Stories Research: Julie Willson

For my “Tales of Gloucestershire” project, I have signed up to become a volunteer at the Brandon Trust, which is a charity which helps vulnerable individuals to cope with everyday life. These individuals could have any illnesses from ADHD to Down’s Syndrome, or even Depression, and need extra care with daily living. Because of this, I am going to look into photographers who have focused primarily on photographing vulnerable people, people with mental illnesses etc. to ensure that I can capture the best images possible, whilst presenting the people in these facilities in the best light I can.

Julie Willson is primarily a wedding/christening event photographer. Her line of work shows the beauty in everything, and as Willson’s sister, Dina, was born with Down’s Syndrome Willson wanted to show how beautiful people with Down’s Syndrome are.


I feel these images are important as there is so much stigma around about any kind of disability, to have a photographer highlight that there is nothing wrong with having a disability is inspiring. This image in particular is important, I feel, as although all of these images are beautifully framed and lit, she has allowed the breathing apparatus to still be shown, which allows the viewers to sympathise with Willson’s subject.

When photographing at the Brandon Trust, I will not be allowed to use a flash due to the nature of the people I will be photographing. However, to get a well lit image such as this I will use exposure compensation, which will allow my images to show as much detail as possible, as well as allowing the viewer to see everything in the image and provoke a certain emotion towards the images. I feel the lighting is what makes these images work; it’s such an innocent pale lighting, allowing viewers to see these children almost as angels, which is a contrast to how many people unfortunately view people with disabilities, again provoking that sympathetic emotion.




I feel to produce these images, Willson used a small aperture to allow the subject to be the only thing in focus, such as f16. Due to this she could have used quite a fast shutter speed as there seems to be a lot of perfect natural lighting, perhaps 1/250 – 1/500. I also think she used a speedlight to provide these angelic white lighting, and bounced it off of a reflector, or somehow softened it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s