It’s hard to find the words to describe this über talented, down-to-earth, creative dynamo. Kristy Lee Hague exudes this certain charm that invites you in and makes you feel… wonderful. Her natural beauty, wicked sense of honour, zest for life and obvious raw talent is inspiring, and yet Kristy has this unassuming quality about her… Like she is oblivious to how gorgeous and truly talented she is.
Soul Sister Circle chats to Kristy about life, inspiration and following your passion.
SSC: You haven’t always been a photographer. Can you share a little bit about what lead you down this new path?
KRISTY: Ive always had a passion for photography whether it be film and dark room practices at high school, to the new digital age. I enjoy capturing people in the moment and have a love of light and how it shapes things.
When I had my son 6 years ago I decided to give up my job as an Interior designer/Merchandiser and dabble in creating an organic & bamboo range of children’s shirts. The concept behind the shirts was to have photographs on the shirts with captions. The more i got my camera out to shoot for the shirts the more I realised that the passion I had was for taking the photographs, not fashion. It was then I decided to follow my passion whole heartily.
SSC: Was it tough deciding to throw your old career and start over again?
KRISTY: Its always a little scary giving up what you know to make room for the new but I was definitely ready to expand my creativity. I was more than ready to take on the new experience. If I didn’t make a career out of it, I knew either way I would benefit from learning more.
SSC: You went back to school in order to follow your dream of becoming a photographer. What was that like?
KRISTY: It was a little daunting at first, but I soon realised that it was an adult learning environment and everyone in the room wants to learn, develop and help each other grow. Creative fields are hard when getting assessed as there are guidelines and rules to follow but I feel there is no right or wrong. The trick is to push the boundaries and bend the rules to develop into your own style.
SSC: What was the biggest personal hurdle you had to overcome when starting your own business?
KRISTY: Having the confidence and believing in myself was a challenge. Its one thing taking pictures for family and friends for the love of it but heading out in the real world and hoping that customers saw in the images what I saw was another. The other major struggle was juggling motherhood and balancing my time. There were plenty of times I would be getting quality time with my son during the day only to be up all night when he was tucked away in bed. There is a trick to balancing time and I think every mum has to find this.
SSC: Do you ever experience nerves before a shoot? If so how do you manage them?
KRISTY: I suppose before every shoot I get a little nervous. I think thats all part of it. I always have something in mind but you never know what’s going to happen, whether it be a change in weather, light or the subject. I tend to draw on the nervous tension and the energy it creates use to make the most out of every situation no matter what it has in store for me.
SSC: As an artist, you are always vulnerable to other peoples judgements and opinions. how do you deal with criticism from others?
KRISTY: I definitely take on board peoples opinions but i think you need to stay true to yourself and make sure you stick to what you have seen in the picture in the first place. As a photographer there are so many different styles. I like to think of every picture as its own little work of art. I like telling stories in the pictures and if someone criticises my work I take it on board but if I believe I have captured what had what I had in mind for that image in the first place and stay true to my style then I am happy . I am always open to suggestions, learning new things to grow.
SSC: You recently photographed the inaugural Soul Sister Circle event, Ignite. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience?
KRISTY: WOW what an experience. I usually go through with the client a run down of the event before it takes place so I had a little bit of an idea about the night but didn’t realize what was going to unfold. There was such warm energy in the room and plenty of emotion and friendly faces to capture. It was an event that fed all your senses from the gorgeous smelling candles, the yummy organic spread of food and fresh cold pressed juices to the the beautifully styled room with the wandering gypsies dancing around and the inspiring heartfelt guest speaker Beata Alfoldi and of course the beautiful voice of Ashleigh Mannix to finish off the night. It was lovely to meet such a amazing talented group of ladies.
SSC: You captured so many beautiful images that evening, and we barely even noticed you were there. How do you manage to capture such powerful intimate moments without being intrusive?
KRISTY: Thank you, I like to step back and assess the behavior and the atmosphere of the room before I snap away always looking to capture the essence of the event and the real moments unfolding. I like to capture the moment. I try to stay one step ahead, for example, If there is a conversation going on you can tell by the body language if someone is telling a joke so i wait for the moment of reaction rather than snapping away at something with no feeling. The intimate moments are always best to capture a feeling but there is a fine line in capturing the moments and being intrusive. I guess i just balance the situation to what suits.
SSC: How would you describe you photography style?
KRISTY: It’s hard to put my finger on it. I’m always trying to develop my style. I’m said by one of my mentors to have a ‘soft bohemian style’.
SSC: Where do you draw your inspiration?
Sometimes you need to stop and take in your surroundings whether it be how the sunlight hits the water diffused by the clouds, the people interacting on the street or the buildings and architectural surroundings whether it be old or new. I’m always looking at the light and how it shapes things whether it is natural light, artificial light or the flicker of the candlelight. I also have an obsession with magazines I thoroughly enjoy flicking through a good magazines and drawing inspiration from pictures and stories I read, I’m actually building quite a collection.
SSC: In addition to events what other photography so you do.
KRISTY: I do events, weddings, fashion, portraits, family, newborn, products and I’m always up for new creative projects.
SSC: What advice would you give to someone who is looking for a photographer to shoot their professional head shots or product shots?
KRISTY: You need to feel comfortable with the photographer you choose. A lot of work goes in behind the scenes of each image and the photographer and client need to feel comfortable and be on the same level with what outcome they want to achieve a good result.
SSC: Finally is there anything exciting in the pipeline for Klee Photography that you would like to share?
KRISTY: I’m off to Vietnam in October to shoot a wedding which is very exciting. Not only do I get to shoot a wedding within different surroundings and culture but I also want to try get some travel shots while I’m over there. I really want to get in touch with the people and their surroundings and capture some true pictures of the Vietnamese and their culture.
I count myself very lucky and I’m very grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had so far.
Isn’t it a great thing when a career and passion can come together!