An Introverted Photographer

First of all, what is an introvert?

An introvert is mainly defined as a shy person whose motives and actions are directed inward. Introverts tend to be preoccupied with their own thoughts and feelings and minimize their contact with other people. The word “introvert” was first recorded between 1660-1670.

My next bit is from Michaela, a writer and coach for introverts, check out her blog here.

There are many benefits and disadvantages about being an introvert.

The innate qualities that most introverts share are a love of introspection, a need for solitude, and a slower, more focused communication style. For introverts, introspection comes as naturally as breathing. We love to explore the colorful landscapes of our imagination. You cannot magically “cure” a person’s introversion. And why would you want to?

Being in tune with what I am feeling and thinking about most of the time and being naturally creative provides a beautiful base in my love of photography. I love exploring new creative possibilities and new perspectives.

An introvert’s desire for solitude is more than just a preference. It is crucial to our health and happiness. We need time alone to restore ourselves. Other introvert problems include: communication problems, low energy, and extroverted work and social environments.

For me, I felt that I have always had a difficult time communicating, and even if the other person is my friend I will still feel awkward at times, feel like I have run out of things to talk about, and feel drained after having to communicate with many different people. This is a disadvantage to my photography career and frankly, I did not want to mention it. The strange fact about me though is that I love being around people. I love listening to other people’s stories and watching their expressions. I do like to add a few words here and there but I normally don’t feel confident enough to carry the conversation.

This is a disadvantage, most photographers need to be very social in order to start their business, build a reputation, and keep their company going. They need to constantly find opportunities to tell people about their career/hobby as a photographer and that is where I fall short. I do not put myself and my love of photography “out there” as much as I should. I do not normally find ways to direct the conversation to my love of photography and I am also just not very social naturally. Actually, the thought of having to constantly bring myself up in conversations or constantly mention what I do for a hobby actually seems odd to me. All of these things are blocking me from making connections and building up my photography career.

Introverts are pressured to push ourselves in social situations to the point of exhaustion. Then we feel guilty for becoming irritable and grouchy. We blame ourselves for not being able to be “on” all the time.

I can testify to feeling like I need to put on an extrovert mask so that others do not find me weird or too quiet and then when my energy runs out I have to try not to come off as rude when I do not want to join in on certain activities. I can tell you that I have been grouchy and irritable when I really need to recharge and cannot get out of whatever it is that I am doing and feel guilty for it. Knowing that everyone around me is not like me and wondering why I need more alone time than other people, or wondering why everyone else can talk for hours so easily and it is a struggle for me.

An interesting fact:

Studies have found many differences between an introvert’s brain compared to an extrovert’s. One key difference is that information travels a longer pathway through an introvert’s brain. This causes us to process information more deeply and is likely why we take longer to verbalize our thoughts.

That would explain why I like to process what you have just said before I respond. When I say process I mean, the tone in which you said it in, the amount of time it took you to say it, the body language you had when you said it, and the emotion you put into your words. I have also developed an intuition, or I was born with it, and through this “longer pathway through an introvert’s brain” I can actually enjoy studying people and have a good idea of how you are feeling or know partially what your personality is just by looking at you.

In our culture, extroversion is considered the norm. Introverts don’t need to be cured, fixed or magically transformed into extroverts (this isn’t possible anyway – more on that later). Extroverts are not superior to introverts, and vice versa. We are different personality types with different needs, desires, and behaviors.
Group outings, parties, and crowded rooms can be very draining for introverts.

As an introvert, I enjoy structured social activities over just hanging out with a bunch of people I have just met. There is just something about structure and schedules that comfort me. Maybe it is because I know what time I will be done the event and know that at that time I can leave and recharge/rest for awhile.

I feel that by sharing this post I will either scare people away or all the introverts that want their photos taken but are shy will feel more comfortable with me? I can relate with you, I know how uncomfortable things can be, and I understand.
If you are nervous chances are I am nervous too. 🙂

Introversion comes with many unique gifts. The world needs more calm, more quiet, and more depth. Introverts are the best people to provide all that and much more.

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