Author Archives: Kristen

En Caul Homebirth

Dear ones,

It has been just over a year since I had the good fortune to document this birth. This birth was transfomational not only for me as a photographer, but for me as a woman. Here for the first time I witnessed a woman completely in her power and supported 10000000000%. Jennifer Stroh, of Cloud 9 Birth, is not only mama’s good friend from childhood, but is also a fantastic doula. The support she gave to mama Emily was immense and ceaseless. See for yourself below.

South Coast Midwifery midwives and support staff attended, and they were fabulous. Little did we know, Dexter came out en caul, and they were thrilled I was able to capture this special birth.

Beyond this, Emily’s husband Daniel was there to support, as well as Emily’s mom, but most importantly there was little Ansley. She was so happy to be with mama during this transition time in their lives. How she mirrored her mama was incredible! The love and genuine concern she showed when her mama was laboring down and during delivery brought tears to most of our eyes. What a sweet pea!

The birth high from this birth was hard to describe. It felt genuinely like a birth done well, right, and good. Like a good movie you want to watch over and over again.





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Posted in Birth Photography, Birth Photos, Doula, En Caul, homebirth, Orange County, South Coast Midwifery Tagged , , , , , , , |

5 years


In the past 5 years…


ushered in new life

watched a loved one pass away

witnessed loved ones wade through the depths of grief and heartbreak

watched a loved one’s beautiful mind leave us

felt the deep meaning and connection of family

walked with several friends through heartbreak and divorce

learned of the many reasons why affairs happen

watched in awe as my children learn and grow and fight and play and love

lost my brain as I thought I knew it and am learning how to use the one I actually have

lost my body as I thought I knew it and am learning how to love the one I actually have

crashed against rock bottom

felt the deepest rage

felt the deepest love

have been courageous

have been way out beyond my comfort zone and feeling of safety

tried to support and then watched a family fall apart and fall deeper into poverty

have been to places in our own city/country that not many dare see

saw vistas so beautiful I cried and my heart sang

photographed most of them all

communed with poetry and music and nature

heard of and supported close loved ones battle their own minds and emotions

lost a friend to a deep and unknowable abyss

went through a midlife crisis without shaving off my hair

(The best lines my hair defender said, “It’s not your hair. Focus on self care, your body, your self-image instead.)

pierced my nose!

got drunk too many times to count

danced like no one was watching

sang at the top of my lungs

felt damn sexy

laughed for no good damn reason

said way too many stupid things

overshared then overshared some more

apologized and apologized and apologized

met and participated in multiple new life giving and affirming communities

found and lost a career?

felt heartbreak several times over for not only myself but especially for many thousands of people I don’t even know

shook my fist at God and asked God why?

tried to seek answers that I still can’t find answers to

became okay with not knowing

participated anyway


got high


fell out of love and in love all over again

felt deep and utter suffering and despair

battled addiction

battled sleep deprivation

cried and fought over money

gave money to those who need it more

made the best love

felt profound compassion

swore because it felt good

learned how to ask for and receive help

learned how to stand up for myself

learned the meaning of saying no

learned to recognize and acknowledge when I need to speak up/out

played, laughed, rejoiced, delighted, renewed, gave up, let go

sought the right and best help and let go of the no longer needed help

fell in love with several cameras and film

fell in love with countless photos and photographers (Salt of the Earth!)

felt my desire/talent deeply acknowledged

met artists and accepted my place as an artist

learned the meaning of “yes, and”

kicked shame to the curb and told it to go F itself

grew passionate about wolves and graffiti and mothers and babies

spent way too many hours on the internet

spent way more hours with my people

sought and sought and sought and sought some more

spiraled down and spiraled up

felt spirit move within and around me

grew exponentially

In essence:

I have loved.

I have lived.

I know who I am.

I know my worth.

I know my purpose.

I listen to the Secret that sits at the middle and knows.

I may forget, but will constantly seek to remember.

I am deeply satisfied.

Posted in Personal

Black and White: A Simple Story


My little snuggle bug. I couldn’t believe I caught this pose with harsh Rembrandt lighting. Shot on a cheap point and shoot with cheap 35mm film and converted to black and white in post.


The simple remark came out of the blue this morning. My son likes to tell “jokes” about things he thinks are funny. He is the youngest child after all; it is his duty. I see the smile flash and his eyes light up. I know one of his little jokes is coming, and I smile in anticipation:

“Mommy! Isn’t this funny? I saw someone with BLACK skin yesterday! Even their face was black and also on their fingers! Isn’t that funny?”

Oh, boy. That punch in the gut hurt. Didn’t see that one coming. Recover, pause, breathe.

Thinking quickly:
“Honey”, I said, “Who else do you know that has black skin? Does teacher ——- have black skin? What about teacher ——–? Doesn’t my friend ——- have black skin and your friend ——–?”

Grins sheepishly:
“Yes! …but isn’t it funny?”

I look away, infuriated by his innocence. He doesn’t know, I remember. Deeper breaths, longer pause. I’m going to have to go deep.

Serious of all serious mother tones:
“Actually, it is not funny. Because they were born with that color skin and there isn’t anything they can do to change it. Can they change the color of their skin?”

Smile wiped from face:

“And what if they who have black skin turned to you and said, ‘Look at him! He has WHITE skin! Isn’t that so funny! He is soooo different.’ Would you like that?”

Clouds forming behind his eyes, oh this sweet boy just got it:
“No.” he says, his lip quivering.

The mother softness returns, and before his tears come I pull him in for a hug:
“I know you wouldn’t like it which is why we never say that the color of someone’s skin is funny. I love you, and now you understand.”

He is four years old, and has just had his first informal lesson of many on empathy between races.

Posted in Personal

The Streett Family Christmas Portraits

Mimi and John Streett and my parents have been as thick as thieves for years now. So when Mimi requested a family Christmas portrait session during my visit home, it was like asking if I was willing to photograph members of my own family. When Mimi requested that we use the grounds of St. Vincent’s School for Boys for our photo shoot, my heart skipped a beat. Growing up in Marin County, California, I knew St. Vincent’s to be on my top locations list for photo sessions in Marin. We were able to organize the session the day after Christmas… and every single member of her family wore red and brought their blue eyes! The littlest Streett is the first grandchild and wow, did she not inherit every good gene from both of her parents? I couldn’t keep my camera off her.

Without much further ado… The Streett Family!

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Posted in Family Photography, Family Photos, Marin County, Portrait Photography, San Rafael, St. Vincent's School for Boys

St. Vincent’s School for Boys

Marin County, California is where I was raised. One of the more beautiful churches and stunning wedding venues in Marin is St. Vincent’s School for Boys. Here are some images I took recently after a family portrait session there.

The cows at the end though… I asked them to line up for a family photo, and they obliged! Silly cows.

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Posted in Marin County, Personal, St. Vincent's School for Boys Tagged , , |

The littlest Sheik: Sneak Peek

This past weekend a new baby entered our world and I was able to be there to witness his birth. Cheryl is a photographer friend, and asked if I could photograph her babies birth. I was so happy that she asked! A longer post will be coming soon, but I just wanted to share a few images for Cheryl and her incredible husband Kevin. Her mom, her husband, and the amazing midwives at Beach Cities Midwifery were an incredible support team for Cheryl. Cheryl herself was a most focused mama, and I was so impressed with her calm and centered demeanor as she delivered her baby boy.

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Posted in Beach Cities Midwifery, Birth Center Birth, Birth Photography, Birth Photos Tagged , , , |

The Garcia Family

Baby Olivia joined us on this planet a little over a month ago, and her delightful parents invited me over to their home in Burbank to take some photos. Olivia has a ton of jetblack hair, and beautiful brown eyes. Her mommy and daddy are the luckiest parents in the world to have her, and she them.


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Posted in At Home, Burbank, Family Photography, Family Photos, Los Angeles, Newborn Photography, Newborn Photos, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , |

If I could…

…make pictures on Black and White medium format film all day, everyday, and twice on Sunday, I would die happy.

I cannot even describe with words how much these images mean to me.

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Ilford HP5 shot on a Hasselblad 500cm

Posted in At Home, Personal, Portrait Photography

The Segal Family

I had the pleasure of photographing the fun and funny Segal family recently at Franklin Canyon Park in Beverly Hills, CA.

This tight knit family was super easy to photograph and have fun with. I also fell in love with mom and dad’s Christmas/complimentary colored shoes!

This was my first Hybrid family photoshoot. Hybrid simply means that I shot both in digital and film. The images featured here are digital images, but as soon as I get my film images from the awesome FINDlab, I will post the side by side images here…



Posted in Beverly Hills, Family Photography, Family Photos, Franklin Canyon, Los Angeles, Portrait Photography, Uncategorized

Family Portrait FUNdraiser for UPNS

Recently I hosted a Family Portrait FUNdraiser for my son’s amazing cooperative preschool, University Parents Nursery School, here in Los Angeles.

This will be my family’s last year at UPNS, and the thought of that gives me a lump in my throat. We’ve been attached to this community for 4 years now!

What makes UPNS amazing is its diversity, loving teachers, and caring parents who actually work in the classrooms. We really get to know each child and each other.

One of my favorite things is getting people out in nature, and as many families had never been to Franklin Canyon Park, this was the obvious choice for our family sessions. From the winding trails and roads, turtle and duck pond, and falling leaves it was a great backdrop. We had our first blast of fall weather that weekend, which made dressing up in sweaters and fall boots realistic in our normally warm climate.

Here are some of my favorites from the weekend of family portrait sessions:

Franklin Canyon Beverly Hills, CA Family Portrait Photo

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Posted in Beverly Hills, Family Photography, Family Photos, Franklin Canyon, Los Angeles, Portrait Photography