Capturing the essence of special moments requires a unique blend of artistry, storytelling, and an eye for detail. Kristy Visscher, the talented photographer behind Kinship by Kristy, has mastered the art of creating timeless and authentic photographs that beautifully document weddings.
With a passion for fine art and a deep understanding of the emotions that unfold on a couple's big day, Kristy's work stands out in the world of wedding photography. In this exclusive interview, we delve into Kristy's journey, her approach to photography, and the personalized experience she creates for each couple.
Join us as we uncover the inspirations, techniques, and creative insights that make Kristy's work truly exceptional...
How did you develop your passion for fine art and wedding photography, and what drew you to this particular genre?
I discovered my passion for photography in my mid-20s while living on Bondi Beach. Capturing the beautiful coastal sunrises sparked my interest, and it grew over time as I began photographing families and births during my own maternity leave from a corporate job. After shooting my first wedding, I knew I would never go back to the corporate world. Despite the challenges of managing a business with two young babies, I was determined to pursue my true passion.
In the early days of my photography journey, I focused on capturing births and families. I was deeply inspired by low-light situations and sought to create images that authentically portrayed the connections between people in love. As time went on, weddings became my primary focus. These remarkable occasions encompassed dreamy aesthetics, heartfelt moments of connection, meticulous planning, and abundant joy. I've always had a profound appreciation for timeless, elegant black and white imagery, and my couples and their unique stories during their wedding day continue to inspire me.
What sets Kinship by Kristy apart from other wedding photographers, and how do you ensure a unique and personalised experience for each couple?
The distinguishing factor for any photography business lies in the person behind the camera. Each photographer is unique, as we all perceive the world differently. This inherent individuality guarantees a distinct and personalised experience for my couples. To create this personalised experience, I make it a point to learn about my couples before their special day. By understanding what they value most in their wedding imagery, I tailor their final gallery to match their expectations.
How do you approach capturing the emotional moments and candid interactions during weddings to create timeless and authentic photographs?
My approach is warm and gentle. I believe that beauty resides in honesty, and the most genuine and beautiful moments occur when people are undisturbed. While my work has an editorial edge, the majority of a wedding day is captured in a documentary style, as it naturally unfolds.
During portrait sessions, I may incorporate a glass of bubbles, a prop, or a few conversation starters to encourage intimate moments. I request that my couples avoid looking directly at the camera, and I aim to infuse movement into my galleries. If my couples feel uncomfortable, we may take a walk, as natural movement helps people feel at ease and look and feel more like themselves.
Can you describe your photography style in three words?
Ethereal, Editorial, and Bespoke.
In what ways do you incorporate natural light and the surrounding environment into your photography to create a sense of intimacy and connection?
Light is the cornerstone of my work. It sets the atmosphere, mood, romance, and allure of each image. When shooting a scene, the first thing I consider is the lighting as it shapes the overall ambiance of the entire gallery. I am deeply guided by the interplay of light and the environment, determining where and how I shoot.
What steps do you take to ensure a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for couples during their wedding photoshoots?
Creating a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere begins from our first meeting. Building rapport and trust with my clients prior to their wedding day is of utmost importance to me. This foundation allows me to capture real and honest interactions throughout the day, starting from the morning preparations. To establish this connection, I have Zoom meetings, phone chats, and often conduct a location scout with my clients. Pre-wedding shoots are also a great way to get to know each other better, and they help anxious couples relax on their big day.
On the wedding day itself, I adjust my energy to match that of the couple. If they are goofy and playful, I join them. If they are quiet and nervous, I adopt a calming and reassuring presence. It's essential to read the room and adapt accordingly.
How do you work with couples to understand their vision and preferences, and how do you incorporate their input into the creative process?
It's crucial for all vendors involved in a wedding to align with the couple's vision and preferences. I take the time to learn about my couples, their dream day, and what matters most to them before they book my services. Ensuring our styles and visions are aligned prior to booking is a priority. I encourage my couples to explore my social media, website, and portfolio, and I share complete galleries to give them a sense of the final product.
Once they have booked, we discuss their favourite photos of mine and the images they value the most. I then tailor their final gallery to ensure it reflects our earlier discussions.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer and seeking to capture the essence of their special day?
Research, research, research! Find photographers whose work you adore and follow their social media accounts, browse their websites, and read their blogs. Falling in love with a photographer's work is paramount. Keep in mind that photographers have distinct styles, so it's crucial to align your preferences with their artistic approach before reaching out.
Could you share some insights into the post-production process, including how you edit and enhance photographs to bring out their full artistic potential?
After importing all the images into Narrative Select for backup, I select around 2,000 files and import them into Lightroom. I then edit the chosen images, make a few adjustments in Photoshop, and export around 100 pictures into Pic-time for my clients' preview collection. This selection represents their entire day, beautifully telling their story. I provide this preview within three days. Subsequently, I edit and deliver 500-900 images in a meticulously arranged Pic-time gallery, which is typically ready for delivery within 5-10 weeks after the wedding day.
Can you describe a specific project or collaboration that challenged you creatively and resulted in stunning and unexpected photographs?
In the early stages of my wedding photography career, a local bridal designer invited me to collaborate on a shoot featuring her bridal gowns. She specifically requested super low-light, moody imagery. This collaboration allowed me to push my creative boundaries with light while capturing images in an editorial style for her brand. Collaborations like these provide incredible opportunities to explore new ideas, network, and challenge oneself creatively and professionally. I strive to engage in at least two collaborations each year during quieter months. This particular shoot ignited my passion for photographing bridal fashion.
Looking back since starting your brand, is there anything you would do differently?
In retrospect, I wish I had discovered my passion for photography and left my corporate job earlier, a few years before having children. However, it was becoming a mother that led me to photography and motivated me to leave my previous role. So, I am grateful to my children for giving me that extra push.
What advice would you offer to aspiring photographers?
Be yourself and avoid comparing yourself to others. Your unique perspective and way of processing the world are your superpowers. Seek workshops and education from artists who inspire you. Take risks and embrace the possibility of failure. Sometimes, the best way to learn and grow is by diving headfirst into the deep end.
Our readers love to travel. Where do you call home, and what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
I call Gippsland, a regional area in Victoria, Australia, my home. It's about a 1.5-hour drive east of Melbourne. As for my bucket list destination, I would love to take my children to Europe, with Italy being our first stop.
Where can people find out more?
You can find me on Instagram at @kinshipbykristy or visit my website at www.kinshipbykristy.com.