Ashley Morrison's Blog

January 30, 2016

Farm cottage renovation.

Is the title of our latest published work in the March 2016 issue of Real Homes magazine…
Pages 70 to 77 in the March 2016 issue of Real Homes magazine featuring Dominic and Louise McGuane's renovated farmhouse called 'The Safe House' near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.
.. on pages 70 to 77 – which features Dominic and Louise McGuane’s renovated farmhouse called ‘The Safe House’ near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.

“Louise McGuane used natural light, modern design and open space to transform her 18th-century stone cottage into a contemporary masterpiece.”

Which I talked about shooting here: The Safe House – at the end of July of last year.

So just want to say a big Congratulations to both Dominic and Louise here…
Louise McGuane in her renovated farmhouse called 'The Safe House' near the village of Cooraclare in County Clare.
.. for making it into this top selling national magazine – because this was indeed an amazing renovation, whereby you differently did manage “to create something unassuming from the outside but utterly modern from the moment you step inside” – from Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

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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 – from Marie & me at ampimage.com, who would appear to be constantly changing too smile

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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