Meet the Mama behind the lens…

Owner of Surrey based business, Cheryl Catton Photography and mama of two talks about how she became involved with ‘Mindfulness in a box’…

Introduction by Emma Martin : It was important to me to support local businesses with my re-brand project, and having connected with Cheryl both personally and professionally, I thought she would be the ideal photographer to share my vision and bring my ‘Mindfulness in a box’ concept to life!

Tell us about yourself…

I am an Australian who came to England with the intention of living in London for 1-2 years, travelling and generally just having a great time. Fast forward 12 years and I’m still here, now living in leafy Surrey, with a husband and 2 little ones who keep me on my toes!

Before I became a photographer, I used to do the daily commute into London, working as a Human Resources Consultant for a big construction company. My career took a dramatic turn after I had my daughter and I became a stay at home mum. I have to say, this job was and continues to be, the most challenging job I have ever had, but also the most rewarding. I have never worked so hard in my life!

It was during motherhood, that my love of photography blossomed and a few years after having my son, I was fortunate enough to be able to say goodbye to the corporate life in HR and my journey to becoming a mumpreneur began.

I am the owner of Cheryl Catton Photography, photographing pregnancies, newborns, older babies and cake smashes in my purpose built studio in Horsell, Woking. I also love outdoor family sessions and enjoy working with local small businesses, shooting headshots, products and personal branding sessions.

5 facts:

  1. I am an avid cheese lover
  2. I prefer gin over wine and wine over bubbles
  3. I enjoy going to the gym to do classes (I need someone shouting in my ear in order to stay motivated!)
  4. The Notebook is one of my favourite movies
  5. I enjoy bringing people together, so created a Horsell/Woking Bad Moms Facebook group. Motherhood can be a lonely journey at times, so the aim of the group is to provide a support network for local mums. 
One of Cheryl’s stunning images from a 2020 Newborn shoot

What was your experience like when you attended Emma’s Mindfulness and Wellbeing course ?

Before attending Emma’s 6-week wellbeing course, I had never really stopped to think about selfcare. I think when you’re a mum, you are consumed with taking care of your children, that taking care of ourselves gets put on the backburner. 

Emma’s course is designed to give us the tools to have a more confident and calm approach to parenting and our own wellbeing and I have to say that I definitely walked away feeling better equipped in these areas, after completing the course. 

In terms of participant numbers, it was a very small group of lovely women. It was an intimate and safe environment, which allowed people to really open up honestly about their experiences with their journeys through motherhood. 

Emma taught us parenting techniques, the power of mindfulness, exercise and self-care and after each session, provided a written recap and further tips and tricks. We were also given small tasks to complete after each session, which re-enforced what we had learnt (however, there was never any pressure to complete them).

I used to meditate quite a lot when I was a teenager and into my early twenties. Throughout these meditations there was a special place that I used to visit and during one of the sessions with Emma, we did a meditation exercise and I found myself going back to this place. It was a place that I had completely forgotten about and hadn’t visited in around 20 years. It was a very touching moment for me. 

What did you take away from the course ?

I took away quite a lot from Emma’s course, but one of the biggest things was making time for self-care and not feeling guilty about it. This may seem silly and small to some people, but it’s only since attending Emma’s course, that I now take the time to wash my face before bed! Something so small, but so important. 

An image of myself (Emma) That Cheryl captured of my bump during a maternity shoot in summer 2020 , between lockdowns!

How did you come to be involved with the Re-Brand project?

Emma and I had worked together before, when I photographed her headshots and beautiful maternity photos, so when she approached me about being involved in her rebrand, I felt really honoured and excited! I had the pleasure of photographing her wonderful ‘Mindfulness in a Box’ giftbox, filled with lots of beautiful products from local small businesses.

Finally, how do you juggle being a mum with running your own business?

Some days I feel like I could apply for a job in the circus as their ‘Star Juggler’ and other days, I am dropping balls all over the place. I think most mums probably feel like this though – we have good days and we have not so good days. However, when it comes down to it, I think a big thing when you’re a Mumpreneur is working smarter and not harder and being organised. 

I have always been pretty disorganised … however I am slowly learning how to be more organised. When you are blessed and lucky enough to be able to do what you love as a job, it is very easy to be totally consumed by it.  My goal to being more organised, is driven by the desire to ensure that I continue to provide my clients with an amazing service, without compromising my own family life. I have put processes in place that have made my business workflow more efficient. This has stopped me from working until the wee hours of the morning, resulting in more energy and time for my family.

Cheryl will be opening the doors back up to her Photography Studio from 12th April. Newborn shoots can include babies up to the age of 12 weeks old, to capture precious memories for lockdown bubba’s! For more information on how Cheryl’s style of photography could support your business, or give you stunning memories of your family, then please get in touch via her website

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