About Oliver Hartley

I take a gentle touch approach, and prioritize work that represents how it felt. As a photographer, I recognize the trust placed in me to document a wedding without getting in the way: letting moments unfold naturally, and giving everyone space to be themselves.

Approaching the day slowly and selectively on digital and analog, I take time to watch and gently anticipate moments.

I collect the final photographs as a visual narrative, telling two stories: the joy and bursting excitement of the big moments, and the quiet, warm, soft moments that reveal the unique personalities of two souls in love.

Behind The Brand


What draws you to wedding photography?

It has to be people. Even just the way two people hold hands can tell a love story. People are fascinating, complex, wonderful, flawed, funny and real. Finding a way to put that in a photograph is really, really hard. On a wedding day there are so many constraints and competing interests. Not just time, but weather, priorities, other guests, you name it. Navigating around that while taking really meaningful photos that convey feelings and emotions is a challenge. A really fun and rewarding challenge.


How would you describe your photography style?

I’m a photographer who attends weddings. In that sense, I don’t really consider myself a “wedding photographer”, but instead a photographer of both humans and feelings. I lean toward photojournalism as a way to get close and intimate with the lovely people I photograph. I think this really helps me with my goal: to use my camera to express feelings rather than just document what is in front of me.


What inspires you creatively?

A really nice glass of wine, a beautiful room, mis-laid bathroom tiles, an off-kilter painting casting an unusual shadow, or a smell that reminds me of a place or a time. There’s also something about spontaneous, chaotic creation that really gets me inspired. Natural imperfection is always exciting. It’s like rearranging a draped veil: the harder you try to make it look ‘just right’, the worse it looks!


What is it that makes an image magical?

Excuse the pun, but a magical photograph is almost never ‘black and white’. It is always nuanced. Sometimes there’s two or three little stories going on in one frame. But anything that makes me feel something is probably the most straightforward answer. If the light is great, that’s a bonus.


What advice would you give couples when selecting their wedding photographer?

You’re going to spend a very meaningful and important day with them. Not only is a creative fit important, it also helps if you are a great personality fit together. But even more than that, make sure you find someone that champions your priorities. If enjoying cocktail hour with your nearest and dearest is important, make sure you find a photographer who will make sure to get you there on time, no matter what.


Your dream location to shoot a wedding?

It may seem a little trite, but I don’t care so much about the where, but rather the who – I’ve taken favorite photographs of dirty alleys as much as big rolling vistas. But if I had to choose, Central Otago in New Zealand is my second home and a place I hold close to my heart. I’ll take any excuse to spend more time there.


Editor’s Notes

Why we love Oliver…

Oliver Hartley’s intimate photographs magnetically tell stories of hearts colliding through raw human emotion. His thoughtful approach is evident in every frame, each image exuding a striking sense of softness and untamed beauty, meticulously crafted to make you feel something.

For the couple…

Perfect for couples wanting a photographer who understands the nuances of wedding photography well and can use their experience to seamlessly guide when required or quietly step back and allow the magic to unfold.

Our advice…

If you’ve found work that speaks to you on an emotional level, reach out to not only share your vision but to see if it’s the right fit, as Oliver says, creatively and personality-wise.