Pinterest and Photography – Friends or Foes?

When Pinterest was new, I couldn’t really grasp the concept. What was it exactly? An electronic scrap book where you can waste three hours and have nothing to show for it? Well, yes, it CAN be. Over time, Pinterest has turned into a very valuable tool. Need a recipe? I have about 500 on one of my boards. Need a cocktail? I have a board that would blow any bartender away. Can’t decide what to do with your hair? Covered! Just type in “hair” into Pinterest’s search engine and you’re set for a year.

Pinterest is also changing the way I work. I love to use it to gather ideas for stylized photo shoots I’m planning. I can pin makeup and hair styling ideas, photos with exceptional lighting or mood, prop ideas… Whatever inspires me.

In a way, Pinterest is revolutionizing weddings. There are millions of DIY wedding ideas, and many couples are having what I call “Pinterest Weddings,” which is usually rustic or vintage with lots of originality. I love that it’s a way to gather creative ideas and save a buck by using the tutorials attached to the pins.

Pinterest is also causing a major shift in the world of photography – wedding, showers, baby bump, and any stylized shoot. In one way, it’s putting more control into the hands of the clients, which is great. For Ashley and Frank’s baby bump shoot, Ashley had a Pinterest board that I followed so I could see specific shots she wanted to have. It made for a very successful photo shoot. I used several of her ideas, put my own twist on those, and added a lot of shots that were all my design.

baby bump modesto

(See more of their shoot here: Ashley & Frank ~ Baby on Board)

Pinterest is also inspiring wedding photographers in a strong way.

I often peruse other photographer’s work, and sometimes I pin their stuff to my Photo Ideas board, particularly if I love the pose or the lighting. But is Pinterest creating a crowd of copycat photographers?

I was looking at one photographer’s portfolio, and I commented to my friend that I wasn’t fond of the style, that I didn’t care for the composition and it looked like they were trying too hard (everyone’s heads cut off, or just heads with tons of sky above them, overkill on sun flare, or a shot where the bride and groom are not in focus in a strange artsy way.) She said, “Well, that’s what’s popular on Pinterest right now,” which explained why this photographer was so incredibly busy – they were riding a wave of trend. I’ve seen this many times as I’ve perused other photographers’ work.

I love the idea that as artists, we can use Pinterest as a way to gather inspiration from each other. My concern is that there is a whole “Pinterest trend” starting in which photographers are altering their style to fit what is trendy at the time in order to get jobs. As a photographer, I find it important to hold on to my style and continue to become more modern while being inspired, yet not change my style just to go with whatever is trendy at the time. I fear that there will be thousands of photographers whose work will all start to look the same because that’s “what’s popular on Pinterest right now.” Variety is the spice of life, after all. Ever since I’ve entered the world of art and photography, I’ve believed that one of the main principles in art is to stay true to yourself and have a unique style.

We shall see what happens as technology continues to grow. It should be interesting. Oh, and follow me on Pinterst.

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