Who else has been a victim of being an introverted photographer?
Picture this: You’re at a wedding with a couple that you feel great about! You’re taking amazing candids, detail shots, and it couldn’t be a more perfect ceremony. Everything is going well until…. the dreaded family formals.
This is when panic mode USED to set in for me. My heart would race, and all of a sudden it’s like my mind would go blank! I’d politely start going through that crazy part of the day and try to keep the bridal party together. But oh no… a groomsman has wandered off to use the bathroom. Or Uncle John is trying to get a drink from the bar. My lack of confidence and control over my wedding has left me a victim to the fear of being able to TAKE CHARGE – and it shows!
When things started to get serious in my photography and I was starting to grow into an actual business, I truly struggled with my introverted ways. And this prevented me from actually getting the photos I wanted in my session. I would fumble over direct commands or just not say anything if I knew a shot wouldn’t turn out.
It was so much easier to be introverted and quiet than embracing the fear and saying, “Hey guys… this spot just isn’t working out. Let’s take a step outside, kay?” or “Hey mom, let’s try you zipping that dress up one more time, this is going to look SO good.” And as a result, I was only doing good work, not great work.
Is being an introverted photographer a good thing?
Honestly, I think that I actually benefitted from being an introvert for all those years. My quiet, shy ways allowed me to SEE and PAY attention to everything around me. I knew that I was too shy to tell mom she was in the way of my dress shot, or walk up to a group of people chatting at cocktail hour and ask them for a quick photo. So I would have to watch, wait, and anticipate.
It benefitted me because I would know where to be at the right time without having to interrupt the moments. Still, sometimes I wouldn’t get “the perfect shot” and just write it off as a victim of circumstance. “The lighting isn’t right” or “So and so wasn’t looking at the camera”… I was still missing my true potential!
But, being a photographer has actually changed me from being an introvert to a complete extrovert. As I grew more confident in my craft, it helped me build the courage to take more control of my client experience and stop making excuses for being to chicken to speak up!
Now I show up to my sessions and RUN the show! And I’ll tell you how.
How to become more extroverted
For me, I had to learn to embrace my fears rather than run from them. And every time I pushed out of my introverted shell was a little victory. Every time I felt that pang of anxiety when my introvert begged me to stay in my comfort level, I would step up. I would say yes. I would raise my hand.
You might surprise yourself with all of the creative ways you can help break you out of your introverted comfort zone. For me, doing the most random things like singing karaoke, volunteering to give free education in the community (public speaking is still a struggle for me) made a huge impact. In general, activities that just put me in the spotlight have helped me come a long way with my introverted ways, making me a more confident person in life AND in my business.
Here are some examples:
- Karaoke (if you can sing in front of strangers, you can direct in front of clients)
- Presentations & Public Speaking
- Creating video tips and content to share with your clients – it’s almost like creating your own positive affirmations!
- Being a camp counselor (start with kids and work your way up to adults!)
- Join a community sports team
- Networking events in your community
- Attend trade shows, expos, and vendor booth exhibits
So what’s the magic formula?
I think it’s practice + age + confidence + embracing the fear. It all helps, not just one specific thing. When you teach yourself to become more extroverted, you can truly be an expert in your craft. Clients will absolutely recognize the confidence and put their trust in you. You’ll get better wedding photos and this same concept applies to family portraits as well!