Does Your Personality Determine How You Shoot?


This story was originally published in October 2015.

Last month, a friend of mine introduced me to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a test that one takes to determine their psychological preferences in terms of how they see the world and make decisions. Always up for some introspection, I quickly logged on to the website and started taking the test.

Several minutes later, my personality type was revealed to me—I am an ISFJ. In a nutshell, these are individuals who are Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Feeling (F) and Judging (J). They are warm protectors and always ready to defend those who are close to them. I won’t go into the detailed analysis, but the truth was, the test results were scarily accurate, and they got me thinking about how being an ISFJ affects the way I see and make pictures.

As an introvert, I am shy about approaching people to make a photograph of them. It is something I have been working on for a bit, and I do think I have become considerably better at dealing with my anxieties. Another thought that struck a deep chord is a quote that I read recently by legendary photographer Bill Cunningham. He said, “The problem is I’m not a good photographer. To be perfectly honest, I’m too shy. Not aggressive enough. Well, I’m not aggressive at all. I just loved to see wonderfully dressed women, and I still do. That’s all there is to it.”

It’s just as simple as that, then, isn’t it? Despite what your personality may hold you back from doing, if there’s something you’d like to photograph, go ahead and photograph it. At the end of the day, we are humans, all of us with our own insecurities, getting along with life. I make it a point to keep reminding myself of this little truth every time I shoot. If nothing else, it leaves me with the warm envelope of contentment.

Tags: Supriya Joshi, Supriya Joshi edit note, Personality type