About Me

Hello, I’m Kristen

Do you know how amazing you are? You’re a mom-to-be or a mom who is pregnant again. Being pregnant is uncomfortable, weird and amazing at the same time. You’ll feel lower back pain, ligment pain, sore feet (and everything really) and baby’s feet in the ribs. But you’ll also experience the cute little hiccups in the belly, the body moving around and watch them suck on their thumb on the ultrasound. 

Then you’ll labor and give birth. BADASS WARRIOR status, yo! You’ll meet your baby for the first time. It’s the first time you meet the baby face-to-face. One of the most important moments of your life. AND…. you’re not going to remember all of it. (No one does, it’s A LOT to process in one day!)

Don’t worry! I’ll be a fly on the wall and capture it all for you so that you’ll remember the day you were born a mother and the day your baby took their first breath in this world. If you want me to be more hands-on, I can also support you as a birth doula. I’ll be your Yoda through your pregnancy, labor, birth and early postpartum journey. Not sure what a doula is? (Don’t worry, most people don’t. Find out more here). 

At a glance

Name: Kristen Schell (she/her pronouns)
Location: Benton Harbor, MI
Serving: Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Holland, Kalamazoo, South Bend and their surrounding areas.
Email: info@kristenschellphotography.com or via contact form.
Phone: 269-849-9677 (call/text)

LGBTQIA+ Affirming: Families comes in all shapes and sizes. Love comes in all different forms and is beautiful. I recognize that not all birthing person identify as woman and may identify as non-binary, trans or other gender identity. I am here to support birthing persons and their partner(s) as they bring a child(ren) into this world.

 

 

 

Photo credit: Kmella Photography

Some Facts About Me…

Favorite Shows to Watch

It’s hard to pick one! I like a lot of different shows for different reasons. Here’s a sample of shows that I enjoy watching… Madam Secretary, Call the Midwife, Warehouse 13, Fringe, Legends of Tomorrow, SuperGirl, Raising Dion, One Day at a Time, The Great British Baking Show, The Legend of She-Ra, Timeless and so on.  

Things I like to do
I’m kinda of crafty. I haven’t painted much since my kid was born…but I love to bake and decorate birthday cakes. It’s nice to see a beginning, middle and end process to a project all in one day! Motherhood is not one of those, because it’s ongoing. For cakes, the end product is pretty AND tasty.  

In the summers, you’ll find me swimming in Lake Michigan, going for walks or camping with my husband David and kiddo, Ryan. 

In the winters and fall, you’ll find me inside my house in a hoodie or a robe staying cozy with a cup of warm cider or hot chocolate. 

How many kids do you have?

Two! My kids are 2 years old and 3 months old (as of October 2020). They are adorable. But gosh. Y’alllllll…Raising tiny humans is so exhausting. It’s an honor to be their mom. It’s a challenge to teach a tiny humans how to experience and navigate through their emotions as they explores this world that can be overwhelming to them sometimes.

Fun Hair Colors
I was born with blond hair. I see that as a blank canvas for something fun every now and then like purple, blue or pink hair. I also have tattoos. I recent got one on my arm that represent motherhood to me – a bird and baby bird snuggling. Awwww!

 

I am a mother, too

My toddler was born in January 2018. I had an empowering birth supported by my husband, sister, and a midwife from The Midwife Center (which by the way is amazing) at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. My baby was born in July 2020 at home in Michigan surrounded by another amazing birth team – homebirth midwives, doula, sister, husband and toddler.

I had a birth photographer at both of my kids’ birth. AND I’m so glad that I did. I was in the zone during the laboring process so I don’t remember a lot that happened. Looking at the pictures remind me what happened and makes me think “oooohhh I AM a badass warrior” and I want every women to experience that. 

After I moved from Pittsburgh to Benton Harbor, I decided to pursue birth photography full-time so that families can remember their children’s BIRTH day. 

I remember when I asked my mom about the day I was born, she couldn’t remember much. I felt sad about that. When my son gets older, he can asked me that question and I will be ready to show him the birth story book with pictures.

Parenthood is HARD. During the dark days, when I question if what I am doing is right? What if I can’t do this? I look at the birth story book and remember. If I carried my baby for nine months and gave birth, I can do anything. I can get through this day. It gives me hope and reminds me that I have more strength within me than I realize AND that I have a support system that I can rely on when I need help or support. 

Also, I realize… that not everyone has an empowering birth experience for whatever reason. So I got trained to be a birth doula and am working towards getting a certification from DONA International. I want to support birthing person during the labor and birth process. I provide physical and emotional support. I also provide evidence-based information so that you feel empowered to make an informed decision in your birthing space. I want every woman to feel supported in whatever decision she makes.

 

This was taken just minutes after my first son was born.
Photo credit: Jessie Renee Photography.

Just like that. My kiddo is almost two years old. The days are long and the years are short.
Photo credit: Kmella Photography

Who Am I?

I am a Birth Doula and Photographer based in Southwest Michigan serving families. I'm based out of Benton Harbor, MI and I serve families in the Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, South Haven and Holland area.

Contact Info

269-849-9677
info@kristenschellphotography.com

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Kristen Schell Photography © 2020