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Real Life

Bucket filled!

This week I got to spend time with an amazing group of photographers at the Real Life Conference in Portland, while at the same time I was the guest moderator for Documentary Family Photogs on Instagram. Both of these opportunities provided a ton of learning and I have so many ideas moving forward.

Each year I create a printed blog book. So this blog post is going to be a compilation of the writing from my #DFPCommunity_takeover Instagram posts this week. The links will take you to some of my favourite photography related things. Some are photographer’s Instagram accounts who have impacted me. Others are hashtags I follow or conferences I have attended. I highly recommend just heading over to the DFP community to see what’s there.

The images this week were all taken during the conference with a Fujifilm X-T mirrorless digital camera a photography friend in Canmore lent me. Just one other thing I learned about this week!


Sunday intro:

Hi friends! I’m Kristy of @kristy.wolfe. I am a storytelling photographer who has recently moved with my family, the #wolfepack, to Canmore, Alberta.

But you guys this week I have ditched all responsibility, well except for this #DFPCommunity_takeover 😉, in order to attend the @reallifeconference in Portland.

I would love if you shared images of learning, whatever that means to you or however your people, both big and small, master new skills. Include #DFP_learn for your chance to be featured here within our #DFPCommunity.

What are you learning right now?

Stopped in at Powell Books


Moving to the mountains means we get to spend a lot more time skiing this year.

My boys, Kane and Mav, have been skiing for a few years now, but I can only imagine how much learning they will do this year.

I can’t wait to find all my ski gear amongst the boxes and get out there. Maybe soon I’ll even be confident enough to ski and photograph at the same time.

What activities have you tried photographing while also participating in? Asking for a friend, your #DFPCommunity_takeover mod @kristy.wolfe

The view from the Portland City Grill


Leaving Edmonton has meant lots of changes, but a big one for me has been leaving my grade one classroom.

Photography was important in our classroom. We talked about photography a lot. We used photos to document student learning. We used photos to build visual literacy skills. And we used photos to develop verbal and written storytelling skills. By the end of the year we had created a Day in the Life of a Grade 1 Student slideshow as a way of showing the kindergarten kids coming up to grade one what to expect.

How do you share your love of photography with your kids? Are they interested in learning about photography?



In September, my six year old son underwent his second open heart surgery. Prior to the surgery we connected with the Child Life specialist at the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

Child Life uses medical play to teach kids about upcoming procedures and provide them with an opportunity to ask questions.

We are so grateful for this learning opportunity for our boys. But, honestly, both my husband and I learned a ton, too.

How do you talk to kids about tough topics?

Your forever grateful medical momma and current #DFPCommunity_takeover mod @kristy.wolfe

A slide I loved


This image is of my son and my husband two days after his heart surgery. Kane’s surgery was 6 weeks ago and due to complications he ended up requiring a pacemaker.

Being a medical mom means I have had to learn to advocate for my son and our family.

Advocating for my family has also taught me a lot about supporting other families in hospital or with medically complex kids.

At Real Life we were talking about what we want our legacy to be. My thoughts always circle back to photographing in hospital. @brookeshaden that is my legacy. I choose to support families in hospital by telling their story.

What is your legacy? What have you learned about yourself?



Thank you @kirstenlphotog for sharing your personal projects with all of us.

When Kirsten was talking about one of the kids she has been following in her project she said “I’ll photograph him until he asks me to stop. It’s his story.” I really appreciated that comment.

I have often struggled with telling my son Kane’s hospital story and then last year Storytellers Photo Conference @ryanchristopherjones suggested doing a diptych project with Kane.

Together is a collaborative project Kane and I are doing to tell OUR story of hospital life.

And I will keep photographing this story until Kane asks me to stop.

And I would love to learn about any collaborative or personal projects you are doing.

Your empowered #DFPCommunity_takeover mod @kristy.wolfe



Documenting life in hospital is so important. Families need to see themselves, their strength, their resilience, their struggle and their hope. Telling stories for families in hospital is what I am passionate about. 

Thank you to my photography mentor @kristine_nyborg for being a sounding board for all of my ideas. I have so many new things to talk to you about after attending Real Life!

@sliceoflovephotography thank you for being there to document our family during Kane’s heart surgery. You were there for me in so many ways and I hope by telling other family’s stories that I can  pay forward the kindness you showed me.  

Who in the photography world are you grateful for?

Check in @kristy.wolfe on Saturday for my final moderator post

Doing the #DFPCommunity_takeover taught me so much about how to use Instagram more effectively. I’m sure I still have a lot to learn. But I’m a big advocate of the “just try it” mindset.  I really appreciate all the people who shared images and engaged with me. Thank you.

Oh and if you are a photographer and/or a medical parent or family member check out my new group, You’re Here for a Reason, on Facebook.

See?!? So many ideas….

Published by Kristy Wolfe Stories

Kristy is an engaging, open, and honest Common Language DST trained digital storytelling facilitator. She has been speaking and teaching workshops on both photography & digital storytelling for 5 years. With a background in the education, healthcare, and non-profit sectors, she works with diverse audiences, prioritizing ethics in storytelling and storyteller wellbeing.

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