We understand that when couples get engaged, most brides immediately start pinning photos on pinterest. Unfortunately, this leads many brides-to-be to think that the way to get good photos, is to send your photographer a link to your pinterest page or print out dozens of photos that you want on your wedding day.
You have to trust us when we say, this is not a good approach.
Probably the most difficult situation for us as professional wedding photographers is how to get the pinterest excited bride to understand why this is not a great idea.
We ask you to take a few minutes and read this article we put together. In this post, I’m going to go over the reasons why this isn’t the best approach and then try to share advice on what IS a good approach.
Before You Give Us Dozens Of Images To Recreate…
1. We don’t “re-create”
This is an important place to start. We hope that when you hired us, you actually took a look at our work and liked what you saw. In all the examples of our work… well, they are all our work. They are not photos that we re-created from a pinterest photo. We do have our own styles and hope that you liked our style.
When we’re asked to re-create a photo, it’s basically like asking us to shoot like someone else… rather than ourselves… to just ignore a decade of professional experience and our approach and style and just copy a photo someone else took.
2. The situation and circumstances of your day will never match someone else’s day.
This is also very important. No matter what, if we’re asked to ‘re-create’ a photo, it will never turn out like the photo you’re already looking at.
The people are different. The location is different. The weather is different. The lighting is different. The bouquets, jewelry, expressions, moods, lenses, photographer, and on and on… are all different. Each year when we hold our bridal workshops, I admit that some of the ugliest wedding photos I’ve ever shot are ‘pinterest’ photos a bride made me re-create. Why did it turn out so terrible? Because we’re forcing a shot into a situation where a photo should not be shot.
As a professional artist, the pictures we shoot at any given moment are being created after we’ve already analyzed the situation we’re in… we look at the lighting, the background, the mood of the couple, the personalities of the couple, the wind, and so forth… we take EVERYTHING into account and then setup the best shots and ideas for THAT situation… the REAL situation and circumstance of that couple’s moment in time.
3. It takes a lot of time to setup a re-created shot.
You might not think it, but it probably takes 4x longer to setup and shoot ONE pinterest photo than it does for us to work with the actual elements of the situation and produce more photos that are better than that ONE pinterest photo. Stopping everything to setup and try to re-create a shot in a situation that wasn’t natural to begin with just takes time. And as wedding day photographers… time is one of the many list of things we can’t control. Father time just keeps ticking away.
4. Our aim isn’t to create photos that will look outdated and trendy in a few years.
Unfortunately when many brides give us pinterest photos, they’re all giving us the same photos other brides have already given us over and over and over.
We try to make it known both in our example photos that we show as well as the write-up of our style and approach on our photography page, that our aim is to make sure your photos are lasting. That they are beautiful photos that you’ll still be happy with ten and twenty years from now.
As artists, we didn’t study our craft and give up every weekend just to take trendy photos that go out of style and look ‘blah’ a few years later.
A Better Approach
So rather than just sending us a bunch of photos some other photographer took and asking us to re-create someone else’s work, force an image into an unnatural situation, spend more time recreating shots than taking beautiful natural shots, and shooting photos that every other bride is also pinning… here’s what we suggest.
Analyze the photos you’ve pinned and be able to put into words what you like and want.
Take a look at each photo you pinned. Why did you pin it? Is it because it’s a creative photo with a veil?
Instead of sending us that photo and basically saying “re-create this”… instead write down, “I would like a few creative shots with my veil.”
Right there… there’s a HUGE difference. Now instead of asking your photographer to recreate a shot that’s full of different circumstances that might come out looking terrible… you’re communicating to your photographer something that’s important to you but also allowing THEM to decide when and where will be the appropriate situation to best do a creative photo with your veil. Now they can work with the actual environment (lighting, mood, background, etc) and apply their style and what they see naturally into creating something beautiful.
Do you see the difference?
Another example… perhaps you look at a photo and realize the reason why you liked it is because it’s a creative photo that focuses on the back of the bride’s dress. Communicate that! Ex: “I’d like a creative photo that shows the back of my dress.”
Maybe you pinned a photo that’s an intimate shot between the bride and her maid of honor… instead of trying to re-create THAT shot, instead say… “I’d like to do one intimate photo of me with my maid of honor”.
So the goal; Use pinterest for inspiration, not re-creation. Figure out how you can communicate what you ‘like’ to us and let us do the rest.
A Few Photos
Now if you do come across a couple (we mean a couple as in 1, 2, or 3) of photos that you can’t put into words why you like and it’s something you have to have… by all means we’re not going to deny you anything. So maybe you’re not worried about trying to communicate a bunch of things to us, but instead you just have these 2 photos you really like and you’d like us to do something similar, then go ahead and give us those 2 images. If we were really to put a limit on it, we’d say 3 or 4… no more.
But keep in mind we’ll use it as inspiration, and we’re not gong to exactly re-create.
But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s a few helpful blogs a simple google search turned up for us on the topic.