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Can Awkwardness Be An Asset In Your Photography Business?

By Hanssie on May 22nd 2015

To be a wedding photographer, you need to have a certain set of people skills. From the initial meeting until the sparkler exit, knowing how to deal with people is integral to building a successful business. Not only do you need to sell your services to the bride and groom, but on the wedding day, you can be called on to be a manager, a therapist, a referee, a problem solver and much more, not to mention your real job as the documentarian of someone’s big day.

On a wedding day, I’ve facilitated arguments between family members, the bride and groom, bridesmaids, etc and I listened as a bride cried on my shoulder about a perceived slight by her maid of honor. All this takes a certain skill set in having to deal with people and know how to handle awkward situations. But what if you don’t have these certain skills? What if you yourself have a tendency toward awkwardness yourself?

jasmine-star

In the following video clip from her appearance on CreativeLive, wedding photographer Jasmine Star speaks about how being awkward has actually been an asset for her in her business. She recounts instances when her awkwardness has helped her in situations on a wedding day. Jasmine sees her awkwardness as a strength when dealing with people, and not a liability.

Watch Being Awkward is a Strength, Not a Liability

Even though I don’t usually seem awkward (or maybe I am, let me know in the comments), I used to feel very awkward (and still do in some circumstances) on a wedding day. Even with many weddings under my belt, there are times when my inner introvert wants to peek through on a wedding day. What works for me is basically mentally shutting that temptation of wanting to revert to the shy, awkward girl down and force the cool and confident person to shine through. I remind myself that  it is important for my business and its image for me to be perceived as personable, social and friendly to everyone I come across on a wedding day.

During lulls on the wedding day when I am able to get away for a few minutes (i.e. waiting for the ceremony to start, waiting for dinner to be eaten, etc), I take a few moments for myself where I don’t have to be “on,” decompress and put a smile back on my face before going back out and taking charge. What are some ways you deal with your awkwardness or introverted-ness as a business owner? Comment below.

[REWIND: WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: BEING AN INTROVERT IN AN EXTROVERT PROFESSION]

Jasmine will be on CreativeLive all month with The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience which can be seen daily from 9:00am-10:00am PST until June 26th. You can catch it here.

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
[email protected]

12 Comments

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  1. Justin Haugen

    “Awkward always wins.”

    That’s quite the proclamation. I think empathy is what wins.

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  2. Uncle Bob

    Now she’s even faking awkwardness! Everything about her comes across so disingenuous. I’m kind of surprised Creative Live would even have her on after everything that happened. I’ve definitely lost some respect for them.

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  3. Graham Curran

    I’m introverted but wouldn’t regard myself as awkward.

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    • Thomas Horton

      People have been confusing being an introvert with having social awkwardness and shyness for decades. They may never learn the difference.

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  4. Tonisha Atkins

    I would agree with David and say that “awkward” isn’t the same as “introverted”. If she considers herself an introverted person, then I think it’s great she’s seeing it as an asset to connect with clients.

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  5. J. Dennis Thomas

    This smacks of insincerity. She’s up there selling the “idea” of her being awkward to as a way to pander to the truly awkward people she’s trying to sell her workshops to.

    Isn’t this the same Jasmine Star that was caught plagiarizing her “personal blog posts” and as a result was given the offer of removing herself from several WPPI workshops (rather than being removed by the WPPI)?

    She’s about as awkward as a used car salesman.

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    • Eric Mazzone

      Exactly, anything this woman says is suspect for theft. She’s almost as bad as that Prince bastard.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Eric Mazzone:

      Haha. She’s got that snake-oil sales tactic down, but I wouldn’t put her in the same group as that Prince dude. He’s an out & out thief.

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  6. Lauchlan Toal

    Interesting. I think the veneer of awkwardness is a placating tool to appear less intimidating or competitive, which may be an asset is some emotional situations. Sounds ideal for wedding day drama. Definitely not a strategy for attracting new clients though!

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      “Definitely not a strategy for attracting new clients though!”

      It’s a great strategy when your clients are amateur photographers trying to learn the “business” and you’re selling them workshops/DVDs/etc…

      She’s a motivational speaker first and a photographer second.

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  7. David Faulkner

    ‘Introverted’ isn’t the same as ‘awkward’. It just means that we introverts gain energy from solitude, and that social occasions drain us (which is not the same as saying we don’t like being with people, we simply find it tiring). Extraverts gain energy from being with people, but are depleted by solitude.

    Therefore the important lesson in the article is about finding the moments to take time for oneself.

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    • Hanssie

      Oh I agree awkwardness and being introverted are two different things. I was just trying to relay my experience with being an introvert as it makes me awkward – or feel like I’m awkward – esp when dealing with a crowd of strangers on a wedding day.

      I suppose I was too awkward in my presentation of it :)

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