Ashley Morrison's Blog

July 15, 2017

American homes inspired my look.

Filed under: Publish work — Ashley Morrison @ 4:38 pm
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Is the title of our latest published work in the August 2018 issue of Good Homes magazine…
Pages 78 to 85 in the August 2017 issue of Good Homes magazine featuring Marie and Alan (McMillen) McKernan's renovated 1960's house near Holywood in County Down.
.. on pages 78 to 75 – which features Marie and Alan’s renovated 1960’s house near Holywood in County Down.

“Holidays in Massachusetts prompted Marie to transform her dated mid-century house in Northern Ireland into a elegant period-style property.”

Which I talked about shooting here: Natural direction of light and here: Left or Right – almost 3 years ago.

So congratulations to both Alan and Marie here…
Marie McMillen on the balcony of her renovated 1960's house near Holywood in County Down.
.. for making it into another top-selling National magazine – as I’d say ‘your look’ here…
The kitchen in Marie and Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's house near Holywood in County Down.
..will inspire many throughout the UK and even in American too Wink.

From me @ ampimage.com

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November 26, 2016

Seven years on.

Filed under: Publish work — Ashley Morrison @ 7:30 am
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And you can see our latest published work in the December 2016 issue of Architectural Digest magazine…
The December 2016 issue of Architectural Digest magazine in Russia featuring the kitchen in Marie and Alan McMillen's 1920's bungalow in the County Down town of Holywood.
.. in Russia – featuring this kitchen…
The kitchen table in Marie and Allan McMillen's 1920s bungalow in the County Down town of Holywood.
.. which we shot 7 years ago, in Marie and Alan’s 1920’s bungalow in the County Down town of Holywood.

So way to go you guys for creating this timeless look and to Steve at Chilli Media as well, who not only handled this deal but also sent me this file too – as that’s definitely another one that I’ll be putting in my portfolio Smile.

December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

To you all…
Amanda McGuile with her son at Christmas time in their Victorian terrace which overlooks Bangor Marina in County Down.

Julie Morrow outside her cottage near Comber in County Down at Christmas.

Helen Madden in the sitting room of her home in Holywood at Christmas.

Marie McMillen outside her 1920's semi detached house in the tree-lined Cherryvalley area of Belfast at Christmas time.

Sarah Mitchell in the living room of her Victorian gentleman's detached house called Ivy Lodge in the County Down town of Bangor at Christmas.

Nicola Nemec and her childern playing in the snow outside their farmhouse near Armoy in County Antrim.

Paula Strain in the sitting room of her Victorian detached house in the County Down town of Newry at Christmas.

Marie McMillen in the sitting room of her detached 1960's house in Belfast at Christmas.

Amanda Cunningham her children in the sitting room of their double fronted mid terrace house in Belfast at Christmas.

.. and a very prosperous and Happy New Year to you all as well.

From Marie, Mandi & me smile

June 8, 2015

Pale and interesting.

Is the title of our latest work in the beautifully printed July 2015 issue of Country Homes & Interiors magazine…
Pages 48 to 54 in the July 2015 issue of Country Homes & Interiors magazine featuring Marie & Alan (McMillen) McKernan's renovated 1960's home near Holywood in County Down.
.. on pages 48 to 54 – featuring Marie and Alan’s renovated 1960’s home near Holywood in County Down.

“Marie McKernan gave her mid-century home a fresh new look with weatherboarding and a crisp blue-and-white palette.”

Which we talked about shooting at the time here: Natural direction of light and here: Left or Right.

Anyway, Marie received her advance copy last week, and this is what she wrote:

Well – my advance copy arrived – and I LOVE it ūüôā

We’re the fourth home but that’s ok – they will always lead with the more beachy ones in their coastal issue.

You will be surprised with a couple of the big shots I reckon ūüôā

Full page for exterior !!! Wasn’t expecting that !!!

Full page for sitting room – cropped a little

Full page for dining area

Lovely 4 page collage of bath, hooks, guest bedroom and balcony

Full page of guess who – standing on the flippin balcony – though they did use a wee one of muggins on the rocks ūüôā

7 pages…

As Lesley would say, I could cry ūüôā

Well not quite – but I am soooooo chuffed with this one ūüôā

Thank you

So clearly someone was very happy – which just leave me to say a big thank you to Mrs pale and interesting here…
Marie McMillen in the balcony at her renovated 1960's home near Holywood in County Down.
.. for putting up with me all these years, as this was shot around the time I was in tears too – so it’s lovely to finally see all your hard work in print… and printed beautifully too in your favorite magazine smile

So thank you from me.

March 11, 2015

Riviera living SAVOIR FAIRE.

Is the title of one of 2 features we have in the April 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine…
Pages 22 to 27 in the April 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine featuring Janet and Ken Hamilton's villa called 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence
on pages 22 to 27 – featuring Janet and Ken Hamilton’s villa called ‘Jasmin’ near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence.

“Janet and Ken Hamilton transformed a dated villa into their dream holiday home.”

Which we talked about shooting here: Kicking off back in 2010.

And ‘Mix & MATCH‘ is the other one….
Pages 38 to 45 in the April 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine featuring Mairead and Owen McIntyre's Victorian terrace in the university area of Belfast.
on pages 38 to 45 – featuring Mairead and Owen¬†McIntyre’s Victorian terrace in the university area of Belfast.

“Mairead and Owen Moore beat the bargain-hunters and bagged the Irish home of their dreams.”

Which we talked about shooting here: How good back in 2010 as well.

So from the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence, to the capital city of Northern Ireland, I just like to say a huge thanks to everyone involved here – and especially to Steve at Chilli Media for this great result too.

From Marie Mandi & me at www.ampimage.com.

September 8, 2014

The Money Shot.

The Money Shot is like the all-important one Рwhich if we get it right, could help the client make a lot of money over the years to come.

Well today I’m going to show one of the first images which made me realise, that what we do, is often more than just turn-up and take some pictures – which then made me realise that charging for just one’s¬†time to take pictures, was all wrong – as that part,¬†is often¬†only a small part of the work involved. Especially when it comes to producing¬†the Money¬†Shots.

Because creating such¬†images can often start days or even weeks before the shoot – in one’s¬†head – as you plan ahead to ensure you get it right on the day.

Anyway, in this case, as I’d already been out to this hotel¬†a few months before to recce¬†it and talk to the marketing people¬†–¬†then that’s really when I started to create the image you will see below.

Which in this case was to be a shot of a bridal couple¬†standing out on the balcony – which as you can see here…
The Redcastle Hotel near the town of Moville on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal.
.. overlooks Lough Foyle.

And this being Ireland, the weather is the one thing you can’t count ¬†on – unless it’s overcast & rain you are counting on, as that’s what it’s most likely to be Smile

Having said that, we do get some sunshine and when we do, it can look wonderful Рand so, in this case, the image I had in my head was of the couple standing on the balcony with the sun setting behind them Рwhich I reckoned would look very romantic Рor should I say: that would be the ideal image- to help them sell the dream to any young couple who would be thinking of getting married here.

Anyway, as chance would have it, on the morning of our first day, I woke to see this beautiful sunrise…
Sunrise at the Redcastle Hotel near the town of Moville on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal.
.. so I took a few quick handheld shots of it from my bedroom window.

And then later on, just after breakfast, I took a few more which looked like this…
View from the Redcastle Hotel near the town of Moville on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal.
.. which I also thought may work as a background¬†– IF¬†when we came to the actual shoot, it just wasn’t what I had been hoping for.

So I was starting to piece the image together hours beforehand – and I’m sure glad I did – because as you can see here…
Setting up the shot.
.. by the time we were ready to shoot, it wasn’t looking so good.

Still, I had this picture in my head – even if it wasn’t in front of me – and so with all the lights set-up and the camera in place, the final touches were added to the bride & groom…
Setting up the shot.
.. by Kathleen & her assistant.

Wasn’t quite as I’d imagine…
Original capture.
.. but by adding a touch of warmth…
Original capture of the Bride & Groom.
.. I reckoned this was as good as it was going to get.

Not exactly a Money Shot I hear you say – but then came the part that nobody sees, which was the image in my head from weeks ago.

Which in this case I did two versions of¬†–¬†this one…
Bride & Groom standing out on the balcony at the Redcastle Hotel near the town of Moville on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal.
.. which I personally loved the look of but knew it may not be right for them¬†– and this one…Bride & Groom standing out on the balcony at the Redcastle Hotel near the town of Moville on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal.
.. which was very close to how I’d pictured it beforehand.

The¬†Money¬†Shot¬†– which I reckoned¬†was worth a lot more to them, than all the other shots we did that week put together – as seen here in this¬†magazine…

The Carlton Hotels Ad in the Spring 2006 issue of Northern Irelands Wedding Journal magazine.

(Double page spread ad in the Spring 2006 issue of the Wedding Journal magazine)


.. as well as in almost every other media too, even to this every day…
Screenshot of the wedding page on the Redcastle hotel's website.
.. as seen here on their current website.

So for all those brides who have asked their photographers to recreate this image over the years Рnow you know why they struggled to do so Рbecause although it is real, it was only ever real in my head, which was then later created wink

From¬†Marie, Bradley & me¬†at the Redcastle Hotel,¬†on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal, creating images… just for you.

September 1, 2014

The only constant is change.

After my last blog about A selfie – where I talked about how Ireland’s Homes Interiors & living magazine had opened up doors of opportunity and one of those was when I meet Marie¬†–¬†who I have now been working with over the past 10 years – I thought it would be interesting to show how not only Marie’s style has changed over the years but also how the style of my own photography has changed too.

So looking at this image…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. which was the last one we created of this bedroom in 2008 – and then going back to the first images we produced of it in 1999, which was this…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. ¬†which¬†was part of a series of images which Marie use to launch her interior design business back then – and¬†Ireland’s Homes Interiors & living magazine use them too in the February 2000 issue…
The cover plus pages 86 to 96 in the February 2000 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Marie and Alan McMcMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. on pages 86 to 96, plus her kitchen made it on the cover too smile

You can see the¬†framing is actually very similar in both and both have clearly been very well styled too – but what a¬†difference 10 years can make¬†– so is it any wonder I don’t charge for my¬†time anymore wink

Anyway, to show the transformation over those years, here is the series of images produced in between.¬†This being the second image which we¬†created¬†in 2004…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's five-bedroom Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. which was around the time when we both started working together¬†– as part of a home feature, which was then used by a number of magazines, including House Beautiful magazine…
Pages 32 to 39 in the May 2005 issue of House Beautiful magazine featuring Marie and Alan Master's five-bedroom Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. in their May 2005 issue on pages 32 to 39.

In 2006 we then produced this image…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's five-bedroom Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. as part of a Christmas home feature – which again was used by a number of magazines – both nationally as well as locally – including 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 12 to 17 in the December 2006 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Marie and Alan McMillen's home in Belfast.
.. as the lead home in their December 2006 issue on pages 12 to 17.

Also in 2006, we produce this image for Ulster Carpets
Lotus Scroll carpet by Ulster Carpets in the guest bedroom of Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. to show how their Delta Scroll carpet would look in this room¬†–¬†as well as in various other rooms of Marie’s house¬†too –¬†which they then use to help¬†market¬†their Anatolia Range¬†…
Ulster Carpet product catalog showing two different designs of Anatolia carpet in the sitting room and bedroom of Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. in their product catalog¬†–¬†as well as on their website, etc, over the past¬†8¬†years.

In 2007 we produced this image…
Bedroom make-over by Marie McMillen in her Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. as part of a ‘make-over’ editorial feature which Real Homes magazine ran within their November 2008 issue…
Pages 136 to 139 in the November 2008 issue of Real Homes magazine featuring the bedroom in Claire & Paul McCann's (Marie & Alan McMillen) home in Lisburn (Belfast).
.. as well as this image…
Summer makeover of a bedroom by Marie McMillen in her Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. which was one of my personal favourites – for this similar type of feature, which appeared ¬†in the May 2008 issue of Northern Ireland Homes & Lifestyle magazine…
Pages 69 to 72 in the May 2008 issue of Northern Ireland Homes & Lifestyle magazine featuring a bedroom make-over by Marie McMillen in her Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. on how to create a ‘Summertime’ look.

And at the end of 2007, we produced this one for a Christmas home feature…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. which appeared in Country Homes & Interiors magazine…
Pages 32 to 38 in the January 2009 issue of Country Homes & Interiors magazine featuring Marie and Alan (Scott) McMillen's home in Belfast at Christmas.
.. in their January 2009 issue on pages 32 to 38.

So there you have it, the changes in both our styles over the years, as seen in this one room – which no doubt would look totally different again today, as this last image…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's Edwardian semi-detached house in Belfast.
.. was taken over 6 years ago – and now, of course, Marie is totally into white and bright…
Guest bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's new house in Belfast.
.. as opposed to ‘Yella’, as she would often call it – which was naturally partly due how I lit it back then too smile

Over 2000 years ago, Heraclitus of Ephesus, a Greek philosopher known for his doctrine of change being central to the universe, once said:

The only constant is change.

Boy was he right about that Рfrom Marie & me at ampimage.com, who would appear to be constantly changing too smile

August 30, 2014

A selfie

Email in from Ireland’s Homes Interiors & living magazine to say:

Hi Ashley

I am sure you know we are approaching our 20th birthday and we are planning on dedicating a page to our contributors over the years, we would like to include you in this page, would you be able to supply me with a headshot of yourself and 50 words or so on working with the magazine. Could you also ask Marie to do the same? If you could send this in in the next couple of weeks that would be great.

So I replied by saying:

Time to call up David Bailey or Annie Leibovitz, and ask them for a wee favour then ūüôā

Hard to believe it’s been 20 years, as it really doesn’t seem that long ago – as I do still remember those early days like it was only yesterday.

Anyway, no problems – I have plenty of shots of Marie – so I’ll let her pick.
Pictures of me – those are few and far between – but I’m sure I’ll find something that makes me look 20 years younger ūüôā

A selfie is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera – and since David & Annie were both currently unavailable for obvious reasons, then I reckoned it was, therefore, ‚Äčgoing to be a selfie.

So out with the Canon, a 50mm lens attached and with the aid of a reflector, I started to snap.

Looking old…
Ashley Morrison
.. but they do say the camera never lies rolleyes

Ah well, so I guess is how I now look 20 years on – after having produce thousands of memorable images of people and their homes.

Included this one…
The sitting room in Marie & Alan McMillen's home in Belfast.
.. which was actually one of the last homes I shot on film, before buying my first digital system almost 15 years ago.

Remember thinking at the time, this girl has worked hard – and so wasn’t surprised that Ireland’s Homes Interiors & living magazine liked it too – and so ran with this home on the cover of their February 2000 issue…
The cover plus pages 86 to 96 in the February 2000 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine.
.. which was actually around the time they changed their name, to become an all Ireland magazine as well.

So what was so memorable about this one you ask !!

Well for one, we shot it again in 2004…
The sitting room in Marie & Alan McMillen's home in Belfast.
.. and then in it again in 2005 for some Ulster Carpet ads…
Carpet by Ulster Carpets.
.. which were a lot of fun and the begining of a whole new look…
Carpet by Ulster Carpets.
.. so we shot it again in 2006…
The sitting room in Marie & Alan McMillen's home in Belfast at Christmas time.
.. and again in 2007…
Marie McMillen in the sitting room of her home in Belfast at Christmas time.
.. this time with the homeowner in it – looking rather please with herself wink

And at the end of 2008, after may other shoots in it for various company’s ads etc, I shot it for the last time…
The sitting room in Marie & Alan McMillen's home in Belfast.
.. to help them sell it – and so this became by far the most photographed home in the country I reckon – and probably the most featured home in the ‚ÄčUK too, as I think we managed to get this one featured in almost every publication there is.

But I guess the main reason for this one being so memorable – if you haven’t already guessed – is this is where I first met Marie, as this was her home.

So I’ve seen lots of changes over the years, including both the style of Marie’s work and my own, since we first met via this magazine – and then I take another look at that picture of myself and think “ah well, I guess I’ve changed too” Smile

Now just need to think of 50 words or so on working with the magazine, to sum all of this up and the doors of opportunity they opened, which really I guess has been the big thing, which I’d like to thank them for.

Cheers,
Ashley
www.ashleymorrison.com

April 27, 2014

Left or Right.

Well we decided to employ ourselves this week – as we couldn’t think of anyone better or nicer to work for wink

So set-up a few shots in the kitchen area of Marie’s house here…
Setting up the dining table shot in the kitchen area of Marie & Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's Belfast home.
.. which she has been working very hard on over the past few weeks.

Lovely…
The dining table in the kitchen area of Marie & Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's Belfast home.
.. as was the light; however, as you can see…
Setting up the dining table shot in the kitchen area of Marie & Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's Belfast home.
.. we still had a wee bit of pushing and shoving to do…
The dining table in the kitchen area of Marie & Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's Belfast home.
.. to get it right for the camera.

The big debate, however, was over this area…
Setting up the corner sofa shot in the kitchen area of Marie & Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's Belfast home.
.. which in the end we decided to shot two ways – close in on the corner sofa…
The corner sofa in the kitchen area of Marie & Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's Belfast home.
.. and further back to show more of the room…
The corner sofa in the kitchen area of Marie & Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's Belfast home.
.. which is the version that Marie wanted and liked best.

Reminded me of this sign…
Men to the Left because Women are always Right!
.. however, I think she may have actually been right here too wink

Anyway, more to follow – as this was when Marie decided that that was enough for one day – and so we left it at that – which I think was the right decision too smile

From Marie & me at ampimage.com, creating images for others to use.

January 3, 2014

Lets talk cushions.

As the girls debated the merits of cushions…
Victoria and Marie talking shop.
.. and which ones worked best – so it was all about “keeping with the neutral scheme but adding interest and depth with unusual cushions with writing and numbers” or some such thing – as I set-up the camera and lights to produce a number of images…
Victoria and Neil Robertson's converted farmhouse near Portglenone in County Antrim.
.. of this beautifully converted old farmhouse…
Victoria and Neil Robertson's converted farmhouse near Portglenone in County Antrim.
.. near Portglenone in County Antrim – the home of Victoria & Neil Robertson.

The story-line:

Victoria is from Northern Ireland but studied and worked in London for several years where she met Neil who is from Cornwall.
Moving back to Northern Ireland was very much a lifestyle decision for the couple – slower pace of life, starting a family, being closer to Victoria’s parents, etc – and also the fact that their budget stretched so much further when it came to buying a house in Northern Ireland compared to the South of England.

And so as these first captures show…
Victoria and Marie talking shop.
.. the talk was all about how a tiny little splash of pale blue here…
Victoria Robertson in the sitting room of her converted farmhouse near Portglenone in County Antrim.
.. could make all the difference – and so naturally Victoria had to sit on the edge of the sofa, so as not to disturb them smile

Even in the master bedroom…
Shooting the master bedroom.
.. the talk was all about cushions & throws…
The master bedroom in Victoria and Neil Robertson's converted farmhouse near Portglenone in County Antrim.
.. and how adding a wee splash of colour…
Setting up the sofa shot.
.. could make a big difference – right through to the last image…
Sofa in the master bedroom of Victoria and Neil Robertson's converted farmhouse near Portglenone in County Antrim.
.. of the day.

So forget about what camera I used or what lights I used, etc – let’s talk about cushions instead smile

Seriously though, as I would often say to Marie – when we talk about all of this stuff – one is only as good as the weakest link – so what’s in front of the camera, is every bit as important as what’s behind it – which is where she as a Stylist comes into play – because those cushions did make a big difference here… which I know little about.

Not surprising then, that Marie recently set-up a new company called Natural Calico – which is all about cushions such as this Carte Postale Cushion
Carte Postale cushion available from Natural Calico.
.. and those finishing touches, that can greatly help turn your house into a beautiful home.

So a way to go girls – great teamwork – which at the end of the day, as far as I’m concerned, is what this type of photography is all about.

From Marie & me @ ampimage.com

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