A Photographer's Love-Hate Relationship With Pinterest

Since Pinterest first entered the world of the internet, women and men all over the world have found this site helpful, inspiring, and fun. Even I have posted on the blog before about how much I love Pinterest - especially when it first came out. It's one of those websites that can really suck you in and you can lose hours of your day before you even know what happened! You can find everything from recipes to fitness tips to clothes and home decor. Anything you could possibly want to find on the internet is probably buried somewhere on someone's Pinterest Board. But as a photographer, I have quickly developed a love-hate relationship with the Pin-It website.

Pinterest is designed so that people who might find something on the internet can "Pin It" to one of their board and find it later. It's like an organized online bulletin board version of your bookmarks in your web browser. What I find most often posted on the boards of others on Pinterest is ideas, tips and inspirations for do-it-yourself-ers. It's quickly become a great source for those who want to create things but don't know what or how to create something. It's a wonderful source for that sort of insight.

Even I go on Pinterest to seek out inspiration. I've found clothes and furniture and decorations I want to make. Things that would be great for our home or for the studio. And I will admit that I do hop on Pinterest for inspiration in my photography business. I love finding images that ooze with glowing natural light! I love when a single image can say 100 words! I love the beauty that can be found in the most unlikely of places! So I'll go to Pinterest to inspire me to create. To push myself to another level and to remind me of what I love about my job.

What drives me nuts though is when a client will send me an entire Pinterest board with the crazy notion that I should recreate ever shot on that board. (sigh!) Here's what you need to understand. Photographers are artists. Yes - we actually are artists! We are creative people and we express our creativity through our photographs. If you give us a "shot list" of images you want us to recreate, you are stifling us and preventing us from creating truly unique images that express who you are! Do you know how hard it is to be yourself when you're trying to be someone else? Recreating an image someone else took is just that! You aren't being yourself in the photograph because you're trying so hard to be the people you saw in the original and we (the photographers) aren't getting to be ourselves because we're trying to recreate another photographer's work.

So if you're a Pinterest fan gearing up to have some photos taken of you or your family - please leave the Pinterest boards on your computer! Let your photographer have the opportunity to capture YOU! After all you are hiring your photographer for his or her expertise. Let them use their gift to tell your story the way they see it!
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