Olivia Bossert is a fashion and wedding photographer based in Cornwall, UK. She moved from Switzerland when she was 18 to study fashion photography in the small university town of Falmouth, and fell in love with the sea. After falling in love with the sea and a Cornish boy, she decided to stay!
Since she was very young, Olivia has been obsessed with imagery. She picked up a camera for the first time at the age of 15 after discovering flickr.com, and completely immersed herself in the world of photography. She taught herself how to use a camera from back to front, and never looked back! Now, she uses her time as a photographer to capture marketing imagery for wedding brands, immortalise the wedding days of couples in picture form, and create editorial stories in the beautiful county that she loves living in.
How did you get your start in photography?
I got into photography when I was about 15 years old. I stumbled on flickr.com while doing research for an art project at school, and I was instantly hooked. I’d never realised how amazing photography could be, or how creative! I discovered boys and girls of my age doing such wonderful things with their cameras, that I felt very inspired to give it a go myself. I’d always been a creative person, but had always felt frustrated with drawing and painting, and not being able to make something that I had in my head a reality. Photography made it much easier for me to satisfy my creative hunger.
What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?
I’ve always been most drawn to fashion photography. I grew up flicking through magazines my mum brought home, and eventually magazines I bought for myself. I studied a BA(Hons) in Fashion Photography between 2011 and 2014, which I adored. However last year, I stumbled on bridal editorial, which I’d never really explored before. I’d never considered photographing wedding dresses before, which seems silly now because I’ve always loved shooting long, pretty dresses above everything else. For the past year, my main focus has been on creating editorial work with bridal dresses. I work with dress designers to shoot their lookbooks, shops to create their advertisements, and all kinds of wedding vendors to shoot the imagery they need to promote themselves; be it on social media or on their websites.
Did you experience any challenges as a woman entering into the photography market?
No, I’ve never experienced any issues.
What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?
Self-confidence, and burn out! I go through phases of low confidence, and thinking that I’m not good enough, but I think that’s normal and everyone has that, creative or not. However, one area that I need to constantly work on is not taking on too much. I have a tendency to get excited about projects, and say yes to too much. I’m now turning away more work than ever before, just to be able to focus on what really brings me joy, as well as have time out to relax and recharge my batteries.
Who and/or what inspires you most?
I’m inspired by the natural world more than anything else. I’m lucky enough to live by the sea now, and seem to always want to take my shoots to it. I’m also incredibly inspired by light. Soft, dreamy light. The way it envelops peoples faces. The changes it creates in mood. The way it alters landscapes. I’m totally obsessed with light!
What is your approach? Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?
I’m always aiming to inject romance into my work. That stems purely from the fact that I am a huge romantic at heart. It helps that most of my work revolves around wedding dresses, which are romantic in themselves! I love to add depth as well, by using blurred out objects in the front of my lens, and shooting at a low aperture. You can see examples of that quite often in my work.
Why is accurate color important within your workflow?
Colour is everything. It allows for consistency, mood, emotion, storytelling. Without being able to see the exact colours within my imagery, I can’t tell the story I hope to tell through my images.
Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?
It sounds so cliché, but just start. If you constantly wait for the “right moment” it will never happen. Done is better than perfect, and you’ll learn along the way. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and don’t worry what other people think. I guarantee that they’re more concerned by themselves and their own issues than worrying about what you’re doing!
I also seriously encourage the idea of never stopping to learn. I’m always attending workshops, taking courses, reading books, despite having finished my degree three years ago. And if you can, study business outside of the photography world. Learn from people in totally different industries! You want to stand out, not blend in, so if you spend all your time learning from other photographers… you’ll just end up doing all the same things.