Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?

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Lepewhi Contributing Member • Posts: 871
Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?

Please, hear me out.

I play in a community orchestra.  We are trying to update our internal player's site, pictures of concerts, trips, candides... We need someone to do it.  I am an introvert.  The people that suggested doing it use phones and such, ok good pictures.  But, thinking of trying to outgrow my natural comfort zone.  I know that there are preferences for photographers.  But, I feel embarrassed that I'm the only one that actually practices photography and is a member of 3 groups and feel weird leaving it to Iphones.  Are there any introverts out there, and how do you deal with taking pictures of people/groups, or do you just not bother?  Thanks

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KirillQPR Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?
9

I am an introvert and I prefer landscapes, urban decay, basically anything that does not contain people. I would hazard a guess that extroverts are better at street photography, portraits and such. Horses for courses and there is plenty room in photography for both introverts and extroverts.

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Ranlee Senior Member • Posts: 1,648
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?

Lepewhi wrote:

Please, hear me out.

I play in a community orchestra. We are trying to update our internal player's site, pictures of concerts, trips, candides... We need someone to do it. I am an introvert. The people that suggested doing it use phones and such, ok good pictures. But, thinking of trying to outgrow my natural comfort zone. I know that there are preferences for photographers. But, I feel embarrassed that I'm the only one that actually practices photography and is a member of 3 groups and feel weird leaving it to Iphones. Are there any introverts out there, and how do you deal with taking pictures of people/groups, or do you just not bother? Thanks

I figure life is full of uncomfortable situations I have no control over and I deal with them as I have to but life is too short to push myself into even more of them so I don't.

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DominicVII Regular Member • Posts: 426
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?
2

Yes, if you photograph people you need to be an extrovert; if getting a 'no' is humiliating or embarrassing to you, you have a severe handicap. I like shooting portraits, but I never ever shot a stranger. I once had a rather awkward situation where a stranger, upon seeing me carrying a camera, told me, 'I don't want my pictures taken.' I felt like telling that stranger, 'with that face of yours, I wouldn't take pictures of you even if you begged me to.'

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kaphinga
kaphinga Senior Member • Posts: 1,923
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?
10

Lepewhi wrote:

Please, hear me out.

I play in a community orchestra. We are trying to update our internal player's site, pictures of concerts, trips, candides... We need someone to do it. I am an introvert. The people that suggested doing it use phones and such, ok good pictures. But, thinking of trying to outgrow my natural comfort zone. I know that there are preferences for photographers. But, I feel embarrassed that I'm the only one that actually practices photography and is a member of 3 groups and feel weird leaving it to Iphones. Are there any introverts out there, and how do you deal with taking pictures of people/groups, or do you just not bother? Thanks

I am an introvert, and I like to take pictures of people.  A few thoughts:

*  You will be taking pictures of friends, most of whom are amenable to having their pictures taken. Nobody is going to get angry with you.

* Start with the folks you know best, which will give you  more latitude for practicing poses.

* Stay positive and give your subjects plenty of encouragement.  Tell them they look great, etc.

* I usually try to be straightforward about why I am interested in taking someone's picture. This doesn't apply in your case.  They all know why you want to take their picture.

I may think of more things later, but that's a start.

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kravemir Regular Member • Posts: 135
Confidence and positive attitude
4

As a photographer, you're not going to be a center of audience... You're there to do your job, to capture event and people. Nobody expect from a photographer to do talks or to uncover his personal life and ideas to others

You just need confidence, when you need to order people to arrange somehow, or to get them together. And, keep positive attitude to not spoil the mood. Others leaders will help you organizing people, it there are lots of them.

As photographer, other people value you based on photographies you make,.. So, do your job, be silent, keep positive attitude, talk (order others) when needed. Others don't care about who you are.

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Giiba
Giiba Regular Member • Posts: 372
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?
3

Of course you don't need to be an extrovert. There is a difference between personability and extrovertism, in fact a lot of extroverts are just a##hats.

What you need is the ability to interact effectively with the people you are photographing, and that involves giving effective directions to obtain the needed pictures in an efficient manner. You know these people so you don't need to work around comfort issues, just agree and have fun.

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Stereodesign
Stereodesign Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?

Whether introvert or extrovert its something you can learn to do.

At the end of the day we are all human so there is nothing alien at all in talking to another human.

Be polite, be yourself and you will be surprised how nice people are.

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baxters Veteran Member • Posts: 5,156
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?

No. This is a great opportunity to do something new for you. Do it well and let your work speak for you.

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Malachicat7
Malachicat7 Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?
1

No.

Introversion is a bit different than being shy. I think introversion means valuing your interior experience more than exterior experience but not devaluing exterior, including social, experience. Self confidence can allow you to herd cats (group photos), take street pictures or whatever and keep your introversion intact.

Street Photo taken by an introvert regardless of subjects happiness.

Ted

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RED i Contributing Member • Posts: 898
Nope

I'm an introvert but love shooting at nightclubs and raves.

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JaKing Senior Member • Posts: 3,675
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?

I'm very much an extrovert, but feel extremely uncomfortable taking photos of strangers.

As others have said, these are people whom you know and (presumably) like. Conversely, they know and (presumably) like you.

You will be OK.

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Andy M
Andy M Regular Member • Posts: 344
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?

Worth a watch https://youtu.be/x_5aoPUSudI

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Andy

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Humansvillian
Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 1,597
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?

If you are a member of the group, you'll get along as well with the group taking their pictures as you do watching somebody else snap a group picture of you with a smartphone.

Besides, you have a tripod, not a selfie stick, and can get in the group photograph yourself.

And your group will just love your photographs.

My best solution for your problem, is to find an extrovert in your group that's a whiz on social media, and supply them with lots of great photos.

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richiebee
richiebee Veteran Member • Posts: 3,349
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?

I'm a shy introvert and I love photographing people; individually and in groups.  I'm not so keen on shooting candids at events like receptions...  feels kind of like street shooting.  But I'm getting better with practice. I do love posed shoots though.  And concerts, but that's a whole other genre.

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glassoholic
glassoholic Senior Member • Posts: 2,639
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?

I am an introvert yet I enjoy and am very practised at shooting weddings. But I am not comfortable doing street photography (strangers) even though all the people at a wedding are strangers. Probably the contract I have at a wedding gives me the confidence to do my thing. I enjoy a solitary landscape or BIF shoot more than a wedding though. So I think there are no rules for personality types... so long as you are enjoying the shoot.

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OP Lepewhi Contributing Member • Posts: 871
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?
1

Thanks, I loved it. Lots to think about. I guess I have to be myself.

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JaKing Senior Member • Posts: 3,675
Re: Do you have to be an extrovert to be a photographer?
1

Lepewhi wrote:

Thanks, I loved it. Lots to think about. I guess I have to be myself.

Yes.

"This above all, to thine own self be true

Then it follows as the night the day ... "

Pretty wise man, Bill Shakespeare ...

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Velocity of Sound Regular Member • Posts: 473
My own experience...
2

I'm both shy and an introvert. I love the idea of doing one on one portraits with all sorts of people, but haven't moved beyond doing portraits of family.

Group photography is a different story, particularly when it's a group that you belong to. I've done photography for work-related functions, both more formal and more candid. While it feels weird to take a photo of a stranger on the street - or like you've gotten away with something if you pull it off unnoticed - taking photos of a group on a social outing is more or less expected.

Then there's the confidence aspect. I have confidence in my ability to maneuver the camera that I can get photos that will blow away those from my smartphone-toting colleagues (and I have the artistic sense to avoid sharing those photos that are unflattering), so I feel that people will ultimately want me to share my photos, and even if they feel bashful at first, they'll appreciate the candids that I take.  (And indeed, that's the reception I've received in the past, and it helps me to keep doing it in the future.)

There's also the confidence that comes with seeing how people respond to the "authority" vested by holding a camera.  For a more formal group photo, the idea of barking orders at people to look at you or reposition a certain way can seem intimidating... until you realize that people will do it with only mild grumbling, at worst.  In general, people are happy to have these photos as valuable keepsakes of time spent together with colleagues and friends.

Basically, you do it a few times, and the positive reception you're likely to meet will propel you forward to keep doing it.

Some other things that help are flexible lenses.  I love using my 17mm f/1.2 and 25mm f/1.2 with family, but it'd require me to get far too close for those work event photos.  I like the 12-100mm f/4 for those, and I find that for photos of only one or two people I tend to shoot in the 40-100mm range, which may help to give you a sense of the distance between me and the photo subject.  Personal space has a lot of influence in terms of how "confrontational" it can feel to take photos of someone else; if I ever buy the 40-150mm f/2.8, that would possibly become my preferred event lens.

Lastly, silent shooting is superb for candid shots.  If your camera body supports it, switching to the electronic shutter and disabling the autofocus confirmation beep allows you to fire off a shot in near-total silence (using a modern µ4/3 lens, as well; autofocus and aperture are also almost entirely silent).  That, too, may help your confidence in rounding off a bunch of photos.

Enjoy, and when in doubt, just remember: the people you're photographing will likely be thankful for the memories, and cherish them!

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OP Lepewhi Contributing Member • Posts: 871
Re: My own experience...

Good points. Thanks

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