When I shoot weddings, people frequently come up to me during the reception when the dance floor is getting hot and say something like, "Man, it sucks that you have to work and you can't have fun at weddings!" I always laugh and start trying to explain myself, but it can be a long explanation :) I would SO much rather shoot a wedding than be a guest at a wedding - and this definitely includes my friends' weddings, too!A few years ago I took the intensive Meyers-Briggs personality test. I was a little skeptical at first, but as soon as I got my results and started reading about my personality type, it was seriously eerie. I'm an INTP, which basically means that I'm introverted, independent rather than being a leader or a follower, and really really logical rather than emotional. Things that I thought were just weird little personal idiosyncrasies are, it turns out, particular to all INTPs. It was actually kind of creepy. Like, for example, I've always hated games. I'm really not sure what my deal is, but card games, Monopoly, mini-golf, whatever - you name a game, I can guarantee I will never want to play it. I always thought this was just another one of my weird "things", but it turns out all INTPs just hate games. Other famous people with my personality type include Einstein, Pascal, Carl Jung, Darwin, both of the Olsen twins, Descartes, Socrates, and - the one that really made it hit home - Brian the dog from "Family Guy". That was my true "aha!" moment - it was like the planets aligning. I. am. Brian. It all makes so much sense now :) Although it's a pretty uncommon personality type, I have two close friends who are also INTPs, and we can pretty much read each other's minds.
What being an INTP means for me as a photographer is pretty cool - actually, "photographer" is one of my recommended careers. To quote from the intp.org website, we have "...a curious desire to observe from a detached position.." and "tend to mirror the emotional content of the other person". Although I love my friends, it takes a lot of mental energy for me to be a guest at a big event. I've noticed that this is one of the things that I love about shooting weddings: I can be a part of your social event while still being my introvert self - you know, "observing from a detached position". It's totally ideal for me. Also, I definitely find myself mirroring the attitude of my clients on their wedding day. I'm pretty easy to get along with because I feed off of other people's "vibes".
In terms of composition, "When involved in portrait or people photography, the INTP will also be primarily concerned with the mood conveyed by the person in the eye of the lens. Quality photographic skill, as well as an intrinsic feel for imagery, is usually second nature to the INTP and can make a good career choice. When viewing photographic images, say in magazines, the overriding concern is for how the photo is conveyed; its mood, its colour, contrast and shading usages, its perspectives and image quality." And, it's true! My favorite images (both mine and other photographers') are the ones that really make me feel something. Not just a singular emotion ("oh, this one of people smiling makes me feel happy") but images that portray mood- images that make you feel the same way you felt when you were there.
If you haven't taken the Meyers-Briggs test and you'd like to, you can take it for free here, but you have to sign up for a free account.
If you want to find out more about INTPs and you like reading lots of dense scientific material, you can read about us here :) Because we're nerds like that.
Speaking of "mood"... here are some fun images from Maddie's senior portrait session that I love the mood of:
I can't wait to blog this session! :)