He is a rule breaker, a memory maker, a moment seeker, an artist, a visionary, a creator and one hell of a cool guy.

He spends most of his time drinking coffee, eating avocados, playing with his pigs, crafting up cool new ideas or photographing something extraordinary.

Oli has won international wedding photographer of the year 2019, Rangefinder New York top 30, Capture Annual, he was a Moran Prize Finalist as well as Capture Magazines Emerging photographer of the year in 2014. Let’s not forget that he won a state trophy for taekwondo (despite being kicked in the head and knocked out).

We wanted to get an insight into this brilliant mind, so we asked him a few questions.

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired by the brilliant couples I get to work with, and avocados.

Why is photography important?

Photography is important because we’re all going to be pushing up daisies eventually - just a few printed tokens that show we were here are incredibly important.

Do you have many available dates in a calendar year?

I have 365 available dates in a calendar year! As traditions change, more and more weekday weddings are happening. With that said Saturdays are often highly sought after, and as an example, every November Saturday in 2021 got snapped up within a week.

Will you be the one doing all the shooting?

I am usually the one doing the photography. Occasionally, I may hire an associate photographer if I am not personally available and the couple approve it, and then I edit their images in my style so that the end result is consistent with everything else I produce. I think the couple should always know exactly who is photographing their wedding ahead of time and also have the opportunity to meet with them.

Will you have any assistants with you on couples wedding days?

I fly solo. I like being nimble, and I travel light. This approach has resulted in my best work over the last 8 years, but more importantly, ensures the couple aren’t swamped with a swat team and can focus on the important things.

How long have you been shooting weddings?

I’ve been shooting weddings full time for about 6 years, and nearly 8 years in total. It’s a bit of a dream gig that’s taken me all around the world.

How many weddings have you photographed?

I have photographed around 200 weddings.

Do you often shoot weddings that have a similar size and style?

I think I’ve almost photographed every type of wedding imaginable. But then, something new comes along. Most importantly, I know all the right questions to ask: if it’s a Hindu wedding, there are specific timings that need to be locked down well ahead of time. If it’s a trek through mud for an elopement, well, then anything goes. I photograph all sorts of weddings, from just the couple myself and celebrant, all the way up to several hundred guests.

Can couples see the full galleries of a few of your recent weddings?

My couples can see as many full galleries as they like of recent weddings I’ve photographed. I think this is super important to ask, as naturally our online “shopfront” has to be quite lean and simple which is great for couples to get a broad understanding of our work, but by seeing a full gallery they can really get a better understanding of how we are attentive and care for their community over an entire 8 or 10 hour period.

If you have never shot a wedding at a particular venue, do you go and check it out?

Sometimes I pre-scout, but my skill as a photojournalist is in working with a space with fresh eyes, and having a deep understanding of light. I usually advise against a pre-scout, as it can result in information that isn’t necessarily useful on the day as the light ends up being different anyway.

Do you have a Videographer that you normally work with?

I work with some of the best videographers in town, such as Humdrum Films, Bottlebrush Films, Nathan Kaso, and C2 films. It’s a treat to work with folks who are just as down to earth and understand the delicate little dance of looking out for one another while making great work for the couple.

Do you have a few venues that you frequent?

Some of my favourite venues in town are Rupert on Rupert, Newport Substation, Quat Quatta, Stones of the Yarra Valley and Half Acre. It’s a treat to shoot weddings at these places as you know they run like a well-oiled machine.

Would you describe your photography style?

I would describe my photography style as Wes Anderson meets Tarantino. Hopefully!

What would you compare your work to?

I’d compare my work to a warm hug, a onesie made out of velvet, or a mug with a milo to milk ratio of 1:1.

How would you describe your working style? Do you prefer to blend into the background to capture candid moments, or do you like to be more visible and take charge to choreograph images?

Here’s the deal right. I like being in the background, this show isn’t about me. With that said my job is to also make sure portraits are happening in good light, and that the bin in the background isn’t in the shot. So yeah, it’s a fine line between hands on and hands off, but I prefer to be the background, and I guess that’s validated by nearly every couple finishing with something along the lines of “I barely even saw you” (I promise I wasn’t getting legless out the back of the kitchen).

Do you shoot digitally? With film? Or both?

I shoot with both digital and film. Couples can select a package in either direction, there’s an inherently different quality to each. I love the challenge of both… reliability of digital, and unmatched nostalgia of film.

Do you have one fee for your weddings or do you add-ons?

I try to wrap things as much as possible into a simple single fee, but folks can add or reduce coverage as they please. The funny thing is, whether it’s a 4 hour wedding or a 12 hour wedding - I’m still blocking out the entire day, and I still have exactly the same time in post-production. We tend to shoot more if it’s a shorter wedding, vs giving ourselves a tiny bit more breathing room for longer ones.

Can couples customise a package to fit their needs?

Couples can customise their package almost as much as they like.

Do you include engagement photos in your packages?

Couples have the option of adding on an engagement session, in this case I block out part of a week day and then edit them up a set of beautiful informal images. It’s a great way to break the ice together, and get a little glimpse into their “normal” world (not that weddings aren’t normal, but, you know what I mean, you’re not exactly doing dance floor worms or spoon-feeding each other cake every other day).

What about pre-wedding events like rehearsal dinners?

Rehearsal dinners are a really big thing in the US. Whenever I photograph in the States, I’ll also do the rehearsal dinner. Not such a thing here in Australia.

How many hours are included in each package? How much do extra hours cost?

I include “about 8” hours in my main wedding package. I also try to be flexible and give them another 1 or 2 on the house. Planning should be fun and simple, not a game of pulling out a calculator every five minutes. I do have a-la-carte proving for certain scenarios to add on time, and I charge $600 per additional hour. This is a little known fact, but each our of photography beyond the first is about a total of 3 hours additional work in total. A 20 minute wedding is about 5 hours work in total including admin, marketing, file handling backing up and editing. If I add an hour, it adds another three hours in total once additional post production is added on. So a 20 minute wedding is about 5 hours of work, a 90 minute wedding is about 8 hours of work in total, and so forth.

Do you offer retouching, color adjustment, or other corrective services? Are those included or an additional charge?

I include basic editing, colour adjustment, and minor corrections. High level retouching is a separate service that is quoted on.

Do you charge a travel fee?

I don’t charge a travel fee - I have all-inclusive packages for every state and country. This way, couples are never worrying about counting beans for my lodging, car hire, etc. It’s all wrapped into one. Nice and easy.

Can couples order prints or albums directly from you?

Couples can order prints, albums, calendars and more from my incredible online print platform. They can even order directly from their phone! They can of course also print their images wherever they like, but my own platform is linked to the worlds most incredible fine art printing lab.

What type of album do you offer?

My main album on offer is my signature vertical album. It’s incredible to hold, the perfect proportions, and while it uses the most incredible printing on the planet, it still feels like you can have it out. And if albums are designed properly - not with all weird posey images, but instead an informal record of the couple and their community having a cracking time - it turns from having this false grandeur attached to it, into something you actually want to look at more often.

Do you provide assistance selecting images and designing the album?

I offer couples two routes: they can either design it themselves using my easy to use online platform, or I can design them what I call a runway layout. This is a simple telling of the story, that they can then adjust as they please. Sometimes this is a great route as it reduces overwhelm around image selection.

How long after the wedding will couples receive the images?

Couples receive their images 4 weeks after their wedding day. Editing the images is by far the most involved part of the entire process. I think it’s nice to receive things in the hands first, not a link. So these days The process involves editing the images, producing their glass and brass keepsake box at my lab, and then mailing that to them together with some prints, including a QR code they can scan as they’re enjoying the prints, to download their full gallery.

How will they be delivered?

Images are delivered via a small stack of fine art prints, via. A QR code. They can download their entire gallery, as can their friends and family (no-one wants old mate James pestering you over email every other day for that shot of him doing a shoey).

Who will have the rights to the images?

My couples have the rights to the images, in a shared agreement with myself. This allows me to use images for marketing (so that I can continue to find legends similar to them), and it allows them to print and share as they please, where they please. If any images are of course delicate in content or otherwise requiring of remaining private, that is always paramount.

Will couples receive the negatives and/or high resolution digital images?

Couples receive hi-resolution digital images that they can print on the side of the moon.

Will the images be accessible online? For how long?

Couples have free access for 12 months to their images via my online print and backup shop. Beyond that, they can purchase a yearly subscription to keep their files safe and accessible to them and their family and friends for as long as they like.

When will we receive the contract?

Contracts are received as soon as you decide to hire me as your wedding photographer.

How will you and your assistants be dressed?

I will be dressed in a fancy shirt, with a fancy smile.

Can couples request a list of specific shots they would like?

Couples can request anything they like. With that said, it should be noted that the best images come from you worrying about enjoying yourselves, and me worrying about capturing it :)

Briars Atlas can be found on The Best Wedding App under Photography.