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Coming from a line of Italian photographers and artists, Julia knows firsthand how important it is to have family photographs.
Il Cacciatore or The Hunter is what Julia’s family jokingly calls this early picture of her grandfather, taken by his father, Marcello Boggio in the late 1800s.
Like his great-granddaughter Julia, Marcello was passionate about family photography, but in a different sort of way. The invention of the daguerreotype camera allowed people in the middle classes to capture the visages of their loved ones for the first time. Unfortunately for Marcello, his photography sessions were slightly less interactive than a modern session would be.
In his early career Marcello photographed dead people. It was a 19th century trend called Post-Mortem photography where families would pose with the recently deceased for a keepsake. Thankfully, Julia does not have any examples of his work from this time.
A love of photography is something that Marcello passed on to Julia’s grandfather, Federico. He used his talent to document his own family’s life, through their time hiding in the Alps during World War II to his sons’ growing up and leaving the nest.
This set of images from her father’s life is one of Julia’s most prized possessions. They link her family to the history that she learned in school. One image of her grandmother in particular has always struck a chord: during the War, she stands between her two chubby little boys, skinny as a rail. To Julia, it shows a mother’s love for her children, giving up her own food in a time of thrift to make sure her boys stayed healthy.
A Boggio Family Legend tells the tale of the day photography saved their lives. It was one of the weekends when Federico escaped his job at the railway in Turin and made his way to Sauze d’Oulx to see his family in hiding. They decided to go for a walk, as one does in the Alps. As Federico held his family back and made his boys pose for yet another photograph (they complained bitterly), the Allies bombed the bridge that they were supposed to have crossed moments later.
Taking photographs of her family is a mantle that Julia has taken up happily. When she was studying photography, she did a photo study of her grandmother in Italy, creating a series of images that showed her many sides: a religious woman who loved a glass of wine and a cheeky scoop of gelato. A photo of her eating ice cream taken by Julia at this time was chosen by the family to represent Giulia on her gravestone when she passed in 2005.
Now that Julia is a mother herself, the importance of taking pictures has never been so clear to her. Of course, things have changed significantly since Marcello first bought his first daguerreotype camera. Everything has gone digital. iPhones and digital cameras have trained people to treat images like candy. There are 100 images now for every one that Marcello would have taken. For this reason, Julia has created products at Boggio Studios to help people find ways to use and love their images.
Carrying on the tradition
At Boggio Studios, we give each one of the portraits we make care and attention, with an emphasis on quality, not quantity. Julia hopes that Marcello and Federico would approve of how she’s continued the family traditions of documenting their lives and that of others.