Photographer Khristel Stecher: Lead Story Teller and Owner
Hi! Hola! My name is Khristel Stecher, and I am an internationally published wedding and commercial photographer based out of Southwestern Ontario, specifically Toronto. My name is pronounced “Kris-tel”. I know some people get confused on how to say it because of the H, but just ignore its there. I am the girl with the camera, the gal who will tell your story. My friends see me as adventurous, driven, kind, optimistic and trustworthy. I started my business in 2016 and my photography style is described as genuine, engaging and technical. If you want to know more about my specialties and how I can help you go here: wedding photography, commercial photography.
How I started my Journey
My love for photography started when I was a kid- like every other photographer in the world- but I didn’t know I wanted to be one until much much later. I grew up in Costa Rica, a little country located between Panama and Nicaragua in Central America. This little country of only 4 million people can fit 18 times in Ontario. Yes you heard that right. All of my family still resides there so I visit back often. I left Costa Rica when I was 13 years old, arriving in Canada at a weird time in my life; puberty. Coming to a new country, was stressful, exciting, adventurous. At this time (elementary/high school), I thought I would head into medicine or engineering; I was so wrong.
After finishing high school in Burlington, ON, I took a year off to decide what I wanted to do. During this time I decided to head to McGill University to start a Bachelor of Biology. After a year, I chose to specialize in Pharmacology- a degree where I would be able to basically design drugs that would help other people. This degree would allow me to work in labs and do lots of experiments to create the drugs. Through the middle of this though, I had gone abroad one summer to teach English in South America through the English Opens Doors program in Chile.
During my time in Chile and South America, I travelled to Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. I taught children english, made some amazing friends and my passion for science, in particular Pharmacology, left me. It was this moment in my life where I realized that there is more to life than just labs. I was scared to end up at a job where my only socialization was chemicals and my coworkers. So, somewhere along the way after my third year, I decided to apply to Ryerson University and OCAD University in Toronto for a Degree in Fine Arts in Photography. And well, I got in, and I went to Ryerson.
During the four years of the photography degree, I learned everything A to Z about the birth of photography, how photography started to contemporary photographers and what they are doing now. The nice thing about Ryerson and their program is that you make it what you want it to be. Sheridan or George Brown College would have been fine, but I wanted a more rounded education about photography so I could become an expert in whatever I wanted to specialize. I focused a lot during my degree on commercial photography- how to light subjects with strobes, and how to make people look amazing.
So push further a few years, and well here we are. I did not go into Fine Arts- some of my friends did. They are doing amazing work as contemporary artists and documentary photographers. But I chose to focus on regular people- their weddings, their businesses and how to make them shine. There is just something about connecting with people that makes my heart soar. And I get excited about the projects and events, because none of them are alike. They are all unique in their own way and with their own set of challenges which makes me a very happy and excited photographer.
Ever since graduation, I have pursued my own business. I worked at a few agencies and I am going to be honest in saying I don’t like working for them full time. I found I got very stressed and anxious because I kept wanting the clients I worked there to be my own. I have also worked for other wedding photographers since the beginning and again I always kept wanting my own. So, after years of experimenting, gaining knowledge outside of University we are here. We are in year 3 of my own business, where I have my own clients, I create epic photos that people love, and I create lasting relationships. All I want to do, is to make work that makes my clients happy! That is my goal, and to leave a legacy whether in the arms of a family as family heirlooms or in the hands of a business that I helped become successful through eye catching images.
About my Family
As mentioned above, I come from Costa Rica, a country in Central America. I only have my parents and my sister who live here with me in Canada. My mom and dad both live in Ontario and my sister lives in Vancouver. I met my husband during my transition from science to photography. He is honestly my rock, my biggest supporter and my love. I could not do this without him. He gives me the strength to pursue what I do with a passion.
I am a very family oriented person. For any latin people out here in Canada, you know that family is like part of your limbs. When coming to Canada, that was and still is a very difficult adjustment. I value family like gold. It is hard being here, in a country where family is so spread out, where you see each other once or twice a year. I don’t know how people do it. So in a way, the reason of becoming a photographer is to grow my network of friends and acquaintances. And make you also feel like my own family.
Fun Quirks about Me
So anyone that knows me, knows that I am a photographer. But if you want to know more about my personal favourite things, then read on! Here is a list of some of my quirks:
I am latin and I can be loud. So you know that, but that can be super helpful with big groups at a wedding or to get you excited.
Yes I speak Spanish!
I can move my butt, but I suck at Salsa Dancing.
Weird Fact- I also have family in Germany*.
I love pets. If I see a dog I will most likely pretend not to be freaking out of excitement. So bring your pets along for your session if you want to incorporate them!
I have been told my spirit animals are corgi and llamas.
I am a total movie and tv nerd! These are my favourites:
Lord of the Rings
Pirates of the Caribbean
Anything supernatural with weird story lines (aliens awesome, vampire killers great, zombies even better).
I love to travel here is a list of everywhere I have been:
Canada: Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa (duh), Vancouver, Calgary
USA: New York, Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville (and a few more)
Chile: Santiago, Iquique, San Pedro de Atacama
Bolivia: La Paz
Peru: Machu Picchu, Lima
Argentina: Buenos Aires, Ushuaia
Germany: Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin
United Arab Emirates
There's more to me that I can put on paper but obviously just send me a DM, or say hi!