Charm Convo with Ma Petite Shoe’s Stephanie Guttenplan


Okay, I am pretty obsessed with Ma Petite Shoe lookbooks. Therefore, the journalist in me decided to do some investigating to find out who is the creative mind behind these visually stunning lookbooks.

Well, it’s Stephanie Guttenplan! She is Ma Petite Shoe’s amazing in-house web manager and photographer. A few weeks ago, we met up at Mezze’s,  a cool indie restaurant in Fells Point, to talk about shoes, photos, and fashion.
(Photo by Stephanie Guttenplan).

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is full of chunky accessories. I like mixing colors that normally people won’t. I accessorize my accessories. It’s all about like five rings and five necklaces. Then, add some really simple clothes.

What is one pair of shoes at Ma Petite Shoe on your wish list?

I hold them hostage in the office. There’s one pair of shoes I love that I took pictures with and I even model with. It’s this Jeffery Campbell shoe with a tribal print on the side. It’s like really big and bulky.  I had to the model for an upcoming lookbook and I was like I don’t look bad in that.

I like a Gee’ WaWa shoe, too.  I’ll be moving to New York City for grad school and I don’t know if I will be able to pull that off on the New York City streets. I may end up in the hospital. I not that very talented on my feet. I still love high towered shoes.
(Photo by Stephanie Guttenplan).

What is your favorite type of shoes to wear?

I am obsessed with boots. When I’m wearing sandals, I’m feeling really comfortable with my feet. I’m kind of weird about my feet. But, everyone else has beautiful feet.
(Photo by Stephanie Guttenplan).

How did you land your job at Ma Petite Shoe?

Okay, I’m from Atlanta originally. It was like stay in Baltimore and do something with my degree. Or.  go back home,  live in the basement and wait to find something to do with my degree.

When Ma Petite Shoe called back and said they liked me . . . I was like okay, I can do this. At first, I was freakin’ out and then, I told them that I was a photographer and I could contribute with lookbooks. They allowed me to use my talents.

What do you enjoy the most about working at Ma Petite Shoe?

The people who work there are all different and funky. They all have their own unique personalities. We have social events and work well together.
It’s  like artsy fartsy people. Everyone has their own contributions. It’s a Ma Petite Shoe family.
(Photo by Stephanie Guttenplan).

What do you do to prep for lookbooks?

I freak out a little bit. I have to take an outfit and put it next to a shoe. I look for accessories to match the shoe and the outfit. I go to the location of the lookbook before and take photos of everything. We usually have a model stand in or sometimes I have to be the model.

I make layouts. I look through lookbooks and different poses for inspiration. It’s a lot of man work for everyone at Ma Petite Shoe. Sometimes I come up with an idea late night and I fall asleep a happy woman.

What has been your favorite place to shoot a Ma Petite Shoe lookbook? What do you remember about the shoot?

The latest one in the garden [Warmer Months Hampden Collaboration Lookbook]. I got to make-up everything. I really wanted to do an outdoor shoot and I am really into digitally altering photos. I was like Andy, I want five of you.

My digital editing/multiplying  has become an obsession. I was editing an up and coming lookbook and I found myself doing it. It’s kind of like my trademark.
(Photo by Stephanie Guttenplan).
With the next one, I’m trying to make it more catelogy and have a how to wear guide. Showing people you can wear really chunky clogs without looking outrageous. I had this Loft skirt and I don’t usually shop there. But, it’s kind of amazing. I wore it on the shoot and did a how to with the skirt.

I kind of snuck in some doubles of me. They probably won’t make the final cut, but I had to do it.

What are some things you like to do when you aren’t at Ma Petite Shoe?

I am getting more into painting because I’m going to grad school in September in New York. I want to make sure my skills are up there because I am going to one of the top 4 art schools in the world.  I want to be able to paint on my photography. I want to be able to combine traditional with my crazy digital.
(Photo by Stephanie Guttenplan).

What inspired you to become a photographer?

My dad was really into photography. I grew up surrounded by sassy, atmospheric  photography. My dad isn’t so into the fashion, but my mom was a fashion major. She was a fashion artist, but she doesn’t really sew anymore. It’s a combination of both that inspired me to be a photographer.