Pinterest, oh Pinterest! What can I say? I have adored that website from the first time I laid eyes on it. The site is filled with beautiful pictures, inspiring ideas, and more DIY tips than you can shake a stick at. And the concept? Fantastic! I wish I would have thought of it. What a great way to collect all of your ideas about future endeavors. Whether preparing for your family pictures at the beach to planning your upcoming wedding, Pinterest is a great way to organize the imagery you like best.
Pinterest, the professional photographer, and the client…it’s like a match made in heaven, right? Pros can get ideas from other pros. Clients can get ideas for their future sessions. Newbie photogs can hone their skills. It’s inches from nirvana, right?
So what in the world could I possibly have to complain about?
Well, it’s simple. Pinterest is killing individual photographic artistry. I know I sound completely dramatic, but it’s kind of a big deal. Professional photographic artists pride themselves on creating individual pieces of art that are unique to their own subjects, not just a compilation of work they have seen on the internet. When a client hires a photographer, they are (or should be) choosing a person who can capture their own style, their own personality and their own uniqueness.
Stifling a photographer’s creativity by showing him/her a bunch of images that were pulled off the internet and saying, “This is what we want. We are hoping you could do for us,” only makes for an awkward session. The photographer is either stuck recreating someone else’s work or has to make the decision to stick to their guns and shoot the session with their own vision. This dilemma creates a hotbed for disappointment for one or both of the parties. As a seasoned professional, no matter how hard I try to recreate an image (even one of my own) it doesn’t mean it will have the same feeling as the original. The original image is fantastic because of the emotion and feelings derived from it, not because the client is in the same location, sits in the same position or has the same props.
So, what can be done about this problem in order to create a win-win for both the photographer and the client?
- Do make sure to talk to your client prior to the session to make sure they understand your photographic vision.
- Do be confident in your own talents.
- Do make sure your website shows your true photographic skills, not just what’s trending on Pinterest, Facebook or Intsagram at the moment.
- Do be honest about your photographic strengths and don’t just tell clients what they want to hear.
- Don’t be afraid to turn down work if it’s not your advertised genre.
- Do give clients your all. Be in the moment of the session and let their personalities shine through.
- Don’t be a one-size-fits-all photographer. I promise, you will hate yourself in the morning.
- Do your research and hire a professional photographer for their own skills, not because they can duplicate a photo.
- Do tell your photographer the type of style you are looking for, but don’t ask them to copy someone else’s work.
- Don’t hire a photog based solely on price. A lower (or higher) priced commission does not mean you get what you want from your session. A photographer’s fee is simply the amount of money your photographer is willing to work for. I know amazing photographers at every price point.
- Do get to know your photographer. Making sure your needs are understood will mean the difference between a successful photo shoot and a disappointing photo shoot. My clients are amazing and I have become friends with many of them because I try to understand their needs and they respond to this. Of course you don’t have to be friends with your photog, but a trusting relationship makes for a way better session!
- Do plan for your session, but also be flexible enough to let the session take its own journey.
- Do show your photog your true personality. Some of my favorite images are captured when clients let go and just have fun being themselves.
- Do understand that the image you saw on Pinterest that you love so dearly might not be representative of your location, your personality, your family dynamics, or your body type. A professional photographer knows these things and will tailor your session to fit your needs and situation.
Listen, Pinterest is great for a ton of things. But there is a reason why so many bad photos end up on the “Pinterest Fails” websites. Allowing your photographer to create lasting images for your family or wedding is what they do best. Trust their talents and just have fun.
Click on the links below for more Friday Photo Tips and How-To advice. Have a great weekend friends and go grab that shot.