Jane Beiles, an acclaimed photographer and contributor to the New York Times and Architectural Digest could have moved anywhere when her husband retired from his anesthesia practice in Norwalk and their youngest child went off to college. Where did she pick to make her new home? Well, Fairfield of course! Jane has just published her first book. She carefully curated her award winning collection to share her favorite travel, food, garden and interior photos and has published her inaugural title 52 Weeks: A Pictureful Planner for Inspiration & Organization.. She has traveled the world on assignment and now offers us a glimpse into her world behind the lens. Lush gardens, artists’ studios, unbelievable vistas -each page transports us with her stunning photos. We are treated to reflections on each page as she shares whimsical anecdotes from the shoots along with insider photo tips. And her road to Fairfield easily can be traced to one of her earliest New York Times’ assignments: Living in Fairfield Beach, photographed in the rebuilding phase in 2013 after Superstorm Sandy.
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in Fairfield?
I was born, raised and educated in southeastern Michigan. I moved to the NYC-metro area after college and have been in Connecticut since 2001. We moved to Fairfield in 2022.
Tell us about your Family!
My husband Paul and I have been married for 25 years. Our family includes Luke (aged 22, senior at Dickinson College), Evan (aged 20, junior at the University of Michigan currently studying abroad in Barcelona) and Hadley (19, sophomore at the University of Colorado-Boulder). Our two vizsla dogs, Quinto and Otto are very important family members and most pleased about the move to Fairfield.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I have a very successful photography business, yet I’ve never been in a darkroom. Photography was a career pivot for me in my late thirties so I’ve only worked professionally with digital imagery. I founded my eponymous firm right around age forty.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
Proximity to the water was a big draw for us to Fairfield. Being close to the beach has been wonderful but we also love the college-town vibe, friendly community, vibrant dining scene, sense of history, town center and of course, the Memorial Day parade!
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
Teaching our kids to pack their own lunches and do their own laundry by middle school not only made our parenting lives easier, but also set them up to be better prepared for college and for independent living.
Tell us about your business, and when & why you decided to start up this business?
I am the owner of Jane Beiles Photography (website www.janebeiles.com) which was founded in 2011 when our three children were in elementary school. I had just completed my training at ICP in New York City in architectural photography when a friend shared my “homework” assignment of a pool house at twilight. Her architect, (who happens to be an admirable businesswoman as well as a true visionary), Louise Brooks of Brooks & Falotico was my first client and my business was up and running. In 2013, I was hired for freelance photography for the New York Times. One of my early assignments was “Living in Fairfield Beach,” the neighborhood that, ten years later, we would call home!
Tell us about the 52 Week Planner, how and why it started and where can we buy it??
52 Weeks: A Pictureful Planner for Inspiration & Organization is my answer to “screen fatigue.” While I appreciate the convenience of Waze directions and having my Zoom meeting links saved on an online calendar, I’ve never felt the same satisfaction from completing a digital “to-do list” as I feel when crossing the same item off from on an “old-fashioned” paper list. When I’ve set my sights on big challenges in the past, it was paper journals that kept my accountable. Keeping weekly mileage and training goals allowed me to run a marathon; a food and habit journal helped me get back in shape after pregnancies. I set out to design a weekly overview of days at a glance, tasks and habits and designed into a format with original photography, motivational quotes and a short note on the image’s making or inspiration. Locally, it’s sold at Black Rock Books or you can order on my website www.janebeiles.com/books and choose local pickup here in Fairfield or ship anywhere.
What do you like to do when not working?
I love to read, so you’ll often find me at the Fairfield Public Library and have been delighted to discover indie bookshop Black Rock Books nearby. I practice Pilates at Club Pilates at the Sportsplex and have tried great yoga classes at Yoga4Everybody and Yoga Synergy.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom that you are today?
My own mother, Doris Prus Sullivan, set the bar high and was an incredible role model. While her education and early career were in Pediatric Nursing, she was a talented artist who was very involved in creative pursuits and fostered my great love of visual arts and as well as her other passion, literature. My new publish is dedicated to her with love.
What advice would you share with a new mom or other moms?
Don’t delete any photos because they aren’t perfect. Looking back, it’s not the photos that were “textbook perfection” that will bring back the best memories. It’s the image when your toddler experimented with cutting their own hair, or was laughing while not quite getting up on water skis, or a questionable fashion / outfit choice that years later, time stamps a time, place and a moment that you will cherish the most.
We love supporting local businesses – favorite places in Fairfield to…
Have Dinner with Family: We love SGK (daughter Hadley works here when she’s home from college!) Other favorites include Geronimo, Luigi’s, Pepe’s and The Gray Goose
Grab a Drink with Friends: Sophie’s Pizza or Artisan at the Delamar
Have a Date Night: Bonda
Spend time together as a Family: Lunch at Firehouse Deli, trivia night at Craft 260, walks on the beach and experiencing the amazing Memorial Day parade.
Outside Activities: Lake Mohegan has my family’s favorite hiking trails!
Grab coffee: Chef’s Table or The Circle Diner
Favorite Museum: Fairfield Museum —— only in Fairfield:the Revolutionary War fire hydrants and the Halloween MOMbies
Clothing Shop: Boho Prep
Gym: my kids love – The Y
Art Gallery: ARC Fine Art, Greenfield Hill