We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Byrd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, why did you pursue a creative career?
I started Aura Photography in 2018 as a part time job while in cosmotology school. I have always struggled in tradition work environments. It felt like no matter how many times I changed jobs or thought I found something better, something was always missing. For a while, my mental health depreciated and I felt such a lack of motivation to keep going. When I picked up my camera and started creating, it saved me. It gave me freedom and the ability to finally bring to life the visions I always saw and felt so deeply. Photography gave me purpose and passion.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
For me photography is more than just a photo. It’s a chance to capture real and authentic emotions between families and couples. It’s coming together with an individual and coming up with something that truly represents them as a person. When a new client reaches out to me, I get to know them. I want to know their story and I want them to know me. I want each of my clients to feel completely comfortable and at ease for their session because you can’t capture authentic and real moments without that.
It hasn’t been an easy journey to get where I am. I still struggle with rejection and insecurity in my work regularly but I have learned when you are this passionate about your craft, that is normal. It just means you are still growing.
Not only did photography introduce me to clients that I love but a community of creative friends that inspire me and push me to keep going everyday.
Surrounding myself with friends and photographers that have the same goals and ambitions has been one of the best motivators for me to continue to grow.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I officially moved to the downtown area in 2020 and quickly realized how much Houston really has to offer. Downtown is 100% my favorite place to shoot in Houston, From the tops of parking garages to the alley ways there is always a pretty shot on every corner. Not to forget, my favorite photography studio, The Studio HTX also located in the downtown area. The Studio HTX is connected to tout sweet. A local bakery/coffee shop with some of the best macaroons in the city. It’s always a tradition for me to leave my sessions there with a box of macaroons and fancy coffee.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The first person I would like to acknowledge is my husband, Dustin Ali. He has supported me from the beginning and always pushed me to work hard and follow my dreams. He has been the one person in my life who has never doubted my abilities. I would be nothing without his love and support.
I owe everything I have to Jesus. I struggled for a long time to find a way to glorify God in my field of passion. That was until I realized this God is the one true original creator. He created the heavens and the earth from scratch. Every mountain, every ocean and every part of this world is a beautiful reminder to us what an incredible artist God is.
We are made to create. I am an artist because HE is an artist. Photography gave me a deeper connection to God.