I am an Introvert Photographer and proud of it. However, it doesn’t make working with clients during sessions any easier.
When I first started shooting clients that were not related to me, I would become so nervous that I would try to talk myself out of doing it. Talk myself out of business? Seriously? I was scared enough to do it.
I was sabotaging myself.
Ever since I was a child, I have been quiet and shy. It’s just a part of my personality. (Thank God for the internet, right? I do so much better with people when I hide behind my screen.) I have never been a big talker, and I often find myself saying something awkward or stupid when forced to converse with other human beings outside of my comfort zone.
The funny thing is I am always drawn to jobs that require me to be social. (I was an Activities Assistant for the elderly for most of my career.) Isn’t that crazy?
Fast forward to photography. It’s my passion, and I know that it is all that I want to do. Nothing has ever captivated me more than this beautiful art form.
And nothing has pushed me out of my comfort zone more.
I still get nervous when I am headed to a shoot that involves clients that I don’t know very well. However, I have found a way to become a functioning Introvert Photographer.
1) I fake it till I make it.
That’s right. I pretend.
I pretend that I am this rockstar photographer who is totally confident and ready to roll. If my clients can see right through my act then they don’t let on.
I just plaster on a smile, take a deep breath, and allow myself to morph into the “photographer” me. It’s easier than it sounds and a little less crazy than it sounds.
2) I make myself talk.
I force myself to ramble. Sure, I say some stupid stuff but it actually works for me in a photo session.
My awkwardness makes people laugh. It makes them smile and that makes for good photos. I’ve learned that if I just let myself go with the flow than I can get the shots that I need. Who cares if they think that I am foolish? They won’t be thinking that when they get back their beautiful images. Chances are they won’t even remember what I said to them to get that smile. It won’t matter.
3) I get pumped before I even go to the session.
This is going to sound crazy but music has been a huge help for me. I put on a happy pop song or one of those confidence inspired anthems, and I jam out in the car.
Music has always had a big impact on my mood, and I find myself humming my confidence anthem during the session. It keeps me determined. In some strange way, it keeps me focused and helps me feel more self-assured.
4) I remind myself that they NEED me to take control.
I tell myself that my clients are just as nervous as I am. They have no idea what they are doing, and they don’t want to look like a fool. All they know is they have enjoyed my past images, and they paid for their chance to have some of their own.
They are worried that they are going to mess it up somehow, and they look to me to guide them.
Reminding myself of this has helped me push through my shyness and lead. If there is no one else that can take over then I have to get it done.
It isn’t easy being a functioning Introvert Photographer but it is possible if you can find what pushes you out of your shell. Hopefully, some of my strange Introvert Photographer tips help you! Do you have any tips? Make sure to tell me about them in the comments!