Motherhood Behind The Camera by Charlotte Vaughan

I am Charlotte, a Mum of two, I have my daughter Florence who's 2 years old and my son Ellis who is nearly 4 months old. I am a very keen and passionate amateur photographer, you can see my photography on my Instagram page @lottie_model

I absolutely love getting behind the camera to see what images I can create and capture and of course it goes without saying that my children are my favourite models.



It is so lovely to have photos to look back on and it really highlights just how quick they grow up and how much they change in such a short space of time. Wonderful memories to have for yourself and memories you can share with your children in later years to come.


I love taking a variety of photos some of them are set up where I have an idea that I want to try and put together and create in a photograph, now this sometimes comes out just how I expected or the complete opposite! This could be because I just couldn't quite get it to work outside of what was in my head or simply that my children didn't want to play ball. So when that happens I just put it to one side and try again another day.



By far some of my best shots and favourite shots are natural and candid ones, where we have gone out for the day and I have taken my camera with me and snapped some really beautiful natural moments, for example, my little girl playing on the beach or her running around and cuddling her Daddy. I also love to capture natural shots of my children interacting with each other, I love capturing their sibling relationship growing and the love between them, for me these shots are just priceless.



Sometimes I even appear in my shots, where I have set it up on a tripod or a window sill and set the timer that way I can have shots taken with my children some of these moments are just beautiful, I used to shoot self shot images a lot to document my pregnancy when I was pregnant with my son, Ellis. They can be quite tricky to set up and get right but if you can get one winning shot that you like and you're pleased with then that's all you need.



Now I am definitely not a professional at all and any knowledge I have is self-taught, trial and error and lots of practice. I also gained some knowledge of photography in my previous career, before having my children for a number of years my profession was a full-time freelance model. Working in this industry you would hear lots of photography and camera talk and over the years I took it on board and would ask questions to try and learn what I could. I have always had a big creative streak in me and I love to model but in the last year, I have switched to enjoying being behind the camera more and seeing if what I had learnt I could put into practice.



I really think that like any art, photography is subjective to whoever is viewing it, some people might love one photographer's particular style and another may not. All the while that it is a hobby and that your taking photos for enjoyment or to share on a social media page then I think it is so important to take photos that you love and that you would want to share and treasure forever.



When I take my photos I quite like to have a clean, tidy and crisp background with little clutter around this is my preferred style when taking photos at home. I use a plain wall in my home or a setting such as on my bed where there is nothing behind it. I think that too much clutter in the background is distracting and draws attention away from the main subject. I like my photos well lit and quite bright but this is simply my style that I enjoy taking, I only use natural light in all my photos at present. When the nights draw in and the days are shorter then the next step for me will be learning how to use lighting equipment.



Finally composition, I always try and take the photo just how I want it to be right there and then from what I can see on the back of the camera. I try to get the photo just the way I want it to look that way there is minimal editing afterwards.


There is a whole world of photo editing software out there and I am absolutely not a pro at all for me I try to keep my editing to a minimum to achieve a natural looking finish this again is just my personal preference and style. I only use the editing software Lightroom CC on my phone, I have an iPhone and I purchased this app in the app store for me it's perfect and quite self-explanatory. I would highly recommend it.



To take my photos I generally use either my Nikon D3000 or Canon 50D, I also use my phone camera too for some shots. I think you can create images that are beautiful on most cameras as long as the photo is captured, composed and lit well. Just remember that photography is an art form and people may or may not love your style photography, most importantly what counts is that you like your images and you find your own style that you are happy with especially if it is just a hobby. When your being paid that is a whole different story but for fun and as a hobby it is definitely about enjoyment, making memories to keep, cherish and look back on.



Oh and don't forget to put down your camera and just be in the moment with your children, I have to remind myself of that, memories can be made behind the camera but so many beautiful memories can be made and stored in your own memory when you are truly submerged in those moments with your children.

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