Loving Our Selfies – The Photographer’s Pinterest Pickle (say that five times fast!)

“I have this photo I saw on Pinterest and would LOVE to do the same thing!” It’s a reality most of us have probably heard this from at least one client. Some of us have clients who create entire boards of photo “inspiration” for us. Oh yaaaaaay, we sarcastically think to ourselves.

Pinterest can be helpful and hindering to our businesses. The sheer amount of photos on there is IN.SANE. Hours could be spent aimlessly wandering its depths. You click on one photo to check out this cool new pose you could use and all of a sudden, you snap out of your reverie to find yourself looking at wall décor for your dream home and think, “Wait, how the heck did I get here?”

It can be difficult to want to accommodate the Pinterest wishes of clients because the photos may not be your style. Or, if you’re like me, when you get your brain fixated on an idea you saw, or trying to recreate something a client wants, you feel your creativity fizzle.

A few things to think about when clients approach you with Pinterest photos or boards for their sessions:

  1. They are just trying to help. This is a BIG deal to them and their parents so they want perfection.
  2. Be kind if you don’t think a photo will work. I know, I know, sometimes you get the photo with scenery that doesn’t even exist in your part of the country, or a pose that won’t work with your specific client, but explain it in a way that won’t break your client’s heart and offer a great alternative.
  3. At least take a look at what your client put together. They invested in this experience and putting those boards together was probably fun for them, the least we can do as professionals is check it out.

(The photo below is from a Pinterest board this beauty’s mom put together, and it worked out great!)

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I have used Pinterest photos as a pose picker-upper at sessions before. However, when I get clients (this is mostly for weddings) giving me a list of “must have” shots, I tell them to trust me. I remind them they hired me because I’m original, I’m talented and they loved my work enough to invest in ME. Also, I explain how if I have to keep referring back to their boards or ideas, I lose my photog mojo. And I really do. Back before Pinterest, I think I was better at posing, only because my mind wasn’t constantly thinking back to all the amazing photos I liked on it. Blah, but I guess when you’re ADHD like I am, you’re brain is always going from one thing to the next.

For clients, I use my business Pinterest page to set up not posing or photo ideas, but fashion and beauty boards. This can help clients gather ideas for clothing for their sessions, what makeup they like and different hairstyles they may not have thought of if they get multiple looks. There is the beauty again of this social media magnet, the endless IDEEEAAAAS! I love giving my clients a little reference for their sessions since most ask about clothing or send me photos of their outfits anyhow.

Ideas are everywhere on Pinterest; the good, the bad and the just plain ain’t never gonna happen in front of my camera ugly. Remind yourself to stay true to your style but don’t be afraid to use this social media giant to your advantage. Sure, check stuff out and play around; PUSH yourself to try new things! But most of all, be YOU.