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Meet Cristina King

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cristina King.

Cristina, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Like most photographers, I had been documenting my entire life with a camera from a very young age. I’ve always been a storyteller. When it was time to get serious about my career, I chose to work in television. I was in the tv industry for about five years and that’s how long it took for me to realize that was not the energy I wanted to be around. So I left television and jumped right into Birth Photography.

Yep – you read that right – Birth Photography. The way it happened was through a simple discovery on Instagram; I came across birth photos and was immediately moved by the imagery. This is someone (hi, me) who had not planned on ever becoming a mother, suddenly entranced by birth and the strength behind every image. So I dove right in.

I was so lucky to have a doula in my life to help point me in the right direction; I followed her lead with what books to read and how to educate myself on birth and the birthing world (shoutout to Brittany Revo). After photographing my first birth (for free), I knew there was no turning back. Partly because after witnessing my first birth, something inside of me began to heal. What that is, I’m still learning. So naturally, I never left.

Flash forward to Covid 2020 and the halt it’s caused on my business. The year 2020 has yielded very little births for me. The last birth I photographed (and my 9th birth) was in February of 2020. I miss it, but I’m being patient. I’m trusting in the universe and its timing. I am following some of the mantras I’ve heard just by being witness to birth; trust and lean in.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s hard to answer the question because my struggles really began when COVID forced our country to shut down. Families were too scared to have anyone but their own families around, hospitals were forcing people to birth alone, and hell, I was even scared to be around people. COVID really forced everyone, including my job, to push people away.

Aside from COVID, my biggest struggle has been gaining exposure. But every once in a while, I’ll have a small bolt of lightning strike within me and suddenly, I’m off with a new idea on how to gain some notoriety. And when I have periods of stillness & no shoots, I take advantage and educate myself about photography. I’m a firm believer that one never stops learning – a true master owns that. So, I go on YouTube (A LOT), and I watch videos on editing, shooting, even videos outside of Birth Photography. You never know where the most valuable piece of education is going to come from.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a family photographer who specializes in birth. Before the pandemic, I told myself I only wanted to do birth photography. If I could pick ONE thing, let it be birth! But then I stopped receiving inquiries about birth & instead received them about family shoots/newborn shoots; a direction I was pretty sure I didn’t want to go down. But I’m not one to turn down a new opportunity, so I started saying yes. And then I realized, why do I have to pick ONE niche? Who’s rule did I pick up and take for myself?

Then begins my adventure with family photography. I knew I wanted to set myself apart from the other million family photographers out there and I knew it had to be in a way where I was staying true to myself. So, I began to ask myself a million questions. The main one being: who am I? I sat on that for a while until finally the answer emerged: I’m a storyteller.

I quickly changed my approach to family photography – rather than take pretty portraits, I wanted to tell the story of my client’s lives, the way it is right now: real, raw, unfiltered (similar to birth). Whenever I look through some of my old photographs and my eyes catch a detail in the background that I had forgotten about over the years (maybe a gigga-pet or a CD player), my heart leaps into clouds of nostalgia and soars through the memories almost as if they come back to life. This is the feeling I hope to offer my clients when they look back on their sessions with me. Don’t put away the mess, leave the toys out, because one day you’ll give anything to be back there again.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
If you are looking to be a family and/or birth photographer, the lucky thing is, you can start anywhere where there are families! Some photographers might advise you to move to a bigger city where people can afford to pay you a more desirable, sustainable rate. But that is at the discretion of the photographer.

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