First, I have to admit: I LOVE Pinterest. I use it for personal reasons and to help inspire my photography. (You can find me on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/flutteringphoto/!) There are millions of images there that are awe-inspiring and simply gorgeous shots. I think that it can be an invaluable resource for a variety of professions, photography included.
That being said, there are a few things that people (and clients) should know about Pinterest, especially when it comes to photography.
1) Pinterest should inspire you to be creative. Take those images that you see and allow them to help you to create new images. The first photograph was one that I found on Pinterest. I LOVED this concept of brothers being superheros. I wanted to re-create this feeling that comes out of the photograph.
(Photograph by Melissa Deakin Photography)
I was lucky enough to be able to photograph two brothers who happen to LOVE superheros, AND their mom brought capes for them as well! This is what came out of the inspiration from the above photograph:
I didn't copy the shot, but I allowed it to INSPIRE me. In the first photograph, Evan (the six year old) is showing off how tough he is, and I love how Dylan (the three year old) is simultaneously making a tough face and holding a flower in his hand. The second photograph is just a sweet shot of a boy in his cape! What you can't see off-camera is that he was watching his brother run across the field, and just didn't seem quite ready to run after him.
2) As a client you can help to inspire your photographer using Pinterest. (Before I go any further in this section, I'll say this: When you are looking for a photographer, you should always hire someone whose work you have already seen and liked. You know what you're looking for in the photographs, and you should choose a photographer who has proven that they take photographs that you love.) When you're preparing for a session with your photographer, take a look on Pinterest and pin some photographs that you like. Keep an eye out for the style of the shot. Is it full color? Black and white? Serious? Candid? Those are the things that will help to inspire your session.
3) On a related note, please keep in mind that some photographs that you see on Pinterest are once-in-a-lifetime shots. Your photographer will likely not be able to perfectly re-create a photograph, and you shouldn't want them to. Those perfect photographs that you see on Pinterest are likely perfect because they are natural. The simple act of trying to replicate that photo will make it near impossible to capture. Your photographer is looking for what's inside of YOU that will make your photographs beautiful. And remember, you hired your photographer because you like the work that they have done already. Why not let them work their magic with you?
4) Pinterest can give you, as clients, TONS of ideas as to what to wear. What colors will go well together, how to dress for the season, etc. I will tell you that for me, you should wear what you want to wear. Your favorite outfits make you happy, which comes across in the photographs. If your 3 year old refuses to take off her cowboy boots, great! They can become a focal point of some of the shots, and you will always remember that those boots were her favorite. Most photographers will allow you to change clothes (or your children's clothes) during the session, so you can always try to get your child to wear the outfit that you had originally planned on.
5) Always give credit where credit is due. Note that below the original photograph that I posted as my inspiration, I made sure to include the original photographer's information. Photographs are people's art and their livelihood. When you crop out someone's watermark (the wording saying who took the photograph on the photo), or don't leave their copyright information in the photograph description, it takes away potential clients and allows other people to steal that image. This one applies to all social media, but I see it pretty often on Pinterest. When you see a beautiful photograph of your family, of course you want to share it! But please, pretty please, include your photographer's information along with that photograph. You never know, that photographer might start a referral incentive program! *wink, wink*