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Full Name
Kristen Schmid

I am a freelance photographer based in Springfield, Illinois. I enjoy taking storytelling photographs and lit portraits for a variety of publications and organizations, as well as working on independent documentary projects. I strive for beautiful photos that are smart and caring -- and sometimes funny. My work has appeared in publications ranging from the New York Times and the Washington Post to the Chronicle of Higher Education and the St. Anthony Messenger. My clients include the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. I have received national awards from the National Press Photographers Association, CENTER in Santa Fe, American Photography 27 and FRESH/Klompching Gallery. Previously I was a staff photographer at The State Journal-Register. I have a master's degree from the Missouri School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Art from Stanford University. I am a California native now at home in the Midwest with my husband, Ted, and our sons, Sam and Eli.

Artist's Statement

"Father to Son" explores the way my husband relates to our sons as a male parent, and in turn teaches them what it means to be men. This documentary project is ongoing. I am interested in the ways Ted, 34; Sam, five; and Eli, two; interact, and how that changes over time. My husband's job allows him to spend more time caring for our children than if he had a traditional schedule. He is figuring out how to be a modern dad. I photograph situations that convey what I know to be true and important about these relationships, and that describe their broad emotional spectrum. I am also drawn to what I am surprised to find is true, by what is "natural" for my husband as a father that is different from what I would do as a mother: greater physicality, stronger discipline, more playfulness. The nature/nurture debate is now personal. Which, if any, of my husband and sons' behaviors are part of being male, and which have they learned from their culture and their families? Other photographers have mined the domestic landscape, creating interesting and meaningful work: Elinor Carucci, Sally Mann, Julie Blackmon and Jessica Todd Harper, to name a few. I am photographing the dramas and comedies of our home to reveal parenting’s quiet everyday struggles and triumphs, and how gender shapes them. The project is long-term. My goals are to exhibit the project and to create a book. The photographs will chronicle Ted’s evolution as a father, the boys’ growth into men, and their developing relationships.




Member for
3 years 38 weeks