Let me start off by saying I LOVE PINTEREST! I’ve made many-a-recipe pinned to my personal boards, and love wedding-stalking on my studio boards to see the amazing ideas couples come up with! You’ll see me sharing my blog posts and favorite images there, too. So, what’s the Pinterest Predicament? Well, that’s the dilemma that arrises when the creativity of the photographer and the trust that a client has in him or her is compromised because of over-reliance on the medium. Let me explain…
I once arrived at a wedding as a second shooter, which means I was not the main photographer and hadn’t been the one discussing the plans for the day. While I usually enjoy second shooting because I get to experiment more while helping a fellow professional, this time it was a bit awkward. The bride was super sweet, don’t get me wrong. I always seem to luck out in that regard. However, as soon as I walked into her suite she handed me a packet of printouts from Pinterest and said “this is what I want.” This was an hour before her ceremony. On her wedding day. And the packet was 20 pages long. That, my friends, is the wrong way to use Pinterest for your wedding photography planning! Couples: when you hand a photographer a packet of Pinterest images and say “this is what I want,” you will most likely end up stifling his or her creativity. I would handle this sort of situation by saying something like “I’m happy to help you fulfill your vision, but let’s make sure we bring out the best of your wedding and show how it’s unique.” You’ve worked hard to plan the wedding, so you probably don’t want an album full of images that just mimic someone else’s! If you are planning the event, chat with your photographer ahead of time about any types of images you really, really want to make sure there are as few surprises as possible on your wedding day.
Now, as a photographer you may fall into another part of the Pinterest Predicament. Spending hours staring at the work of others may tempt you to create the exact same images. While that’s fine for practicing different lighting setups for educational purposes, you won’t be growing artistically if you’re always trying to do exactly what someone else has already done. Instead, use Pinterest to let the location inspire you – it is such a great way to collect images of the venues at which you’ll be shooting, which will prepare you for scouting and ultimately the event itself. Use Pinterest to share your work and knowledge with clients, and to let them in on tips that will make their wedding day more successful (like these incredible creations that keep heels from getting dirty when posing for grassy group portraits!).
When Pinterest is used well as a sharing and planning tool between client and photographer, it can show the professional what a couple’s vision is for their wedding and allow the couple to point out a few compositions that especially appeal to them. You hire a photographer because you love his or her style and, more importantly, trust that he or she will create beautiful art on your wedding day. A good photographer will take into account the images you really love and find ways to make them your own rather than being a carbon copy. A wedding is about celebrating what is uniquely you, and your images should reflect that!