Olia Balabina, professional photographer in Canberra.

My name is Olia and I’m based in Canberra, the “bush capital” as it’s known. It is certainly true to that label – being rich in bird-life and kangaroos, attracted to the natural bushland that surrounds the city. In some ways Canberra is a world apart from where I grew up, in Moscow. Although Canberra doesn’t get quite as cool as Moscow in winter, it shares similar distinct seasons, which is probably the main reason the winters haven’t scared me off yet! I love it here, with its open green spaces, opportunity for learning and friendly locals. Spring is my favourite time of year in Canberra – I enjoy seeing bursts of flowers, especially from the Apple and Cherry blossoms, which will forever remind me of home.

Capturing photos has always been a big part of my life. My Father and Grandfather had a dark room set up in our apartment where they would process film in the ‘old way’. I was captivated - and as a young child at seemed like they were working magic as I watched the ghostly images appear! Back then, I loved to take walks with my mum and Grandfather in a nearby apple plantation. Our little dog would tag along and we picked wild mushrooms along the way.
After travelling solo across the world in 2014, I jumped at the chance to stay in Canberra. Change and adventure were calling me, so after arriving, I bought an old Toyota Corolla (which I still have!) and explored this wonderful country. I drove up to the Sunshine Coast, then down to Melbourne and Kangaroo Island. I discovered amazing people and places during my travels, camping along the way. It was a life-changing part of my life. The magical rocks and scenery of Kangaroo Island still hold a special place in my heart.

After several years here, I see myself as part of the fabric of the bush capital. Where I love to roller skate while my little fur baby Chester runs alongside me around Yerrabi Pond. When I’m not taking photos or receiving some puppy love, you can find me at the indoor rock-climbing centre with friends, or playing Chi Mai, by the Italian composer, Ennio Morricone on my beloved piano.

Ever since taking happy snaps of Moscow parks as a child, I had dreamt of capturing people and their lives thorough photos. It’s hard to believe now that before becoming a photographer, I was in the world of marketing and finance for 8+ years! But back then, I always felt there was something missing in my life. After realising that I wanted to be more creative and work for myself, I gained my focus and studied to become the professional photographer I’d imagined. For a time, I created deliciously dreamy beverages as a cocktail bartender. Then everything aligned and I established Olia Photography. My business was born!

Now, a fully-fledged professional photographer, I acquired my Diploma and Certificate IV in Photography, at CIT and accreditation at the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP).  I see myself as a true people person and strive to capture the essence and spirit of the people I photograph. Whether it be their inner voice, feelings or self-expression, I’m passionate about depicting their truest self, and what makes them tick.

It's important that I fully understand the needs, goals and outcomes my clients want to achieve through the images I take. I capture joyous candid moments and also more traditional posed shots for family albums and frames, using a mix of photojournalistic and traditional-timeless styles. I also like to include compositions with a creative twist and sense of humour.

As a photographer, it is honestly a real privilege to share some of the most special moments in people’s lives. I will give minimal direction, but still like to bring joy to the camera, whether it be a creative shoot, or corporate, wedding and family portraits, these moments should be fun for everyone. When on location at weddings and birthday parties, I capture environmental shots in addition to the ceremony and guests, in order to depict the complete story and essence of the day.

Finally, let’s talk techy details! I am fully equipped with the most up-to-date gear to take that perfect shot. I am very experienced in professional studio lighting and set ups, and am skilled in advanced retouching techniques.

I encourage everyone to follow their passion in life, believe in themselves, keep learning and turn negatives into positives every day. It feels like my dreams have come true to live in Canberra and be the proud owner a photography business! A job that always absorbs, inspires and brings me joy.

​​​​​Let's ​get in touch

Thank you for taking the time to visit my website. I hope you have enjoyed my works, as much I enjoyed creating them. If you have any questions or would like to book your photo session, please fill in the contact form and I will be in contact with you as soon as I can.
Thank you!
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