Olivia Tester

Introducing my favourite photographer Olivia Tester.
AKA Liv.

📸 @35milliemeter

I stumbled across Liv on Instagram and instantly fell in love with her creativity, style and shoot production!

Liv takes the reins completely on all Sunflower shoots and puts together photographic genius!

I pulled Liv aside to ask a couple of questions about photography!

What do you love most about photography?
That youre able to create a narrative with just one image, either manufactured or candid. I love being able to create a whole backstory for a shoot and "character" in the image. What they were doing, what they're thinking, what motivates them, their personality, values and dreams. I use styling, props, location, angles when taking the image, and I'm lucky enough to be able to work with some incredible models that can bring that character to life with collaborative direction on poses. 
What got you into the creative space of taking photos initially?
My friends Amelia and Bella actually! I had been modelling for a little bit and had studied fashion so was interested in styling, so I approached Amelia for a shoot when she put something up on her story and my friend Bella had been waiting me to style her in vintage, and it just sort of worked out that I was styling and taking photos! I had bought a vintage SLR about a year before and was familiar with landscape and candid photography but had never been that involved with a fashion shoot before other than in front of the camera. 
Your shoot mainly film photos, what has drawn you to that? 
Initially it was just my love and interest in everything vintage that drew me to film. The developing process on the more technical side, but also the sincerity, nostalgia and history behind film.
I think the limited amount of photos and having to really consider the shots has added to my appreciation of film. As far as shoots go it means that I research more and usually actually plan the shots I want beforehand which leads to a super cohesive true to theme shoot, it also makes sourcing everything super easy. I also only shoot vintage or vintage concept shoots and I just think shooting on film makes it more true to that. 
What has been your favourite shoot? 
Probably the first full concept shoot I ever styled and shot! My friend Amelia again hahaha approached me with a shoot concept of "Deranged 50s housewife" and I was initially only meant to style but the photographer was unable to shoot last minute so I took photos. The location we used was this really beautiful mid century house, I really loved how in depth I was able to go with creating a character, planning shots, sourcing props and how she interacted with different parts of the home and said props. 
What brands have you worked with?
I mainly collaborate with local vintage/second hand stores and local creatives. So usually I'll come up with a concept and approach a store to use their clothes in exchange for them being able to use the photos. Off the top of my head I've used clothes from/shot with/at Bluebird vintage, Fi&co, my friends second hand store sleepy seas, Old Values, I often collaborate with my friend Amelia (@amelia_hart_artistry) and Jasmine (@jassaphire), and you!
What’s your favourite parts of a photo shoot?
Probably the research for a concept and sourcing of props/clothes. It just gets me so excited being able to hunt down items or get crafty and make props, plus learning the history behind certain people, ideas, clothes, movies etc. that inspire a shoot is very interesting and fuels my love of vintage that much more! 

Pictures from Liv’s favourite shoot in collaboration with Amelia Hart (makeup artist), Jasmine Sapphire (model) & Bluebird Vintage (clothing)!

Thanks for reading!!
Follow Liv on Instagram @oliviatest

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