Hi I’m Cris - a photographer turned doula, dedicated to all things surrounding the transition into parenthood. I came to photography and birthwork through my own journey into parenting and since we're going to be new friends, let's skip the third person website talk and get right into it...

vangrol_family_culled164-2.jpg

 

That's us - Rory, Wren, and me - our little family that's plugging along through life in Rochester, NY. When I became that kid's mother I started feeling very lost and alone. His birth was very difficult and my postpartum transition was no better. I didn't know how to cope with having a tiny human who relied on me day-in and day-out and nothing I read or any conversation I had truly prepared me for what I was going through. I retreated and turned to the camera collecting dust on my shelf to work through it all. It was safe. It didn’t try to fix me. It didn’t tell me what I was doing was wrong.

At two and half years postpartum I finally felt I was coming into my own again and then I was surprised with another pregnancy. I was terrified to go through it again but determined to do it different this time. I found a doula certification reading list and started out on a journey to figure out why my birth and postpartum were so difficult for me. While reading Mothering the New Mother by Sally Placksin, it all started making sense and the doula bug bit me. So I kept reading and learning. I made it official when I started postpartum doula training with Childbirth International and then signed up for birth doula training with Carriage House Birth shortly after. 

During my pregnancy I put my doula studies into practice and was much more prepared for birth and the postpartum shift when we welcomed our newest family member Flip Thomas into the world. Realizing the stark difference between my two experiences confirmed what I already knew - it doesn't have to be so hard.

My goal is to walk with you as you figure out your way, to support you through a huge life transition, and to honor you during a really amazingly awesome hard emotionally charged time. All while photographing the moments between you and yours. There will be lots of high-fives and maybe even some tears too because the happy, the sad, the messy, the joyful moments -  all have a place in our human story.