Last week my friend Stephanie asked if anyone knew their Meyers-Briggs personality type. I had taken mine at work last year and found out I am an ISTJ. It was the first time I had ever been honest when taking a personality test — that might sound strange, but any time I took them in high school I always found myself filling out the answer to what I *thought* I should be instead of what I was. As we were described our personalities in depth, mine fit me to a “t”.
Some may say there is no place for an introvert in a profession like photography; at times, you have to be able to command entire rooms so there is no place for shyness. However, being an introvert doesn’t simply mean you are shy. While many of us are that, it really is more about enjoying solitude, internalizing emotions, and preferring quiet atmospheres. All of this to say that it can be challenging to be a photographer as an introvert and here is why…
I have found over the past few months that one of the keys to being successful in this industry is networking. Without peers who support you, you will get no where; you truly, absolutely cannot do this business alone. This involves attending conferences & workshops, building lasting friendships, supporting others’ work, hosting parties, volunteering to second shoot, etc — which directly conflicts with the “enjoying solitude & quiet atmospheres” definition above. The thing about being an introvert for me anyway is that I honestly love doing all the activities above and cherish all my new friendships that I have built through this business. BUT, and this is a big one, it is exhausting! Introverts are physically and mentally drained by the end of an event and just want to go home and curl up. If you’ve read on this far though, I am probably preaching to the choir!
So I just wanted to share a few methods that I have developed for myself to help find a good balance: