Photography. A job that involves dealing with people, all the time. In fact, your job is full of people…other than editing…you are constantly interacting with people. When I first started doing photography, I bet there were people thinking…” really, you?” Because I am the definition of an introvert. I have social anxiety and find interacting with people close to torture. Today I wanted to share a few tips for all my introverted photographer friends out there.
I know I can’t be the only one! The fact is this…I love photography…I love the art and capturing people’s most special moments so I have had to learn and adapt to working a business as an introvert. Not only that but photographers also have to have pretty thick skin. It’s hard to do something that everyone and their brother is now doing. Photography is very popular…chances are you know like 12 photographers just in your family and circle of friends. So if you’re like me and you are a sensitive, introverted photographer- this post is for you.
5 tips for the introverted photographer
#1 Start with friends and family
My very first real session was my best friend’s maternity session. I used my iPhone for some of it. Everyone has to start somewhere. My sweet friend saw something in me and decided to trust me with capturing her family’s special memories. The second session was the newborn pictures for that baby. My first birth was a long time friend of the family. Over time, I started doing sessions that were less and less just inside my inner circle. I branched out. I’ve done sessions for people I had never met before the session and I really think I can do that because I started with friends and family. As an introverted photographer, you want to get your sea legs so to speak. It’s easy to learn your craft with people who know you best. It takes a little bit of that first pressure off of you. Everyone takes time as they learn their craft and friends and family are great people to practice on! Keep your pricing adequate to your experience and increase as you get experience.
#2 Try to meet or chat with the clients before the shoot
If possible, try to get to know your clients before the actual session. If it is a birth or a wedding, you would probably like to meet in person before the shoot. But even for smaller portrait sessions, I suggest trying to chat and get to know your clients before the actual shoot- whether in person or just through phone. It helps to get an idea of what the client is looking for and expecting. Chatting before the actual shoot helps alleviate a little of that beginning awkwardness. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and try to understand what they’re wanting out of your session-it’ll help everything go more smoothly.
#3 Be confident and proud of your work
I am extremely hard on myself. As an introverted photographer, I second guess my work all the time. It’s just how I am. But you need to remember that your clients have seen your work and see your potential. They’re trusting you to do your best so stop second-guessing your talent and go for it! Don’t forget you have to start somewhere so you will have sessions where you look back and think, “what was I thinking? I editing like that?” or something of the sorts. But I encourage you to be proud of your work and continue to be confident in what you do. If you doubt yourself constantly you’re going to start seeing it impact your work.
#4 Study, practice, and treat it like a job
Practice makes perfect. I have studied editing videos, posing tips, and all the things I can to help improve my craft. Never be “too good” to keep learning. Just like with anything else, photography is an art form and it can take practice…especially the technical and editing side of it. I use Skillshare, Pinterest, and Youtube all the time to study up on things to improve my photography. I don’t think I’ll ever be so confident that I think I don’t need to refresh my mind on new poses and editing techniques. The more you know and the more confident you are in telling people how to pose and what to do, the easier your sessions will go.
#5 Have thick skin
Like I mentioned earlier, you have to have thick skin as a photographer. Not everyone will like your work. Not everyone will pick you to do their sessions. I know probably 5 other photographers just in my outer circle. Not everyone will be happy with every picture. And guess what friends? That’s okay. Over my few years of doing photography, I have only had probably one client really unhappy with the session. And guess what, I wanted to quit after that. Ironically I still think of those as some of my best photos, the client just wasn’t happy. Some clients will never be happy- it happens. But it isn’t necessarily your fault and it doesn’t mean you aren’t talented. If you are an introverted photographer like me, you will want to retreat after a rough session or after a client has something they don’t like…but that’s life and it’s bound to happen.
Would you be considered an introverted photographer? Well, you aren’t alone and I hope you found these 5 quick tips helpful! If you’d like to see more of my work, you can see it here.