I am an introvert. And I am a wedding photographer. In a way, this may seem like a tough combination. But not really. Let me tell you why.
Most of the articles about introversion and entrepreneurship try to teach why being more outgoing is good for us. Some try to make you feel less bad about your features as an introvert by pitching it as something to embrace, but I somehow felt they still sounded so condescending — like we had bad luck, but we should try to make the best of it.
So, I decided to change the approach and to share some of my perspectives as an introverted person and why some of the typical introvert traits can be a strength for you as a wedding or event photographer.
Introverts are quiet.
Who said this was not a good attribute again? The world around us may be filled with noise, but our quietness allows us to dig deeper into the meaning of the surrounding noise. The best part? We are specialists in blocking the noise out altogether to focus on the essential things. We are people watchers, or better said, we just love to observe in general, whether it’s people, nature, etc. We introverts are natural observers, so we identify changes in our environments very quickly. We make a point of paying attention to nonverbal cues that might reveal hidden meanings. Such ability often helps us avoid potential misunderstandings because we know words are only half of the story.
Introverts are too sensitive.
We are sensitive to our needs and the needs of others. Being considerate of others is one of our best qualities and the one that makes us more likable. We can sense feelings and react to the smallest emotion. This empathy makes people feel noticed and understood. Yes, we (especially highly sensitive introverts) can get overwhelmed by too many stimuli. But the upside to our sensitivity is that we notice details others might miss.
We can almost instinctively feel when a moment is about to peak, so, as wedding photographers, we can sense the right moment to pick up our cameras and get that fleeting instant. Also, our sensitivity can make us highly tuned into light, color, space, texture, and moods, making us incredible visual artists.
We are great at focusing alone for long periods of time.
When we have an important task that demands great attention, we are the best to get in the zone and keep going (sometimes obsessively) until we have it finished. Doesn’t this sound like a great advantage when post-production and deadlines come around? Just saying!
Introverts are not ego-driven (well at least most of us aren’t).
Many of us photographers are artists, and as everybody knows, artists have egos. Everyone has an ego, but we artists seem to be extra known for ours. The ego is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it fuels our ambition to excel. It drives us to outdo our personal best. But on the other hand, when our egos get bruised, we can become spoiled prima donnas and act out. Or, our inflated egos can do the same to our sense of self-importance.
According to Susan Cain, author of, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” introverts are not overly interested in success or leadership for personal glory. They are interested in creating something, not themselves.
What moves us the most is the satisfaction our clients feel when we deliver outstanding and life-changing products, services, and experiences, other than the glories of public recognition. Your introversion keeps the positive traits of our egos focused on what is essential.
We are disciplined, passionate, and committed to our goals of perfecting whatever our craft is.
Introverts tend to be driven and disciplined. We are intensely interested in the things that we care about, and we want to learn everything we can. This eagerness helps us become experts in our fields.
We don’t seek approval from external sources (not too often at least), so we can concentrate all of our energies on the pursuit of ambitious goals instead. Such ambition often turns introverts into highly successful people.
We love thought-provoking conversations if you can get us into one.
This last one might be more generalizable than any of the previous ones beyond the world of wedding photography. But I include it because it may be interesting for some of our more extroverted friends who are interested in understanding more about our “shyness.”
Yes, we often choose silence, and we hate small talk; but that doesn’t mean we don’t like people or that we can’t be engaging in an in-depth discussion.
Most introverts may be profoundly conscious and passionate people who want to make the most of their days, which likely means they would rather not waste their precious time engaging in shallow conversations about the weather or the last celebrity’s scandal. Now, the truth is they just don’t feel the need to opine on everything, everywhere. But if they feel you care about their opinion, they will come out of the shell. They just need the right place, the right tone, and the right company.
My advice if you are truly curious to find out how fascinating an introvert can be: just ask them an intelligent question about a topic they care about; I promise you, we introverts have interesting and exciting things to say.
Introverts are a whole world filled with so many unique characteristics; these are just some of the introverts’ qualities that stand out to me and why I think these make us better at what we do. Does this sound like you? Great. Please feel free to add some points for the cool introverted wedding photographer reading this article or add your own experiences with the introverts in your lives. Join the conversation and share in the comments.