As a student affairs professional I’ve taken pretty much every personality test under the sun. Self awareness test are our jam. They help us work with students and balance our efforts as a department. Over the last four years in student affairs, the top take away from these tests is that “it’s okay not to excel in everything!” Actually it’s probably impossible to excel at everything, and best that we don’t try. Knowing my strengths, aptitudes, preferences and tendencies helps me know my limits when helping others, including my work in the photography industry.

This post is an account of my experience with each of these tests. This is in no way a sponsored post. Nor is it a guide to using the personality tests described below.

Garden Girl

The Enneagram

This test has been around for a while (so I’ve heard, but hey, you can read more about it yourself here) but it’s experienced recent traction on Pinterest and the blogging world. The Enneagram

We’re giving this one a try at work right now to learn more about our centre type and our wing types. We’ve only started to dive into this together as a group, so right now I know just a little bit about my centre type and my wing types.

I’m a Six, the Loyalist, which describes me as “engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.” I’m not sure how many people out there would like to learn from a personality test that one of their tendencies is “suspicious.” I know I sure wasn’t a fan of that when I read it. Which forced me to do some digging and come to terms with a few things. A few link clicks later I learned that the “suspicious” part of my nature is probably tied to the extent to which I constantly question myself. I’m suspicious of my own decisions which affects my confidence. Yep, this part is totally me. Guilty as charged.

I definitely see the “responsible and anxious” come out in the work that I do in wedding photography. I obsess about backing up all wedding files immediately. My greatest fear is losing someone’s wedding files. When I shoot, I shoot dual cards, backing up your photos in camera. When I remove those cards, I sort them into two separate pouches. Throughout your wedding day, knowing where my gear is at all times and knowing that those cards are secure is a top priority. When I get home from your wedding day, it’s time for immediate back up. At home, I store my hard drives in separate places, and normally carry one around with me just in case my house burns down. Yeah, I might need to relax just a little bit.

Strengths Quest

This is the first assessment which opened my eyes to self awareness test. I had a few moments of “Oh my god, this is exactly me. This is who I am.” Strengths Quest assesses your aptitude for 34 themes, and my top five are Restoration, Futuristic, Adaptive, Strategic and Intellection.

Intellection continues to surprise me. This is an attribute I always associate with my younger brother (he’s the kind of guy who can do those long time vs distance math equation calculations in his head). Because I always associate intellection with my brother, I never associated it with myself. Well, at least not until I took the assessment and was forced to think about it.

I absolutely use my futuristic, adaptive and strategic themes in my photography work. Helping couples plan their wedding day? Check. Creating the best flow for portraits and posing? Check. Changing plans at the last moment due to unforeseen circumstances and having an ace up my sleeve? Check.


Garden Life Gal


This assessment is a bit more intense than the others. When doing this assessment, I recommend finding an advisor who is certified in administering the assessment. When you get the assessment back, it’s a whopping forty-four page report, with feedback from my supervisor, co-workers, family and friends. Yikes!

The first step of the EQ306  is a self assessment. Once I did my own assessment, myself and my advisor (send me an email at if you would like more info on finding an advisor) went through the assessment page by page, which I am so thankful we took the time to do. Doing this one on one session prepared me for when I would receive feedback from my closest peers. Deconstructing all the definitions, the scales and point system beforehand opened my mind up so I was prepared to get that feedback.

Myers Briggs

At work, this is a favourite. I’ve done the assessment three times in the last four years. The first two times I did the assessment I scored as an INFP. According to the 16 Personalities website, this is known as the Mediator personality. The last time I took the assessment my result was ISFP. This is known as the Adventurer. There was a slight shift as more time passed in my role in student services. If you don’t know how to “read” Myers Briggs, an INFP is Introversion, Intuition, Feeling and Perceiving whereas a ISFP is Introversion, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving. So what’s the difference between Neutral and Sensing?

The greatest difference I’ve noticed between the two types is that an ISFP is extremely independent. They value freedom and reject micromanagement. That is me 100% to my core.

Bee Keeper In Training

The 5 Love Languages

I’m a gift giver, and sometimes, it’s a problem. The 5 Love Languages gave me insight as to why. According to The 5 Love Languages, people value appreciation in five different ways: acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch and receiving gifts. While I greatly enjoy showering others with gifts as a sign of my appreciation and care for them, this won’t be super effective if they’re preferred love language is acts of service. In fact, it might make them feel awkward as all heck. Taking this assessment taught me to adapt my appreciation style for those around me.

Although I LOVE giving gifts, I’m the absolute worst at receiving them. My love language, or my preferred way of appreciation is words of affirmation. Yes, I’m striving to make people happy and I want to hear that feedback. That’s why client testimonials mean the world to me. When clients take the time to write out a paragraph about my work I feel valued and loved.

Last Thoughts

I do caution against marrying yourself to one way of being just because of an online personality test. Read into them or draw on them as much as you want to, but don’t let them dictate your life direction. It’s fun and insightful way for you to think about yourself from a new perspective. Be prepared to not be so happy or impressed with some of the type descriptions, not everything will click as right for you. For me, with each personality test I’m able to challenge myself in new ways and learn to embrace.

There is no particular reason why all these photos are raspberry picking themed. I just really liked the photos.

Bee Keeper In Training


Hi, my name is Janelle, I’m an photographer hailing from Edmonton Alberta.I’m all about connection and celebration. Seriously, it’s my focus from our first client meeting till the chicken dance starts. I make an effort to get to know your closest friends and family on your wedding day. Why? First, they’re probably cool people, and second, when they know me as “Janelle” the gal who plays Dungeons and Dragons and has a pet Duck, they’re going to let me into their world. My favourite moment of every wedding is right after the ceremony. This is when your friends and family smother or possibly crush you with either love or cheerful embrace. Bring on all the candid moments.

  I value connection and celebration of moments over a big production.

Bee keeper in training. Head on over to