Live with Intention

Balance business with home life, start living intentionally
and learn to enjoy the present moment with my guide:
10 Tips for Living an Intentional Life.

How to Avoid Burnout | Introverted Photographers

Last week, I wrote about my opinion of the question: Can an Introvert be a Successful Wedding [or Portrait] Photographer?

This is the time of year that many of us photographers are feeling the crunch of the busy season winding down and the holiday season quickly approaching, regardless of whether we’re introverted or extroverted. Our shooting season might be over up here in the midwest as winter approaches, but for many, the marathon editing sprees are just beginning.

I know that as the season wrapped up and I tried to fit in portrait sessions before Mother Nature’s deadline of the leaves falling and the snow arriving, I felt the swirls of burnout begin to catch up with me.

So I wanted to write a post about how to avoid burnout. This information is directed at photographers with a focus especially on introverts, but really, it’s transferrable across all industries and types of people.

How to Avoid Burnout | Introvert Photographers | Laura Radniecki

Introverts, by definition, expend energy when they’re around other people. They recharge their energy buckets by being alone, doing solitary activities like reading and spending time in nature.

It makes sense then, that introverts run a higher risk of burnout from too much social interaction.

I know this is true for myself, as an introverted photographer.

So, in honor of the end of our shooting season, and the beginning of burnout creeping in:

Tips to avoid burnout, especially if you’re an introverted photographer:

 

1. Guard your schedule.

Tasks that involve interaction with people, like client meetings, shooting sessions or weddings, and marketing and networking events all empty an introvert’s energy bucket.

Yes, we might love shooting, but introverts can feel very depleted of energy at the end of these social activities.

We need to be careful that we don’t force ourselves into a schedule with too many social activities and not enough solo recharge time.

Alternate shooting or meetings with plenty of down time. Give yourself permission to rest and recharge. Schedule it so you make sure it happens.

 

2. Prepare – Mentally and Physically.

By preparing in advance for shoots and meetings etc, you will allow yourself time to become mentally engaged in what you’re doing. You will be ready to photograph or to talk with a prospective client, and you won’t feel put on the spot or unprepared.

It’s also helpful to prepare physically. For example, by cleaning your gear and packing your bags the day before a wedding, you keep yourself from scrambling at the last minute, worrying that you missed something.

This helps you keep calm and focus your energy on the task at hand.

 

3. Practice. Become an expert.

In order for you to instruct your clients confidently, whether you do this in a loud and flashy or a quiet and reserved way, you need to practice so you can lead confidently.

Your clients take their cues from you, so by practicing ahead of time and working out the kinks, you’ll be able to feel confident and secure in your directions which will allow for a smooth session or wedding.

The added benefit of practice is that you become confident because you feel like the expert. This knowledge and self assurance will help you perform to the best of your ability and help your clients thrive in the spotlight.

 

4. Rest and Recharge.

You’ve scheduled time for rest and relaxation in your schedule. Now, MAKE SURE YOU USE IT.

I know how hard it is to stop working when there’s a mountain more than could be done. It’s so easy to say, “I can read any time. I’ll just work for another hour so I can get XXX done.”

The truth is there will ALWAYS be something else you could do.

If you don’t take time out for yourself, you’ll burn out, hate your business, and quit. Maybe not quite as dramatically, but you won’t thrive in your business.

Make sure you give yourself permission to rest and recharge, so that you can continue to serve your clients and serve your business to the best of your ability.

**This is even more important for us, after a long, intense shooting season. While we really need to schedule time for rest during the busy season as well, make SURE you’re allowing yourself plenty of time to rest now that the shooting season is over. Especially if you’re feeling the effects of burnout creeping in.**

– – –

If you’re an introvert, chances are you’re even more prone to burnout than others.

Especially at the end of a long, intensely busy shooting season, it’s easy to feel the strain.

Give yourself permission to rest, and in the future, help guard against burnout right from the beginning!

P.S. To all the photographers who are now emerging from our whirlwind, jam-packed shooting/editing/booking season, we made it! Now, give yourself a well deserved break and go take a nap!

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Can an Introvert be a Successful Wedding Photographer?

A while ago, I read a blog post written by a popular photographer in which she made a comment that got me thinking.

She said something to the effect of you have to be a “people person” to be a successful wedding photographer.

I wholeheartedly believe she meant well with this comment, and in many ways, I agree with her. But I also think that the comment can be interpreted the wrong way, and cause some people, particularly introverts, to second-guess their ability to succeed in wedding [or portrait] photography.

I’ve written multiple posts already about being an introvert, and about the misconceptions people have about introverts and some of the struggles we face. I’ve read and LOVED Susan Cain’s widely popular book “Quiet”, which is probably what led to me analyze the comment in the first place.

Can an Introvert Be a Successful Photographer? | Laura Radniecki | Wedding and Family Photographer

A couple things I want to talk about… The first thing to consider is what exactly is a People Person?

The Extrovert Ideal

Susan Cain’s whole first part of the book is about what she calls the Extrovert Ideal. Summed up, it’s basically the fact that for the last 110 years, our culture has applauded outgoing, charming extroverts. It’s become the way we want our children to be, and the mark of “successful people”.

We are drawn to people who can fire us up, capture our attention and do this all while hardly breaking a sweat while talking to a crowd of thousands.

Oftentimes, this is what people mean when they refer to a “people person.” Someone who loves to be around other people, loves engaging with people, and quite often loves to be in the limelight.

While these characteristics are great in many areas of life, the downside of this Extrovert Ideal is that it makes those of us who are less outgoing, less gregarious and less spotlight-seeking feel inferior.

That’s why the comment bothered me. Because the undertone, whether intentional or not, implies that someone who isn’t a “People Person” can’t be a successful people photographer.

Basically, if you’re a more reserved introvert, you should learn to like photographing food, buildings and mountains, because you’re not going to succeed with people.

I disagree.

 

The difference between a “People Person” and appreciating people:

I am not sure what the other photographer’s personal definition of “People Person” is.

But I want to make sure that introverted photographers out there know that you can have a heart that is determined to serve people without being what society calls a “People Person”.

If you are interested in people’s stories and you have a desire to photograph and tell those stories, you have the potential to be a successful people photographer.

Even if you’re quiet.

Even if you’re an introvert.

Even if your armpits sweat any time you have two or more people looking at you. [Guilty as charged.]

If you have it on your heart to capture images of people’s stories, that’s the most important thing.

 

Can Introverts make successful wedding and portrait photographers?

This answer is a resounding YES.

I know several portrait and wedding photographers [myself included] who love documenting people’s stories and who do so in line with their introverted personalities.

That said, the main issue that prompted the other photographer’s post and comment was about directing clients and engaging with them while shooting.

Unless your photography approach is completely photo journalistic, all portrait and wedding photographers need to be able to interact and lead their clients. Most people aren’t models and they don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing during a shoot.

So yes, even introverts need to be able to develop their posing and directing skills to be able to move their couples into various poses during a session, and do so in a happy, fun way that keeps the clients comfortable and at ease.

This can be daunting for anyone, but especially an introvert.

If you aren’t able to master this skill of direction, that’s when you would either need to run your business with a completely photojournalistic approach in which you’re a fly on the wall and don’t pose your clients at all, or maybe find a different photography niche that suits you better.

– – –

But if you truly do enjoy photographing people and you want to document people’s stories, there are ways to increase your skills for directing and posing clients.

1. Practice, practice, practice.

Just like many things in life, the more you practice posing people, the better you’ll get at it. You will begin to form a routine and you’ll learn what works for YOU and what doesn’t. You’ll begin to hone your skills.

2. Master 3-4 poses.

It’s a great idea to learn a couple of your favorite poses and make sure that you practice and memorize them until you can visualize them in your sleep.

This will allow you to have a few tricks up your sleeve as a starting point for when you are posing and leading your clients. You can always build off of them, or maybe you’ll be inspired to try something new when you start shooting.

But by having a few key poses up your sleeve, you’ll be ready in case you’re feeling less than fully confident.

3. Prepare.

One way to set yourself up for success is to pre-scout your area. This helps you become familiar with your shooting options, and minimizes wedding day surprises. Of course there are variables that come into play like the weather on the day of the session, but being familiar with your shooting area helps remove some of the unknowns.

4. Make Lists.

Another tip is to make a list of photos you need to take. I’m not talking the huge list of the thousands of shots you should take during a wedding day. But a list of the family formals you want to make sure you take is a great idea, and a way for you to free your mind from having to memorize them. You could also create yourself a small cheat sheet for bride and groom portraits or the wedding party to have in case your brain freezes up under pressure.

If you’re an introvert that really wants to be a successful people photographer, these tips can help you develop your skills and help you lead your clients with confidence.

– – –

I agree with the photographer’s sentiment that if you don’t like people, you might not be the best people photographer. If you truly couldn’t care less if you are photographing a piece of cheesecake or a bride and groom, then you probably aren’t interested in people’s stories and don’t genuinely want to capture the best possible images that you can for them.

If that is the case, the world needs other types of photographers besides people photographers. You’ll better serve yourself and your clients by finding the niche of photography that you are passionate about.

However, even if you’re a reserved introvert, and even if you don’t consider yourself a “People Person” by popular definition, this doesn’t mean that you’ll fail at photographing people.

That’s the main reason I wanted to write this post.

 

There are Introverted Photographers AND Introverted Clients:

If you have it on your heart to photograph people, you can do it even if you’re an introvert through and through. In fact, by staying true to who you are rather than trying to be someone that you’re not, you will actually attract your ideal clients to you.

There are many couples who aren’t loud and outgoing. A loud, outgoing photographer might not be the best fit for them.

But you, the introverted photographer who has a softer way of speaking, and who instructs and poses with a milder touch; you might be the perfect fit for them.

Only by staying true to yourself will you be able to connect with the right clients, which will bless BOTH you and them in the long run.

– – –

If you are an introvert and you dream of being a successful photographer, YOU CAN DO THIS.

Through practice and preparation, you too can masterfully lead your clients and capture photographs that they’ll cherish forever. All while staying true to and being proud of who you are, rather than being angry or embarrassed about being an introvert.

– – –

P.S. If you’re an introvert and you find yourself feeling guilty about it or wishing you were different, I HIGHLY recommend you read Quiet by Susan Cain. I believe it has the power to change how our society views introverts. At the very least, it will help you realize that you’re not broken. In fact, you have huge value and many unique strengths, just the way you are.

P.P.S. I also wrote about How to Avoid Burnout, especially if you’re an introverted photographer in another blog post. You can find that post here.

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Delaney | Brainerd, MN | Senior Photography

It seems weird to be posting sessions from the summer and fall, now that we’ve had our first snowfall and winter is clearly knocking on the door. But that’s what happens when the busy season is really busy. I still have a handful of sessions from the summer and fall to post yet. They’ll give us a reminder of days gone by when there were leaves on the trees and it was still light at 7pm.

– – –

Delaney is a senior at Brainerd High School.

When we talked about her senior portrait session, she said she wanted to wear a tutu in some of the photos, and that she also was obsessed with shoes and had a pair of boots she wanted to be sure to include.

Fine by me!!

A tutu and cowboy boots?! #winning

I LOVED this session. Delaney has a beautiful, bubbly smile as well as a lovely  “serious model” face, so it was fun to photograph both!

Delaney: Thank you so much for the amazing session! It was so fun getting to know you. With your generous, giving spirit, I know you will make a difference in the years ahead!  xoxo, Laura

Brainerd, MN Senior Photography | Laura Radniecki Images | Senior Photographer

Brainerd, MN Senior Photography | Laura Radniecki Images | Senior Photographer

Brainerd, MN Senior Photography | Laura Radniecki Images | Senior Photographer

Brainerd, MN Senior Photography | Laura Radniecki Images | Senior Photographer

Brainerd, MN Senior Photography | Laura Radniecki Images | Senior Photographer

Brainerd, MN Senior Photography | Laura Radniecki Images | Senior Photographer

Brainerd, MN Senior Photography | Laura Radniecki Images | Senior Photographer

Brainerd, MN Senior Photography | Laura Radniecki Images | Senior Photographer

Brainerd, MN Senior Photography | Laura Radniecki Images | Senior Photographer

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Closing Doors | Love Nourished BOGO Sale – Limited Time!

I’m learning lately that life is a lot like a chapter book.

Sometimes I’ll think about something in my life right now [like my neck wrinkles] and I’ll be annoyed that it’s different than a few years ago. But then I remember that I’m almost 29, not 21 anymore.

Different phases and different seasons. Different chapters.

– – –

I often struggle with closing one chapter in order to start a new one. I find it sad to move on. Even if it’s opening the way for something new and potentially better.

Where am I going with all of this? 

This theme is winding it’s way into all corners of my life right now, but there’s one area in particular that I’m talking about today.

After much prayer and consideration, I’ve decided that as 2014 comes to a close, so will Love Nourished.

Love Nourished is the company I began as Date Night in a Bag in early 2012. I still love this project, and I love the products and message so much. That’s part of the reason why this decision has been so hard for me.

But I only have so much mental space and energy.

In order for me to make room for new things, I have to let go of some others. And Love Nourished is one of them.

– – –

So, in order to clear out the remaining inventory that I have of the Date Night in a Bag sets, Love Note Assistants and Conversation Builder sets, I’m offering a BOGO sale!

For every product that is ordered from the website between now and when the inventory is gone, I’ll include a second item of that product for free.

— If you order one Date Night in a Bag set, I’ll send you two.

— If you order two, I’ll send you four sets.

The same goes for the Love Note Assistants and Conversation Builders.

Date Night in a Bag | Love Nourished Love Note Assistant | Love Nourished Conversation Builders | Love Nourished

All of the products come beautifully packaged and ready to give as gifts, so this could take care of some of the people on your holiday gift list.

They also make great wedding or shower gifts, so if you are going to be a guest at any weddings next year, they can take care of your gift giving there too.

And like always, for every item purchased, Love Nourished will give 5 years of clean drinking water to someone in need.

Head over to the Love Nourished website to look at the products and to order. I’ll double the quantity of each product you order, for FREE!

– – –

Thank you to everyone who has supported, prayed for and purchased from Love Nourished over the past two years. It’s been a fun ride!

Here’s to closing some chapters and starting new ones,

Laura

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Leah + Joe | Grand View Lodge | Brainerd, MN Wedding Photography

Like many of my couples, Leah and Joe met while they were in college.

Joe noticed Leah’s beautiful face and the fact that she was dating somebody else at the time. Leah noticed Joe’s irresistible charm, and the fact that he made people happy wherever he went.

Not too long after meeting, they began dating.

Fast forward five years, and on a warm, sunny, breezy October day in Minnesota, Joe and Leah became husband and wife.

They are laid back, very kind people, and they have friends who are the same. Ok, the groomsmen were wild and crazy, but aren’t they always? :)

Their wedding day was one huge, joyful celebration of families coming together and celebrating with Leah and Joe. It was the perfect wedding day.

Leah + Joe: Thank you so much for choosing me to be your wedding photographer. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to get to know you over the last year, and to watch you become husband and wife on your wedding day! I hope these images will bring you right back to that magical day, every time you look at them. Enjoy!!

xoxo!
Laura

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– – –

Wedding Ceremony Venue: Grace United Methodist Church in Pequot Lakes, MN

Wedding Reception Venue: Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN

Wedding Photography: Laura Radniecki Images

Flowers: Gay from Cub Foods

DJ: Pro Sound & Light Show

If you are looking for a Brainerd, MN wedding photographer, I’d love to hear from you!

Contact Laura Radniecki for Wedding Photography in Brainerd Minnesota

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Laura Radniecki

Hi there! I am Laura Radniecki -- an entrepreneur, inspirational blogger and Minnesota commercial, family + wedding photographer, specializing in Celebratory Story-telling.

I'm married to my high school sweetheart, Matt, obsessed with our feisty toy poodle, Remy, and I believe fiercely in doing my very best to live my life on purpose.

I also have wild dreams of traveling the country in an RV and being the youngest Snow Bird in Minnesota history.

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Live with Intention

Balance business with home life, start living intentionally
and learn to enjoy the present moment with my guide:
10 Tips for Living an Intentional Life.