Real Motherhood Stories | Documentary Newborn and Family Photography | Peterborough, Ely and Cambridge family photographer

Time passes quickly.

It’s a phrase I hear a lot time-and-time again.

Watching your children grow up right in front of your eyes. Your life intertwined in theirs and they in yours.

It’s not only moments that they get to share with you, but also the memories you will make together that enriches their worlds and yours too. 

Real Motherhood Stories is designed to use the power of photography to capture a beautiful glimpse of your real motherhood moments to create an authentic and meaningful legacy for you and your children. The one-hour long documentary photoshoots capture you at home with your children, in which a relaxed conversation will take place at the end of the session to record some of your words to go alongside your photographs.  

To find out about how to book a Real Motherhood Stories, email Diana I would love to hear from fathers and grandparents too who would like a similar session especially as well! 

A few images taken from a motherhood session recently:

Girl holding her baby sister at home
A mother and her older daughter and baby
Eye connection between mother and her baby
Baby smiling on her changing table
Storytelling photo of a baby on the changing mat
Mother and daughter choosing baby clothes in the bedroom
Baby laying on a star-patterned bed duvet
Mother helps dress her baby
Black and white photograph of three siblings together
Mother plays with her baby on the playmat
Black and white photograph of girl learning to cartwheels in the
Mother and her young son in the kitchen
At the kitchen sink
Over the kitchen table
Planting seeds at the kitchen table
Black and white photograph of an everyday scene in the kitchen
Mother and her baby natural portrait at home
Black and white photograph of mother holding her baby's hands
Mother breastfeeding her baby at home
Baby holding onto her mother's hand

Adventures With You | Artefact Motherhood | Cambridgeshire family photographer Diana Hagues

Welcome to Artefact MotherhoodThis is a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles in our journeys. Through our writings and photographs, we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artefacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come.

“As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen.”

- A.A.Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Children at a PYO farm in Oxford

I remember coming across this quote when you were babies. As soon as I saw it, I had an inkling how very true those words would be. Aside from motherhood being this one long and continuous adventure — the kind that is rewarding in the best ways — I realise that the best adventures I have had with you are the simple adventures that we have made together.

When I was a kid, I remember the happiest days of my childhood were when we went for a day out or on a little road trip somewhere. Your Gung Gung (your maternal grandfather) would pack us all into the car and drive to places, like Stonehenge or Bath. Anywhere that was within a commutable two hour journey from our home in Middlesex. We would also go somewhere a little closer to home to places, like Windsor Castle and take a tour inside the castle grounds. I realise now that we weren’t the typical British family in how we spent our weekends. Our outings were more like a guided tour of England and checking off ‘must-see’ places as you’d might find in a Lonely Planet Guide of Britain. I remember watching the Changing of the Guards at Whitehall and going to the British Museum in London.

Your Gung Gung would say that I was lucky to get to see so many places when we were young, both home and abroad. He was right. Some of my favourite childhood memories come from going on these trips. The excitement of simply being on a journey, not knowing what to expect and seeing different places or experience another cultural way of life. It made for some exciting adventures — I’d say more than the sight themselves.

We also had days where the pace was a little gentler. Sunday mornings spent at car boot sales or going camping. I remember we went to a Pick Your Own Fruit and Vegetable farm once. Coming away with red-stained fingers from berry juices and bellies secretly filled with some of the fruits that didn’t quite land into the tubs where we were meant to be putting our pickings. Even these small and simple pleasures stuck firmly in my memory as some of the best childhood adventures I had growing up. 

Since you’ve both come along, I have been dreaming of all the adventures we could make together. Dipping into my own childhood memories for inspiration and hoping to share with you some of those same happy experiences that I had. I know you won’t be enthusiastic with all of them at first. Quite often you will both ask me a zillion questions (the what/where/why/how), before we get a chance to put on your shoes and head out of the door. That can be extremely frustrating at times. How can I explain away your apprehensions? Or tell you that part of the joy comes in the experience and perhaps not knowing what to expect until you have tried it for yourself?

In the rows of raspberry field at the pick-your-own farm

While you are both young, I want to broaden your horizons and help you get involved in as many activities as you can, and not necessarily going for the obvious. I can guarantee that you will always come home smiling, having enjoyed the activities and talking about those little things that only the little minds of yours can fully appreciate.

Of course, I know that stepping back and letting the both of you take the lead is also valuable rather than have everything all planned out for you. I promise you will have plenty of your own adventures too. I also see, more and more, as both of you are growing up and finding company in each other as well as making your own friends. You currently love to climb trees and play pretend-fights. 

With the summer holidays approaching, I am looking forward to the next six weeks doing things with you and spending our time together. I know this time will go by quickly. I was reminded recently how few the summers we will have to fully spend together. You’ll eventually make your own plans and head off on your own adventures. I hope when that time comes you can both draw on your special memories from your own childhood adventures.

Sign leading to the rows of raspberries at a pick-your-own farm

Please go to Abigail Fahey the next artist in our Artefact Motherhood blog circle and continue through all the artists until you get back to me! To learn more about Artefact Motherhood, click here.

Diana Hagues is a natural family and children photographer who loves to capture the honest and authentic moments for families and preserve real memories to last forever. She provides short storytelling sessions and day-in-the-life family photoshoots, as well as her Real Motherhood Stories photography session for mothers who want to get in the frame on their own with their children. Get in touch for more details about any of these storied sessions.

Part II: Landscape Speaks + The Travelling Mustard Dress project | Personal Self-portraiture {#P52Radness} | Cambridgeshire Wedding and Family photographer

I mentioned before how I am part of a global community of female photographers (#P52radness) who participate in a weekly self-portrait project. It’s become a project that is dear to my heart, simply because everybody in the group has their own battles in getting themselves in front of the camera and yet is so supportive of others who do get in the frame. It is that kindness and encouragement that helps us overcome our fear and also see past the perception we have of ourselves. Something that I would happily give my female clients if they feel anxious about themselves during their photoshoots. I have also written about some of those feelings and shared the reasons of the importance to be in your own pictures, not just for creating a physical memory for your loved ones but also for yourself, in a blog article here

Last month, the P52radness group had a theme called ‘Let the landscape speak’. The idea of this theme is that the environment or our surroundings take up the centre stage of our images, as opposed to our own portraits dominating the picture. This can be appealing if you find having your pictures taken intimidating, or you just want to have the beauty of the landscape tell the story whilst being in the photo. It's conducive to making an evironmental portrait and helps to set the context of the person in the photo, which I will always try to make a few for my clients using my wide-angle lens. Before I begin a photoshoot, I like to ask each of my clients to pick a location that can be home or outdoors, which are familiar to you and perhaps one of your favourite places to spend time in. We spend most of that time in that location on your photoshoot. By being in familiar surroundings this would put you at ease to be yourself and allow me to capture beautiful pictures that will truly portray you and your personality. 

For my self-portraits below, I wore a yellow summer maxi dress from New Look that a friend of mine got for a travelling dress ('Travelling Mustard') project. I am doing this project along with nearly forty other British and Irish female photographers. Each photographer takes a self-portrait in the same yellow mustard dress. I did a collaboration with a couple of these women recently, which I will share later on or you can see them on the Travelling Mustard blog. My own self-portraits were taken using the technique of freelensing with the help of my husband, who acted as a stand-in tripod when it was a windy day on the beach during our family trip to Old Hunstanton Cliffs.

Black and white portrait of Diana Hagues photographer at Hunstan
Colour portrait of Diana Hagues photographer in yellow dress at
Stepping onto the sand at Hunstanton beach in yellow dress and b
Black and white portrait of Cambridgeshire photographer Diana Ha
Self portrait of Cambridgeshire Photographer Diana Hagues at Hun
Self portrait of Cambridgeshire Photographer Diana Hagues with h
Dancing portrait of Cambridgeshire Photographer Diana Hagues in
British Travelling dress project - artist Diana Hagues in yellow
Toes on the beach next to a razor shell
Travelling mustard dress - Self portraiture - photographer Diana