February 28, 2021

Crystal Kells on photography and rasing her son devoid gender perceptions

We came across this very interesting mom who is surely going by her own rules in parenting. As we got in touch with Crystal Kells for the interview, the story shared reveals a delicate part of being able to live without boundaries or see life through a layered approach.

Meet Crystal from Hamilton- Ontario in Canada, a mum and a photographer  specializing in child and family portraits. Her posts on several platforms, on raising her son in gender neutral terms particularly in attire is raising eyebrows from many in the online world. It is perhaps because perceptions are broken and it is interesting to see how Crystal and her family is taking this attitude in a positive stride.

Picture credits- Crystal Kells and www.kellsnaturalphotography.com 

“ My husband gives his full support on this issue as well.  Cian, my son does indeed get asked sometimes why he’s wearing a dress by other children, but he responds with, “because I like them.”  and that seems to be enough of an answer. I just want my son to be happy.  Isn’t that what we all really truly dream of in life?  To be truly happy?  What more can a parent ask for?”

In person, I haven’t had too many people find it strange.  Most people are VERY supportive, encouraging and happy about it.  Online is a different story of course.  I get a lot more hate mail and comments there; most likely because those people feel safe hiding behind their computers.

I got into photography because of my son.  I started taking pictures of him after he was born in 2012 then progressed to taking pictures for friends and then chose to take a go at making a business out of it.  When Cian was 2, I made the decision to go full time with my photography business and haven’t looked back.  It was the best decision I ever made. I’m living my dream.

I primarily shoot families and children, as that is indeed my passion, but I also take on a few weddings each year.  I’m actually going to be starting a photography project where I will be doing a series of shoots with mothers and their children to talk about Post Partum Depression and Anxiety.

I enjoy working with children and families the most.  I love seeing these amazing little children be happy and adorable with their families.  I love capturing these special moment for parents to have for years to come.

Photography credits- Crystal Kells and www.kellsnaturalphotography.com 

Talking on a few tips that parents can look for during photo shoots for children, she shares, “ Let the professional do their job and don’t stress!  If you’ve found the right photographer, your images are going to be beautiful.  Don’t expect your children to be perfect.  Capture them as they are now or in that moment and celebrate it.  Some of mine and my client’s favourite images are when the child is being difficult… but then I do something to get that little smirk and it’s perfect!

Try to coordinate instead of matching!  Find 2-3 colours for your family’s wardrobe and dress everyone within that colour pallet.  You’ll all look well put together without looking exactly the same.

It is also important to relax and take deep breaths. If you are doing a shoot with your children, you need to be calm.  The more stressed out you are or worrying about getting the perfect shot, the more anxious your child is going to be.  They feed off of your energy.  Lastly -make the investment.  Find a photographer who’s work you LOVE, not just the cheapest.  These portraits will last a life time.  Don’t take the risk of being disappointed.”

All picture credits- Crystal Kells and www.kellsnaturalphotography.com 


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