Kristy Van Eck is the creative eyes and mind behind photography business Journey for Kate. Kristy loves documenting the special moments in people’s lives – weddings, family portraits and births … and her unique, sensitive treatment of these moments is testament to how she’s faced her own life experiences – whether magical, or tragic.
Kristy prefers candid, un-posed shots, allowing the natural beauty inherent in every situation to speak for itself through her lens …
Hi Kristy. Introduce us to your family, and tell us a little bit about yourself.
Originally from WA, my husband, Mike, and I have been in Port Mac for the past four years. We’ve lived in a few places around the country, but have fallen in love with the East Coast – we are proud to call the Hastings our home!
I’ve explored many unique and beautiful parts of this world, but by far my biggest adventure started a few months ago when we welcomed our baby boy, Hosea.
“Adventurer” is a label I’ve always liked the sound of, but the term “homebody” would probably more accurately describe me (a bar of black forest chocolate and a good film is all that’s needed to win me over).
What can you share with us about your business, “Journey for Kate”? What’s the story behind the name – if you don’t mind sharing?
Kate was our daughter, who unfortunately died late in my pregnancy with her. It was this intense event in my life that helped me see what I really valued and made me realise I never want to compromise my passion for the sake of getting work.
Creating a new business name was a great way to signify this change; that I only ever want to take on clients who truly love and trust my work.
In honour of Kate, I donate a percentage of all birth shoots to Pregnancy Help Australia, who help support mothers, couples, and families with pregnancy difficulties and loss.
Where did your road to discovery with photography first begin?
I grew up with my mother taking photos for magazines, schools, and for herself – and I always remember having had a camera in my hand. On holidays, my two sisters and I would each be given a disposable camera, and we had the freedom to take whatever photos we wanted.
I’ve always been a creative type (I was the kid who doodled on the margins of her exam paper). My hair colour, fashion sense, and taste in music has always changed, but nothing has stuck with me quite like taking photos and making films.
You describe your photographic style as “candid”. Please expand on this for us …
Being candid to me is being honest.
I don’t like to pose my clients. If a little direction is needed, I give it, but by documenting things as they happen, and capturing people as they are, I find the most memorable and beautiful shots.
What moves/motivates you behind the lens?
I want to capture a groom’s transparent adoration towards his new bride. I want people to see the pure exhausted joy of a mother who’s just met her new baby after hours of hard work. I want to show how much a father loves his daughter as they build a sandcastle on the beach.
My motivation is, and always has been, to create things that matter. And the things that mean something are always authentic and truthful – the beautiful magic of real moments by real people.
Now you’re a mum of a new bub, how do you manage to balance work with family life?
I’m lucky to have an incredibly helpful husband by my side!
I can get emails and editing done while Hosea is asleep, or while Mike is keeping him entertained.
When I’m actually shooting, it’s a bit of a juggling act. For smaller sessions I’ll likely have a sleeping baby attached to me, and for longer jobs like weddings, I’ll keep the little man at home with his dad.
I’ll admit; it’s all a lot harder than I anticipated – newborns are no joke! Things have had to be re-adjusted to compensate for our new routine in life (or lack-there-of!) I know that as I gradually get back into my work, and as our boy gets older and less dependent, we’ll figure out what works best.
What are some of your favourite types of photographic shoots (and why)?
Documenting births will always have a special place in my heart. It is such an amazing thing to photograph or film, and I love that I allow parents to focus purely on each other and their new baby, knowing that the whole experience is documented for them. Plus, there’s no other time where people are more raw and open with what they’re feeling.
What services do you actually offer clients?
Weddings are my primary work, but I offer a few different photography and videography services – from family and portrait sessions, to editorial work and even births!
Videography has been a life-long endeavour for me, and by far one of my favourite things to create. It’s only the past year that I’ve started offering wedding films as a professional service.
Price guides and info packs can be requested via the contact from on my website.
What are your future hopes and dreams?
Film is one of my great passions, so I’d love to improve and delve more into that aspect of my work. It’s always been a dream of mine to one day be involved in at least one major film production. So Spielberg, if you’re reading this – hit me up!
Where can we see more of your work, or contact you?
You can see more of my work and contact me via my website www.journeyforkate.com
I’m also on Instagram (@journey4kate) and can be found on Facebook (www.facebook.com/journeyforkate).