Creator Stories: Featuring @cgottfried03, Charlotte Gottfried

Jan 11, 2023

When Charlotte Gottfried received her first camera at three years old, she never imagined that one day ESPN would use one of her images on their social channels.

I am a sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Creative Media Student Assistant for the Athletic Department. I am originally from Houston, Texas and this is my Creator Story.

Graphic design, typography, marketing, photography, and documenting events in digital media have been passions of mine since I was very young.

I was especially intrigued by our camcorder, always asking to rewatch the videos and look at the screen. Just before I turned 3, I was given a toy camera for Christmas and I used it to take (fake) photos of my baby brother when he was born a couple of days later. By kindergarten, I had discovered how to make digital media with PowerPoint and started upgrading my camera to various point-and-shoots. When I received my own laptop for my 8th birthday I was ecstatic and soon asked for photo editing software. I quickly started watching tutorials and began to learn Adobe Photoshop after receiving it for Christmas in 2011.

In middle school, I researched graphic design and started a nonprofit photography business taking photos of rescue dogs needing forever homes called “Paws 4 a Pic”. While teaching myself how to use manual DSLR camera settings, I realized that there was so much that I could do with a camera that was beyond pressing the shutter button.

I was then welcomed onto the yearbook staff sophomore year of high school with my prerequisite waived because of my existing portfolio, and just like that I had found my people! In yearbook class, everyone worked together as a team and I realized that I need that collaborative environment. I loved taking photos of every single sport at my high school, learning different techniques for each one. As Photo Editor, I learned leadership skills and how to manage large-scale projects. I also gained some of my best friends and a great mentor in yearbook class who continue to push me to be my best self, as a person and a creative.

I was also a competitive swimmer for 12+ years. This allows me to relate to athletes and understand team dynamics and helps me authentically capture behind-the-scenes content. I created vlogs while on the swim team, which allowed me to start using my creative brain to show my team’s personality. We actually gained a tiny fanbase which was fun!

I was given the amazing opportunity of working for the Corn Crib in Nebraska after seeing the link to apply on Twitter! I already had a portfolio so I applied in about 5 minutes during my senior year of high school and received an email back asking for an interview! I love being involved in such a big group of creatives, it is so cool knowing that we all have the same passions!

As an intern at the Corn Crib, I find myself learning so much every day outside of the classroom, and when I look back at things I made even a few months ago I am able to see massive growth. One of my biggest strengths is being organized. I am always ahead on my assignments which allows me the opportunity to take on different last-minute projects. Last year I had the amazing opportunity to travel with the women’s gymnastics and softball teams. Husker Softball won the B1G championship which was awesome to capture and be a part of! I also take photos for the volleyball team and it was amazing to watch them advance to the NCAA National Championship.

One of my photos was picked up by ESPN last spring. It was chosen not because of the photo, but because of the story behind it. It is mentally conflicting because I feel guilty feeling happy about it because of the circumstances. However, this is the reason why we do what we do, to capture the story and emotions that come with it.

The thing I am most passionate about is turning non-followers and followers into fans. I believe that this happens by showing more than just the athletic part of the athlete. Showing the athlete’s personality is what allows people to connect to the team and increases engagement. Ultimately, I just love the art of capturing a story, and I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to continue to study my passion and make an impact on the world through it.

My advice for other creators who are looking to get into the same industry is to create or take any opportunity you can and put your all into it. For creators in general- I think it is very important to set priorities for yourself and make sure that you spend your time accordingly. I recommend the book “Effortless” by Greg McKeown to start the year off right!

Some fun facts about me:

I like to longboard and hammock around campus to relax.
My favorite foods are plums, chipotle, and Chick-fil-a chicken minis!
Hometown: Houston, TX

Check Out Charlotte’s Social Profiles: