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Can a Shy Photographer be Successful?

August 15, 2011 - Business, Photography

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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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FREE PRODUCTIVITY PLANNER

Life is about to get a whole lot easier.  

Desperate for change, I created a Productivity Planner to help streamline my workflow and I kissed stress goodbye. 

[With cherry flavored chapstick.]  

FREE INSTAGRAM GUIDE

Oh, friend, it's time to start growing your business on Instagram.
  
Sign up to receive a free Instagram marketing guide, helpful tips, and free stock photos you can use for your business.  

It’s basically an Instanote sent to your inbox to help push you toward your social goals and help grow your following.

FREE STOCK PHOTOS

You're busy, pulled in lots of directions, and trying to run a business. 

In addition to all this, you know you should be posting on social media, so how do you balance it all? 

I'm dedicated to your success, so download five free stock photos to use online...I hope this empowers you to attract dream customers along the way!

I wouldn’t say we were business nerds but my husband just sent me a Slack message asking me to call him.

If you need me, just follow the trail of empty La Croix cans around my house.

"Margaritas make me sound smarter, dance better, sound amazing, and look like Shakira...