Ashley Morrison's Blog

December 10, 2016

The home page.

On the Straffan House home page today, I see they are now using some of the images that we created a few weeks ago – like of the Swimming pool with the swim-up bar…
The home page showing the swimming pool in Straffan House on the K Club's website.
.. the Dining room
The home page showing the dining room in Straffan House on the K Club's website.
.. the Drawing room
The home page showing the drawing room in Straffan House on the K Club's website.
.. and the Master bedroom here…
The home page showing the Master bedroom in Straffan House on the K Club's website.
.. which is still the part that I always love to see, i.e. how our work is used – even after all these years smile.

Looks amazing as far as I’m concerned – not that I’m bias or anything like that wink. – as it was and is an amazing place to start with – but Wow, I really do love how it looks now – so be sure to check it out, as I’m very proud to say that I was a part of this – as it was like a dream come true for me, after 30 years of practising the art of writing with light to tell a story.

December 1, 2016

Straffan House.

A few months ago we were asked to take a look at Straffan House here…
Photos of Staffan House on the K Club's website.
.. which is on the grounds of the The K Club in County Kildare.

So we when along to have a look and took some quick pictures like this…
The original picture taken of the sitting room in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. of the sitting room area – and then wrote up our report on what we felt would work.

“This picture shows the angle and what we would be looking to shoot here, i.e the fireplace, the coffee table & sofas, and room beyond.
May need to move the sofas a bit for the camera – fire lit – a glass of brandy and a good book – people or a member of staff in the background.”

So anyway, last week we arrived in convoy at the gates of this private house…
Behind the scenes at the Straffan House shoot at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. and after setting up the camera to take the first of the images of this room…
Behind the scenes at the Straffan House shoot at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. it was obvious from what we saw on screen here…
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. at we needed to move some of the furniture about a bit…
Behind the scenes at the Straffan House shoot at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. so while Ivan and I sorted that out, Dianne worked on the styling…
Behind the scenes at the Straffan House shoot at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. while Claudio obviously took lots of ‘behind the scenes’ pictures…
Behind the scenes at the Straffan House shoot at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. of us all at work smile.

Anyway, the one great thing about working in a house this size…
Behind the scenes at the Straffan House shoot at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. is that there was lots of room for everyone to get on with their thing while we got on with ours.

And so as the first of the models arrived we were pretty much ready to go…
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. as all that was now left to do was see where they would sit…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House.
.. which in the end just meant taking lots of shots, as they kind-off had their own idea of what they wanted to do wink.

Anyway, this was the final result…
The sitting room in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. to tell the story about this amazing room – and how it would be ideal for you and your family, should you wish to stay here for a few days wink.

So one done, five to go – which meant down to the basement next – which you can read more about that later on smile.

July 6, 2016

Favourite shot has to be the Michael Jordan one.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 10:01 am
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We were shooting a new build house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert this week – which belonged to John Wilson, who owns a gallery and framing business – and being like 6 foot 6 and then some, his passion is naturally basketball which he has played at a fairly senior level over the years.

The Storyline:

“As a little boy, John’s family rented a holiday home in Ballyhalbert where he had fond memories of family holidays – boats, fishing etc.
Initially he loved the idea of a converted barn – but the opportunity to buy one within his budget didn’t arise.
So he decided to look for a site and build from scratch.
Style wise, he likes a slightly eclectic mix of mid century furniture (mostly from his grand parents’ former home) plus some very old rustic pieces he picked up cheaply – alongside some more contemporary items.”

Anyway, John had sent Marie a few pictures of his place a few weeks ago, which she then forwarded on to me with comments like so:
“Love the 2 sofas and footstool and stove ….
Could see us getting a very strong shot here !!!”

IMG_8078

Yes, looks good to me too – and so after re-aranging of the sofas to suit the camera angle, and a quick bit of styling by Marie, the first picture was taken…
First picture taken in the sitting room of John Wilson's house in the County Down village of Ballyhalbert.
.. to let everyone see what the camera was seeing – as it’s not seeing the room from 6 foot 6 up in the air smile

Anyway, after a bit more ‘pushing and shoving’ by John & Marie, lights were in place and so it was time to shoot the man himself…
John Wilson in the sitting room of his house on the outskirts of the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. standing tall and very much at home.

The money shot or the lead shot as we would call it – which is like the all important one – and so that was a ‘slam dunk’ as far as I was concerned smile

Anyway, as the rain poured down we pushed on and slowly worked our way throughout his house, shooting not only each of the over all rooms but also some details shots like so…
Framed picture in John Wilson's house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. before moving up stairs to shoot the bedrooms etc.

The picture John had sent Marie of the master bedroom looked like so…
IMG_8087
.. which Marie said: “I wouldn’t be long sorting this out…”

And neither she was – as it was already looking good by the time I had set the camera up to take this first shot…
First picture taken in the master bedroom of John Wilson's house in the County Down village of Ballyhalbert.
.. which again after some work by John & Marie ended up looking like this…
The master bedroom in John Wilson's house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. where the most time was spent on debating where the basketball should be smile

Seriously thought, it was fun shoot – and the following day after John saw the final results, he replied by saying:

“You work fast Ashley, pictures look amazing!!!”

“Favourite shot has to be the Michael Jordan one but don’t be telling Marie that! haha”

Which refers to this image…
Large framed picture of Michael Jordan titled 'Wings' on the landing of John Wilson's new build house in the County Down seaside village of Ballyhalbert.
.. of the large framed picture of Michael Jordan titled ‘Wings’ on the landing – which really was stunning – and in itself told the story of who lived here. i.e. someone who is clearly into basketball and beautiful framing of art work too.

A picture that is worth a 1000 words, especially to John – who we would both like to thank for inviting us in and making us feel so welcome, from Marie & me @ ampimage.com

March 15, 2016

Like something you would see in a magazine.

About a month ago Marie visited a friend of Jillian’s, whose kitchen we where about shoot – which I talked about us shooting here: To tell a story – and she sent me an email to say:

“Welllll – I had a lovely morning meeting Emma – Jillian’s friend.
She is really good fun and totally up for a feature.
Couldn’t believe it – I have admired this house for years.”

The storyline:

The couple had always yearned for a period home – and as they had some experience renovating/extending their previous homes, they weren’t afraid to tackle one that needed a lot of work. And this one needed a vast amount of work as it had been badly converted to flats. Emma sourced period salvage items wherever possible to bring the house back to its former glory. She even built a little guest annex in the back garden using lovely old architectural salvage.

Anyway, Marie attached a few pictures to let me see it – this being one of them…
The sitting room of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. and so last week it was time to see what we (as a team) could do.

The weather forecast said it would be cloudy for most of the day but didn’t predict there would be any rain; however, as we set-up for the first shot of the sitting room here…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. it started to rain – or drizzle as we would call it, as that is what it usually is here in Ireland.

Anyway, while Stuart set-up the lights, Emma – whose beautiful house this was – was all go and totally focused as you can see here…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. which is the sort of image I would often joke about, and say “Well that’s the homeowner shot done” when I capture something like this smile

Seriously though, Emma did work hard throughout the day here – and was clearly very pleased with what she had achieved – and so besides keeping a close eye on what was appearing on my screen, she recorded all her hard work too, on her iPad…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. which put me to shame, as she made taking pictures look so easy wink

Anyway, after about 40 minutes of great team-work and a quick change of trousers too, it was time for Emma to strike her pose…
Emma Cooper in the sitting room of her Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. which she naturally did to perfection – as one would expect from a former cover girl, who clearly hadn’t lost her touch.

And the comments from the team the following day, when I sent them this image:
Stuart: “Absolutely beautiful!!!”
Mandi: “oooh lovely!!”
Marie: “Love it 🙂 “

I love it too – but like I said above, I’m very aware that the reason why people say things like that, when they look at my images, is because a lot of work will have gone into making them look like that – which sometimes I capture…
Emma Cooper cleaning the door handle during the shoot in her Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. just for the fun of it – as well as to complete the story here in my dairy – as this is what one doesn’t see when you are looking at the pictures in a glossy magazine.

Because this really was all about teamwork…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. followed by attention to detail…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. lots of fine tuning…
One of the first pictures taken in the kitchen of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. and then finally – it was time to strike that perfect pose once again…
Emma Cooper in the kitchen of their Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. as you naturally would do, especially when there is a crowd of people standing behind the camera all looking at you, saying: “That’s like something you would see in a magazine” smile

Before starting all over again…
One of the first pictures taken in the bedroom of Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. to make it look like I did nothing at all, bar take some quick snaps with a very good camera, of whatever happened to be there…
Daughter's bedroom in Emma and Graham Cooper's Victorian semi in Belfast.
.. on a very nice day too.

Which in this case it was – as we all had a lot fun here, creating what I have no doubt will be, what you will see in one of the biggest selling glossy magazines very shortly.

And so on that note I’d just like to end by saying a big thanks to Emma and her husband Graham here – from Marie, Stuart & me – for inviting us in to tell your story – which is not only like something that you would see in a magazine, it will be something that you will see in a magazine… and hopefully very soon too smile

February 28, 2016

“WOW, I take my hat off to you Ashley! Just wonderful”

Was the lovely reply from Amanda, after I sent her the web link to let her see the final results, as we had been shooting her Victorian town house a few days before.

Amanda loves renovating old period properties – so this was actually the fourth renovation of her’s that we were shooting here, as we find the Editors of the various magazines that we would submit to, just love what she does.

So a easy one for Marie, as it was pretty much sitting up camera ready, which therefore gave her plenty of time to take some pictures of Stuart here…
Stuart & me.
.. and me at work.

Where we produced a load of images like this…
The kitchen in Amanda and Keith's renovated Victorian town house in Belfast.
.. of the over all kitchen – before swapping over the camera system…
Stuart & me.
.. to zoom in on detail areas like this…
Clocks in the kitchen of Amanda and Keith's renovated Victorian town house in Belfast.
.. of the clocks on the wall.

Marie refer to Amanda’s style as being “shabby chic feminine decor” – so after a nice cup of tea with little finger in the air…
Me drinking Tea.
.. it was time to shoot the dog house…
Dog house in the kitchen of Amanda and Keith's renovated Victorian town house in Belfast.
.. and then into the sitting room…
Stuart & Amanda.
.. which when light, was where I shot Amanda with her two boys, Bailie and Oliver…
Amanda with her two sons Bailie & Oliver in the sitting room of their renovated Victorian town house in Belfast.
.. before shooting lots of details areas like this…
Picture in the sitting room of Amanda and Keith's renovated Victorian town house in Belfast.
.. which was like a work of art within a work of art smile

There was so much to shoot here – so we called it a day early and then came back the following morning, to shot the up-stair areas – which again Amanda worked very hard on…
Amanda.
.. while I stood around…
Me.
.. and Marie took some pictures of…
Me.
.. of me with my two arms folded – “There is no work in me” Marie wink

Anyway, this was one of the many results…
The bathroom in Amanda and Keith's renovated Victorian town house in Belfast.
.. which Amanda here…
Amanda at work
.. should be rightly proud of – as even this landing area…
The Landing area in Amanda and Keith's renovated Victorian town house in Belfast.
.. looked Picture Perfect to me.

So a big thanks to you Amanda, because “WOW, I take my hat off to you” – as this was just wonderful to shoot too smile

From Marie, Stuart & me, who had little to do, so this is just to say: “Thank you”.

October 22, 2015

Straight forward.

Located in the Rosetta area of Belfast…
Lisa & Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. was where we were shooting recently, in Lisa & Conor’s detached house.

Which was a straight forward one for Marie…
Marie working in the kitchen of Lisa & Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. Claudio…
Claudio in the kitchen of Lisa & Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. and even for Lisa herself…
Lisa McCann in the kitchen of her detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. as we all felt this house suited this ‘straight down the middle’ type of style.

So while Marie posed in her usual way…
Marie working in the sitting room of Lisa & Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. Claudio sorted out the wires…
Claudio working in the sitting room of Lisa & Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. and after some rearranging for the furniture, plus a wee touch of sun light…
The sitting room in Lisa and Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. it really was as simple as that.

The Storyline:

“Basically a major extension and renovation job !!!!
They specifically chose a popular suburb for good schools and links – and also, they welcomed the idea of a project.
They built a large extension to create a new kitchen and bathroom – and also a roof conversion.”

The bathroom was very impressive…
The bathroom in Lisa and Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. which once again was pretty straight forward to shoot, style & light – and the bedroom in the roof conversion was also pretty straight forward too…
Bedroom in Lisa and Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. so were in & out in record time on this one – and had a confirmed Yes please from the Editor at 25 Beautiful Homes magazine before lunch time the following day – so a fantastic result all around smile

August 7, 2015

Nestled in the Sperrin Mountains.

Near Limavady in County Londonderry, is where Kim & Derek’s barn extension can be found – and so that’s where we were a few weeks ago…
Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension nestled in the Sperrin Mountains near Limavady in County Londonderry.
.. to produce some images which we were hoping an Editor from one the leading interior magazines would want to use.

So it was all hands on board – as I set up the camera, Marie set about doing her thing…
First picture taken in Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension nestled in the Sperrin Mountains near Limavady in County Londonderry.
.. and Claudio, who had jointed us for the day, set up the lights outside.

Fifty-five minutes later, it was time for a coffee break…
Kim Loughery in her barn extension near Limavady in County Londonderry.
.. as I asked Kim to smile smile

From there we worked our way up through to the kitchen at the back, which as you can see was looking pretty good as is…
First picture taken in kitchen of Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension in County Londonderry.
.. and so therefore only needed the lights moved a bit out of frame, to create this image…
The kitchen in Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension in County Londonderry.
.. before returning back down to the sitting room area here…
First picture taken of the sitting room in Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension in County Londonderry.
.. to capture it from the other direction.

Which in the end, I reckon was my favourite image of the day…
The sitting room in Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension nestled in the Sperrin Mountains near Limavady in County Londonderry.
.. as it surprised everyone, because it wasn’t how any of us had really pictured it beforehand.

Anyway, with Claudio’s help throughout the day and with all that Kim & Derek had done here, we seemed to fly through this one – and produced, what I felt, was some great images too.

The final one being that of the exterior image…
Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension nestled in the Sperrin Mountains near Limavady in County Londonderry.
.. which I had to wait for, as the sun really only ever hits the front of the barn in the late afternoon.

Still a beauty, as far as I was concerned – because it sure wasn’t what I would have expected to see nestled in the Sperrin Mountains – especially inside what once was an old barn, which clearly it is no longer.

Fantastic job Kim – and Derek too – and so all that is left to say, is thank you once again for inviting us in, from Marie, Mandi, Claudio and me – who all loved what you did here on your family farm – and so it came as no surprise to get a ‘yes please’ from an Editor so quickly – so we will keep you posted on that, once we know more.

May 4, 2014

Natural direction of light.

Back at Marie’s once again to finish of the series of images that we plan to submit to various magazines over the next few years – so while Marie added the finishing touches to the kitchen…
Marie setting up in the kitchen shot of her renovated 1960's house near Holywood in County Down.
.. I set about lighting it up…
The kitchen in Marie and Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's house near Holywood in County Down.
.. which actually didn’t take that long, as those windows are perfectly placed.

As are the windows in her sitting room – which I at first tried lighting from the left…
The first picture taken in the sitting room in Marie and Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's house near Holywood in County Down.
.. but then decided it would be more natural looking, if I lit it from the ones on the right…
The sitting room in Marie and Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's house near Holywood in County Down.
.. as that was where the natural direction of light was coming from in the first place.

The master bedroom was for me a doddle to light – but due to a some new bedding arriving the day before – it was like a complete make-over job for Marie here…
Marie setting up in the bedroom shot of her renovated 1960's house near Holywood in County Down.
.. which I must say looked very well when she was all done…
Master bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's renovated 1960's house near Holywood in County Down.
.. and I stopped walking on her little striped rug wink

About 20 images in the end produced, which should be more than enough for any Editor – so now it time to submit and keep our fingers crossed.

From Marie & me @ ampimage, producing images just for you, as we would say.

May 2, 2014

Gentleman’s residence.

The sky was blue and the sun was shining – so the first shot in the bag, was the exterior of this large detached Victorian house…
Fiona and Conor O'Kane's detached Victorian Gentleman’s residence in Belfast.
.. which belonged to Fiona and Conor O’Kane – who are both are Barristers here in Belfast.

The Storyline:

Fiona and Conor bought the house approx 6 years ago and since then, have done a huge amount of work to it – they tackled quite a bit themselves – knocking down walls, decorating, etc, etc.

So with Stuart, who normally assists us out on Hotel shoots, helping out with lighting and that – Marie made a start inside…
Setting up the drawing room shot in Fiona & Conor's detached Victorian Gentleman’s residence in Belfast.
.. by doing her thing, before we asked Fiona & Conor to strike a pose in the drawing room…
Fiona & Conor's in the drawing room of their detached Victorian Gentleman’s residence in Belfast.
.. in front of the black marble fireplace – which it seems swung the sale for them when they first saw it.

Then from there, it was into the sitting room across the hall – where both Marie and Stuart both swung into action…
Setting up the sitting room shot in Fiona & Conor's detached Victorian Gentleman’s residence in Belfast.
.. before I shot it two ways – with and without the fire lit…
The sitting room in Fiona & Conor's detached Victorian Gentleman’s residence in Belfast.
.. to give the Editors a choice – incase they wanted to run with it in one of their spring or summer issues, instead of one of their winter or autumn issues smile

Anyway, it was then into the kitchen area at the back of the house…
Setting up the kitchen shot in Fiona & Conor's detached Victorian Gentleman’s residence in Belfast.
.. which as you can see, was less traditional…
The kitchen in Fiona & Conor's detached Victorian Gentleman’s residence in Belfast.
.. and very bright…
The sitting area in the kitchen of Fiona & Conor's detached Victorian Gentleman’s residence in Belfast.
.. which made for a really lovely contrast.

Huge house – but with Stuart helping us out here, we were up to the bedrooms…
Setting up the bedroom shot in Fiona & Conor's detached Victorian Gentleman’s residence in Belfast.
.. just after lunch – and once again I was most impressed…
Bedroom in Fiona & Conor's detached Victorian Gentleman’s residence in Belfast.
.. with their style & taste, in this beautiful Victorian Gentleman’s residence.

So just a quick note to say thanks to everyone here – and especially to Fiona & Conor for inviting us in and making us feel so welcome.

From Marie, Stuart & me @ ampimage.com

January 2, 2014

Victorian townhouse for sale.

At the time we shooting Laura & David’s Victorian townhouse in Holywood, it was actually up for sale…
For sale.
.. but as that was not what we where there to talk about, then let’s forget about that…
Laura and David Menary's Victorian townhouse in the County Down town of Holywood.
.. and let’s see what was behind the door instead wink

The Story-line:

David is an Estate Agent and Laura is a Solicitor.
Laura has taken time out to look after Lily but has set up a little business sourcing vintage tea sets and converting the cups to candles.

Basically a complete refurbishment along with a kitchen extension.

So it was all about creating a set of images to tell that story – and so we first set-up a shot…
Getting ready.
.. to show Laura and her daughter Lily…
Laura Menary and her daughter Lily.
.. sitting in front of a large framed ‘Come to Ulster’ print, of Belfast lough – so now you know this is Holywood not Hollywood we are talking about here smile

Anyway, we then turned around to shoot the kitchen extension…
Setting up the kitchen shot.
.. which when lit and styled…
The dining table in the kitchen of Laura and David Menary's Victorian townhouse in the County Down town of Holywood.
.. looked amazing, as did their ground floor sitting room, which was very striking…
Setting up the sitting room shot.
.. and so after lighting that up…
The sitting room in Laura and David Menary's Victorian townhouse in the County Down town of Holywood.
.. it was time to zoom-in on some of Laura’s vintage tea set candles…
Vintage tea set that have been converted into candle holders in Laura and David Menary's Victorian townhouse in the County Down town of Holywood.
.. before heading upstairs with Marie…
Setting up the bedroom shot.
.. to shoot the bedrooms…
The master bedroom in Laura and David Menary's Victorian townhouse in the County Down town of Holywood.
.. and complete the story that we wanted to tell – about this Victorian townhouse in Holywood and the people who live their – which is for sale – as we are now hoping that this set of images and story behind them, will be of great interest to a number of different magazines over the coming years smile

Producing images to tell a story, by Marie & me @ ampimage.com.

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