Oh the wonderful world of Pinterest. It has introduced us to an endless resource of ideas! We adore Pinterest and use it regularly. But every tool has it's pros and cons and Pinterest is no different.
When Stephen and I first started our Pinterest account, we pinned images of beautiful couples and cute props to our hearts' content... Until we received our first pin-list. What is a pin-list you ask? It's a shot list with Pinterest images.
A very excited bride-to-be—let's call her Mary—has some really cute Pinterest boards. Mary's boards are filled with every photo she wants taken at her wedding and the exact props she wants to use in each photo.
It's great right? She's done her research and knows exactly what she wants to get.
What Mary may be overlooking however, is the fact that the longer her pin-list grows, the more she's actually limiting the artistic potential and authenticity of her wedding photos. Let me explain.
How Pin-lists Limit You
When a photographer is working from a pin-list, they're basically trying to recreate 15 non-cohesive poses in 15 separate settings with 15 different sets of props. While this is something a photographer can do, it doesn't lend itself to allowing for authenticity or artistic expression.
You see, as photographers, we can either spend our time switching out props, trying to mimic specific conditions, spelling out words with scrabble letters, writing on chalkboards, setting up rings and shooting through them (all fun ideas), or we can leverage our own skill and artistic vision to focus on capturing your love artfully and authentically.
Unfortunately, we can't excel at doing both.
While cute props and saw-it-on-pinterest poses are nice, they're certainly not more beautiful than your love.
While it may seem great to know the poses you'll be acting out ahead of time, it doesn't allow you to leverage the skill of your photographer and because you're goal is to copy what someone else has done, there's no room left for authenticity.
The more time spent trying to copy what 5 other people did in 5 very different sets of conditions, the less likely you are to get lost in the moment and just enjoy being with the one you love. And that makes us sad!
You deserve better
You want great images and we really want to deliver, so if pin-lists don't work, then what does?
The answer is actually quite simple! You see, the more you trust us with the creative direction of your images, the better your photos will be. Simply put, our creativity is most free when you trust us completely.
Our whole job is translating your love story into portraits to be cherished by you and those you care about most. We want to capture how you feel about each other authentically in the moment. And while cute props and saw-it-on-pinterest poses are nice, they're certainly not more beautiful than your love.
However you feel while you are being photographed will show in the images you receive. We want you to look at your photos and remember feeling happy, relaxed, and in-love, not rushed and stressed because you were focused on setting up props and checking things off a list.
Because your love story is different from anyone else’s, you deserve photos that are also unique.
Hiring a fine art wedding photographer
Quality wedding photography is an investment. When you invest in a wedding photographer, you're hiring someone to document something truly unique—your love. Because your story is different from anyone else's, you deserve a product that's also unique.
In order to tell the story of our clients, we meet with our clients in person. While we drink coffee and become friends, we also listen to your story and spend time getting to know you and your love story. Then, on your wedding day, when he comes up behind you and makes you giggle until your nose wrinkles up, and we're ready to capture it!
As we listen to you talk about your first date and sweet love, we begin visualizing ways to tell your love story authentically.
What you tell us with words, we seek to translate into photographic art.
A place for props
We fully believe in using props to tell your love story, but the right props in the right way.
Why use scrabble letters if you guys don't even love playing the game? Why bring a blanket to cuddle up in if you guys wouldn't cuddle up in that blanket at home?
We want to tell your story, not someone else's, so why not use items that aren't true to your love story? You might find that using more personal items in your photos opens you up to getting images more authentic and beautiful that you had previously imagined!
For Ryan and Ruth, a huge part of their love story took place during the winter—a season they both love, so including elements of Ryan's northwoods heritage and Ruth's love for the color and textures of winter were perfect for their engagement photos.
Did we use props? Yes indeed. But they were used to tell their story, not to replicate shots found on Pinterest.
A better way to use Pinterest
By now you might be thinking that I'm a Pinterest hater. Actually, I'm not. I love pinterest.
I have, however, changed the way I use it. I don't really pin specific posing ideas that I can replicate. I pin ideas that I feel can give brides conceptual inspiration for their wedding.
The role of Pinterest in wedding planning: inspiration, not replication
1. To define your style
This is your day. Everything you plan should represent who you are and how you love. Pin a bunch of images that evoke the mood you'd like for your day. Then take a step back.
When looking at all those images, how would you describe your day? Classic and elegant? Rustic and undone? Whimsical and ethereal? What textures, colors, and settings best represent that mood?
While you might not use all the ideas on your board, the overall tone can help you clarify just what types of things you connect with so you can better communicate your vision to your wedding artists.
2. For creative inspiration
After pinning and thinking, let it rest. Your board doesn't rule your wedding, but it should give you creative inspiration! Some of the things on your board may continue to jump out at you long after you've pinned them, while your enthusiasm for other ideas will fade.
You need time to recognize the great ideas so you can pass on the mediocre ones. At times the frenzy of wedding planning may make you feel like you need to do absolutely everything, but in our experience, we've found it better do a few things well than to do a lot of things just okay.
3. To make life easier
There are a bah-jillion tutorials for handy and inexpensive DIY projects. Every bride has a budget, no matter how high or low it is. All those handmade crafts can save you lots of money in the areas you'd like to spend less, freeing up your budget for what you really want to invest in. Just make sure you know which budget areas you do plan on investing into and which ones you don't before you jump in.
4. To strengthen relationships
Pinterest can strengthen relationships?? I know, I'm crazy!
But seriously, get out from behind your pinterest feed and get your bridesmaids and family together to help you craft some of those amazing DIY's! Use that as a quality time together and savor these moments. Wedding planning can be a great opportunity for you to strengthen relationships even during a stressful time!
Telling your story
We love it when our brides' hard work gets featured in bridal blogs. All those sweet memories surrounded by beautiful decor? Amazing! But don't let recognition be your motivation. Cut yourself a break from the pressure of having the best wedding your friends have ever seen and instead make it your wedding!
Your day is about you making some amazing commitments to each other and celebrating those promises with some of your favorite people ever. There are plenty of inspiration boards out there to help you throw the party of the century, but in the end, whatever ideas you decide to go with, make sure they reflect who you guys are, not someone else's idea of perfection.
As soon as you begin pinning things you need exact replicas of, you are setting yourself up for unnecessary stress and unmet expectations. Why not plan to enjoy your wedding day and trust your love story to the vision of a creative professional.