I’m an introvert, so what?

Growing up, Wednesday Addams was my idol.

She wore pigtails without them looking cute, was totally independent and when someone told her to be someone she wasn’t, she burnt their camp to the ground.

I’m an introvert and I think Wednesday was too.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all, it’s simply the way my brain works, but the misconceptions around it are frustrating. Especially when I’m called shy.

Considering all the stuff on the internet about how introversion isn’t a bad thing, some people seem to have missed it.

I’m not shy, I’m quiet

If I have something to say, I’ll say it, but I won’t speak simply to have spoken. If I’m quiet, I’m concentrating. Yes, that’s a lot but there are a lot of things to think about; what I’m doing, what you’re saying or even the way the light is interacting with whatever is in front of me.

Want an immediate response to a problem? You won’t often get one, a multitude of options will be running through my head and I’m testing the viability of each one. I also choose my words carefully, not because I’m afraid to speak but because I like what I’m saying to be as correct as possible. Wednesday’s cutting comebacks are considered and all the more effective for not being a rambling of thoughts.

Shyness is often seen as a weakness, so when you call me shy, you’re kind of suggesting the way my brain works is a weakness.

I’m not antisocial, I run out of social energy

In the same way I have a finite amount of energy to run before I need a rest, I have a finite amount of social energy. I can be having a wonderful time, but when that energy runs out, that’s it. I need alone time. It’s not you, well it kind of is, you’re exhausting.

I’m not miserable

I just have resting bitch face ok?

Joking (sort of). I’m not ‘perky’ and I don’t want to be. Doesn’t mean I’m not happy, it’s just not natural for me to animate it.

Extroverts and introverts both have their benefits, but assuming introverts aren’t social or are shy is misreading what’s actually happening.

The good stuff

I’m focused. I learn quickly and I’m confident in my ability to become good at most things. If I want to learn to do something, I learn to do it, whether I have any natural ability or not.

Also plotting, I’m good at that.

Why Photoshop is so important to me

I used to hear people say that only crap photographers used Photoshop, that it was a way for people to ‘cheat’ their way to a good photograph.

Absolute crap, but you’d hear it.

Thankfully, those people seem to have quietened down a bit. Photoshop still has a bad reputation in someways, to say someone has been ‘photoshopped’ often implies some sort of body modification to comply with unrealistic standards, whether photoshop itself has been used or not. But for me, an often skint photographer, it has been an invaluable tool for creating images that would be too costly for me to produce any other way.

For this image, I didn’t have a lens wide enough, or a stool tall enough or a pool big enough. The fabric barely fit under the model and I had to take numerous shouts to capture her whole body.


Without Photoshop, for me, this image would have been an impossibility.

I’ve still had to learn how to take good photos, but I do take them with Photoshop in mind, thinking about matching lighting for composites and taking multiple images to stitch them together later.

It’s just another tool and another skill.

Back in the game

With bits of sharp sticks needling at my legs, crunchy leaves attaching to my tights and the damp ground cold against my knees, I felt back in the game.

Quick edit from a recent meetup. Model: Stephanie Pearl Peregrine , crown: Pendulous Threads

Non-stop. That could easily be the title of the last few months and to be honest, it’s mostly my own fault. I’ve never been good at relaxing or doing nothing, I’ll easily work myself to exhaustion. But photography hasn’t been part of what I’ve been working on for a while. It’s been constantly on my mind, but I haven’t worked on actually doing anything. My ideas haven’t felt ‘good enough’ so I just stopped and worked on other things. But the less I worked on my photography, the fewer ideas I came up with.

Sparks of creative genius are a myth and I know that. You can’t wait around for ideas, you have to work for them. But self-doubt, especially when it comes to creativity, can be crippling.

For me, shoots come with the pressure to deliver. I worry that I’m not as communicative as other photographers, that I’m not as sure of what I want, that my need to me creative on the spot comes off as indecisiveness and that I’m not going to get shots the model will be happy with. I’ve never had feedback to this effect, but I worry.

So, for me, this is why meet ups are so important. Scraping my hands and snagging my tights while climbing into trees, while hoping I didn’t smack my camera too hard as it swings from my neck, just to try out something that probably won’t work with fellow photographers who won’t care if it works is important.

I’ve been to a few recently and while the ideas aren’t arriving any more easily, I’m pushing through and working harder.