Introverted Photographers

Had a photo booth set up for the Town of Crossfield Family Day event. The event was initially supposed to be a sled party outside, but weeks of warm weather melted all the snow and we had to use a plan “B” which was human curling and other activities held at the Curling Rink. Quite a few people showed up considering how short notice the event ended up being with the change of plans, but less than I was expecting wandered upstairs to take advantage of my set. Had 15 groups sit down for photos total, so I suppose it wasn’t that bad a turn out. The whole event only lasted 2 hours, and from watching people be hurled down the ice as human curling stones, I can honestly say I would also have rather done that than come upstairs to have my photo taken.

I had a lot of fun planning and setting up my scene. Most of my shoots with clients are outdoor location shoots, so this was a fun change. Since it was originally supposed to be a sled party my original plan consisted of using sleds and other outdoor family activity stuff as props, but decided to stick with my original plan of using family fun oriented props and think it turned out really well. All the feedback I received after mailing out peoples photos was positive, so seems like people enjoyed it.

I think a more outgoing person could have gone out and convinced more people to come up and take advantage of the booth, but that’s just not who I am. When I was younger I used to be a lot more social than I am now. I was always out with people, enjoying each others company. Then as I started getting older I started keeping more and more to just myself and my family, focusing on my own things, mainly photography and lately fitness as well. It seems logical that if you want to be successful at something then you should focus on it. Live it, dream it, be the best at it that you can be. At this stage in my life I’m beginning to think that might not be the best strategy. I believe that extroverted, outgoing, borderline arrogant types of people will have a much easier path to success than us reserved introverted folk, regardless of talent. You could be the best photographer in the entire world and it still wouldn’t matter if you didn’t hold peoples attention on a personal level. Portrait/family photography is an extremely personal business., about as personal as it gets actually. Something I read a long time ago that has always stuck is “it’s more important to click with the client than it is to click the shutter” and I truly believe that to be true. I think I probably seem like a fun outgoing person while out on a normal location shoot with clients, but that’s just because i’m generally in my own element, outdoors taking pictures.

This Family Day event showed me that I need to work on my ‘people’ skills when I’m not in my element. I don’t think I came across as unpleasant or anything, but definitely didn’t come across as friendly and exciting.  If I want to be a successful photographer, whether it’s taking pictures of people, taking pictures of things or places for people. or taking fine art landscape/adventure pictures and then trying to sell the prints to people, I’m going to need to work on my interpersonal skills when I’m in the type of situation that I don’t naturally excel in. I know for certain that I’d have better luck at my farmers markets selling prints if I was more outgoing, and probably would get more commercial type of work if I spent more time on and was better at social situations. I think there will be a time in my career when I’ll have to have meetings with people who could change my life/direction in an instant, and it would be horrible to mess that up because I’ve spent all my energy over the years trying to perfect my art and lost my social skills while I was at it.

I’m more exhausted after two hours of socializing with a group of people, than I am from 10 hours of intense mountaineering and strenuous physical activity. That will never change, it’s just what being introverted is all about. The trick is figuring out how to fool new people into thinking you’re a fun, interesting guy even when they first meet you in a situation where your personality doesn’t naturally shine, then hopefully they’ll hire you and get the chance to witness what it’s like when you’re shining for real. These pictures below are Dani and I sitting in my Family Day set. I got some really good pictures of other people having fun with it, bringing their own energy to my pictures,  but I’ll just stick with a tired Dani and I instead of a bunch of pictures of random people for this post. I sent each person 2 copies of their photo, both a color and black and white (what I offer clients in a standard shoot) so may as well post both on here as well.

Lance Edwards-Hampton
http://www.insaneshotsphotography.com

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