Thursday, March 3, 2011

{things that make me happy} introvert v. extrovert

At first glance, most people would classify me as an extrovert.

I'm a talker. A doer. An always moving-always thinking-always going kind of person. I laugh, I cry, I run, I play. I love checklists. I travel constantly. I enjoy being with friends - most of whom are quite loud+outgoing. I'm a type-A, oldest child through and through. I shoot weddings, aka LARGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE, for crying out loud...

But I'm not.

By definition, the true meaning of an extrovert is: "one who is energized by being around other people, who tend to 'fade' when alone and can easily become bored without other people around." When given the chance, an extrovert will talk with someone else rather than sit alone and think. In fact, extroverts tend to think as they speak, unlike introverts who are far more likely to think before they speak. Concepts just don't seem real to extroverts unless they can talk about them; reflecting on them isn't enough. So yes, at first glance, it would make sense to classify me as an extrovert. Me, the photographer of large groups of people. Me, the talker. Me, the always voted to speak for the group. Me, the "extrovert."

But I'm not.

I'm a thinker. An over-thinker, actually.

I am energized by my alone-time. I crave it, actually. It allows my brain to expand, accept all the things that are simultaneously thrashing about and categorize them as need be. It gives me the ability to relax, to stop going, and to just be in the moment. It allows me to re-evaluate, recharge, and then go again. I am not shy, but that in itself is not the definition of an introvert. Introverts are people who are energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to "recharge."

Which I do.

I love weddings. LOVE them. Never get sick of them. But the day after shooting one, I am drained both emotionally and physically. Maybe it's the 50 pounds of camera equipment, the 16 hour day, or maybe it's just that I concentrate so much of my energy into thinking, doing, acting, shooting. It's focused on the couple. It's focused on the group. It's focused on producing quality images. It's focused on telling a story. It is totally and completely outward.

And it's exhausting. In an awesome, beautiful, wow that was a great day, I love my job kind of way. But exhausting, nonetheless.

Because I'm an introvert.

See ... I am the girl who's much better one-on-one than being part of a large group. In that large group, I tend to gravitate toward the one person I know and stay there. I have a few really close friends, but not many acquaintances. I am the girl who isn't afraid of public speaking - if I know what I'm talking about. I am the girl who will speak her mind - if I feel strongly about it. I don't argue unless I know for sure that I'm right. I think things through two, three or four times before I do anything. And above all, my favorite part of being a wedding photographer is the relationship I develop with my brides+grooms.

Because I'm an introvert.

Which is also what happens to make me good at my job. That relationship that {we} develop, that one-on-one, that trust is what creates beautiful images.

All of my energy that entire day, is focused on {you}. You are important to me, your photos are important to me, your day is important to me. Because hopefully, throughout the entire wedding planning process, we've become friends.

When you hire a photographer, be an introvert and focus on how you feel when you're around them. Are you comfortable? Are you nervous? Excited? Anxious? Relaxed? Confident? Forget price, forget time, forget packages. How do you feel?

Because you're not just hiring a vendor, you're hiring a friend. A friend who will be there all day. A friend who will be part of your most intimate of moments. A friend who is responsible for the one thing that will last forever.

So today, {what makes me happy} is knowing that being an introvert is not a negative. That it's totally okay to need to "recharge." That is a good thing to stop and think. That being alone is a-okay.

Because it's what makes me happy. And that's what matters.


*Shot with my little Canon point+shoot. Hiking with my hubby+dogs to "recharge" makes me even happier.

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