Can a Shy Photographer be Successful?


A few days ago I wrote I’m what you’d call an outgoing introvert on this blog post and even went into detail explaining this definition on the TwitTV interview. There were a few readers who felt the same way (if y’all also like suede boots, brussel sprouts, and protein bars, we may be kindred spirits), and then others who asked: If I’m shy or introverted, can I still be a successful photographer?

To be honest, the simple answer is yes. However (and you knew the however was coming), it may be a difficult. I’m–by nature–not the type of person who’ll walk into a room and be the center of attention. In fact, I’m the total opposite. I’m past the point of being a wall-flower…I’m the wall-flower GARDNER. I’m a looker, watcher, and waiter…and have been this way since childhood. But when I started my photography business, I knew things had to change.

After a few failed photo shoots in 2006, I realized my pictures were lackluster because my subjects were lackluster…but it wasn’t their fault, it was mine. It was almost as if I was looking, watching, and waiting for the right moments, but let me save you some time from my experiences: The best photographers don’t wait for a photo, they make a photo. And by “make” I mean as elaborate as a staged shot or simply taking one step to the right to compose the picture in a stronger fashion.

I quickly learned that if I wasn’t capturing the type of photos I wanted, it was because I wasn’t giving my subjects anything to do, or even encouragement or a transfer of energy. My subjects usually show up to a shoot nervous, shy, intimidated and it’s my job to be in control, take charge, and make them feel like they’re the center of the universe. I couldn’t do this being the Gardener of yesteryear.

Before a shoot, I usually listen to my favorite music, previsualize, focus on articulating my thoughts, and say a quick prayer. Yes, I need a prayer because I don’t want my clients to think I’m crazy. I arrive early to scope out the shoot location, map out the session, and by the time the clients arrive, I’m ready to give them my all…ready to make a photo.

If you’re anything like me, please know success doesn’t hinge on your shyness, but, rather, your ability to move past your innate characteristics and put forth the type of photographer you want to be.

And because every post is better with a picture, here’s a sneak peek of this weekend’s wedding which will be posted later this week!

Happy Monday!

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  1. Rachel Tatem

    August 15th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    You are such an encouraging person. I appreciate reading your blog for many a reason but I always look forward to it for it always makes me take a deep breath and relax my sholders… if that makes any sense.

  2. Marleen

    August 15th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Jasmine!
    I’ve been following your site for quite some time now, enjoying every post and each picture as much as an upcoming sun at the seaside πŸ™‚ You are so open and wonderful, a brilliant teacher and a sparkling personality. Thank you for all the insights, tips, inspiration and just for being so honest about everything! Your clients are truly blessed for having such a gifted photographer! Ok πŸ˜€ that’s what I wanted to say to you but didn’t took the time to do so until now. Hope you have had a wonderful weekend and will continue to spoil us with magnificent pictures! Thanks! Marleen *from Belgium*

  3. Emily Crall

    August 15th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    So true! I’m, by nature, an introvert and, beyond the exhaustion after a long wedding day, I’m ready to go home and just be. No talking, no being in charge, but just being. It’s a good balance though because it pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me a better person (and photographer) because of it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Christina Graves

    August 15th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you for the post it was what I needed today. You always seem to know what to share with us at the right moment.
    Gorgeous picture I can’t wait to see the rest later : )
    Always be true to who you are.

  5. sherri lynn

    August 15th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Great post! Sometimes a personality trait or tendency may become a weakness in a certain area, and if we can recognize that and stretch out of our comfort zone to overcome that weakness, we’re better for it. This wedding dress in the sneak peek is AMAZING! So excited for the rest of the images.

  6. The New Diplomat's Wife

    August 15th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Very well said. As someone who hires a lot of photographers, I think one of the most frustrating things is when the photographer doesn’t give you any guidance at all. I think any reasonnable client doesn’t expect magic to happy out of thin air, but we did hire someone becuase they’re the professional so we’re trusting them to make us look good so that we end up with photos we want to share and display. And sometimes when we get comfortable, we like to give a little bit of input, but really, we’re looking to you, photographers, to help us out and call the shots. And major points for arriving early and having a plan and suggestions! Thanks, Jasmine.

  7. sarah danaher

    August 15th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    thanks for this, Jasmine. i’m shy by nature, as well. and introverted. and a wall-flower gardener. or… even the one who hides *behind* the wall flower gardener.

    anyway, this post is encouraging because I’ve had to do the same thing, myself. people always assume I’m an extrovert because… well, I do love people, but mostly because I’ve had to learn how to step into a room with a smile and with joyful confidence, and warmly invite people into friendship, so they relax and feel secure around me. I’m in no way close to perfect with this, but I’m learning and growing.

  8. Amanda Chapman

    August 15th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I love suede boots, protein bars but not so much the sprouts however I can 100% relate to being an outgoing introvert. I was shy as a child and I still am…however, I come out of my shell to bring my clients out of theirs.

  9. Mandy

    August 15th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I struggle with the shy thing as well, i think though like you said and how some south African girls like to say you just got to put on your big girl panties and speak up, speak out and make it happen πŸ™‚

  10. Arielle

    August 15th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! It’s so worth it to move past our innate shyness in order to help a beautiful moment along!

  11. Joe Anna Haydon

    August 15th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    This is beautiful advice πŸ™‚ thanks! It took a while for me to learn this as well.

  12. Carlise

    August 15th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    So many times your posts come at a point in my life where I needed to ‘hear’ that!! Thank you so much for this!! ((HUGS))

  13. LEOLAK

    August 15th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks…very helpful. I did a test maternity shoot this weekend and got stuck in this..oh what do I do now. And later when thinking on some things, I wished I’d changed perspective more…had a few more poses and thoughts written down etc. Next time…it’s on. Love the sneak peek!

  14. Chelsea

    August 15th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I’m very much an introvert as well and have to fight hard against myself to put myself out there for every wedding and photoshoot. I had a groomsman this weekend tell me I should tell a joke if I wanted everyone to smile. I guess now I need to become a comedian as well. πŸ™

  15. NgeeJee

    August 15th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I totally agree on the Making Photo part! =) Good photographers dun just take photos.

    But how do you actually learn all those poses is what interest me. I’m very lame when it comes to posing, any tips?

  16. Tanya De Leeuw

    August 15th, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Thank you for this. I’ve recently done my first assist/secondary shooter on a couple of weddings, and this (being a shy photog) is a BIG issue for me! I know that I’ve already done a lot of stuff (starting conversations with strangers, etc) that I’d never have done before I started taking my photography to the next level, but I know I’ve still got a long way to go. It’s good to know that even a brill photog like J* started from where I am now. Thank you again, for sharing!

  17. Christina Carter

    August 15th, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for this post. THIS is exactly what I am currently struggling with. Its just what I needed to hear.

  18. Kate Douthwright

    August 15th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve become very good at faking that I’m SO outgoing. I’ve been shy my entire life and my heart races on the way to client meetings and shoots but I get through it and get better at it every time. Photography is forcing me to change who I am, in a good way!

  19. Regina Marie

    August 15th, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Woman, you really have a knack for saying what we need to hear. I think this is why we all love you so much. You’re able to share with us so transparently and speak not just to the photographer in us, but to the scared little kid who just want’s to "do good’.

    You really inspire me to keep moving forward. Thank you.

  20. Life with kaishon

    August 15th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Gorgeous image.

  21. gladys jem

    August 15th, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    outgoing introverts all the wayyy!!

  22. Ashley Terry

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    You’re always writing about what I’m thinking about! I’m not crazy about the protein bars but I think we might be kindred spirits anyway. It’s amazing how your passion can drive you to be the person you need to be to make it happen. In this case, no longer a wallflower, but a shining J*Star!

  23. Ang

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    brilliant post – so encouraging for your fellow suede boot / brussel sprout / protein bar lovers like me! πŸ™‚

  24. Janet

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    All of us shy photographers out there just screamed "AMEN, SISTER FRIEND!"…in our heads of course. As always, thanks Jasmine!

  25. Michael T. Jr.

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I was delighted to read about the prayer part. All of your posts always inspire me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. KeepΒ΄em coming. God bless! Kisses from Brazil.

  26. Brittney Christie

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I love this post Jasmine! I just had a shoot yesterday with a 2012 Senior. She was gorgeous, we went to a fabulous location and she even was dressed beautiful. I STILL didn’t know how to come out of my shell to make her be herself. She was so shy. This post gives me some inspiration to be more outgoing on my shoots to get the results that I know I can get. Thanks <3

  27. Manik

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I could not agree more – I am the same way. I am totally shy but I realized, in part thanks to you, that I need to talk more and engage my clients so they aren’t nervous or feeling awkward.

    Great post, as usual!

    – Manik

  28. Amy Jo

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Thank you for this awesome post. I actually thought that shyness was not something I struggled with UNTIL I started taking pictures of other people. As I am trying to find what I can do to give my pictures that extra pizazz I am looking for, I sometimes end up just feeling like a REALLY small fish in a very big ocean. I appreciate knowing that I am not the only one who has felt shy and is also on a journey with their photography.

  29. Erin Oveis Brant

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Though I’m not exactly an introvert, it is so helpful to be reminded that we are completely responsible for the outcome of a shoot and there are many things you can do in advance to prepare and make sure that you create the types of photos you desire. If I’m not pumped up and ready to give my clients my energy and enthusiasm then it just doesn’t work. Introvert? Extrovert? I don’t think it matters! Get excited and give your clients 100% of YOU and you will definitely create an experience worth photographing!! Great post, J* (and gorgeous photo btw)

  30. Jessica

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Love this article! Exactly what I’ve been thinking about lately as I am a wall flower by nature lol.

  31. Kristin Nicole

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Great reminder….and now I am dying to see this wedding! What a gorgeous and classy bride!

  32. Tavia

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you for this, this is me, I am not a photographer just a hobbyist. I need this in my daily life in general. Today I will be this person. You are a doll πŸ˜€

  33. Ashley Julian

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you for putting that out there! Outgoing going introvert, eh? I think that would describe me as well. I think the more you shoot and grow as a photographer you naturally become more comfortable in your own skin. You do get tired of your boring, lackluster shots and find yourself doing and saying things that are usually outside your comfort zone. When I’m on a shoot or a wedding I am somewhat a different person. It is sometimes awkward for me when I run into a client around town because I’m not in that "zone" anymore. I have to force myself to engage them and act like a "normal" person.

  34. Amanda

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Love this post. I am not a shy person by nature but I needed the encouragement to make a photo happen and not let it happen.
    Thank you!

  35. Dana

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Totally hit the nail on the head for me!!! Thanks for this kick-in-the rear post J*!

  36. Jesselynn Quinn

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Oh Jasmine, you are so awesome I can’t ever think of you as shy! Thank you for yet another informative post…I completely get what you’re saying and totally agree with you. I’m nowhere near as charismatic as you are, so part of my routine before I meet clients for a shoot is to come to your blog and for some reason it just gives me loads of energy. They should come up with a vitamin Jasmine!

  37. Rachel Marie Photography

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I feel like I’m totally the same way! I would rather observe and totally freeze when the spotlight turns my way. I’ve noticed that people I photograph tend to feel the same way, so its not going to work well if we are both feeling shy! I’ve learned that the more comfortable and outgoing that i come across, the more comfortable my clients will feel and the better their pictures will turn out.

  38. Nicole

    August 15th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Thank you SOOO much for this blog posts! I love that on days when I need professional encouragement your blogs always pop up with the best advice. Know you are appreciated! <3

  39. Belinda

    August 15th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I’m going to start sounding like a broken record, but this was JUST what I needed today!

    Thank you SO much for sharing your experiences. You are a HUGE inspiration to me.

    Beautiful photo as usual! =)

  40. Melissa Cramer Photography

    August 15th, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Maybe it’s an Aries thing. Other people view me as an extrovert, but *internally* I feel like an introvert. I could very easily "hibernate" at home with my family, tinkering around the house. That feels natural, easy. But being in front of an audience or working with clients… I can do it, but it’s an internal struggle to make it look natural.

    BTW, your promo video which was shown on TwitTV was amazing… made me tear up. I also liked hearing about some of the "mistakes" you all shared. But Catherine Hall’s moment of temporarily losing the rings in a grassy field, five minutes before the wedding, OMG . My arms still turn to rubber just thinking about it!

  41. Christina Dely

    August 15th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Boy did I need this post! πŸ™‚ I can relate 1000%! Every day I try to break out of my shell, show my true self & communicate my vision out loud. It’s hard, it’s scary, but when I produce the images I had been dreaming of, it is all worth it in the end! XOXO

  42. Rose

    August 15th, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Oh how this household relates! People think I’m outgoing, but in most situations I tend to lean toward very shy. But when needed I push through to be outgoing (and think of what I dork I must have seemed like later – true story). My husband is an MC and owns a business that entertains people (and he’s awesome at what he does!), but when he is not behind that microphone – he’s really more quiet and shy, not the center of attention. We make a great pair that way.
    Thanks for the reminders, these are things I work on constantly even with children and family shoots.

  43. melissa stover

    August 15th, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    i’m an introvert too. i was painfully shy in school to the point that i prayed the teacher would not see me and call on me to answer a questions. speaking out loud in public caused me to flush red all over.

    since i started my business i’ve had to really put myself out there. i realized that i have to be the one who talks, who asks questions, who gives direction because my clients are often more scared than i am.

  44. Amber Steel

    August 15th, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Great post Jasmine! I can’t wait to see the rest of the wedding…that couple is GORGEOUS!!!

  45. Jennifer Jar

    August 15th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Jasmine, I TOTALLY needed this post today. I am SUCH a shy person, and often times I find myself not talking enough during a shoot. I have an engagement session this Saturday and I keep reminding myself that I HAVE to be more vocal and bring that confidence out in my clients! <3

  46. Brooke Summer Photography

    August 15th, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I completely agree… and failed miserably recently at a shoot! I learned though, and will continue to learn. After all, if we’re not learning, we’re dead right? πŸ˜‰

  47. Kevin

    August 15th, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    great post…we all must have a ‘pre-game routine’ if we dare to be great. Don’t just show up. Prepare the be the best you can be πŸ™‚


  48. Rebecca Knoblauch

    August 15th, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you so much for this! Although I have only moments where I can feel my wallflower characteristics begin to overtake me it is awesome to read this and know I am not the only one! Lovely read and very inspirational to say the least.

  49. Don OConner

    August 15th, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Jasmine, I truly do believe we are kindred spirits πŸ™‚ Keep em coming.

  50. Charlie

    August 15th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Brussel sprouts? I am glad you blog your great experience of taking portraits instead of food recipes πŸ˜‰ jk

  51. Kim

    August 15th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Preach it sista! Photography is what made me come out of my shell! And although it’s just a side-job now rather than full-time, it helps keep me extroverted! πŸ™‚ I’m in love with that wedding dress by the way – can’t WAIT to see the rest of the photos from this shoot!

  52. Britty

    August 15th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    So glad you wrote this. I’ve always been shy & introverted, so it’s nice to know people like me can survive in this industry. It’s amazing how outgoing people become when they HAVE to.

  53. Janel KG

    August 15th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Awesome post today, Jasmine. Thank you! BTW, I couldn’t help thinking about you, my kindred Jersey Shore fan, when I blogged today πŸ™‚

  54. Andrea

    August 15th, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Your willingness to share all your little secrets with us continues to amaze me. Thanks again for all your share. And booo for teasing us with just one picture!

  55. robyn L

    August 15th, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Thank you for this confirmation. I’m what they would call an introverted introvert. πŸ˜‰ However, something happens when I’m behind the camera, and I’m like a different person. Much more self-assured and able to communicate what needs to be done. Photography is basically what breaks me out of my shell.

  56. Catie Ronquillo

    August 15th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    "Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone." This post totally made me think of this quote. I think I’m an outgoing introvert as well. πŸ™‚

  57. Jenelle Sewell

    August 15th, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Beautiful….the copy and the image, both. Thank you for knowing so many of our hearts.

  58. Sharma Shari

    August 15th, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I’m also an outgoing introvert. My dad says I’m a reformed introvert. I needed the wake up call these days! Thanks for it!

  59. Kathryn Campbell

    August 15th, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    This really hit home! I always thought it was weird to be able to consider myself a shy but outgoing person and you explain it perfectly here! Now I know I’m not alone! My shyness is probably one of my worst qualities when trying to promote my brand new business…Its only those moment (which are few and far between!!lol) where the spunky little person hidden inside me comes out that I feel confident I can do this! And that spunky little person is shinning through today!! Thank you Jasmine for sharing!

  60. Man with a Camera

    August 15th, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    I think the more weddings and events you shoot, the more confident and slightly less shy you become. That said, I’m way more confident when I’m behind my camera – it’s like I’m somehow not there as myself!

  61. Denise Prichett

    August 16th, 2011 at 12:05 am

    I totally believe shy photographers can be successful. I am shy around people I just meet except when it it related to photography. To be able to do your do right you have to come out of yourself and engage your clients, other vendors, potential clients. From what I have seen from many photog gatherings, many of us are shy or natural observers – we are artists and art is about observing your surroundings and responding to it.

  62. Averie

    August 16th, 2011 at 12:33 am

    This is so right on the money, Jasmine!

    Clients are nervous, shy, anxious and it’s OUR job to put them at ease. And that means doing whatever we have to do as photographers…including losing the wallflower vibe πŸ™‚

  63. Felicia Williams

    August 16th, 2011 at 2:18 am

    It’s hard to notice the tingling in my toes when I’m blaring my favorite music and singing at the top if my lungs… a must on the way to location shoots and weddings for me! My husband (second shooter, baggage handler, grocery shopper, laundry man) has learned to pack earplugs…

  64. Falcon

    August 16th, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Like so many others, this post really hit home for me. When I was younger I was so shy I wouldn’t speak to anyone (outside of friends & family) unless they spoke to me first, and even so in some cases I would only give nothing more than a curt response. But as I grew older I realized it wasn’t that I was actually shy, my shyness was actually the result of how I felt others saw me, and a fear of being self-expressed.

    I realize now that it’s my choice whether to be shy or not; being shy isn’t who I am. And through that I’ve been able to really go out of my comfort zone and become what others now see me as an outgoing person.

    It’s interesting how multi-faceted we all are, and I would have NEVER in a million years guessed that you were ever shy based on how strong your presence is on camera! Thanks so much for writing this Jasmine, your posts always help me remember.

  65. Corlis Gray Photography

    August 16th, 2011 at 2:24 am

    I agree 100%. I try and do whatever it takes to calm a couple’s nerves. This includes telling corny jokes I learn from my 7 year old. LOL.

  66. Jessica Sweeney

    August 16th, 2011 at 2:46 am

    As a completely shy photographer myself, I feel that it’s hard. Fortunately I was a teacher first and that taught me a lot about giving energy to get energy. But photography’s still a little different, and I’m continuing to work on it.

  67. Michael

    August 16th, 2011 at 3:08 am

    You’re such an encouragement. I am extremely shy, however I was a DJ on the radio for years. When I was first called upon to do a live appearance at a nightclub I was terrified. Thinking back on it, I’m terrified. However, I remember distinctly saying to myself, "If this is the job you want then this is what you’ve got to do." And I did. Once I got past that fear of making those first comments on the microphone I became the life of the party (oddly enough). Soon I was the one that nightclubs were requesting for their live appearances. So your point of saying a prayer and getting past it is spot on. Weddings still terrify me though. Maybe I’ll get to shoot one someday and I can get over it.

  68. Rebekah Lyn

    August 16th, 2011 at 3:36 am

    I feel like you wrote this FOR ME!!! I’m definitely still learning to take control of situations and not letting my introverted personality control me.

  69. Charisse Rhodes

    August 16th, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Thanks for the encouragement Jasmine. I am definitely moving thruough my shyness and notice how much better my clients and I feel during and after a session.

  70. Chaz

    August 16th, 2011 at 8:19 am

    J, you are a blessing to sooo many people in more ways than you could ever have imagined, thank God and thank you.

  71. Laura

    August 16th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    You are amazing Jasmine, thanks so much for this. Like so many are commenting, I think you wrote this for me too… you know how to hit a nerve… positively! xxx

  72. Elin

    August 16th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    What a fabulous article! I’m definitely a shy photographer, and I do many of the same things to psyche myself up for a photo shoot. I am not a naturally gregarious person, and I have to push myself to be engaging, but I always find that when I do, great photography happens. Thank you for being such an inspiration to us ‘outgoing introverts’! πŸ™‚

  73. Bruidsfotograaf Apeldoorn

    August 16th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    So a shy photographer can be a succesful photographer, because so are you. In your post you said the first few wedding shoots in 2006 failed because of your shyness? How was that day for you? What was the first thing you said to yourself? You know what, maybe you needed those days to learn from it. We all learn from our mistake, don’t we?

  74. Tina Dwyer

    August 16th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you ; )

  75. Margaret

    August 16th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    So well said! Thank you, I needed that!

  76. Branson

    August 16th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    What a great article! I found you over at Crinkle Photography, and I am so glad I did! πŸ™‚ Your site is beautiful!

  77. Ivan Packer

    August 16th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    This is a great article, and I am sure plenty of photographers can take heart from it. Ivan x

  78. Patty Bautista

    August 16th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    This article definitely hit home! I always thought of myself as a timid photographer (even my hubby has to nudge me to move closer to get a shot ;-)), and I have in some way let this be a hindrance to becoming a better photographer. A lot of it for me is not having the know-how to execute the shots I want (for example, posing a model), so I try to be proactive and read articles and take classes, and just going out there and taking those shots – even if they end up lackluster at first! Thanks lots, Jasmine for writing this article and for being an inspiration to myself and other photogs out there! πŸ™‚

  79. Katharina Ewers

    August 16th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Jasmine, do you really mean to say that you are a shy introvert by nature? No, it can’t be, it’s simply to hard to believe πŸ™‚

  80. Laura

    August 16th, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    I wonder how you would answer the question "Can a Type-B personality photographer be successful?"

  81. Lydia

    August 16th, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Amen! I’ve been trying so hard to step outside my comfort zone and noticed a huge difference in my pictures!

  82. Jonni

    August 17th, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Great advice as usual Jasmine. Thank you very much. πŸ™‚


  83. Lisa P.

    August 17th, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Jasmine, great post. I am naturally shy also. I push myself to step outside of my comfort zone during photo shoots.

  84. rich

    August 17th, 2011 at 6:16 am

    definitely a huge challenge to push through and just make the extrovert come out but you have to do it to be the best photographer you can be!

  85. Rebecca Patterson

    August 17th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you Jasmine.. I read each of your posts & do a lot of " uhah" head nodding & "umm you’re rights" this time I went – Exactly you nailed it, as hard as it is each time ~ i am finding it does get easier.. Thank you for being so honest & helpful. Much appreciated Cheers Rebecca

  86. Rose

    August 17th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I could have used your words of wisdom this past weekend at my wedding shoot… everything that could have happened happened and there was absolutely no time for the kind of photos I had envisioned for this couple… what do you do in that case? I literally spent a total of 30 minutes … 15 with the Bride (that "we have to hurry" and 15 with the couple after the ceremony).. "Do we have to do’s so hot out..i’m sweating..".. thank you for cementing the thought of control. I let it get out of hand…great post as always.. πŸ™‚

  87. Damaris Mia

    August 17th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Ahh! This spoke to me. I’m shy and quite at times (most of the time) and it does become somewhat of a hindrance. So thank you for this πŸ™‚

  88. Frank Manning

    August 17th, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Jasmine love ur work…just curious about the comment u made..(The best photographers don’t wait for a photo, they make a photo) what about photographer like denis reggie or jeff ascough they make amazing images without staging them.

  89. Adelle

    August 17th, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Jas, brilliant and super inspiring post as usual. You are such a blessing to us learning photographers. Thank you!

  90. susan

    August 18th, 2011 at 2:09 am

    as a true introvert photographer who is going to shoot her first wedding this Saturday…this post was very helpful πŸ˜€

  91. Laura

    August 18th, 2011 at 2:55 am

    This post came at just the right time for me! I feel like I have been so focused on the technical side of exposures and settings as well as the business side for client communications that I looked up from my grindstone to find that my subjects don’t look as amazing as I know them to be! I take full responsibility for this and I pledge to all who read this far down in the comment section that I will be better! Thank you Jasmine for the right encouragement at just the right time. Me and whole lotta other photogs are better because of you!


  92. Joe Buissink

    August 18th, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I beg to differ with this remark… "The best photographers don’t wait for a photo, they make a photo."

    Some of of us wait for the amazing moments that we see/feel at each wedding. They simply unfold in front of us without any prompting what so ever. It is truth that I seek. That truth comes in the moments that are mostly camera-un-aware on the part of the subject. It is the essence of the person in the moment that I’m after.

    And having said that… I also stage moments if/when necessary. And that requires a bit of personality. Drive. Motivation. Passion. Which a shy person may not readily have access to. Something which one CAN overcome, when one allows one’s passion to be in the driver’s seat.

  93. Jasmine*

    August 18th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    @Joe: I agree with you 100% and I tried to clarify this notion by stating in the post "And by "make" I mean as elaborate as a staged shot or simply taking one step to the right to compose the picture in a stronger fashion." You may be completely hands off and photojournalistic but if you position yourself in such a way to produce a stronger picture, or crop the photo to omit a distraction, or take a step back to capture more of the scene…you just "made" your photo. That’s what I meant, but maybe did a poor job explaining it! πŸ˜‰

  94. Joe Buissink

    August 18th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    @Jasmine: Better stated πŸ™‚ Understood. Agree!!

  95. Brittani Gonzalez

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Oh boy.. =) I’m normally never shy. I can make a new friend like *that*, but I also get choked up and nervous meeting with clients, and shooting them…

  96. Nicole Blumberg Photography

    August 21st, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    When It comes to my clients and when I’m giving instructions on what I would like them to do I am not shy. But as I have recently noticed, at the Bay area wedding pro meetup I went to this last week I was very shy. Thats the place I really do not want to be shy or quite at all. I mean the the editor in cheif of was there! I was praying to the outgoing gods!! lol. I did however endup talking to her and other professional wedding photographers. I guess what I’m taking so long to get at is, at meetups or photographers conventions how do you initiate a conversation with another wedding pro that you may not know? I feel being outgoing at meetups is very important. yo never know who you might meet.

  97. cassandra-m

    August 22nd, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Great post…we all need a reminder to push ourselves, shy or not…good advice!

  98. Lisa

    August 22nd, 2011 at 9:37 am

    This has been the question I’ve been asking myself as I contemplate moving forward with my photography business!! So glad I found this post. I never thought that you would have ever struggled with shyness Jasmine. You seem so confident and outgoing. I love how your personality and energy come through and I can just imagine how at ease you make your subjects feel. I hope I can be a better, more outgoing me now! Thanks!!

  99. Tammy Keith

    August 24th, 2011 at 4:48 am

    I’m one of those people who never takes the time to comment but I just couldn’t believe you wrote this. It sounds exactly like me! I started my photography business a couple years ago after losing my job. Everything I know (which isn’t much) I’ve learned on my own so I just couldn’t believe how much this post sounds like me. I have always been very insecure and hated even walking in front of someone but when I’m photographing a wedding, party or anything really, I never even think about it. The only thing on my mind is getting a good shot. It’s one of my favorite things about being a photographer. It has enriched my life in so many ways. I love your work and loved reading your blog. Thanks so much you made my day!!

  100. Michael Johnson

    August 24th, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Jasmine, This is a fantastic article. I believe that "shy" is just a label and to become more outgoing or less shy you simply change the label. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. When you believe that you are "shy" it becomes easier to say I want to talk to that person, but I won’t and it’s OK because I’m shy. Instead change the label and say I’m going to talk to that person because I want to. I could go on, but next time you catch yourself saying or thinking "I’m shy" change it to "I’m a little nervous, but I’ll get over it."

  101. Harriette

    August 27th, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Hello Jasmine ! I’ve been following your site for a couple years now ! Never missed a post ! But never post a comment. So here is my first one !
    Thank you for this great post ! This post brough me to ask myself this question : can a deaf photographer be successful ?
    I am deaf and want to do the same job as your one day. =D
    Thank you again for this post and also for your awesome site ! Kisses from France.

  102. Mario

    August 28th, 2011 at 4:23 am

    This is so true. I tend to be a bit shy persoanlly. When I first started shooting a lot of the shyness in me carried through to my shooting. I was in a competitive environment being a hotel roaming photographer. I soon realized I needed to have energy and use my personality to grab my subjects and excel at my job. Now whenever a camera’s in my hand my personalty automatically changes. I’m all about having fun, energy, drive and getting the shot!

  103. Jenni in KS

    September 5th, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Thank you so much for this post! In no way do I want to be a wedding photographer, but I have enjoyed your blog for a long time because of the attention to detail that goes into your photos and how at ease your subjects seem. Plus, you and JD just seem so sweet. Your skill absolutely amazes me, and I’ve often wondered how photographers can be so good at photographing *people*. I love taking photos–of wildflowers, old half fallen down buildings, rusty antique cars, insects or ANYTHING but people. The reason? I am shy! I’m not good at telling people what to do or making conversation to help them loosen up. I took a few good candid shots at a friend’s wedding, but I was not *the* photographer, so there was no pressure. Until now, I’d pretty much thought this was out of my realm, but my SIL is getting married in two weeks and asked months ago if I could take a few photos of the groomsmen (since the official photographer is among them). She just emailed me a detailed list of a lot more than that–1/2 of all the photos and pretty much all of the "creative" shots. I freaked. Then I came straight here. I will be looking for more tips, but this one post helps SO much. Thank you!

  104. Jessica

    October 2nd, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    LOL I googled "can a shy person be a wedding photographer?" last week! Thank you for this post because it spoke exactly what I needed to hear.

  105. Lisa Goodwin

    April 17th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Man you nailed it! I have had to become less introverted and push myself to make my clients feel comfortable and it does help. Although I struggle with it all the time. Thank you for posting this πŸ™‚

  106. Josue

    July 2nd, 2013 at 3:31 am

    This is one of the greatest blog posts I’ve ever read. Sincere and reaching out to people so they can be encouraged. No doubt your last name is Star!

  107. Mark

    March 11th, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Good stuff, Jasmine…as always. I think having passion for what we do plays a major role in everything. It’s that passion that allows us to transfer the right energy to our clients. Thanks for the reminder. πŸ™‚

  108. emily

    November 18th, 2015 at 4:46 am

    you are brilliant!!! i am sooo the same. if its people i know i am fine and can be more"out there" but a place of strangers i am the most quiet person there. i absolutely LOVE photography…always have! reading this from you is just one of the things i needed to see to know …I GOTTA SURPASS my internal obstacles caused by me, myself & i & get out there more. i love nature shots but want to get out there more and see what kind of memories i can create with people. your own kids as models can only go so far (haha)
    THANK YOU!!!!