Julia Boggio comes from a long line of Italian photographers and artists. In fact, her great-grandfather was the first man with a camera in his village. Fast forward 70-odd years, and Julia tells us she is now photographing her own family incessantly.
'Seriously, in our albums, it looks like my husband and 3.5 year old daughter take some great holidays together – I’m always behind the lens! That’s why I suppose it's lucky that I own a family portrait studio; once in a while, I make sure my daughter and I go in for a quick shot of us together.'
Julia is a professional photographer, writer and mother. Through her blog, I Carried a Watermelon, she has charted the highs and lows of pregnancy and parenthood, while also documenting the demands of running her business, Boggio Studios, alongside raising a family. Earlier this year, as she celebrated her 40th birthday, Julia climbed Kilimanjaro as part of a group who collectively raised £411,000 for Borne, a charity that strives to prevent disability and death in childbirth and create lifelong health for mothers and babies.
We asked Julia to describe a typical day...
'Does anybody have a typical day anymore? The only constant is dropping off and picking up my daughter from pre-school; everything that happens in between is variable. Sometimes I’m photographing people; sometimes I’m sitting at my desk, selecting images or replying to emails. Other times, I’ll be in management meetings or I’m out and about networking. I don’t think entrepreneurs can have typical days.'
Julia had already achieved significant success in her career prior to the birth of her daughter, but she admits becoming a mother has had a definite impact on the way she works.
'Before my daughter, my business was my baby. Now she’s definitely my priority and I actively try to make sure she doesn’t suffer because of my work. When I’m spending time with her, I put down my phone and focus on her. That being said, she’s also a big part of the studio; she’s our most photographed customer and we all love fussing over her when she comes in. She’s helped us all figure out new ways to engage with young children in photo shoots (we have 4 photographers at the studio) and she’s also at that age when she can start understanding direction, so we’re doing some fun work together. We just did the album of her first year (finally!) and her life has definitely been well documented.'
Although aware of the many challenges involved in parenting, it's obvious that Julia delights in spending time with her daughter.
'I love seeing this little person with some of me and some of my husband in her, developing into her own being. We went to Build-A-Bear the other day and she chose a Spiderman bear and dressed it in Elsa clothes (it also sings “Let It Go”) and even though I was thinking, “That’s hideous!” I loved that she knew her own mind. Three-and-a-half is a great age. She says the most hilarious things and we can have really entertaining conversations. And the cuddles – boy, do I love the cuddles!'
'The hardest part of motherhood for me is when I have to be the disciplinarian or set boundaries for her. But I know it’s important and I do it. When she’s older I’m hoping that she’ll never tell me that she’s in therapy because I didn’t let her watch another episode of Dora the Explorer.'
If she could go back in time and give her pregnant self one piece of advice, Julia would be frank about the best way to approach giving birth.
'Don’t bother writing a birth plan. It’s redundant. Just go with whatever happens at the birth and don’t put pressure on yourself to have a perfect birth, whatever that is (I define it as a birth where your baby comes out healthy).'
If you would like some precious family photos of you and your little ones, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend Julia and Boggio Studios.
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