One thing I've noticed in quite a few of my conversations with others in the industry of wedding photography, or even photography as a whole, is that many of us are not the ones to always be the loudest, most noticed people in the room. I mean raise your hand if you're a corner dweller, usually sticking by your spouse or your one friend?? *raises hand also*
BUT we all know that part of running a successful and personable business is meeting new people and interacting with them. After all, being in the photography world means your main business is with people. So I wanted to encourage my fellow introverted business owners and jot down a few things I've learned this past year.
Even if you aren't the loudest in the room, you still have something worth sharing.
You are a business owner. You are a wedding photographer. You are a lifestyle photographer. You are a fashion photographer. You are a family photographer. That part doesn't change even if your personality is naturally something different than Sally down the street. So in light of that, you have images and words worth sharing! You have just as much right to an audience as someone who may more naturally command attention virtually or in person. So own that & keep sharing!
2. Your approach may be different on wedding days but you can still command attention when you need to and if you need help, just ask.
I am not naturally someone who likes all eyes on me or likes to have to call everyone's attention on a wedding day but I am finding out if I need to, I will step up, and it never hurts to ask someone else to help you. Grab the bridesmaid attendant, the wedding planner, the mother of the bride... anyone who is maybe more comfortable with getting the attention of the family and bridal party and explain your vision. More often than not I've found that many are eager to help and it somehow hits differently when Mom or the wedding planner steps in... people seem to want to obey ;)
3. Find ways after a session, meetup, or wedding day to recharge your batteries the next day and don't be afraid to even take a day before editing and getting back in the swing of things.
Pretty much the ONLY person that I feel recharged by is my husband. Other than that, after a wedding day I am exhausted for at least 1-2 days after! BUT I've found different ways when I get home in the evening or the next day that help motivate me to get into editing and the other things I need to do in my life besides work. A hot shower or bath that night and a face mask (obviously NOT one that has to do with #COVID19 ha) or a foot mask is always a great idea. Read a chapter of a book or sit with your eyes closed and listen to an audiobook or podcast. Watch your favorite tv show or movie. Go for a walk or workout. Recharging may not always look like a form of actual rest but just whatever form of relaxation that works for you!
4. Be friends with extroverts AND introverts in your field.
As one or the other, we can sometimes tend to flock to those exactly like us. Just like we are challenged in this world to become friends with those who may not act like us, talk like us, or look like us, I think equally we should seek to have friends in the industry or others we work with who don't have the same personality as us. I don't think this means you always have to be BFFs for life and braid each other's hair buuuutt I do think there is value in being stretched in our work relationships. I think it helps in understanding others a little bit better and making us more well rounded individuals, who in turn work well with all.
5. Take a deep breath in stressful scenarios, count to ten, and have fun.
My very first wedding ever was a super great day but not without it's challenges. Changing your settings SUPER fast for a ten minute ceremony when the lighting guy is having all kinds of fun changing everything every minute is a recipe for hyperventilating and freaking out. You are human. You cannot control every aspect of a session or wedding day or the way others act (gosh i wish we could though!). But you can control how you respond and as an introvert myself, my tendency is to want to go get in my car, drive off, hit up Taco Bell or Starbucks, and never come back. However this is such a moment to truly keep the day trucking along both for yourself and for those who are serving business wise and a time to instead take a deep breath, count to ten if need be, step away for a moment, eat a protein bar, take a sip of water, and get back to what you love doing. If you are in this industry, there is something to it that you LOVE even if it's not all aspects. So think of that, whether it is taking bridal photos, couple photos, family photos, or lifestyle photos... the moment W I L L pass and I always think the sooner you can get back to having fun with your clients and making sure they are taken care of, the better.
There you have it! 5 tips from a fellow introverted small business owner who is by no means an expert but a lover of people and celebrating our differences... especially as those in the same industry of photography. I hope to post more quick blog posts, especially this winter! If you'd like to be subscribe so you know when I post, scroll to the bottom of this page, enter your email below & I promise not to spam your inbox!
Thanks for reading! 🤍