Mom Styles Files Informant: Photographer Beth Fletcher

Family Photo

 

I’m rounding out this month’s Mom Style Files Family Photo Mission with our Style Files Informant Photographer Beth Fletcher. My friend and former Mom Style Files agent Melissa over a Peanut Butter in My Hair had Beth take photos of her family and I just feel in love with them.

I knew she’d have the perfect answers to my Family Photo Fashion questions.

 

 

 

Beth Fletcher Photography

Beth Fletcher

Age: 37

Hometown: Valparaiso, Indiana

What You Do: Natural light photographer

Blog or website  www.bethfletcherphotography.comwww.ishouldbefoldinglaundry.com

Your style in one word: Simple

 

 

What is your favorite outfit to wear for photos?

I am all about layers, skinny jeans, knee high boots, sweaters, scarves.

 

What is the most difficult piece of clothing to photograph?

I think the biggest issue I ever have with any single article of clothing are puffy vests. I love how they look but the collars tend to cover faces. So I am constantly pulling the vest down, opening it up, folding them over, etc.

Also, I hate white socks.

 

Can you give my readers some advice on how to choose outfits for family photos.

I always recommend that Mom picks out her outfit first. We are the hardest on ourselves, so I firmly believe outfit choices should be stemmed from Mom’s outfit choice. I recommend colors, some patterns, lots of layers, accessories like hats, scarves, etc. I like for clients to steer away from white, but I love off-white.

 

Are there any places you direct clients for style inspiration?

I have a What to Wear board on Pinterest that I think is a huge help.

 

Where do you find your style inspiration?

I usually go to websites or catalogs that I love, Anthropologie, Free People, West Elm, H&M, Ruum, Design Sponge.  I do not limit my inspiration to other photographers and what they are doing. I think too often photographers are so busy checking out what other photographers are doing, that they are never creating anything on their own. Pinterest is a dangerous crutch for some people. Photography is art and to make art is to create. We aren’t creating if we are constantly doing what everyone else is doing. If I am in a style/creative rut, I will go to Pinterest but I’ll do searches on clothing, food, hair, furniture, home decor, seasons, etc. I never do searches for actually sessions that have already taken place. Also, instragram is a great place for inspiration on-the-go.

 

Where do you shop?

Gap, H+M, Old Navy, Anthropologie, Target

 

What are some things to consider when planning your family photo shoot?

Obviously finding the best photographer is key. Hiring a photographer based on price is really never the best way to go. You want someone you can trust completely so that way all you have to worry about is showing up, looking fabulous and making sure everyone has food in their tummies. Photographers are paid to take the best technical photos possible, they should be expected to play the largest role creatively, properly pose each family, captivate children, capture families as people who love each other more than anyone else on earth, properly edit each image and deliver the highest quality, best looking images to a client. Something that will last forever. The role of a photographer in some families, is just as important as a family member sometimes. Think about it…as a photographer, it is our job to give something to someone that they will love FOREVER. That’s an important role. It’s a role that should never be compromised based on price. You know that saying “you get what you pay for?” Nothing is truer in this field.

 

Two things to think about when feeling like you’ve been punched in the gut after looking at your favorite photographer’s prices…

 

  1. Most photographers do not require payment in full up front. Usually a retainer of a few hundred dollars (or less) is required. The remaining amount is typically due around the time of the session. If you book your session far enough in advance, saving $40 a month until the time of the session is pretty easy. (think about what we spend $40 a month on!) Some photographers may even be open to you paying in a few installments. I know I’m okay with it.

 

  1. Having the most amazing photo of you and your family up on your walls is one of the most beautiful, sacred things you could ever give yourself. It’s important, it does affect you daily and it will be in your family for years and years to come. You absolutely can not put a price tag on that. How do you get that beautiful photo on your wall? By finding a GOOD, experienced photographer.

 

What fashion piece do you wear everyday?

So, it’s not so much fashionable as it is sad but I wear a bun in my hair everyday. Hey, I have four kids.

 

Your personal style idol is…

most of them come from Instagram: @ellivenstudio, @joyprouty, @whippycake and @munchkinsandmohawks (I believe you were looking for one and I listed four, but you should know that I narrowed it down from 12!)

 

What trends are seeing in family photography?

I love that people are really beginning to embrace the less posed photos, the genuine shots. Also, less props, which is a very good thing.

 

How does your individual fashion style influence your photography?

The description I gave my own personal style was “simple.” and that very much comes into play with my photography. I try not to focus on props – just photographing the love within a family in a simple, yet beautiful location.

 

Do you follow any fashion photographers?

Fashion photographers? I don’t think so. Do I follow people who are fashionable who take beautiful photos? Yes.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers when taking photos of clothing and fashion? or families?

Take time to learn how to use your camera. Good photographers are not lucky, they have worked hard to get to where they are and once you learn…shoot everyday…don’t ever stop. Just focus on quality images and good lighting.

 

I hope this helps all of you during your family photo shoots. The first thing I’m doing is heading over to Beth’s What to Wear Pinterest page and finding some inspiration.

 

Well, that’s it for this Month’s Mom Style Files. Up for next month – Cute and Cozy, how to beat the cold and still look good.

 

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If you are a mom and a fashion blogger you could be the next Mom Style Files Informant. Just click the little envelope in the header or email me at RedheadReverie {at} gmail {dot} com. 

Mom Style Files: 4 Stores for Family Photo Fashions

Family Photo

 

Finding the right outfit for family photos can be challenging, last week I gave you some tips on what to look for when planning your family photo fashion. This week I’m going to give you my top 5 stores to find cute and affordable outfits for the whole family.

 

Target

This is the obvious, since I’m there practically daily. The kids fashions especially, are affordable and stylish, as well as the men’s clothing. My boys aren’t picky and since, I want items they can wear again Target makes a great choice.

 

Revival

This is MY favorite place to shop. Unique vintage pieces, and handmade jewelry make this a great place to find a statement piece for pictures. Many times I plan my outfit first and build the boys’ outfits around it, since they are easier than me.

 

The Children’s Place

Sometimes, actually a lot of the time, my eldest is picky about his outfit, and Target or Old Navy don’t fit the fashion profile. When that happens I turn to my old reliable The Children’s Place. They have classic pieces and items with just enough of a twist to make them different.

 

Kohl’s

Once a year my husband decides to splurge and shop for himself. We receive coupons on practically a daily basis, so he can get a great deal on wife approved clothing.

 

Here’s a sample ensemble I put together with one item from each store. In this example I’d probably pair the shirts with jeans for the boys and maybe black skinny jeans for me.

 

Family Photo Fashion

 

Family Photo Fashion by brook-easton on Polyvore

 

While many of these are pretty obvious choices for clothing options, I believe sometimes the pressure for the perfect family photo can cloud our options.

 

The other bonus place I didn’t mention was your own closet. You might be surprised by what you can put together with a just a little inspiration.

 

Check out my Pinterest board for more fashion ideas.

 

Next week we will interview a Photographer and get her perspective on fashion and family photos. Stay tuned.

My Top 5 Tips for Fashionable Family Photos

I’m all about the family photo, and over the years I’ve learned a few things about styling my family, for the big shoot.

 

Fashion Photo Tips

 

1. Plan Ahead

I can’t stress this enough. Two years ago when this photo was taken I spent the morning before the shoot at the mall scouring the stores for outfits. It practically ruined the day. Also, have TWO options. That same day we had and Indian Summer and my cute wool sweater would have given me heat stroke.

 

2. Be Inspired

This goes along with planning ahead. Start curating some of your favorite outfits and pin them. Some photography websites and blogs have done the work for you, complete with the “where to buy it” links. Feel free to check out my Pinboard for ideas too.

 



 

3 Coordinate instead of match

We’ve all seen those horrible family photo memes on Facebook. Don’t be the family in the matching Christmas sweaters. Just don’t. Instead pick a cohesive color scheme. Remember to consider your background when determining color.

 

4. Keep the Characters in the Closet

Even though your kids might love that Frozen t-shirt, it just won’t stand the test of time in family photos. The same goes for any shirts with words on them. The exception to this rule, if you are doing a themed shoot, like your favorite sports team, or superheroes.

 

5. Keep it Classy

Classic patterns and styles will stand the test of time. If you are like our family we don’t have the time, patience or money to have photos taken each year. It’s important that our photos look timeless with the exception of the kids getting taller and older.

 

There’s a few of my tips.

 

What is one of you family photo fashion tips you use?