Confidence with Lighting: Julia Boggio

Lighting Course with Julia Boggio

Recently I attended a photography course led by one of the leading portrait photographers in the UK, Julia Boggio. Julia’s photography journey began after travels to South America, and she opened a very successful portrait studio in Wimbledon back in 2009, as well as photographing weddings throughout the year.

Julia swears by Broncolor lighting equipment – ‘the Prada of lighting’ (music to my ears!) – and the aim of the course was to learn both advanced lighting theory and then put these theories into practise using studio equipment. Photographing weddings means I’m out on location for the majority of my photography work; I don’t have ready access to the range of studio lighting that was available to us on the course. From softboxes of various dimensions and shapes, to umbrellas, honeycombs, a beauty dish on a boom and cinefoil, we really were in studio photography heaven.

I find that learning through practise is so much more effective than learning through books (or the internet these days), and it was enlightening – excuse the pun – to literally play with the lights: add one or take one away, enhance the power or restrict the direction of the light, all with an end vision of the image in mind. I really align with Julia’s way of thinking when it comes to lighting, and photography in general; rather than learning regimented rules about a stop here or there, Julia suggests taking things back to basics and just looking at the light. The lighting in the image below (hastily captured on my iPhone whilst we were reviewing the photos on screen) was planned out with a couple of others on the course; we’d chosen the red hat and knew we wanted the lovely rim lighting to highlight the contours of the hat and the model’s profile. The shoulder definition was a later adjustment to restore some balance to the image.

What do you think?

By Julia Boggio Lighting With Confidence 300x200 Confidence with Lighting: Julia Boggio

The Dove Real Beauty Sketches

How does that person see your real beauty?

We’ve all been there – ‘my hair looks hideous in that photo’; ‘look how big my nose is!’; ‘I’ve got a wonky jaw’…but we don’t often stop to consider how these minor insecurities play a part in our lives. Do other people see us the way that we see ourselves?

Every so often I’ll come across a picture, or a video, that speaks something true and beautiful to me. This video strikes at the heart of all of us (I wish it hadn’t been created by a product brand in a sense), because how often do we actually consider how much our perception of the way we look affects the way other people see us? The frizzy hair or the big nose are rather often our biggest demons and barriers to our confidence, and yet quite likely they are features that aren’t even noticed by those that we meet. Furthermore, we carry those impressions and observations with us through generations, passing on our insecurities to friends, partners, children – without even realising it.

A forensic artist sketched drawings of women based upon their own descriptions, as well as from the description of their real beauty from someone that had met them. Comparing the drawings, the subjects were shown how much their beliefs of their own image weigh on their outlook and general demeanour; the visual sketch makes it clear, and yet we would never assume that those little things that we wish we could change could actually have an impact on the way people see us. We’re all guilty of getting sucked into our obsessive culture focussing on diets, plastic surgery, looking like a supermodel etc. – but how much of that really matters? When all is said and done, your body is simply the machinery and armour to your most precious assets – your mind and your heart.

What did you think?