Inspirations

Shutter, snuggles and stories: Creator Elizabeth’s journey as a full-time mum, lifestyle blogger and photographer

Post by
Marisa Young
Shutter, snuggles and stories: Creator Elizabeth’s journey as a full-time mum, lifestyle blogger and photographer

Meet Elizabeth Mayberry, a full-time mum, lifestyle blogger, and photographer from the US state of Colorado. Elizabeth's creative journey began 14 years ago when she founded her lifestyle blog Oak + Oats. It transformed into a motherhood blog when she started a family. This allowed her to share her experiences and connect with other mums. As she documented her family's everyday life through her blog, Elizabeth discovered an overwhelming passion for lifestyle photography.

Elizabeth's talent for capturing authentic family moments caught the attention of us here at Creatively Squared in 2020 and it has opened up a world of exciting opportunities for Elizabeth ever since. This recognition has led to paid campaigns with renowned baby brands such as Huggies, Baby Dove and Enfamil, along with lifestyle content for Finish, Samsonite and American Tourister just to name a few.

One of the most rewarding aspects of Elizabeth's work goes on behind the scenes with the help of her husband her children (and often herself!) model for various campaigns. This unique setup allows her to focus on being a very hands-on and present mother while simultaneously pursuing her passion for photography. Through this journey, Elizabeth has become one of our most reliable and sought-after creators within the Creatively Squared community. Her talent for capturing the beauty in everyday moments has resonated with brands and audiences alike.

Delve deeper into Elizabeth's inspiring story and discover how it's possible to turn your creative pursuits into a thriving career.

Let’s chat with Elizabeth

Hello! I am Elizabeth but most of my friends call me Beth. I am a Colorado-based lifestyle blogger and photographer at Oak + Oats which has been my online home for 14 years this summer!

I was studying abroad in Northern Ireland in the summer of 2010 when my roommate talked me into creating a blog - that blog started everything! I soon realized that beautiful yet authentic lifestyle photography was the thing I felt most drawn to in the blogs I followed. I knew that if my blog was going to ever be something I was proud of, I would need to figure out how to achieve those types of photos too.

I found a Sony superzoom camera in my husband's things and started teaching myself photography. Over the years, I have upgraded my gear as I have levelled up my skills and grown to create those images that I once admired! Over the last nearly 15 years, I have been on a journey.

With my early adoption of blogging and passion for photography, I jumped onto new platforms like Pinterest and Instagram and became an influencer before that term was even being used. I went full-time with my blog in 2016, had my first baby in 2018, and “quit” my influencer life in 2022 when I announced my third pregnancy and chose to focus more on my family and my photography.

Now I am a homeschooling, stay-at-home, mother of three. I spend my days making meals, doing science experiments at our kitchen table, creating crafts I found on Pinterest, rocking babies to sleep, listening to audiobooks in the car, spending as much time outside in lovely Colorado as we can, and taking way too many photos.

Elizabeth’s adorable photo with her kids for Finish UK. Source: @creativelysquared
Super cute photo for American Tourister. Source: @creativelysquared

I’m first and foremost a home and family lifestyle photographer. I get a lot of practice (and cherished memories) by taking photos of my family both in our home and out on our adventures. I love helping brands bring their product to life through natural, authentic, lifestyle images. I also take family photos for friends and family but my style is still very natural and unposed in those sessions.

Traditionally, and definitely for brands, my personal aesthetic is bright, white, true-to-color lifestyle imagery. Although I’ve started playing around with more moody images for my personal projects and home decor.

Journey with Creatively Squared

As a full-time blogger, I was doing lots of campaigns that required photography as well as promotion. Creating a sponsored blog post or even a sponsored social media post took a lot of time from start to finish. I loved the photos I was creating for brands but grew weary of promoting all the time. Not to mention all the time I spent reaching out to brands, negotiating, and tracking down payments. I started slowing down on outreach and even scored a couple photo only campaigns that I adored. It was during this time of transitioning from influencer to photographer in the summer of 2020 when I received an email from the Creatively Squared team inviting me to be a part of a photo only campaign. Not only was it perfect timing, but I truly enjoyed the conversations I had with team members, the campaigns I continued to be invited on, and the freedom to do the work I love without all the extras of negotiation, payment, outreach, and promotion. Being part of Creatively Squared was a huge help in allowing me to quit my job and spend more time with my family.

Some of Elizabeth’s gorgeous images for Huggies including a fun outtake. Source: @creativelysquared

It is hard to pick a favourite, but I have to say that the ones with my kids are the most enjoyable and most challenging all at the same time! Toddlers and babies are unpredictable, but they make brands like Baby Dove, Samsonite, Enfamil, and Huggies come to life!

Tools of the trade

Majority of my photography is taken on my Nikon z6ii with my NIKKOR Z 28-75mm f/2.8 lens. I take my camera everywhere and love a super versatile setup. I use Lightroom and a preset I created for my photo editing.

For photo props, I try to keep them as authentic to the scene as possible - baskets, blankets, neutral toys, and uncluttered places.

Behind the scenes of the Baby Dove photoshoot with Elizabeth’s husband
The adorable result featured in the Baby Dove gallery. Source: @creativelysquared

I do a lot of photography in my house because it is convenient & comfortable. I am familiar with angles that work well and times of day for lighting allowing me to plan better and take my time with photos. We also do a lot of outside photography around town as we live in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains!

[#cta]

Elizabeth’s creative process

I like to have ideas for shots in mind and written down so I can check them off during the photoshoot. I try to do as much prepping as possible to make sure the lighting, time of day, proximity to naptime, outfits, and locations are all set. When you are working with small children, you have limited time for them to stay engaged and happy!

Fun fact: My husband is actually as much of a photographer for Oak + Oats as I am! He is always the one behind the camera if I am in the images. We often talk through photo campaigns when we get them for ideas and planning, and schedule a time to work together for the photoshoot!

If something isn’t working, I find it best to just stop and pivot to something unrelated and reschedule photos. I also think it is important to make sure you are always taking more photos for fun than for work!

Elizabeth’s beautiful outdoor lifestyle photos for Samsonite and High Sierra. Source: @creativelysquared

Finding inspiration

I love to search on Pinterest for project inspiration looking for moods, angles, framing, and story ideas. Often times the photos I discover will trigger an idea and act as a jumping off point for a new project.

Top creative tips

Be yourself! It is so easy to compare to other photographers, especially in this group! The talent here is unreal and when I see some of these product photographers, I can see where my photography skills are lacking. But we all have different passions, talents, strengths, and ideas and that makes us as Creatively Squared stronger! When we push into our strengths, passions, and photography style, we can create fabulous content because there is heart in it!

Lastly, what’s next for you?

This year I am challenging myself to go out of my comfort zone and create some personal family photo projects that require Photoshop. I love using photography to tell a story and I want to create some pieces of art for our memory books this year. Not sure exactly what this will look like, but I’m excited to try (and fail a couple of times) as I watch too many Photoshop tutorials trying to figure it all out!

Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your journey with us and your captured family memories. We are so appreciative of your support of our creator platform and community. You have taken so many beautiful and memorable photos for our customers - we are looking forward to many more as your little ones grow and you continue to thrive as a photographer. Continue to follow Elizabeth’s over on her lifestyle blog Oak + Oats.

We need more content creators and photographers just like Elizabeth so if her story resonates with you, join our creator platform too. Here’s the link to get started.

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