I was approached by the guys at ITM Digital who were developing a new website for Moate Lodge. They needed new images of the accommodation that really sold this lovely B&B in Athy.
This job came up in December which isn't the perfect time of the year for shooting interior or exterior photo's. It brings its own challenges like the lack of foliage on the trees and colourful flowers in the gardens. There's also a scarcity of light, with only 4 or 5 hours of useful light to work with. With that in mind, we chose a day where the weather was set to be fine and scheduled to meet up at Midday.
As time was of the essence, the platitudes were kept to a minimum and I went straight into the private dining room to start shooting. Moate Lodge is a delightful B&B steeped in tradition and history and it was important that the images reflected the detail and atmosphere of the accommodation. Most of the rooms are filled with antiquities and there are plenty of mirrors too so shooting from an angle where my reflection didn't spoil the view was key.
The Private Dining Room
With the sun being so low in the sky at this time of the year, it can cause harsh and unflattering shadows and needed to be worked with carefully. I stayed on this side of the house until it moved around and then switched to the bedrooms once it had passed around to the front.
The Dining Room is probably the most contemporary space in the house and offers a wonderfully bright and airy space. It also allowed a shot that was front on (no mirrors!) which always works well for interior photography, the leading lines draw your eye into the image.
So much natural light floods into the Dining Room
I worked my way around the house shooting one beautiful bedroom after another. Again, mirrors had to be strategically placed to avoid any unfortunate reflections and to enhance the accommodation. In this case, the detail of the headboard was captured as well as a view of the fireguard.
One of the stunning bedrooms available in Moate Lodge
I also shot all the rooms with the lights on and off. It was important that we made the most of the natural light that streams in but sometimes it can leave rooms like this looking a little cold. Carefully managing the lighting can add a warmth to an image without adding too much of a colour cast.
The same bedroom with a little subtle lighting included
In stunning B&B's like this the attention to detail by the owners is often what sets it apart from the rest so it was important to try and capture some of this detail in each of the rooms.
Attention to detail is key.
I worked my way around the property capturing all four bedrooms and the communal space before the sun set for the day. As I was finishing up I was introduced to an unusual feature that has to be unique for B&B's. The owner is a keen historian and showed me into his mini-museum in the converted stable. Its a must see for any visitors to the area and Raymond was only too happy to talk me through his collection of memorabilia. I had to grab a few images of this space before I left and I'm glad I did as they made their way onto the website too.
Results from the Darkroom
Attention to Detail
Some of the outdoor space
History, history, history!