Q&A With Cheryl McEwan Photography

My little person and myself recently took a drive out to Somerset West to a stunning venue called Hathersage to meet with photographer and fellow mommy, Cheryl McEwan. I had never met Cheryl before, but had been in contact with her to arrange the shoot after seeing incredible product photos she had taken for a local company that lead me to her website which I kept finding myself returning to, over and over again!

I was dying to shoot with her, and knew that I just had to make it happen. For a couple of weeks we worked on creating a picture perfect setting, finished with a beautiful hot air balloon made from a basket and over 20 helium balloons. The day finally arrived, and off we went.

I arrived at the venue barely being able to see out the back of the window due to the many balloons that had been shoveled into the car. It was after 5pm, and it was beginning to get slightly cold and windy – but the moment I saw the friendly, incredibly welcoming smile on Cheryl’s face, I knew that it would be totally worth it…no matter what.

 

Cheryl was so patient, which is so important for photo shoots that include kids. We started with no props, and slowly added in more as time went on. She helped give us direction when we needed it, and made sure that I gave her input if I had the desire to.

 

We finally reached the time of the day where the ‘hot air balloon’ was to have it’s moment in the spotlight. Without thinking twice, off we went through the tall grass. I sat down, and placed Olly into the basket. The wind blew, (and no, my two year old son did not take off), and like live ammunition, the balloons popped one by one. My little boy was distraught, and Cheryl and myself stood there, mouths wide open, totally shocked at what had just happened. One lonesome blue balloon was saved, and I attached it to my sons wrist which cheered him up. Little did I know that I hadn’t attached it tightly enough, and within a minute, I heard a howling cry to see the very last balloon floating off into the sky! My heart.

Cheryl very calmly quietened him down by handing him a very special handmade biscuit (blog post on this soon) that matched the theme of the day, and helped reevaluate and rethink how we would go forward with the shoot without losing the valuable light and shoot time. Before we knew it, the ‘tragedy’ was forgotten, and we were reading, eating delicious cookies, finger painting and playing in the teepee! A photographer that can distract and go forward with a shoot with a distraught toddler is an absolute professional!

The day came to an end, and I was sad to be leaving. Cheryl is just a ball of happiness! As a single mom, I honestly cannot even begin to imagine how exhausted she must be after a long day, and I am amazed at how she can juggle work life, being a mother to a very busy toddler and still keep her home in one piece!

I found Cheryl open, honest and so easy to relate to as a mom. I recently received my photos, and it’s so refreshing to see these photos and to know that it wasn’t all staged. She managed to capture the real moments. There were moments captured where I am looking into my little Olly’s eyes, just totally in awe that I actually created that little human! There are moments where we are laughing, there’s quiet times, and humorous moments having my nose painted by the munchkin! There is a photo where you can see the worry and concern in my eyes from a mothers perspective, as I watch my child attempt to balance on the rocky pathway alongside the stream. Every moment was real, and that is rare! And, I don’t feel that only a fellow mother would have the ability to capture these moments; but to have the knowledge to choose these photos to edit and send to me because she knows that these would be the most meaningful to me.

Cheryl has the most gorgeous portfolio to share with you! From maternity, engagement, wedding, newborn and family photos – every single photo has been created and complete with love and passion.

DO have a look at the below Q&A to find out more about Cheryl and why she does what she does, and how it all begun. Find out about how she juggles her work and family life and a little bit about her precious little boy, Bjorn who she works so hard to provide for.

Ending off, I was so blessed to meet and work with Cheryl McEwan, not only because I now have a whole bunch of photographs of my son and myself to frame and put up around my home; but because I have made a wonderful friend who I can be totally real with.

Credits:
Cake & Biscuits: Lulubelle’s Bakes
Venue: Hathersage
Photography: Cheryl McEwan Photography
Photo of Cheryl & Bjorn: Tasha Seccombe www.tashaseccombe.com

cherylbjorn_duo_0008

QUESTION & ANSWER:

1. When did you first realize that you could make magic with a camera?

I have always had a love for photography which peaked when I lived in the UK for a number of years, I was lucky enough to travel extensively around Europe and the first thing I would pack is my camera!
It was an absolute must to be able to capture the beauty of these wonderful countries through the lens. During my last year spent living in London I started assisting a wedding photographer and shortly after I shot my first solo weddings and started photographing
families on the weekends which I really enjoyed! This then sparked the interest in me and upon my return to Cape Town permanently in January 2011 I started my dream career full time.
2. How old were you when you picked up your first camera?
When I first started out in the UK at the age of 23 i bought my first compact digital camera with my first paycheck. I clearly remember it being an Olympus MJU little camera! A few years later I eventually invested in my first proper DSLR which was the Nikon D40 and that was a game changer for me, I just wanted to learn more
and get more lenses! So very soon after that I started upgrading my gear and one thing led to another!
3. What inspires you to keep going in this industry?
I love working with people and meet the most amazing people through being able to capture such special moments for my clients. Often I will photograph couples from their engagements to their weddings and then they book  me for newborn and family shoots as their family grows. I love staying connected with them and photographing the different stages of their lives and knowing that I have an important job to do by creating those memories for them.
4. Three facts about you…
I love traveling and seeing the world, I am a complete workaholic, I am obsessed with eating avocados!
5. A little paragraph on family life.
I love my family dearly! My little man, Björn is my everything and I strive to be the best mom I can for him. I have a close-knit family who all support each other and my sister is my best friend.
I believe family comes first and am blessed to have such a wonderful family
6. What is your favourite content to photograph?
I love photographing both weddings and families. These are some of the happiest memories I get to capture.
7. You are a mother to the cutest baby boy, how do you juggle family life with having to fulfill your role as a mom?
Being a single mom to a very busy toddler and trying to run a business is a bit crazy at the best of times but I do have an amazing support system with my family. Björn goes to an amazing creche during the week where his teachers are so supportive and loving and I know he is in the best environment and happy!
That way I can also focus on getting my work done during the day. Then late afternoons I switch over to mom mode where work is put on hold while I spend quality time with my boy, dinner, bath and bedtime routine complete with storytelling time with his two favourite toys – Barney & Jog the Frog who have to sit in on this of course! Then most evenings I am back on the computer once he is asleep and working again! In between I try to take a little time for myself where I catch up with friends over a glass of wine when I get a spare minute! I think its all about just focusing on one thing at a time otherwise it can get overwhelming!
8. Your favourite memory since being in the industry?
I have a few favorite memories! I have worked with such amazing people over the last 6 years and have loved seeing parents with their newborns and photographing that special bond between them.
9. A few words of advice for those starting out in the photography industry?
If you are starting out in the industry try to assist as many photographers as you can, this is the best experience you will get and you will learn so much from other photographers who have been in the industry for a while.
10. How can we keep up to date with your latest work, specials and news? 

 

 

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