Edward Olive, Madrid Member Since December 2009 Artist Statement Edward Olive fine art and wedding photographer from Madrid Spain Fotógrafo artista y fotógrafos de boda Madrid España.
Edward Olive was a commercial litigation lawyer in London & Paris until throwing in the towel to pursue his more artistic interests working as a professional screen actor, based since 2002 in Madrid, Spain.
Edward got into photography by chance only in 2005 when he purchased his first camera (an entry level digital reflex Canon 350d) to shoot his own actor’s book on a tripod with remote control. Finding he enjoyed the experience he started shooting actor & musician friends & the people living and working in his neighborhood Chueca (central Madrid’s equivalent of Soho or Le Marais).
Again by chance in summer 2006, when shooting street portraits, the owner of the local antique postcard shop offered him his first professional job, shooting his daughter’s wedding. Having no idea how to shoot a wedding and having only one camera (ca Canon 5d digital reflex) one lens (an 85mm f1.2 L ultra fast portrait lens) and no flashgun he shot the wedding all on available light relying on instinct alone, reacting to the events and the people as he found them at a discreet distance, posing nobody and faking nothing.
Exchanging html design classes for his English classes with a local computer programmer he built his first website to put up the pictures on the internet. The home made website of his photos was an instant success and from then on he suddenly found he was a “wedding photographer” travelling across Europe to shoot his web visitors’ weddings.
Dissatisfied with the focused perfection of modern digital images and seeking an alternative look for his pictures he started adapting analog lenses (he extracted from broken old cameras with a large metal hammer we understand) onto his digital reflex using masking tape and built DIY lighting from microphone stands, disco lights and Kelvin correction gelatin discarded by technicians on his acting jobs.
In autumn 2006 he bought his first film camera, a 1980’s Russian point-and-shoot (a cult Lomo LCA) using some very expired color film they were throwing out of the local photography store. Delighted with the dreamlike qualities and vintage colors, he hasn’t looked back. He continues to shoot almost exclusively analog cameras, still preferring the oldest expired film he can find, shunning the contemporary digital post-produced Photoshop look of current commercial & fashion photography, in favor of the grittier, earthier, unpredictability of expired film whether color negative, slides, black & white or Polaroid type instant film.
Edward freely admits that it wasn’t until he bought his first Hasselblad in 2007 (the classic V series 500c/m with Carl Zeiss t* lenses) that he really found his instrument of choice. He still uses other cameras for reasons of variety, speed, ultra fast lenses or the discretion and convenience of a 35mm compact camera but takes a pair of V series 6x6 cameras & wheelie bag loaded with 120 & 220 film backs, as he says, when he really means business. Slideshow of his Hasselblad work: http://www.flickr.com/photos/edwardolive/sets/72157600189073777/show/
Outside weddings Edward’s pictures range from street photography to nudes, often combining his location wedding travel to shoot personal projects inspired by the new places & people, admitting he still takes more photos for himself just for fun than he does to try and sell later to clients, taking some consolation from the new ideas that come from expression, reinvention & experimentation, free from any commercial pressures, that can later be applied at work to put food on the table.
Edward’s wedding photography style is still, as it was on his first assignment, instinctive, unprepared and natural, preferring to keep an open mind, only reacting to the events as they unfold, at times keeping discreet and shooting off long lenses and at times getting into the thick of the parti