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 5, 2016

Write with light to tell a story.

The final image that they had asked us for, was of this bedroom…
The original picture taken of the lilac bedroom in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. which they called the Lilac Room – which they felt was the ideal one to shoot, to represent what the other 9 bedrooms in this house looked like… even though they are all actually quite different, as one would naturally expect in such a magnificent house like this.

Anyway, with the camera in place, the team when to work – as Claudio tried to figure-out where the light should ideally be…
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. while Dianne as seen here…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. did a bit of steam ironing.

Meanwhile, I as usual, didn’t do much by the looks of it…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. besides than stand around and press the button every now & then…
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. to see how they were all getting on wink.

Seriously though, they were brilliant – as they each just got on and did their thing – which as I would often say: “When done right, should (almost) look like we did nothing at all” – besides me take a (nice) picture of whatever happened to there, with a very good camera of course wink.

Which is what this final image…
The Lilac bedroom in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. I believe does actually look like – after we (as a team) had spent nearly 2 hours creating it wink.

And so that was it – time to pack…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. and rack…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. and say our farewells for now – as we loaded up the wagon to head home.

Which just leaves me to say a huge thanks to everyone involved – including the models from the Andrea Roche Agency: Sarah Tansey, Marie Boyle, Gareth Downey and Padraig; as well as to Orla & Susie from the K Club for all their help here.

And of course to my own team – Dianne & Claudio – plus to Ivan here too…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. who joined us for the first time – but will no doubt become a regular, as he was brilliant throughout in helping us all to tell this story about this amazing place called Straffan House.

So that’s it from me – until the next time I try to write with light to tell a story that is hopefully worth more than 1000 words to someone smile.

December 4, 2016

Made me smile.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 12:46 pm
Tags: , , , ,

One of the main reasons as to why I was asked in the first place, to take a look at this house, was because we had just recently shoot some of the bedroom in the K Club hotel itself – which I talked about shooting here: back in July.

And so it was really the bedrooms in this house that they mainly wanted me to take a look at – because they felt that the image that they had of the bedrooms in this house, now didn’t really stack-up against the bedrooms images that we had taken in their hotel. And so since the price difference between what it would cost to stay in this house, was like 10 times more than it would be to stay in the hotel, then they naturally didn’t want the bedrooms in this house to look less impressive.

Which made total sense – as well as made me smile of course, because that was actually quite a compliment smile.

Anyway, this was the room that they were mainly referring to…
The original picture taken of the master bedroom in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. which as you can see was the master bedroom.

OUR THINKING: “This is a yes.

May move the sofa and coffee table – either towards the window or have the seats face the bed – and put a trunk or something like that at the bottom of the bed.
Early morning feel – light pouring.”

And so last week I was back standing in the same spot – watching my team do their thing, as the furniture got moved around, the bedding was sorted…
One of the first picture taken of the master bedroom in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. and then like magic, it was suddenly beautifully lit…
One of the first picture taken of the master bedroom in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. thanks to Claudio & Ivan, who were clearly busy working away behind the scenes, on creating that ‘early morning feel’ that I had mentioned on our report.

So it wasn’t long before the 3 of them had it looking like this…
One of the first picture taken of the master bedroom in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. which I reckoned was looking pretty good – as we all stood around and looked at the screen…
Behind the scenes during the shoot of the master bedroom in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. as it was really all down now to the details, i.e. the shoes, bags and what to put on that coffee table in the foreground, etc, etc.

So while the girls worked on all of that, the guys put up another light…
Behind the scenes during the shoot of the master bedroom in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. which as you can see here…
One of the pictures taken of the master bedroom in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. helped throw some light across the coffee table in the foreground.

And so a few minutes, this was the final result…
The master bedroom in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. after I added a bit more to the top and bottom – to give ‘their art department guys’ a little more to play with, since they were wanting to use these images in Multiple Media over the next few years.

Which meant five down, one to go – here at Straffan House.

December 3, 2016

A dream come true.

It’s funny sometimes, because when I’m standing looking at room like this…
The original picture taken of the dining room in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. I can actually see what the final image would look like – almost like it has already be created – even though I know that that isn’t what the camera is about to record.

It doesn’t always happen, but it did here – and so when it came to trying to explain to the client what I saw, it was like “this is going to sound crazy” but since you asked me, well then here you go:

OUR THINKING: “They say a picture is worth a thousand words – so throughout this set of images here, I feel we need to make the viewer feel like this is ‘their home’, rather than some property that they are looking at in a real estate brochure. Make them feel like they are already in the room, sitting there or standing there… in their home.

So with that in mind – as well as trying to imagine who this person is / what would appeal them / the type of magazines & books that they would read and/or look at for inspiration, etc, etc – we both feel that this is an important room to show.

Late evening, rather than day time – timing would be very important here – lights on, candles lit, roaring fire, etc, etc.
So we would need people – who look and are dressed the part.”

Half expecting them to once again tell me to “get a grip”, because they didn’t actually ask me to even look at this room, as they felt the image that they had of it was 100%.
And I thought that it was too, when they showed it to me – but I had this vision in my head, which I saw each time I looked at this – and so was totally amazed when they came back to say “yes, we like the sound of that”.

So this was the one that I actually enjoyed the most – because like I say, it was almost like it had ready been taken – so we now just needed to figure out how to get the camera to record that wink.

Anyway, with only about a hour of daylight left, we all knew that we had to work fast on this one – as the goal here was for me to be pressing the button, just before the sky outside the windows when black – which I would call the ‘twilight zone’.

So with the camera in position, the first pictures appeared on screen…
One of the first pictures taken of the dining room in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. and we could see right away that the table needed moved, as it clearly wasn’t in the centre of the rug.

So once that was sorted out, the lights were put up…
Behind the scenes during the dining room shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. and then Ivan & Dianne got to work on the table setting…
One of the first pictures taken of the dining room in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. while I as usually did nothing…
Behind the scenes during the dining room shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. but stand around and watched them do all the work wink.

“Looks good guys” – as Susie and Orla here…
Behind the scenes during the dining room shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. jointed me to have a look at the screen – just as the models arrived…
Behind the scenes during the dining room shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. and started to do their thing in the room beyond…
Behind the scenes during the dining room shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. which once again we checked on screen…
Behind the scenes during the dining room shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. as we were now almost there – as you can see here…
The dining room shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. just as the sky began to darken.

I loved it – however, as you can see here…
Behind the scenes during the dining room shoot in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. I was out numbered 3 to 1 wink.

And I’m actually very glad I was, because now when I look at what the girls suggested here – which was to put the roses back into the tall vases …
The dining room in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. I realise why the signs reads: Men to the left, because women are always right wink.

So I just want to say a huge thanks to everyone here – as this you could say, was like a dream come true for me – which in the end, was even better than I had originally imagined it would be.

Four done, two to go – which I will talk about another day – as we headed upstairs to shoot the rooms which their lucky guests can enjoy dreaming in too smile.

December 2, 2016

The lady in red.

OUR THINKING: “Large bunch of flowers on the table in the middle – couple coming down the stairs about to go out the a black tie affair and the kids upstiars looking throught the rail as watch their parents walking down those beautiful stairs.

This to me is like a movie set – or like something that one would only see in the movies – and so ‘lights, camera and action’ are required 🙂

Bring the dream alive… for the viewer / your target market / your guests.

Maybe even a member of staff holding their coats, over to the left – again looking on – or another couple !!

I want to be there – I want to be them… walking down those stairs.”

Which at the time I said to them, was like my crazy vision of this…
The original picture taken of the hallway in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. half expecting them to reply, to tell me to ‘get real’ and ‘wise-up’ smile.

But here I was a few months later, standing back in the same spot…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. as I looked at this image on the screen…
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. as Claudio, Dianne and one of the models stood-in to let me see how it might look.

So it was all hands on board for this one, as you can see…
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. as the models tried on different outfits…
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. and the guys even made a few suggestions too…
One of the pictures during the shoot at Straffan House.
.. which for some strange reason, the client didn’t seem to think was quite right wink.

Seriously thought, having Ivan here at the shoot was great…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. as was Claudio here too…
One of the pictures during the shoot at Straffan House.
.. who managed to get the only smile that I managed to capture from our leading man here wink.

So thanks for that Claudio – because as you can see…
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. he couldn’t wait to tell all his mates about his vision here – while the lady in red was being prepared to make her grand appearance.

Anyway, this was the final result…
The hallway in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. which wasn’t quite as I had visioned a few months ago – but nevertheless, I was still very pleased with it – as who wouldn’t want to be the lady in red here, coming down those magnificent stairs in a house like this smile.

So three done, three to go – and only one more to go with the models – as we were fast approaching the end of this short day, due the sun setting around 4 at this time of year.

Which means the late evening dining room shot next – but that’s for now, as it’s the end of another day here for me.

The pool.

The swimming pool and gym area was next on our list – which again we had recced a few months ago here…
Photos of the swimming pool at Staffan House.
.. when they showed us around.

“OUR THINKING: Yes to the pool – which I looked at from a few different positions.
This being the one – which shows the gym area too – so we’d move the running machine, to see it (maybe even have someone on it) – someone on the chairs at the back or even in the pool with their arms on the deck or even in the hot tub!!

Memeber of staff with drinks / cocktails or champagne & strawberries !!

Living the dream.”

So with the camera in position, the first images appeared on screen..
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. as everyone being to gather…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. and I talked to each of the models about what I saw them doing…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. before shooting a few more frames…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. as we tried each of the models in the position we felt may work best…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. while Claudio and Ivan worked hard on the lighting – which I have got to say they did an amazing job on, as this was a ‘tricky enough’ one to light, especially to make it look like it was naturally lit at this time of year.

Anyway, as everyone watched the screen…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. they made suggestions…
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
..and then we tried something else…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. checked the screen again…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. tried something else…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. until we all finally agreed that this was the image…
The swimming pool in the Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. that best helped to tell the story, about what was down here in the basement of this amazing Straffan House smile.

So two done, four to go – which meant up to the entrance hallway next – which you can read more about later on wink.

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.

November 28, 2016

Black Friday sale.

As we approach the end of another year, it was time to take advantage of the 50% off ‘Black Friday’ sale over the weekend smile.

So some new books have been printed…
A book called Irish Hotels by Ashley Morrison.
.. which even includes the work we did at Straffan House last week…
The dining room in Straffan House at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. which I plan to write about later on this week – so watch this space, as that was a totally amazing shoot smile.

Anyway, Irish Hotels is a large format coffee table book containing a collection of hotel images created by me and my team over the past few years in Ireland – which I’m thinking should make for a very nice Christmas present, as well as hopefully help kick start the new year wink.

July 26, 2016

“Stop looking at the clock”

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 2:24 pm
Tags: , , , ,

“And start looking at what is actually in front of you, because you are in fact living the dream” – is what I said to my team here, as they were trying very hard to speed things up during this shoot.

Because let’s face it, life really doesn’t get much better than this…
Claudio Salviato on the balcony of the Presidential suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. or at least not for me it doesn’t – as I simply couldn’t afford to even dream of staying at a place like this…
The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. never mind stand on the balcony of their Presidential suite.

So enjoy the moment while it lasts…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. because I can assure you, I was in no hurry to leave Wink

Anyway, the last image was to show that balcony of the Presidential suite and the view of their gardens and golf course – which the day before we talked over with Susie, as we tried to find the best angle…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
..which in the end I reckoned was from the window near the top of the stairs…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. so worth taking a shot of…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. because I would rarely not use a tripod…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. even when working with the 503.

Anyway, other than were it was taken from…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. it was a pretty straight forward shot…
The balcony and view from the Presidential suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. to complete the dream, of what The K Club has to offer it’s extra special guests.

And so it was now time to look at the clock – as we packed…
Behind the scenes at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. because I’m trying to workout how long it will be before we are back here again Wink

July 25, 2016

The master bedroom in the Imperial Suite.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 3:22 pm
Tags: , , , ,

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words – so when trying to produce an image that someone else will want to use, especially if it’s one for them to use to help them tell their story – or in this case, say to their guests: this room would be ideal for you – then I would often question them about who that person is.

Male, female, young, old, business person, bride, tourists, etc, etc – because I want that person to feel that this would be prefect for them too – in fact, I’d really like them to feel that are already there and this is already their room Smile

Okay, I may be getting a bit carried away here – but that is often like my Goal, i.e. to make the viewer feel that they are already there and this is what they are looking at.

And so I have spent the last 30 years trying to produce those type of images – “Just for you”, as we would often say – and so knowing who ‘you’ (the viewer) is, would therefore be important for me and my team to know… hence the questions about the client’s target market, etc, etc.

Because everything in the image, as well as how it’s lit, composed, framed, etc, etc – is all part of the story that we are writing a 1000 words about, when we take a picture or produce and image or even create one, to say what it is that we are wanting to say to the viewer, i.e. you Wink

And so with that in mind, the fun begins – which is basically what happened here, during this shoot of the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite…
One of the first pictures taken of the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. which once lit and styled…
One of the first pictures taken of the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. had us both looking at the scene here…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club.
.. in no time at all – thinking yes that looks pretty good
One of the first pictures taken of the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. so it was time to ask Susie to come have a look.

Arms folded – as you can see here in Claudio’s behind the scenes shot…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at The K Club.
.. which isn’t a good sign Wink

Seriously though, Susie really did like it – however, it was this question that I kept asking, about who this person was here…
Detail.
.. because may be it should be this person…
Detail.
.. or even this person…
Detail.
.. or would it be this…
Detail.
.. or this…
Detail.
.. or this…
One of the first pictures taken of the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite at The K Club near Straffan in County Kildare.
.. which is when she finally said ‘yes’ – like that’s the word I have been look for, to describe this ideal person, who… would want to say in this room, could afford to say in this room, would normally stay in this room .. would stop and look at my picture Smile

Yes, it was a bit like going shopping with one of my daughters, who would tell me that she knew exactly what she wanted, once she would see it Wink

Anyway, that was the master bedroom in the Imperial Suite done – so 4 down and only 1 to go.

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