Featured Post | Lauren Oliver Photography

Today we are introducing you to another talented industry professional; Lauren Oliver, proud owner of Lauren Oliver Photography and Olivers Twist Productions, her sister company, which specializes in cinematic wedding films. This girl does it all!

Based in Durban North, she shares with us her love of travel, beer, the highs and lows of being a working mom and what she loves most about the craziness that is the wedding industry.

So without further adieu, over to Lauren…

Hooray: Tell us about yourself
Lauren: I’m married to my best friend and amazing husband Glenn, mom to my daughter Blake Hannah, who is the sunshine in my life. We have two fur babies (one more of a baby than the other) Olive and Nacho.

I have 4 main loves in my life; family, friends, the ocean and creating images. They are my compass, I even have it tattooed on my arm as a mandala. Other than that I’m a Seattle Coffee addict.
Hooray: Tell us how you got into the wedding industry
Lauren: From an early age I was always passionate about visual arts, I was one of those dorky art types who won the art prize at school. I was always interested in images and this led me to complete a Degree in Video Technology (film-making). After which I started my own production company ‘Olivers Twist’, filming weddings and events. I was then asked by a friend if I could shoot their wedding and that was it, I never looked back.

I got to work with and watch some amazing photographers throughout the years of doing film, so my fascination with images grew and photography began. I started photography 6 years ago and love my job more every year.

Hooray: What inspires you?
Lauren: I get a lot of inspiration from the natural landscape and enjoy incorporating the scenery into my photos. I also follow a lot of fashion photographers which inspires my crisp images, lighting, vivid use of colours and poses.

Hooray: Running your own business can be tough, do you have a daily routine?
Lauren: My day starts with being woken up at about 5:30am by my daughter, we spend the morning together till my amazing nanny arrives at 7:30am. She looks after her for the mornings while I edit, do admin, research, go to meetings and anything else that needs to get done. From 12 noon I look after Blake till she goes to bed at around 6pm, then it’s dinner and chill time with my husband. I usually sit and do some work in front of the tv till about 9pm.

All my week days are generally like that unless there are shoots, in which case my days run quite a bit differently.

Hooray: Do you have an ideal wedding client?
Lauren: I love clients that aren’t afraid of trying something different and are amped to mission into long grass, climb rocks, etc. to get the ‘perfect shot’.

Hooray: What do you love most about your job?
Lauren: Mostly, I love the freedom of being my own boss. It can often be really stressful and hard, but it’s so much more rewarding. I love seeing how happy couples are on their wedding day. It’s a joy people only get to experience a few times in their lives. It’s an honour to be a part of someone’s wedding day.

Hooray: How would you describe your style?
Lauren: I do a mixture of posed editorial style shots and documentary images.

Hooray: If there was one thing you could change about the wedding industry, what would it be?
Lauren: I love the Durban wedding industry and I have met so many interesting and talented people along the way, as well as made some amazing friends. I also love how everyone comes together to help and discuss topics openly. So I guess I wouldn’t change anything.

Hooray: What would be your dream wedding to document?
Lauren: A desert wedding, an adventure wedding in the mountains, Italy, Greece, another island wedding. Ahh, I have so many it’s hard to list them. Most of my dream weddings to shoot include traveling to amazing countries and capturing the landscapes and the feeling of the place.

Hooray: How do you find balancing the mom life/work life? Do you have any tips you would share.
Lauren: I must admit this has been a huge learning curve for me and it’s been tough! I used to have the freedom to work anytime and all the time if I wanted/needed to. Now my time isn’t my own, every day has to be planned around my tiny human and who will be taking care of her and for how long. Thankfully I have an amazing hands-on husband who helps wherever he can. I don’t know what I would do without him! I also have a wonderful nanny who I trust whole-heartedly with my daughter.

If I had any advice for new mom’s it would be to let your husband, nanny, granny or anyone who is willing to help, learn how to take care of your child from the beginning. If you feel that you’re the only one that can do it right, you’ll battle to get any time to yourself or any work done. Also, be honest and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Hooray: Do you have a favourite lens to shoot with and why?
Lauren: Gosh I cant answer this one, I love all my lenses for different reasons.

Hooray: Do you have a funny wedding story to share with us?
Lauren: Getting caught up the side of a cliff face in a hail storm (hail the size of golf balls) 7 months pregnant with the bride and groom was fun. Luckily I had the best assistant who stood over me taking most of the blows to protect me, while we hid in a tiny shrub bush. His back looked like someone had shot him with a paintball gun at close range. It was super hard core!
***Hooray side note: props for the most hardcore story EVERRRRR!

Hooray: How far would you travel for a wedding?
Lauren: Nowhere is too far, I love traveling and I love planes. I have had the privilege of shooting in the Seychelles, Israel and Cape Town.

Hooray: You shoot photo and video. Do you offer combo packages? 
Lauren: I don’t have combo packages as I find it’s better for my brides to choose the packages that suit them and their wedding best. For instance, they might choose the big photography package and a small video package, or visa versa.

Hooray: How does it work on the day, do you shoot both video and photo yourself? 
Lauren: For the photography, I personally shoot on the day and I have an amazing team that work with me to shoot the video. I do all the editing for both the photography and the film. I love being able to cover both the photography and film for the couple so I can integrate the style, look and feel of the day.  I also understand both mediums very well (I have been doing video for 10 years, and photography for 6) so I feel that it’s easy to direct you for both of them.

Hooray: If you knew then, what you know now, would you do anything differently in your business?
Lauren: I wouldn’t have been scared and nervous to market myself when I was new to the wedding industry. Sometimes it can be weird marketing yourself because you and your work are the product. Insurance is a bitch but it’s soooo important. Especially all risk insurance. I would have made more time for creative personal projects and worked for free for other creatives who’s work I loved and respected.

Hooray: And finally gin or vodka?
Lauren: Neither, I’m a beer girl.

Darryn + Francine | Umtamvuna River Lodge from oliverstwistproductions on Vimeo.

Lauren, thank you so much for sharing with us. You are really are so multi talented and we have loved watching your work grow from strength to strength as you have defined your style over the years.

if you guys would like to get in touch with Lauren, to book her for your wedding or event, you can contact her on the following: 

Website: http://www.laurenoliver.co.za
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurenOliverPhotography/?fref=mentions
instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laurenoliverphotography/

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