We’re living in a world made for extroverts. That’s not a secret. As an introvert, I’m not an expert on how to navigate this but I know that actively putting yourself in front of a camera might to be the first choice of entertainment for someone who’s less outgoing.

But how can photography, specifically family photography, work for the less extroverted people?

Family photography for introverts and shy people

I’m an introvert. According to the Myers-Briggs test, I’m an INFJ – or I was when I last tested myself. I’m actually curious to find out if that’s changed over time.

But I digress.

I’m an introvert and shy when I meet new people. I prefer to observe and read a room before engaging with people. Often I prefer to stay back completely and only talk to those who approach me. Days full of interaction and energetic humans exhaust me and I need time to myself, my own thoughts and no interaction with others as a result.
Do you know this feeling? Is that how you feel too?
If it is, you’re probably an introvert as well.

Being introverted doesn’t mean that you don’t want to interact though. Sometimes it just costs too much energy to compete with the extroverts, those who like to be the centre of attention (there’s nothing wrong with that btw).

So what does any of that have to do with family photography?

Families can be full-on and loud. Everybody wants attention and having a photographer around to capture your tribe can lead to louder voices, kids showing off their skills, their toys or their most epic tantrums.
But what if you have shy children? They might be curious but don’t dare to come out of their shell in front of a stranger – let alone one with a camera. Or maybe they just want to protect their own energy levels by standing back. Does that mean they are going to be bad subjects?

No, absolutely not!

Your photographer should be able to adjust to the different personalities within a family they work with. Luckily most photographers naturally have a good sense of how to do that.

But there is one genre that I personally think lends itself perfectly to capturing quieter families or members of a family that prefer to stand back a bit. It’s documentary family photography.

Documentary family photo sessions are usually at least 2 hours long – they can even last as long as a whole day. Currently, I only offer 2hour sessions (due to Covid) but even during that time, there are plenty of opportunities for me to meet everyone in your family and make a connection to help the shyer people come out of their shell a little.

The more time I get to spend with you and your children, the more everyone gets used to me. That doesn’t just apply to children – parents sometimes need time too (especially dads!). Spending time to chat and just interacting naturally will result in genuine connections, relaxed situations and photos that perfectly represent how your unique family works.

The longer family photo sessions take, the more you get to know me and the more honest my work can portray everyone involved. While I had to learn to be more outgoing and open in order to make connections with my clients, I’m still an introvert and enjoy quiet moments that allow me to observe. I will be able to see the small moments that happen in those seconds that pass so quickly. And the best thing about documentary family photography is that no one needs to be told to behave, to smile for the camera or be someone they don’t like to be just for the sake of a photo.

The images I get to capture for you will show your unique family dynamics – no matter how loud or quiet your days are, I will be able to document it for you. So if you ever wondered if family photos are right for you because you or someone in your family might be too shy, please stop wondering. There is no right or wrong way to be when you want genuine photos of your family. You just need to be you.

So how do you feel about family photography? Is there something holding you back? Do you feel that documentary sessions could be the way to go for you? If this article made you curious about how I could document your family, please do reach out and let’s start a conversation.

Get in touch with me

Not ready to commit to a chat just yet? No problem at all!

But would you be up for helping me with some research instead? I want to make sure I understand what families want when it comes to family photography – and also what they know about the documentary approach. I created a survey for it last year and would love to get a few more eyes on it and would absolutely benefit to hear from you! Click the link below to find the survey. If you do that, then you’re my hero for the day! 🙂

Take the survey
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