I’m a fan of social media. I love the exchange of information and ideas. Pinterest is huge with brides. Some spend hours culling through thousands of wedding images and then, being excited, they send the images they love on to their photographer with a note or email of shots they “must have.” Ugh.
Here’s the question. Do you want to live your own life or copy others? I mean, do you want your own memories of your day or are you looking to recreate the “best of” shots you find online?
As a photographer, I upload my best shots to Pinterest. We all do. It helps brides see what I am capable of. I like that. But there’s a danger in that too. When you look at an artist’s best art you can be disappointed when you see his good pieces. Not every shot is worthy of a bridal mag cover.
With the “Pinterest Pressure” in mind, I’ve put together these six ways you can lose your wedding day without realizing it.
1) Destroy your photographer’s creativity by sending a gallery of “must-have” poses you want him to recreate on your wedding day. Hopefully you hired your photographer because you viewed her work and like her style. Few of us get pumped to recreate others’ work. We’d rather tell your wedding story. When I lay down in the weeds to make a photo, my goal is a shot you will be wild about. Your photographer is shooting for you, not Pinterest.
2) Worry so much about how you want things to look in photos that you miss being fully present in the moment. Relax and trust your photographer to do his job. If you have contracted with a proven, experienced professional things will work out fine.
3) Put unreal expectations on your photographer, especially if you’ve used the photography line item to trim your budget. Uncle Larry will do his best but don’t expect his results to be at the same level of the Pinterest professional photographers you’ve pinned. If you decided to go cheap, relax and enjoy your day and be ready to take what you get. Freaking out with stress will only put more pressure on Uncle Larry and make him forget to switch off bulb mode after that long exposure. Bulb mode? Yeah, that would be catastrophic, trust me.
4) Host a media circus with the paparazzi swarming. Your wedding is about you, right? Will your guests know that or will they be watching a media crew in action? I recently attended a wedding as a guest where the couple had contracted a media company that sent three photographers and two videographers (I could tell by the big mics on their Nikon hotshoes.) Each of the photographers carried a minimum of two cameras and shutter noise made it sound like the president was announcing his resignation. One photographer had a 400mm lens mounted all day! Remember, more is not always better and great big lenses are not a display of talent. Their Facebook preview album was great but no better than those I see every day posted by my pro friends. I heard guests remark that they couldn’t see the bride and groom during their ceremony. We never got to talk to them at the reception. We left at the four hour mark while they were out again shooting more video. Is that really what you want?
5) Order no prints, wall art or albums. We live in a digital age where hundreds will view your photos online only. Online images are important, I get that. Please believe me when I tell you that your photographer is not pushing you to print only so she can make more money. I shot my first wedding in 1981. During my years as a photographer I have gone from film to digital cards. I have seen computers go from no disk drives to 12 inch floppies, to 6 inch to 3 inch, to thumbdrive to The Cloud. I have boxes of obsolete junk. Your prints and albums never go obsolete. No one will ever have to “launch” anything or reboot to look at your wedding art. Many of us resist just giving you our files because we are artists. When you ask me to give you my files it’s like asking a painter to only give you his paints. There is much that goes into making wall art. If your plan is to just get the files and eventually order your own stuff cheap at Costco, don’t hire an artist to shoot your wedding – Uncle Larry just bought a cool lens for his Canon Rebel. Ask him.
With all the time, money and effort you are putting into your wedding, you don’t want to lose it in digital distraction.
– Scott Linscott is a professional photpgrapher based in Westbrook, Maine.