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 advice would be to never plateau yourself and always continue learning new things in photography. This can be done through taking classes, looking online, finding a mentor, or even just exploring new styles. This will help you to stay inspired and motivated, and your work won't suffer. Transcript: "So the question is, I already feel like I'm really good at taking pictures and why do I need to train? You know what, that's a really good question because I'm sure a lot of people feel that way and I will just speak from my own perspective. So I've been in business full-time for 20 years and I feel like I'm kind of good at taking pictures as well, but here's the thing, if you find world, if I find that I'm plateauing, or I'm becoming complacent, I find my work begins to suffer and I get like a mental block or creative block where I'm just not inspired by anything that I create. So the way for me to break that cycle is to always consistently learn. Now, the way that you you decide to learn new things, try new things within your work is up to you, you know, some people can take formal classes, some people can, you know, go online. Some people can hang out with other photographers that they know or find a mentor. There's so many different ways for you to learn because I feel photography is an infinite way. Of exploring art and exploring new things. So my advice would be never Plateau yourself. Never say, I'm good at. I'm so good at it that I never have to try anything new. I don't need to train because you're always going to consistently learn regardless of how long you've been in the business or how long you've been good at taking pictures. There's always something new to learn to apply to yourself because that's how a style is born. Hope that helps."
I don't think I've ever felt like I've "made it" because if I do, then I have nothing to strive for. Keeping that hunger and drive to want something new is what has kept me going for over 20 years and feeling fresh in the industry. Transcript: "So the question is, when did you, did you know, you'd made it okay? I'll be honest, I still do not feel like I've made it. Um and my reason for thinking that way has to do with the fact that if I find myself at a point where I feel like I made it, you know, made it then I have nothing to strive for. I have no gold to reach. I have nothing. I just don't have anything to strive for and and I've been told I have a lot of tenacity and things of that nature. But if I have nothing, you know, over that, you know, that finish line, then it's kind of like, okay, well, what am I doing? So I never, I don't feel like I've made it. I don't think I would ever feel like I've made it and if I get to that point where I really feel like I was like made it then that's kind of like that's kind of a failure to me, personally because having that hunger and that drive to always want something new always want. Something you know to strive for keeps me going and after you know over 20 years full-time. It's that's a long that's a long time. You know, just like to keep going and to keep you and keeping fresh and to keep being relevant but having never feeling. Like, I've made it, I believe is what has kept me. I guess always feeling fresh and people perceiving me as fresh as fresh Talent. So hope that helps."
When I'm in a creative flatline, I reassess my old work and ask myself what I would have done differently in the same set of circumstances. This helps to give me a little rush of inspiration to try new things and get back out there shooting. Transcript: "The question is, what do you do when you are in a creative flatline? A lull. How do you feed your creative energy? I love this question because I tend to find myself in, you know, I guess one of those little slumps, um, the beginning of every year, every calendar year. So the way I tend to go about it is I just reassess my old work. I go through all of my old work and I don't mean like my work within like the last year. I will go back maybe sometimes two, three years. Um, look at it from a different, you know, I guess like I, um, because who I was in 2021 is not who I am in 2023. And I like to kind of, you know, compare myself to myself. And when I look at something and I ask myself the question, like, what would you do differently if you were presented with the same set of circumstances, then that's kind of how I, you know, really reevaluate where I want to go with my work. And you know, in the, speaking of now, 2023. So I look at my old work, reassess it, look at things that I would have done differently. And then it kind of gives me like, you know, that little rush of just getting back out there and shooting. Granted, now, you know, for portrait photographers, we're on a little bit of a break, but I'm still shooting. So I have, you know, a couple of appointments, just not as much as I would normally get in the summer, but it really inspires me to try new things when I look at my old work. So I hope that helps."
I was taking pictures of a 6-year-old Tick Tock sensation and we were stopped by adults and teenagers who wanted to take pictures with him. It was really crazy how popular he was! Transcript: "What is the craziest thing that happened to you while taking pictures? Um, the one that I can just think of that happened this year because I'm sure there were more than this. I photographed this little boy. He was like six years old, but he was like the TikTok sensation. And we were out and I was photographing him in Chicago, but he lived in like LA. So this kid, I'm outside taking his picture. And when I tell you people were stopping us, you know, want to take a picture with him. They're like, Oh my God, I love you. And this kid is six years old. And I mean, everywhere we were, we were kind of at, they were, you know, stopping him. We even had people taking like video of us. They were in, you know, different high rise buildings and they saw us outside. I don't know how they saw it, but apparently I guess, you know, he was kind of, he was a dancer or he is a dancer and he was doing, I guess his signature move. So they recognized him and they would take him the film. And the only reason I found it was because they tagged him and then his mom tagged me in the video. So I was like, they recognize this little boy. Like he's like a little, little boy. So I thought that was a little crazy. Cause even cause my husband, he'll come help out. And he was like six years old. I mean, this kid, and these were like adults that were stopping him. These weren't like other like parents who had little kids. These were like full grown, like teenagers and adults, like amazed about this little TikTok sensation. So I thought that was kind of crazy."
Any subject can be a good subject depending on how the photographer is inspired to make it work with their style of photography. Transcript: "What makes a good subject? Really good question. Honestly, I think what any subject is a good subject. It's up to us as the photographer to find inspiration in what we're photographing. I think finding that inspiration is what will actually make a good subject because we kind of course it a little bit. Now I'm speaking from a portrait perspective meaning that a portrait, I don't know if I guess portraits are portraits right, but I'm hired to take pictures of people for their own memory. So I don't have like the luxury of luxury quote-unquote of picking my subjects like someone who may work with models where they can you know pick a certain person to work in a certain editorial or to make a commercial shoot happen the way that they want you know create the look. I don't have that. So what I have to do is whoever decides to call and hire me I have to decide how to make that subject a good subject. So thus is why I say any subject can be a good subject. It's kind of up to me and how I'm inspired to make it work with my style of photography. So I hope that helps."
The 35mm lens is popular because it gives photographers a good view of the scene with enough room to crop and edit in post-processing, as opposed to using a more zoomed-in lens which limits the amount of the scene that can be seen. Transcript: "The question is, why is it 35? Mm lens. So popular. I'll actually like this question, I'm going to answer that as someone who doesn't really like that focal length. I probably within my career of 21 years. I can count on two hands. How many times I have used a 35? Mm lens but my guess is going to be is that it's wider? It's not extremely wide like a 28 or even wider when you're talking about some of the zooms or some of the more specialty. Mm lenses. But at 35, mm, you know, it gives you a nice, you know, good look of the scene and you know if you zoom in but not too close, you still can get, you know, to have fairly, you know, good, you know, close up. I guess if you will look as it's one of those things where that focal length probably gives the photographer a lot to play with and then when they you know want to crop the picture or make it a little closer, they can do it in post so they have more to work with as opposed to using more of a telephoto lens. You're it's a lot tighter so they don't have a lot of the scene to work with. So maybe for photographers it gives them a lot to play with during the post processing aspects of our business. Hope that helps"