We caught up with the super talented and lovely Kristen Curette of Stocksy Contributing duo Kristen Curette and Daemaine Hines to talk shop.
Read the interview to learn how they manage chaos and burnout, how they get inspired, and nab some newbie advice and great book recommendations while you’re at it.
How did you get into photography/cinematography?
I was obsessed with the magazine editorial photography when I was a child. I covered my room in all the different pages & images. When I got to high school I became the school photographer & was introduced to film photography. We used a 35mm camera to shoot all our school photos. This hobby soon flourished into a passion. I would see other really talented photographers creating powerful, extraordinary work, and I found myself always asking: ‘Could I do that?’ In college I started shooting more creative portraits & then moved into wedding photography. From there my work has expanded to include lifestyle & travel stock photography.
What do you wish you knew when you started out as an artist/creator?
Find a mentor & don’t be afraid to ask for help. I had to learn this one the hard way. Early on I thought if I just rolled my sleeves up & worked really hard that I would eventually get to where I wanted in my career. Over the past years, I’ve realized that everyone really successful has coaches and mentors. It’s like being a professional athlete – they have a great circle of support (from coaches, doctors and sports psychologist) that help them reach their goals – so as creative professionals we should be doing the same. Elevate your circle so you can elevate your mindset.
How did you find out about Stocksy and what made you decide to join?
I found Stocksy while browsing online & loved their style and how they represented artists. I applied & joined in 2014. I am so impressed by our community of artists & leadership. Everyone has a really unique style & the feed is just constant inspiration.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from so many different places: travel, relationships, problem-solving, reading, movies etc..
Any art/artists that you recommend us checking out?
Illustrator – Willian Santiago
Photographer – Shawn Theodore
Which song, music album or artist have you had on repeat?
I was obsessed with HBO show Euphoria & the soundtrack is so good! The visuals are insane too. It’s filmed beautifully.
What is your workflow when post processing/color grading?
After a shoot I upload everything using Photo Mechanic. I go through all the images & transfer my top picks to Lightroom and begin the editing process.
What is your workflow to go from shooting to assets in your Image Manager?
There is no method to my madness. I usually just try to organize my images by shoot or location. From there I’ll add images to the different categories. I’m working on getting into the groove with Image Manager and getting more efficient as I upload more images.
What’s happening for you now?
This year has been a season of growth for me & pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I’m looking forward to exploring new places like Iceland and Bali & meeting new people.
What are your plans/goals for the second half of the year?
I’ve been sitting on a bulk of new shoots – I’ve put a lot of personal projects on the backburner & I look forward to adjusting my priorities so I can get all this new awesome content on my portfolio!
How do you disconnect from work and recharge yourself?
I LOVE reading. I usually dive into romance & thrillers but this year I’ve decided to read more business / self-help literature. Below is a list of books that I highly recommend!
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
Do you work better with structure or creative chaos?
I like the balance of both. Working in creative chaos get different parts of the brain working, and can force us to think outside the box. Structure helps me keep things flowing smoothly & productive – but I always want to make sure I’m not just busy for busy sake and I’m creating something impactful or something that I can build on.
How do you go from idea to actually executing it?
Depending on the project & scope – I just start mapping out a plan. I reach out to the people that could potentially be involved & start getting things moving. I have the personality of when I put my mind to something, I sort of obsess over it – which can be a double edge sword. The more I get to truly know myself & become more confident in my craft the faster things move for me. I don’t let doubt or fear slow me down. When it comes to creative & photography I’ve learned to embrace experimentation & throw perfection out the window. I’ve found that my true joy comes from the journey & the relationships that are created during the process.
What does a week look like for you?
I’m a full time creative director for a credit union here in Texas, so I have the normal 8am – 5pm / M – F schedule. So I spend most of my evening & nights editing and then my weekends shooting. It can be overwhelming but sometimes I hit a sweet spot where I’m doing the perfect amount of both design & photography to feed my creative soul. I find creating & keeping that balance and managing burn out is the hardest challenge.
Words of wisdom? Words you live by? Motto? Favourite quotes?
Prioritize your mental and spiritual wellness. Do things that make you happy. Create for the sake of creating. Take time to nurture your soul. Don’t rush the process. Don’t judge where you’re at or where you think you should be. And remember just because someone doesn’t understand or put value on something you/we create doesn’t change it’s worth or OUR worth. Be kind, patient & love yourself.
“A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself ”
What would you like to share with, tell or recommend new contributors?
Welcome & glad you’re part of this amazing Stocksy community!
What is the one piece of gear you recommend everybody to get? And why?
A Pelican case! Those bad boys are tanks and keeps your camera gear well protected!