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I Was There Too: Krystle Schofield

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.

A mother holds a camera while talking with her daughter.
Spending time at the beach with the Schofield family.

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.

Two girls play at the beach with their mom.
“It was really nice to see some of the connection moments Kristy caught between myself and my girls. I can’t get selfies of that.” – Krystle

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.”

A father and a daughter write messages in the sand.
“I need to capture this time.” – Krystle

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.”

Sisters examine a ladybug while playing in the water.
“Just being able to show an image of what your kid has done to other families that is really impactful.” – Krystle

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.”

A family creates a seesaw out of found materials at the beach.
“It’s not just the people, it’s the people within the environment.” – Krystle

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.”

Follow Krystle on Instagram or check out her website krystleschofield.com

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.

The front cover of Kristy Wolfe's book Tell Your Story Though Photography

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.

We all need to see ourselves in our story – our strength, our resilience, our struggle and our hope.
I want you to tell your story because

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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