Oh Pinterest. What a love/hate relationship that I have with you. I LOVE you for everything that I use you for (food and inspiration) but I hate what you’ve done to wedding photography and I’m not talking about photo credits either (let’s save that for another day shall we?). I’m talking about these beautiful pictures that potential clients see, pin and want to be taken at their wedding. Pinterest is FANTASTIC for ideas and inspiration but I am BEGGING of you to stop using it to pin images that you want recreated on your wedding day.
The main reason that I am quite frustrated with Pinterest right now is that it sets up unreal expectations for wedding photography. Let’s take the newest trend for an example, the T-Rex going after the bridal party. This hit the news about a week ago and photographers are already flooded with requests to recreate this shot exactly as it is seen and I’ve already seen it mimicked easily a few dozen times. While it’s a funny shot, I am guessing that there is some relevance to the couple as to why this was done. It wasn’t because they saw it online and wanted it too, it’s because the groom had an obsession with Jurassic Park or something of the sort and/or came up with the idea during a brain storming session. This image wasn’t one that was just shot on the fly – there definitely was thought and reason behind it. The dinosaur wasn’t just tossed in there without setting the image up. Then, of course, there is adding in the dinosaur in post-processing which is a bit more labor intensive than your standard edit and requires more time which most photographers will charge for. If you aren’t familiar with photography, it’s easy to look at the image and assume it’s easy to do, but the reality is that it’s not as easy as it looks. I had to laugh when I saw questions on the posted image about what app was used!! Ha! However it shows how easy people think it is to set up an image as involved as this one.
Last year was the first year I was sent Pinterest boards with requests from clients to recreate the images exactly as they were for their wedding. Often, some of these were almost impossible to recreate – like urban settings when the wedding was at a country club, or sunset silhouettes when the wedding was done before sunset or, as often happens in Ohio, there was no sunset. Sometimes they are just images I don’t feel safe doing – the groomsman jumping over the bridesmaids or the groom behind held up by the bridesmaids. Every time I would ask that they use these images for inspiration and not recreations but sometimes I would lose the battle. I want you to have the images from your wedding day that you dream about but ideally I’d like them to be about you.
I thought that perhaps I was just being a cranky wedding photographer last year at the end of a long season last year but one of my Pinterest brides, Jessie, emailed me after the wedding to tell me how glad she was that I urged her to take some images that were inspired by but not a recreation of some of her pins she’d sent me – in the end, those were her favorite images. Those images were not only what they’d hoped for on the day of their wedding, but they were who they were and not some random couple from the internet. She also said how nice it was that her images were her own and not something she saw done over and over again as each friend got married over the summer and had the same pins redone for their wedding. It gave me hope that perhaps others would feel the same way after their weddings as well.
I still want to see the style of images that make you swoon, that helps me get to know your tastes and vision! However, don’t be afraid to break out of the mold and be your own person. Be the wedding that everyone wants to mimic instead of the one that gets lost in the shuffle because you were the millionth time someone had seen that shot. Let your wedding portraits be about you, your love for each other, your love for your family and your friendship with your friends. Bottom line? Let YOUR personality come through! If you want to come up with a fun idea for your wedding? Email me and lets see what we can come up with instead of doing something everyone else is doing!