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.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Remy! We Love You!

Our little Remy girl is TWO YEARS OLD today!

Never, ever did Matt and I imagine we’d love a furry little puppy as much as we do Remy.

Remy the toy poodle

LauraMatt2014_0017

Remy,

Happy birthday, little one! You are two today!

You are the perfect blend of a snuggle bug and a feisty ball of play-fighting.

For being only five pounds, you sure have a BIG personality!

Thank you for all the kisses, tug of war games, bone chewing and snuggles you’ve given us these last two years.

We look forward to many, many more with you.

We love you!!

xoxo,

Mama and Daddy

Laura and Matt Radniecki - Photo by Chelsie Elizabeth Photography

Photo credit belongs to the amazing Chelsie Elizabeth.

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Happy 7th Anniversary, Matt!

It’s been quiet around these parts for the last month. During a time of year that can be incredibly rushed and busy with holiday preparations, traditions and family time, I felt my heart want to slow down. I’ve got lots to say about the holidays we just enjoyed, but that’s a post for another day…

Today is a special day.

Today is Matt and my 7th wedding anniversary!

Laura and Matt Radniecki - Photo by Chelsie Elizabeth Photography

Matt,

I never would have guessed back in November of 2001, when we were young sophomores in high school, that our blooming romance would one day morph into marriage.

If someone had told me that after 6 years of dating, we would get married, and that after 7 years of marriage, we’d be where we are today, I don’t know if I would have believed them. Very few people meet their soul mates when they are 15 years old.

But we did.

Laura and Matt Radniecki - Photo by Chelsie Elizabeth Photography

Our love story is unique and special. Mostly because it’s ours alone.

Thank you for the memories of the last 13 years, and especially for these last 7 years of marriage.

Thank you for the sacrifices you have made for me, and for our family of three [Remy loves her daddy!]

Laura and Matt Radniecki - Photo by Chelsie Elizabeth Photography

Thank you for your patience and for your support through everything these years have held for me.

I believe we are in the middle of the ‘good old days’ right now and things will continue to get even better in the years ahead. They will because we’re walking side by side.

Thank you for everything. I love you.

Happy Anniversary,

Laura

Laura and Matt Radniecki - Photo by Chelsie Elizabeth Photography

Photo credit goes to the talented Chelsie Elizabeth. Another post to come will include more of the beautiful images from our early fall photo session a few months ago. Thank you for these photos, Chels. I cherish them to my core.

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Claire | Brainerd, MN | Senior Photography

When Claire reached out to ask me about being her senior photographer, I knew she’d be fun to work with.

I asked her about herself and what she was involved in, and she told me she’s a captain of her gymnastics team, she’s the senior class president and she’s on the BHS student council. Claire has a huge heart and is as kind as they come. I think it’s safe to say that with dedication like that, she’s going to make waves in her future.

Watch out world!

We had a blast venturing into the woods during her session, as the leaves turned colors and fell around us. Claire was up for anything I suggested and she has both a beautiful smile and a lovely “serious” face. A photographer’s dream!

Claire: Thank you so much for the awesome session! I had so much fun getting to know you and your friends! I wish you all the best in your adventures 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

 

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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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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.