Tag Archives: Alister Photography


That mythical creature known as The Friendly Dragon

That mythical creature known as The Friendly Dragon



So what is that mythical creature known as The Friendly Dragon? First I’ll start with the origins, which also involves knowing where I started life and my upbringing; so here goes.


I started life as an Englishman and grew up in middle England in a town called Nuneaton or an area commonly referred to as the Midlands. This was my mom’s side of the family as my Dad’s side hales from Essex or North East London. As is typical in England different parts of the country have different nicknames for people, actions, and objects. So “The Friendly Dragon” is a term commonly referred to describe ones mother in-law or as we say in wedding photography circles the mother of the bride i.e. MOB.


So why is this person important? Well they can make or break your wedding shoot. Lets not forget your customer is the Bride and Groom and by making their guests happy can affect their happiness with you. As a parent I can relate to the fact that we are always going to protect and look out for our children. So when its our child’s wedding being photographed and a couple of thousand dollars is being spent on that service, said parent can be very protective and stuck on you like glue.


My own experiences have been parents who are there to party and completely leave you alone and then the complete opposite and hover. My worst was a Mom who virtually stayed by my side for every major shot (group formals, ring shot, first kiss, cake cutting, first dance, introductions, etc….) and looked at the screen on the back of my camera giving either suggestions or her approval. Oh how I had wished this wedding were shot on film…..!!! What I’ve learned over the years is just to be extremely patient and understand that this type of parent is doing nothing more than looking out for their child.


How I handled this particular mom was to explain how each image was taken, my work flow after the shoot, why I took it that way and went as far as to show and explain histograms and white balance (don’t worry, I’ll have a blog post on this stuff to). Basically she got bored but more importantly I’d built up enough trust with her that I knew what I was doing that she left me alone for the most part. Through out the rest of the wedding I would cast a welcoming glance her way for approval and that worked wonders.


As a whole it pays to have the patience of a saint when shooting weddings and to also understand where the other persons intentions are coming from. That way the potentially flame spitting dragon of mythical tales can become The Friendly Dragon in the room.




Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography


Mixing a vision of high fashion with adaptability

Mixing a Vision of High Fashion with Adaptability

Mixing a vision of high fashion with adaptability. The job of a fashion photographer is to show the world a design the way the designed intended it to be viewed. They need to place the design in real-world settings to be able to mix the vision of the designer with the laws of reality or create a new reality that would allow customers to see that design fitting into their lives. Creative yet adaptive, how does a fashion photographer apply this to fashion photography?

One of the main applications of a fashion photographer is to accept the visualization of a client and apply a personal level of creativity that is signature for that photographer. As a fashion designer you are looking for someone who has taken the time to develop their own signature and style to apply to the photos that they take but will not get in the way of the vision you have for your designs.

Alister Oliver has a no-rules-need-to-apply style that would add the unexpected to any fashion photography shoot. As a photographer that is 100 percent self taught he able to apply his creativity to fashion shoots that would make the finished product stand away from the crowd and have fashion pieces stick to the customers minds. Alister has a love a black and white film photography medium that he develops the film, personally. Working with this love in film has taught Alister that there is no substitute for carefully planning in photography and to pay attention to the minuscule details of every shot. He said, “The reason I like film is, it absolutely teaches you to get it right the first time.”

When asked if he regrets not being classically trained in photography, Alister Oliver responded, “Some things would have happened differently if I had studied photography. On the other hand, having not been schooled, I didn’t learn the rules. I would never have tried a lot of things because someone would have said, ‘You’re not suppose to do it that way; you’re not getting an A’. I like what pops out because I broke the rules.” When looking at Alister’s gallery, you realize that he see the world in a unique way, whether it is finding that tender moment between mom and baby from across a crowded room or a cityscape of blurred traffic around a construction zone. Alister can use his distinctive vision to add to the development of a brand and look for you designs.

One of Alister Photography’s business proficiencies is portrait photography where Alister looks for ways to bring out a subject’s artistic flair or unusual personality twists. Over the time that Alister has been a photographer it is clear that he has discovered that every model and scene has two sides, one that is seen by the everyday world and one that is hidden that takes time to uncover. Alister applies the search for artistic emphasis and hidden side by drawing out a fashion designer’s vision. He is able to appropriately place the subject to best fit the needs of correct marketing and memorable commercial or product photos.

In a recent fashion photography shoot, Alister applied the designer’s vision of free-flowing eco-friendly gowns to have a fairytale theme that seems to be something that jumped off of the pages of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’. Shown on location, with desert backgrounds, the photos stress that the softness of the gowns is out of place from the landscape. Alister also shows the gowns in a more traditional forest location that down plays the backdrop and allows the lace in the model’s outstretched arm to become the defining character of the photo. Daniel Laukat, the designer of the gowns specializes in handmade dresses that are lightweight and extremely soft. Laukat’s gowns have been up-cycled from heirloom fabrics and crochet pieces. From his Etsy store, SofterSoftest, Laukat concentrates his dress and gown lines that look like they are from the 1960s and 70s.

With Alister’s photography, he showcases Laukat’s gowns as being versatile and adaptable for any occasion or even as a bridal gown. Each gown features a train and lace sheer panels, Alister Photography uses the natural light to highlight the details of the lace and stress the geometric shapes placed into each of the gowns. The natural light helps set the scene of the models being connected with nature with is a perfect compliment to the sheer lace panels. He also uses appropriate shading that shows the model’s face and depicts emotion however, draws the eye to the garment. Alister focuses on photos that allows the casual viewer to see the subject of focus, but upon further inspection teases the tiny the details to the front. Which is part of his defining style.

In some of Alister’s other fashion photography portfolio, he expresses his love of cars as being part of his shadowy backdrop. The models show a sense of being strong willed and edgy with heavy makeup and extreme high heels which matches the fashions and hairstyles. Set in locations of abandon buildings, stripped down bathrooms, and old warehouses, Alister provides a high contrast for the ultra modern, chic clothing. One model even dons a gas mask and is photographed in both panoramic and close-up to increase the effect of the darker side of human nature.

Throughout Alister’s portfolio, he applies unique angles and suitable subject placement that makes the photos interesting. Alister also plays with shadow and the unexpected that make the viewer take a second glance to catch the details that he places within the shot. Within Alister’s fashion photography work he employs the use of the finding lines that moves the viewer’s eyes across the shot.

Alister shows in his work that he isn’t afraid of applying new skills, abilities, visions, and tastes. He finds a way to work creatively while still adapting to needs and wants of a fashion designer who has specific ideas in mind when portraying personal designs. The willingness to escape the ordinary allows Alister Photography accentuate a brand image or look.


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