There’s no doubt about it – Pinterest might be one of the coolest things to happen to wedding planning since, well, maybe the invention of the wedding planner. There’s no other place where you can find inspiration and ideas – and maybe even instructions, too! – for all aspects of your wedding.
But when you’re dealing with creative professionals who are artists, like your photographer, asking them to replicate the gorgeous things you saw on Pinterest might not be the best idea.
Here’s the thing: Your wedding – just like those whose wedding pictures are on Pinterest – is one of a kind. You and your spouse-to-be are like no one else. As one photographer put it online, “When our focus is on re-creating, we can’t truly create.”
Picture this: You’ve browsed Pinterest and found dozens of pictures you love. You bring these to your photographer – who you’re likely paying handsomely for their artistic eye – and tell them you’d like to redo these shots on your wedding day.
What you’ve done now is taken away the photographer’s freedom to create and instead asked them to focus their artistic eye on a list of poses on a sheet of paper instead of the actual moments being created at your wedding. The uniqueness of your wedding and your relationship goes out the window.
Local photographers agree.
“Every wedding I shoot is totally different,” said Sandi Foraci of Sandi Foraci Photography, “so naturally, the photographs will be, too.”
“When I’m given a page of images to replicate, it stifles my creativity,” she added. “I’d rather have a bride tell me to ‘get some great shots of her shoes’ or ‘some non -traditional portraits,’ and then have enough faith in their event and my work to know the photos will be amazing.”
Plus, it’s just not always possible to redo an image you see on Pinterest. What makes those photos so special is that the stars aligned for a perfect image: The lighting, wind, movement of the couple, the position of the sun, the scenery, the timing, etc. And, not every pose will look right for every person and their body style.
“Trying to replicate another image is not just a bad idea, it’s impossible,” said Maggie Mudd-Stewart of Birds of a Feather Photography. “Brides who come to their photographer asking to replicate photos are really asking for a moment to be staged.
“If we, as photographers, spend so much energy and time trying to fake this moment, we’d miss all the other real moments going on,” added Betty Mudd, also of Birds of a Feather Photography.
Foraci, Mudd-Stewart, and Mudd work in a photojournalistic style, meaning they actively look for candid and unscripted moments that tell the story of your day: A smile, a laugh, a look between the couple. These moments cannot be staged.
“When a client gives me full creative freedom,” Foraci said, “they will surely get me at my best.”
Both Mudd-Stewart and Foraci said there is a place for Pinterest as couples plan their weddings and start searching for a photographer.
“We recommend couples begin their search for the right wedding photography team by using Pinterest to decide which style of photography they most enjoy,” Mudd-Stewart said. “Pin the photos you love the most – pin lots of them!”
“Then, go back and narrow down to your favorite 20 shots,” she added. “There are the ‘iconic’ photos you would most enjoy being taken on your wedding day.”
The time to present these pictures to photographers is when you’re interviewing prospective candidates, not after you’ve hired someone. The types of pictures you pin will help you determine which type of photographer is right for you. If the style of the pictures you’ve pinned matches the photographer’s portfolio, you might have found a match. If not, move on to someone else.
“There is a variety of photographers out there who illustrate their own unique styles,” Foraci said. “Brides can find a photographer that suits their vision.”
A few samples from Pinterest can help, she said. “I want to know what the brides are thinking,” Foraci said. “And then they should ask, ‘Is this the style of photography you can do?’
“I think it’s important to find the right ‘fit’ between client and photographer.”
Mudd added that couples should choose their photographer based on their work and their personality. “When you’re happy and comfortable working with your photographers, you’ll look happy and comfortable in the photos,” she said. “Use Pinterest sparingly, just to begin your search and better understand the style you most enjoy.”
“From there, let Pinterest go and make sure you trust your photographer,” Mudd-Stewart said. “When you do, some beautiful photos can happen!”