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16 August, 2021

Eisteddfod makes this pair shutter

LIFE is about to get all kinds of crazy for Keeara and Reece Kinnersly (pictured).

By Meredith Papas

The pair have carved for themselves quite a reputation across the Central and North Queensland eisteddfod circuit for their standard of excellence and their ability to ‘just get it’ when it comes to performance photography. And with the Annual Mackay Eisteddfod underway, they have their work cut out for them. Not that they mind.

 To Reece, who is an engineer by profession, and is embarking upon his Masters in the discipline, it is all about the maths: The right settings, the planning and the contingencies. Keeara is a performer, so she knows what it takes to get up on that stage and give your all.  

She knows the angles, what dancers want to see and how to capture the perfect moment, pose or expression at precisely the right moment. “I was that kid who used to follow (prolific Mackay studio and performance photographer) Sue Considine around and pick up sequins which had fallen on the floor or make sure everything was just right when she was taking her pictures,” she said.

 “I have always loved the performing arts and I loved watching Sue work.” Together, Keeara and Reece are a perfect team. And the pair will be providing images to Mackay Local News to assist in our coverage of the 2021 eisteddfod, which started yesterday at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre. For the past eight years Keeara and Reece Photography have been capturing the memories and moments of literally thousands of talented Mackay singers, dancers, dramatic artists and performers. 

From soloists, to dance troupes, choirs to ensembles, there is scarcely a moment of the eisteddfod either they, or a member of their team, won’t be tucked away inconspicuously stage-side ready for the perfect moment. “We started this to help us fund our kids’ extra-curricular activities to be honest,” Reece said. It was a clever plan.

 With three kids – all of whom are talented performers themselves – the couple was able to be there for their performances, while offering a specialised service to performance schools throughout the region. Fast forward eight years and a few pictures here and there has evolved into tens of thousands of images throughout each eisteddfod and the processing of at least 3,000 images a day for the duration.

 And no, that is not a typo! “We do this because we love it, obviously, and now we are doing eisteddfods farther afield. “Seeing the kids grow up and seeing them on stage every year is something really special to be a part of. “We missed out on the eisteddfods last year because of COVID, but we are extremely excited for this year and that it is able to go ahead. 

“ As well as the eisteddfods, Keeara and Reece have become a go-to for the creative arts community throughout the Mackay and Isaac regions, covering events such as Art on Show, dance events, school formals, graduations and awards, dance and performing arts studio concerts, studio images and Mackay Show. The latter is something they give their own time to, capturing imagery for the Show Association as a community service. Giving back – and going above and beyond – is how they roll. 

“We both grew up here and we love going back to places like our old schools and being a part of something we have special memories of ourselves. “Where we can give something back, then we do. For us, it is about being part of something we love and being there for our kids as well.”

 Mackay Eisteddfod started yesterday (Wednesday, August 11) and will be held in two sections. The first instalment will be staged at the MECC and CQ Conservatorium from August 11 – 22 with the second to be staged from October 2-17 

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