Audrey Woulard is the owner and photographer of Kids And the City (KATC). She has been a full-time professional photographer for 20 years, specializing in fashion-forward high school seniors and families seeking something different. Based out of Chicago, she also travels to the surrounding suburbs, such as Naperville, Plainfield, Willowbrook, Highland Park, and Winnetka. Audrey's images stand out due to her unique approach to light, creating a unique experience and look for each client. She can also creatively showcase hobbies and sports, making her a sought-after photographer with a high return client base.
My teaching style is very Hands-On, as I believe it gives the learner the opportunity to really explore and understand the topic for themselves. I also like to be open and allow learners to ask questions so that they can get the most out of the experience. Transcript: "So the question is, if you teach what is your training style and why is it that method? Well, for me I like to teach very much Hands-On where the person that I'm teaching a training, has the opportunity to really do it themselves because quite honestly the reason it's that method is because that's how I like to learn. I like to be very very Hands-On and I also don't necessarily like my answers to be given to me very very easily. I like to be even a way to problem solve and, you know, come up with the answer that I need in order to, you know, to take the next step forward. So when I teach, I do a lot of Hands-On but I also like to have the photographer's that I'm teaching work through the process of getting the answers that they want. Because I think that it really kind of like sticks. I'm a bit more. But again, that has to do with how I learn, you know, all through school college and whatnot. I'm very, very, very Hands-On and I'm Not very lectured base. So that's really the style that I teach from and I'm also teaching, very, very, I'm very open. I want people to be able to ask the questions that they want, because otherwise they do themselves a disservice if they keep into themselves. So that's my style. Hope that helps"
The biggest barrier I faced starting ktc was myself. I'm someone who's very one-track minded and doesn't like to take on new things, so it took me a while to accept the change of adding a new business onto the existing brand. Transcript: "What was the biggest barrier you faced starting KATC? So, you know, from a surface level, I didn't really have a barrier. And the reason I say that is because when I started KATC, it was already, you know, well-established business. Lots of clientele, making a lot of money. I was, you know, there was nothing that was stopping me from rebranding other than myself. So, KTC was, it was, it came from the fact that it created, when I created my Instagram page, which was Kids in the City, and it was created so that I can kind of put my teamwork on another, you know, sector of Instagram. It blew up, and it blew up really fast just because of word of mouth from my existing clientele that I kind of grew up with. And they were calling for Kids in the City, but we ran into the phone, Arduilla Photography. So, it was just creating so much confusion that we just decided, you know what, let's just rebrand and just call the business, you know, Kids in the City. And KTC is just the acronym for Kids in the City, Kids and the City. But that was never like the plan. I just kind of like ran with it. But so, I guess in the end, the answer to this would be the biggest barrier, honestly, is me. I'm somebody who's very, very one-track minded, especially when things are going well. I don't like take on new things because I tend to like rock the boat. And because I'm so one-track minded, I sometimes like leave one thing, concentrate and grow on another thing just because I'm just so analytical with it all. I'm even going through that right now because I, you know, again, just being really lucky and blessed to have things fall in my lap. I'm got a business, a branding business where I'm photographing adults. A lot of people don't know it, but it's pretty big and we are about to start a new business on that. And again, just me, you know, somebody who doesn't accept change very, very easily. I've got to rebrand. So, not rebrand, but add to the brand. So, the biggest barrier, it's me."
I think of all the elements of composition when I take photos, such as contrast, color depth, and negative space. I trust my gut and if it doesn't look quite right, I won't take the picture. I also know how to make adjustments in post-processing for any elements that are not quite right when taking the photo. Transcript: "The question is, there are so many elements when it comes to composition. Such as contrast, color depth negative space and Etc. Do you consider each before capturing an image or only focus on a few? That is a extremely, good question. And of course different for everyone for myself. I actually think of all of them but I now know what I want and I trust it and if Let's say, for example, I you mentioned depth, I personally love depth within my images. It's something that I kind of like have to have. So if it's not there, the way that I particularly liked it, I simply won't take the picture. And again, if I don't have a certain amount of say negative space or if the leading lines aren't working the way that I want, if I don't have layering elements behind or And fright, if I'm going with, you know, between the foreground and the background, if it's not layered in a way that I want it to be layered. I also won't take the picture so trusting your gut really allows you to kind of multitask in a way, like you said, knowing all of those elements because it can be a lot. So for me, yeah, I actually think of all of them and it just makes up every single picture that I capture. There are times that, you know, I may just add a pot, a little pop of contrast In post-processing. So when I'm taking that picture with intent, understanding what I can do with you know within post as opposed to what I can do, not stop the shutter are all things that I'm thinking in my head all the time with every single image. But once you start trusting yourself, that stuff is so second nature that it's crazy. Hope that helps"
No, I would not ever avoid showing an image I enjoy. My work is my own and if I like it, the people who hire me will too. When showcasing to the masses, it's important to remember that you are not for everyone and that the confidence in your work will grow when you recognize this. Transcript: "The question is, would you ever avoid showing an image you enjoy because you think people may not understand your story? The answer for that for me is no. And here's why. Because the work that I create is coming from me and me only. And if I like it, the people that hire me, my portrait clients, then they will like it as well. It's my job to create images that I love. And hopefully the people who hire me will love them as well. Now here's the thing. When a client does hire me, it's up to me to kind of figure out, you know, how to tell their story, but it's always going to come through my lens. So it's always going to be like my eye, if that makes any sense. So from there, the client will kind of always understand my story. The part that gets a little murky is when you showcase the work to the masses, people who did not hire you. So they may not understand your story. And guess what? They're probably not meant to understand your story. And what I think all of us should think, you know, you know, what I think people or photographers should always understand that you are not for everybody. And when you learn that you are not for everybody, the confidence in yourself and your work will grow tremendously. And when that confidence grows, I think the work gets better and better. Hope that helps."
The relationship between a photograph and reality is up to the photographer. They can choose to capture a lifestyle documentary as it is, or incorporate different lighting and apertures to create something that might not be true to the original scene. It's the beauty of art that allows us to dictate what that relationship is. Transcript: "So the question is in your opinion, what is the relationship between the photograph and reality while my thought process is that it's really up to the photographer and what they want to capture, you have some people who want to create work that's very lifestyle documentary meaning that they want to take exactly what their eyes. See you have other photographers who want to highlight certain aspects of what they see. Perhaps they want to use white apertures and just make a subject look very 3D and pop off the The background or they're going to incorporate different sorts of lighting, where image that may have been captured during the day, can be altered and looked as if it was captured at night time by bringing in a strobe, it really has to do with what the photographer wants to capture and I think that's the relationship between a photograph in reality. It all falls in the hand of the photographer and that's the beauty of taking pictures. The beauty of art, is that we can dictate what that relationship is because we can create it. So we think about how you want to really you know, approach each situation and that's how you're going to really you know be able to hone in your craft and create a style and I think that the style of your photography has a lot to do with the relationship between the images, you create and the reality in which you capture them in."
I'm freelance and I've been this way for 20 years. I prefer to be in charge and never worked as an assistant or second shooter. Working on my own helped me trust my gut and create my own style of photography. Transcript: "Do you work on your own as a freelance or are you part of a company or parented with some specific business? I love that question. So I'm I'm freelance I own my own business and I've been that way for 20 years. Do I want to be part of a company? No because I like to be in charge. So no I don't work for anybody else. I've never worked for anyone else like ever. I never was a second shooter. Well I did it once with a friend but outside of that I didn't work under anyone. I did not work as an assistant. I didn't do any of that and that's just my personality. But yeah so I've always been freelance but believe it or not that's a question I'm asked a lot where people tend to assume. Do you start off working with the company parented with a specific business as the question states. Maybe working under someone as an assistant, second shooter or some you know something of that nature. But no I'm learned on the job. I do think that that helped me hone into my confidence early on as a photographer. Helped me learn what I wanted. Helped me trust my gut. Thus being able to kind of create a style and my own lane that no one really has been able to really you know crack. But that's just because it's my own and I was never never really was under anyone else. So I hope that helps."