Being shy gets you nowhere in the art world.  Plain. Simple. Quiet.  It doesn’t get you very far in many other worlds either.  A shy photographer puts out very little, if any, energy and gets very little, if any, back.  And, then he wonders why he cannot be a good, “connected” portrait photographer?  To be slightly nervous (energy) and ‘sensitive’ (more energy) is fine and somewhat expected.  Properly handled, these traits are workable and can actually help you.  Being shy gets you nothing back in a portrait exchange because you have invested nothing.

What to do?  One must become ‘other’ than he really is.  Instead of being shy when shooting portraits, he must have some personality, emotion, dialogue, acute awareness, sensitivity, body language, vocal intonation, intelligence (technique), vision, and an innate response to spontaneity.  How can you possibly attempt all of this if you are painfully shy or ultra sensitive?  At best, over time, you illicit timid responses, a myriad of questionable emotions and confused looks, and perhaps you will stumble into a quiet success or two – if you are responsive to spontaneity, act quick, fine tune, vary, etc. …  all opposites of being shy.

I have spoken of the power of the camera before, the “magic” box that opens doors, facilitates change, allows us to be stronger, more confident, and have purpose.  The camera is our reason for doing what we love to do and, if embraced, enhances our personality, kicks up our energy, and makes us more than we really are.  Hell, your camera will give you a personality if you believe enough and allow it to!  Facilitate the change, allow your camera to help pry you out of your shell, jump out of your corner, climb out of your hole and create with confidence!  You don’t really want to be there in the first place so USE your camera to get out of shy and into energy, interaction, art, and portraits ! Your camera is your reason, your excuse, the conductor of your passion, the key that provides invitations and opens doors that otherwise would be closed.  Be dynamic with your camera !  Go home and be shy.


“Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner.

Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence

can give you a mental edge that results in victory.”  –  Diane Arbus

Categorized as Process

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