Years ago when I started photographing weddings, I knew I wanted to do something different from what I had seen at so many weddings. I didn’t want to do those overly posed photos. You know the ones - the people in the photograph look a little uncomfortable and the smiles on their faces look slightly forced as they stare at something mysterious just off to the side of the camera. I wanted to capture genuine smiles, genuine moments and not only tell a story, but create a photograph that would always evoke a special memory of what was happening in that precise moment when the photograph was taken and how they felt on their wedding day. This desire has resulted in a very personal style of photography that I’ve developed over time which resonates with my clients who want that authenticity and joy reflected in their photos.
Every photographer I know has their own individual style that they have developed over the years. Their style comes through the photographs that they take on the wedding day similar to the way a painter’s brushstrokes and style can be identified throughout their paintings. I’ve attended photography workshops where 10 photographers learning the same thing will take photographs of the same subject in the same lighting from the same spot. Each of those resulting photographs will look very different based on several factors influenced by each photographer’s individual style and artistic interpretation of the scene set before them.
This brings me to Pinterest. You may be wondering what this has to do with Pinterest. But bear with me…
Pinterest is a fabulous tool for curating ideas in one spot from all those amazing photographs we come across online. I personally have an incredible amount of pictures saved for inspiration on everything from my dream home to recipes that I probably will never make. Pinterest is a fabulous way to put together style boards for inspiration. I’ve had great fun with clients who have gotten an idea from Pinterest for a photo or theme during a session. We have fun with it and put our own twist on it while staying true to our photography style and keeping with the spirit of the idea.
There is another side to Pinterest, however, that has become an increasing trend within the wedding industry. I have had many a conversation with photographers, videographers and even wedding planners who have received pages upon pages of Pinterest images that their clients want replicated on the wedding day. The photos that they are presented with are curated from numerous different photography styles and venues that are often quite different from their own. And often these photos are things that cannot be captured due to the difference in venue, lighting, location, time of day and so on. And there are even photographs requested to be copied that would not be flattering to the couple due to differing body types. Ultimately, it creates an impossible situation where the vendors cannot do their best work on the most important day of their client’s life. Although they try, the result is often an unhappy couple and vendor.
You don’t want to spend your wedding day trying to capture someone else’s day. Remember that you selected your vendors based on their style and experience. You wouldn’t ask Picasso to paint you a Monet, nor would you ask Lebron James to perform the lead in Swan Lake. You want your day to be authentic and your own memories to be reflected in the photos and video captured on the most important day of your life. You want your vendors to do their best work and not try to replicate a style that isn’t their own. Let Picasso paint like Picasso, and let Lebron play basketball. You don’t want the story behind each photo to be “It looked good on Pinterest…” while missing the genuine moments that are happening around you. Use Pinterest as that inspiration board, but enjoy your day and let your authentic moments be an inspiration for the next bride.