Last week, I talked about a video by Sean Tucker that covered the challenges that introverts face when it comes to photography. It got me to thinking that I probably should talk about my own challenges when it comes to being an introverted photographer.
This is actually a little out of my comfort zone, because I don’t really like going in detail about myself—especially my faults—with people I don’t know.
I’ll watch extroverted photography influencers like Peter McKinnon, and Casey Neistat on youtube, and see how outgoing and gregarious they are, and even the thought of being like that starts to get my heart rate going and the sweat to start… sweating. I don’t even like to talk to people on the telephone—I REALLY hate talking to people on the phone, come to think of it—let alone walk up to random strangers in the street and be super-personable. I have always looked at this as a major impediment to my growth as a photographer.
When Peter tells me I need to “hustle” and go into coffee shops and ask the owners if I can display my prints, I break into a sweat at the very thought of it. Or, when I should approach business owners and ask them if they need any photography work done, I begin to shake. And don’t even get me started on the thought of shooting a wedding… well, it’s pretty obvious why I chose to focus on landscape and nature photography. The thought of having to deal with a bridezilla or groomzilla, and wrangling all those people around to get the photos I need absolutely terrifies me. I think I’ve gotten better. I’ve stepped out and have done a little street photography, which puts me out and exposed in the open. I still have a hard time shooting people in public, but I’ve gotten a little better at it. At least, I hope I have.
But, I’m constantly asking myself what I can do to become a more successful photographer, and from the sound of it, not much. I just keep telling myself that if I bide my time and “play the long game” as Sean Tucker alluded to in his video, that my time will come and it’ll be totally worth it. I tell myself that I don’t necessarily need to be the loudest person in the room to be successful, but then here I am working a job that I’m not fulfilled by, rather than being out in the world and making a living off my images.
As an introvert, for me, the absolute biggest struggle of all, is the struggle to get out of my own headspace and push myself to do or experience things I’m normally afraid to do. It’s usually a battle, and my record is pretty poor. I’m always coming up with excuses why I shouldn’t, even though I KNOW they’re just excuses. It’s some form of mental block.
But… and there’s ALWAYS a but…
I want overcome all of that and I want to be something more, that I could more easily step out of my comfort zone. I just wish stepping out of my comfort zone is all it took. I sometimes think I need a reset of my personality to get to where I want to be. I’ll still keep trying, because I love photography, and I want to become the best I can be, because of that love. Photography is what I want to do. Introverted or not.
And for me, that’s the biggest struggle of all.