Sofia Oggioni


I've always been fascinated by light…


As a little girl I remember my curiosity and attraction to reflections, shadows, shimmering rays from ripples of water, and light streaming through tiny openings and window cracks that projected shapes and movements. I did not know the theory back then, but I used to spend hours locked up in that unintended camera obscura that let the outside world leak inside my room.


My first experience with a camera was at eleven, when I "borrowed" my dad's instamatic. I can't remember whether I was just being playful or unknowingly more deliberate, but soon I was jamming the shutter to capture a lightning strike. It was a failed experiment which I forgot for many years.


As a young woman I studied painting and sculpture but my rebellious spirit soon had me putting aside my studies to travel. One day I came across a film shoot in Havana and I was very impressed by the size and power of the movie lights. My traveling companion, who had worked as a film producer, explained to me how the set worked and the role each person had at the shoot. I found it a fascinating world, one I wanted to become a part of, but it seemed as unattainable as the beautiful idiosyncratic light that I tried to capture so many years before with my dad's instamatic.


I ended up studying at the School of Social Communications and Journalism at the Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia), which has a strong documentary tradition. It was there that I started my training as a photographer.


During my first years of college, I was obsessed with photography and worked in the laboratory guiding students in the printing process. I also became involved with advanced students' documentary and narrative projects where I slowly earned a place as a camera operator. Several of my classmates and myself were lucky enough to get positions on a feature film that was about to start shooting in Cali. Working as a lighting assistant, I came face to face with the great lights and thick cables that I first encountered at that film shoot in Havana. Then as luck would have it, in the middle of the shoot, a position opened in the camera department. Scared, but knowing I might not get another chance, I accepted the challenge and soon loaded my first 1,000ft chassis for an Arri BL4. I continued working as a camera assistant for a few years until I made my first film as a DP in 2008.