I Was There Too is a series of conversations I am having with other medical moms and photographers who are telling stories of life for families with medical complexities.
Meet Krystle Schofield.
I originally met Krystle at The Real Life Photography Conference last November. A mutual photography friend had told each of us about the other. I have to say it’s not often that I meet a documentary family photographer, who is also a medical mom AND lives in Canada!
During our trip to Oregon, Krystle and I spent an evening chatting and I learned she is a karaoke rock star! Possibly the one thing that scares the pants off me is karaoke!
Krystle and I both ended up enrolling in Kristine Nyborg’s 21 Weeks photography workshop and were able to learn more about each other and how important we feel it is to see ourselves in our own story. Our plan to meet up on Vancouver Island got sidetracked with covid chaos but we still managed to catch up on China Beach where we met each other’s kids and took a few photos.
Watch the conversation to learn more about Krystle’s journey both as a medical mom and a documentary photographer.
Below are a few excerpts from our conversation that stuck out for me. They are time stamped for your convenience in case you want to skip ahead to a particular topic of conversation.
A Documentary Family Photographer is Born
1:50 “When I had my first daughter that’s when I started to explore documentary photography. It really came to me one day when I was home by myself, it was one of those chaotic moments, I was adapting to being a parent…I looked down and I’m wearing one shoe. I thought to myself this is total chaos. I need to capture this time. So I took a self-portrait.”
Photography as Medical Mama Therapy
4:02 “My therapy and way of connecting with her, with this new little baby that I couldn’t take home with me for all that time, was to take pictures everyday. Every week I would print the pictures. We had this huge white canvas so I started to take the pictures and tape them to the canvas. I was able to look back and process.”
Documenting Other Rare Disease Families
9:43 “A lot of these families are living these extraordinary lives. The stuff that has become their normal to the average person might seem quite wild. I wanted to showcase the positivity in that.”
Krystle’s 21 Weeks Project
12:50 “I decided to focus in on my own story. I was getting ahead of myself I wanted to tell other stories but I hadn’t really learned how to tell my own story.”
13:20 “It’s evolving. It was really focused on our time in the NICU and what that meant for me as a mother.”
Connecting Through Images
19:30 “Connecting with other families is really valuable. My daughter has Radial Aplasia. She is missing a bone in her arm. There’s a lot of conversation about things like how do we get her to ride a bike, one arm is shorter than the other. Just being able to show an image of what your kid has done to other families that is really impactful.”
Tell Your Story Through Photography
23:25 “There’s a lot to be said about capturing the environment. It’s not just the people, it’s the people within the environment.”
I Was There Too: A session with Kristy
31:10 “That was an awesome experience. To be honest we have not had a lot of photographs taken of us. Our time together felt like just a hang out. I really appreciated how casual it was. That’s the thing that’s amazing about documentary photography. It really is just you being you in your day.”
Interested in sharing your own story through photography?
Well you’re in luck, I wrote a book about exactly that!
Added bonus: when you buy the book you are supporting other caregivers in seeing themselves in their own story. Proceeds from the book go towards Pay It Forward photography sessions for medical, special needs and palliatives families.
I also offer a complimentary series of emails and an accompanying planning page for people interested in learning to use photography to tell their own story.