I know this may seem CRAZY to say at this point in life, but it’s something every photographer knows and wishes we could tell all of our couples. So here goes.
Pinterest- while offering loads of amazing decorating ideas, recipes, and so much more- it can be a huge source of frustration and disappointment for brides. And here’s why:
Countless brides scroll through Pinterest all hours of the day to get ideas on how to design their wedding on a budget, or how to DIY floral arrangements (p.s. hire a florist! :), and last but not least, they are looking for inspiration on wedding day photography. Let’s face it, Pinterest is FULL of gorgeous images. And I mean gorgeous. But here is where the problem lies.
A huge percentage of ‘wedding’ images that you’re going to find on Pinterest are in fact styled shoot images. Styled shoots are a great way for vendors (photographers, florists, cake makers, venues, dress designers, etc.) to put their creativity to work. During wedding season we are busy doing what we love- working with our couples on their wedding day! But during the slower season, styled shoots are a great way to stay busy while being productive in your field. You get to test the limits of your creativity, no matter what part of the wedding industry you’re in. Florists get the opportunity to design something new and appealing, while a dress designer may have a gown or two that they really want to highlight for the upcoming season.. You see where I’m going with this..
Styled shoots can take weeks if not months to plan. The photographer is a key component in these, as photographers should be the best judge of the lighting scenario. They have most likely scouted the shoot location and will determine what time of the day will be best to schedule the shoot. We all know that light is the biggest factor when it comes to good images. In my opinion, it is THE most important factor.
These projects will be shot during the very best light of the day, and for good reason! There’s no point in putting hours of effort in for a big undertaking such as this, just to shoot in low and unattractive light.
My point being- these shoots yield gorgeous images because the vendors have ample time to perfect the final outcome.
Your wedding ceremony location may not be in the best light when you plan to say your vows. There may be really beautiful trees on site but during your ceremony time, the sun will shine through them, creating ‘hot spots’ (spotty, uneven light) on you or your groom’s face. You won’t see images like these on Pinterest.
My advice to is be completely aware of your wedding venue’s location and light. Plan a tour (or three!) and see for yourself how the light comes through the trees, the windows- whatever your setup may be. And make sure that you take time to tour the grounds, too. Your photographer will definitely want to shoot your wedding portraits in a beautiful spot, so make sure there are options. If you’re uncertain, send a photo or two to your photographer for their opinion. If you’ve hired a good, quality professional, they will be able to tell you if the location will work or not.
My second and equally important point is this: make sure that your Pinterest style aligns with your photographer’s current work and style. Like, if you love the “moody” and “dark” vibe, hire a photographer whose Instagram is FULL of images like this- whose website showcases nothing but those kind of images. If you love the “light and airy” style, hire someone who offers that style in every part of their portfolio.
There are so many amazing photographers in the world, but they all have very different styles. WHICH IS GREAT. They are artists. They shoot what motivates them and fires them up! They have individual style. This is key. You don’t want to hire someone assuming that they can produce images that are drastically different than the ones they showcase in their portfolio.
When you scroll through a photographer’s website, you want to love what you see. If you’re browsing through their work and you’re thinking “eh, it’s good but I’m not in love with it”, then they’re not the photographer for you. Hire someone that offers a style you can’t get enough of.
I know budget can be a huge factor in wedding planning (ok, the biggest factor!)- but your wedding photographs are going to be the only tangible thing that you will hang on to long after your wedding day is over. Invest in someone who loves what they do and provides you with exactly what you want, and in the style you love the MOST. You deserve it.
Happy Wedding Planning, friends!