ampimage – who simply tried to create the dream of ‘living the dream’ in this beautiful part of the World that they call Costa Blanca… just for you 🙂

January 25, 2014

It’s an opportunity.

Not a job – is what I would often say to other photographers.

Which is what I was thinking here, when I received a request from an Editor to say:

Would you be interested in shooting this villa in Spain…
Villa in Spain.
.. as we would like to run an editorial feature on it ?

Well I really didn’t need to see much more to say yes to this request – but they sent me these pictures of it anyway…
Villa in Spain.
.. to let us see what the interior looked like…
Villa in Spain.
.. which does help, especially when it comes to known what we need to bring…
Villa in Spain.
.. to not only light up the place…
Villa in Spain.
.. but possibly style it as well…
Villa in Spain.
.. as one is only as good as the weakest link…
Villa in Spain.
.. which is something I’d often say too Smile

Anyway, one month later we were in Javea…
Brian McHardy's villa located in Javea on the Costa Blanca in Spain.
.. on the Costa Blanca in Spain – to basically take the same images…
TV area in Brian McHardy's villa located in Javea on the Costa Blanca in Spain.
.. as they had sent us…
Living area in Brian McHardy's villa located in Javea on the Costa Blanca in Spain.
.. from basically the same spot…
Sitting area in Brian McHardy's villa located in Javea on the Costa Blanca in Spain.
.. which I enjoy looking at afterwards…
Dining area in Brian McHardy's villa located in Javea on the Costa Blanca in Spain.
.. as it clearly shows what it is we do…
Bedroom in Brian McHardy's villa located in Javea on the Costa Blanca in Spain.
.. and why it may take us a full day to create images like this…
Bedroom in Brian McHardy's villa located in Javea on the Costa Blanca in Spain.
.. rather than just a few minutes.

It’s an opportunity to show what we can do.
It’s an opportunity to produce some images that others may want to use.
It’s an opportunity to good to say no to.

Plus in this case, it was also an opportunity for us to shoot a few more homes while we were there, which I talk about here: One of the greatest discoveries a man makes and here: What prompted you to do what you do?

So you can’t really call that ‘a Job’ now can you Smile

From Marie & me @ ampimage in the Costa Blanca – living the dream Smile

Featured in the March 2006 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine…
Pages 116 to 122 in the March 2006 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine featuring Susan & Brian McHardy's villa located near Javea on the Costa Blanca in Spain.
.. on pages 116 to 122 – plus in issue 14 of Templeton Robinson’s Property Life magazine…
Page 10 to 20 in issue 14 of Templeton Robinson's Property Life magazine featuring Susan and Brian McHardy's villa located in Javea on the Costa Blanca in Spain.
.. on pages 116 to 122, in the summer of 2007.

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