Olivia Purvis, better known for her blog “What Olivia Did” has been someone that we at Atlas not only look up to for her style sense, but also loved for her very visibly loving personality. When we were brainstorming on a feature for Valentines Day, she immediately came to mind as someone we would love to get to know better. What worked out even better was her well documented and loving relationship with work partner and photographer, Joe Galvin. The dream blogging duo have been working together for years, Joe photographing Olivia’s outfits, and Olivia being the face and visionary behind her blog. We wanted to ask them more about their working relationship but also about what love means to them and how they make it work.
If you were to define what love means to you, what would be your definition?
Olivia: What a big question! Love to me is the feeling of pure happiness, utmost comfort and the warm fuzzy feeling you get in your stomach (which I promise is absolutely as soppy as it sounds).
Joe: Affection and generosity without motive.
Dress by Zara | www.zara.com | @zara, Scarf by Louis Vuitton | www.louisvuitton.com | @louisvuitton
What’s the biggest love individually for both of you in your life?
O: Joe, my family and friends. To me there is nothing more important than the special people you surround yourself with who know you better than you know yourself. Joe knows me pretty much inside out, and being able to have him support me through everything is one of the most special things.
J: I have to confess, I’m a huge football fan! Not just the physical 90 minutes on the pitch, but everything around it, and how the culture of a country is embedded in the style in which they play and how fans behave towards the game. If you want to understand a local culture, there’s no better way than going to the local football stadium on match day.
How did you both meet?
O: We met via Joe’s sister through the power of MySpace! I’m not sure whether it was the fact Joe’s profile name was ‘Superhans’ or the fact his profile picture was a mirror selfie, but we got along instantly. We both went to the same sixth form, and had our first date during Record Store day (fangirling at a Maccabees gig, nonetheless)!
J: We met on Myspace! My sister knew Liv and as she was joining my school, so she put me in contact with her so she knew someone before she arrived.
Can you both describe the dynamic of working so closely with your partner? Do you both have a vision that you work on collectively for “What Olivia Did” or is it your voice, Olivia, which is then directed by Joe in terms of the imagery produced for the blog and social media?
O: I’m very lucky that working with Joe is such an easy dynamic, and never feels like work, which I think is where the charm lies. I would never want our relationship to feel like a working one, or something that becomes governed by money or work, so being able to share experiences together and do something we both love just feels like an extension of our relationship (gross, I know). In terms of vision, I usually tell Joe what it is I have in mind (whether that’s a brief or a shoot) and we go from there. He’s very good at offering creative input and knowing what works, so I can put complete trust in him and knowing that things will work out in a way I’m totally happy with.
J: Overall I think it’s great that we get to work together, as simply it means we get to spend so much time together. Because we’re always looking for cool new locations and settings, it gives us an excuse to go out to places that we wouldn’t usually go to. Some people may think it gets in the way of going out and enjoying things without having work attached but I think it’s the absolute opposite.
I think Liv has the final say when it comes to content and if I have an idea that Liv doesn’t like, I have to respect that, as it is her name that it’s attached to. However, seeing as I’ve learned photography through shooting Liv for many years, we both get how each other works and have adapted without having to think.
Jacket by New Look | www.newlook.com | @newlook_men, Top by Prevu | www.prevu.london | @prevulondon, Trousers by Prevu | www.prevu.london | @prevulondon, Trainers by New Look | www.newlook.com | @newlook_men
Olivia, what do you love most about Joe?
Oh my god, things might get mushy here! There are so many things I love about him it’s hard to single out just one. If I had to though, it would probably be how caring, thoughtful and considerate he is. He’s absolutely always there for me when I need him, offers everything from ridiculous jokes to cheer me up to constantly listening to my stupid girl moans – without ever complaining. He’s amazing at rationalising any worries and makes me feel like anything is possible. He always puts a smile on my face – always.
Joe, what do you love most about Olivia?
I don’t know a single person who she doesn’t get on with or who doesn’t like her and she doesn’t even have to try!
Suit by ASOS | www.asos.com | @asos Shirt by NATIVE ROSE available at ASOS | @nativeroseldn
Is Valentines Day an important day in your relationship?
O: I guess so! It’s not something that is the holy grail of our calendar but we do always try and do something nice together on it! I know some people think it’s a bit soppy however I’m always up for an excuse to find a nice card and do something fun together.
J: I think as important as most couples. We always make sure that we do something for it although I personally see our anniversary in May as a more personal and important day for us.
Olivia, have you found it more difficult to share your voice and be heard with the soar over the past couple of years in digital content creators?
Yes and no. Obviously with the huge influx of bloggers and creators out there it can be harder to be heard amongst such amazing talent yet at the same time, with more people out there creating and sharing there’s an opportunity to reach more people with what you’re doing too. You have to try and turn the rise in blogging population into a positive thing and celebrate the fact that the industry is growing rather than become too overwhelmed I think, (although it’s definitely easier said than done sometimes)!
Joe, what do you think makes the content you create with Olivia stand out and what do you feel is the best approach to create great digital content?
I think it’s simply a case of putting out what you love doing. In this age where you’re pumped content left, right and centre, it can be too easy to look at other people and question if what you’re doing is right. If what you put out is what you would personally enjoy looking at and reading then there will always be others that feel the same.
Olivia, what do you hope the blog evolves into in the future? What is it about your aesthetic tastes and writing style that you think has made your blog so successful and attracted the attention of big brands?
In the future, I’d really just love people to still keep coming back for more. I know it’s not the most ambitious but the fact people still read something I started nearly 6 years ago is an amazing thing and to be able to keep producing valuable, creative and relevant content in the future is something I’d love to still be doing. I love the idea that someone can visit my blog and discover something new, be it a singer, recipe, brand or cafe. So to still be a destination for that would be amazing.
In terms of my blog being successful, I have no idea! There is such a huge sea of people out there, so for people to come to me to collaborate with is a huge compliment but you would definitely have to ask them! ; )
Joe, recently you’ve been branching out, shooting other popular bloggers and building on a body of street style work. Are you hoping to create a platform similar to Tommy Ton and The Satorialist, where you build a space to share the fashion you document? Or do you hope to explore other directions as an image maker?
In all honesty, I’m not too sure! My focus at this point in time is shooting other bloggers, as there are many who still have to rely an family members or friends to keep content coming out but I would love to branch out into more candid street style work, (coincidentally, I have the Sartorialist book next to me as I’m typing!)
What other content creators do you both love for either their video content, written content or imagery?
O: Oh SO many. I’m not sure I could break it down without leaving anyone I love out! Here’s a link to my Bloglovin’ reading list instead.
J: The two guys you mentioned in the previous question are definite favourites of mine (Tommy Ton & The Sartorialist)! Shini from the blog “Park and Cube” always seems to be several steps ahead of everyone else with her visuals and although slightly clichéd, Wes Anderson is a big inspiration for the both of us.
Photography | Kyle Galvin – www.kylegalvin.com @kylegalvin_
Hair/Makeup | Louise Hall using @bumbleandbumble and @narsissist (Nars Cosmetics) – http://louisehallmakeup.com @loouisehall
Fashion | Ellis Ranson – http://styled-ellisranson.co.uk/ @ellisransonx
Photographic Assistant | Kenneth Lam | www.kenneth-lam.com @kenlams
Special thanks to THRDS Studio | www.thrdsstudio.co.uk