Boasting over 10 million visitors in one recent month, Pinterest has been taking the online world by storm. Facebook and Twitter are fun and useful, but photographers are visual people and Pinterest is a site that speaks our language.
How does Pinterest work you may ask? When a user sees an image they like on a website, they can manually upload the URL link or utilize the “Pin It” button, once they install it, on their browser bar to pin an image directly to their “pinboard” (think inspirational collage board) on Pinterest. Once uploaded, Pinterest curates a user’s content and lays it out in a visually appealing series of squares. And you can even use it for reference on the go, with the Pinterest iPhone App!
These themed boards are great for planning an event, coordinating a home decor palette, or simply reminding the user of something they want to buy and where to find it on theWeb. To their credit, Pinterest appears highly attuned to giving content credit where it is due, with links to the originating URL embedded in the image that the user uploads. Additionally, a savvy user might also credit the site in the comment section attached to the uploaded pin.
The site is deliciously interactive and encourages friends, family, and random followers to view, “Like”, and re-pin the images you select, if inclined. Pinterest frowns on businesses utilizing the site for self-promotion so photographers like me are looking at the site as a place to share our visual aesthetic with potential, as well as current clientele. Pinterest is a community and as such, the more you share, the more you get out of it.
While I have uploaded a few of my favorite images from my own portfolio, and am grateful when other users like and re-pin my images, I have also spent hours curating images from other users’ boards. Implementations for the home, gifts I covet, famous photography I admire, as well as quotes that speak to me are all boards that I have created and that can give you — hopefully one of my followers — a better sense of what makes me tick as a person and professional.
How does Pinterest relate to wedding photographers? When a couple comes to me and wants to discuss photo needs surrounding their wedding, Pinterest boards are a great way for us to visually connect. A well-executed board can convey a couple’s history, personality, and design sense. Which are all things that help me plan shots for the engagement session and eventual wedding day. Dedicating a board to the couple and utilizing Pinterest’s contributor function allows them pin photography images that inspire them directly to their board on my page. This also allows me to see their vision unfold, helping to ensure we’re all on the same page aesthetically before their big event.
What do photographers hope to gain?
- Business from Pinterest? Sure! If someone finds my images appealing and decides to hire me for their event, that is the highest form of compliment.
- Inspiration from Pinterest? Most definitely! I always seek to improve my skills and learn from fellow photographers willing to share their techniques.
- A community consisting of energetic, visual, aesthetically attuned individuals? Yes, please!
If you’re not on Pinterest and this post has inspired you to check it out, the site is by “invite only” which can easily be sent by a current user. Me! Me! Shoot me a message through my website @ http://www.fire-eyes.com and I’ll arrange an invite.
Let the pinning begin!