UPDATE: This post was made as Shinn Shots Photography and does not represent the style or goals of Blue Space Photography. Because I believe in knowing where you’ve come from, I’ve left this here as a reminder of the journey that led me to where I am today. I now only shoot storytelling sessions, so be sure to check out my current work in more recent posts! – Lauren
My dad recently mentioned a book to me called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.”
I can’t say that I’ve had a chance to read it, but the concept appeals to me.
In today’s social media driven society, it is expected that you check facebook, email, and texts regularly. Responses should be fast. Updates should be often.
As an introvert, I find it a bit overwhelming to keep up with. I need down time. Writing emails or responding to texts takes emotional and mental energy for me. I need time when I am not interacting with people…even via the written word.
Why do these extroverted expectations exist? Why doesn’t our society seem to value what introverts bring to the table?
And this brings me to the reason for this post: Sweet Genevieve.
I’ve been lucky enough to photograph Genevieve at 3, 6, and 9 months. And every time we get together, I learn more about her.
I never found the time to post Geneveive’s 6 month pictures since I took them less than a week before Patrick was born. For her 6 month session, we met at a lake in the F Family’s neighborhood. Geneveive was very unsure of the whole situation and never quite seemed convinced that I was worthy of her trust. I finally conceded to her shyness and got the best pictures when I threw my 70-200 lens on my camera and backed up out of sight. Genevieve absolutely came to life as she sat with her mom watching the ducks on the lake…just like they do on a ‘normal’ day.
I learned from our interactions, and I was ready for her 9 month session. I suggested taking pictures at home since that’s where Genevieve is most comfortable. I came over to the house a few days early and just hung out. Sally and I chatted while Genevieve and Patrick played. I learned that every time I laugh, Genevieve would start fussing and head for mom. I practiced giving a small chuckle instead of my usual loud laugh, and it took about an hour, but Genevieve came around to the idea that maybe I wasn’t so bad after all. When the day of our session arrived, Genevieve recognized me and was instantly more comfortable with me then she had been a few days prior. It still took her a little time to come out of her shell, but she did and we got some wonderful shots. And I was proud that I didn’t laugh. Not even once.
I really appreciate Genevieve’s personality. Part of what I love about kids is their honesty. Genevieve can’t help being honest about being an introvert because she’s only 9 months old. In today’s society of extroverts, it’s refreshing to be around someone who embraces being an introvert.
Is she more challenging to photograph than an extroverted baby? Sure. But part of what I love about my job is getting to know each person that I photograph and finding ways to genuinely capture who they are. I love the challenge. In fact, I can’t seem to turn off the part of my brain that’s always trying to figure out what makes people tick. Photography just gives me an excuse to explore personalities and find my ‘in.’ The best moments happen once you realize and appreciate who people are and give them the freedom to be themselves.
And Genevieve? Well I think she’s pretty special. I hope these portraits always remind me that, despite what society seems to suggest, you don’t have to be an extrovert to flourish.