The problem with Pinterest | Repost from Amie Grover

Last year one of my favorite photographers (yes, I have my own collection of favorites) posted an OUTSTANDING article on her blog about the hazards of Pinterest. I shared it on my Facebook when she originally posted it, but with the ever increasing amount of brides who come to me with overwhelming amounts of “must haves”, I felt it deserved another share…..

 

Copied from Amie Grover

It’s incredible how Pinterest has taken the wedding industry by storm. We have always been, and still are big supporters of Pinterest. It has been such an incredible tool for our business and has helped so many brides find our work. It can be a great place for brides to gather wedding ideas, color schemes, flowers they love, ect. It wasn’t until recently though, have we started seeing the negative affects of Pinterest on wedding photography.

Pinterest can discourage the creative process.

As photographers, the images we create are like one-of-a-kind art. There are so many aspects that go into composing a photograph, most importantly the lighting, environment and the subjects. Sometimes, the most amazing photographs happen by chance and can’t be re-created. Unpredictability is one of the things we find most inspiring and exciting about photography. We love when we are able to blow our couples away, and give them images that are better than anything they could have ever dreamed up or expected. We are able to create these images when we are given time, complete trust and artistic freedom.

A few times this past year, we have had brides send us Pinterest boards of photo inspiration for their wedding day. We whole-heartedly believe that it comes from a place of sheer excitement for their big day…and that they are just trying to be proactive in sharing what they like. Even though we know that they have the best intentions,  as we scroll through the photos, we can’t help but initially feel discouraged. Brides are pinning the BEST of the BEST photos (from an already curated body of work) from hundreds of different weddings. I think it leaves us wondering…Did they hire us because they like our style? How are we going to be able to meet/exceed their expectations?

My recent struggle with Pinterest lead me to research other people’s thoughts on the topic. One of the most compelling articles I read said something really profound,  “Pinterest is not a source of inspiration, it’s a collection of completed ideas“ (The Problem With Pinterest). Such an interesting thought. Is that why as artists we can sometimes feel discouraged by Pinterest instead of inspired?

It may appear simple, but there are a lot of things that make up a good photograph.

As photographers, We see photos in a very unique way. We notice the lighting, coloring, the location, time of day, the natural elements (wind, sun flare, fog), the posing, the height of the couple, ect. We know from experience that ALL of these aspects are what create the mood & feel of that particular photo. One of the best examples that comes to mind is this photo by Amelia Lyon. We have seen it on just about everybody’s Pinterest board, heck, it’s probably on one of ours somewhere too. It is SO stunning.

Notice how the wind is sweeping her hair just right, how it’s the perfect time of day, how she has a subtle passionate look on her face, how he is just the right height to be kissing her forehead, how beautiful the jewels on her sleeved dress look.

Wow. It really is one-of-a-kind and that’s what makes it so special!

 

 

Another photo I have seen appear time and time again on Pinterest is this getting ready shot by Becker. This is an insanely beautiful bride, but I think there’s something else about this photo that so many brides are drawn to. She looks so cool, calm and collected oh her big day…like she has actually has the time to sit and “smell the roses.”

Notice how her hair and makeup are finished early, her bouquet arrived timely to her suite, how the room isspotless, the bed is made, the bedding is simple and beautifully accents her cute robe, how flattering her legs look resting on the perfectly placed bed frame, how just the right amount of light is seeping in, how her bouquet is rounded allowing us to see her beautiful face.

The fact that all of these elements aligned for this Cinderella bride is pretty amazing…and that is what makes it nearly impossible to duplicate – especially on a wedding day when time is not on your side.

 

 

When our focus is on re-creating, we aren’t able to truly create.

Knowing how important all of the elements are that go into a photograph are what make us feel discouraged when presented with a Pinterest board of inspiration. We jump into problem solving mode…how are we going to create that wind swept beach photo in a hotel garden setting? How are we going to shoot that epic bridal portrait in a messy and chaotic bridal suite? How are we going to serve our clients, but still do our best work? Re-creating someone else’s photo takes a lot of time to stage correctly. When time is something we are always working against, that time that could be better spent creating something unique. We photographed a wedding this past year – where we spent so much time trying to please the bride, and fulfill her Pinterest “must haves,” that we never had the opportunity to really shine and do our best work. In the end, the photos were beautiful – but we didn’t feel like they represented our style, or who we are as artists. We want to feel proud of the photos we create for brides and grooms.

So, if you want to get the most out of your wedding photos, here are a few tips for brides:

1. Use Pinterest early on in your planning process to pin photos that you like & are attracted to. Then, use your board to help determine what style you are drawn to and find a photographer consistent with that style. Once you’ve chosen your photographer – give them your trust & support to capture your big day.

2. Remember your wedding is about you and your day. You want to look back at your photos and feel like they are the best representations of who you are….not just an okay rendition of a photo you saw on Pinterest. Give your photographer the green light to choose poses and locations that flatter you and your wedding aesthetic.

3. Be realistic about how you will be feeling on your wedding day. In the past, we’ve had brides come to us with lofty photo ideas – traveling all around a city or walking down steep paths to the beach on a hot summers day. Once they are all dressed up, reality sets in. Their dress is heavy and stiff, the tulle is itchy, their shoes aren’t comfortable, the humidity is ruining their hair, there are tourists in bathing suits everywhere. Somehow this seemed like a much better idea their mind. If you want to be comfortable and portable on your big day – wear a dress and shoes that allow you to do that. This past bride of ours, Kelly – really got the most out of her photographs because she wore a simple dress that was easy to move around in and made it effortless to look natural in poses.

 

 

As photographers, we would rather be spending the precious time we have on a wedding day experimenting with a couple and figuring out how they work together in poses that feel really natural. We also want to be inspired by the surroundings we’re in and be able create new one-of-a-kind shots. In no way is this post meant to offend any brides out there, it’s really just to share a photographer’s perspective and thoughts on the topic. As much as you want to have incredible photos and memories…we want to take an active part in creating them.

<3 Aimee Grover



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Ashley and Alex | Married

Ladies, let me tell you something! Ashley’s wedding day weather was one that would frightened almost any bride. The forecast called for scattered severe thunderstorms and points of the day where we could have DOWNPOURS! Well, the day started off beautifully sunny, not a cloud in site and you questioned whether or not the weather man got it right. How could it rain on such a beautifully warm day? Well, it did….RIGHT when we needed to be outside taking portraits. This isn’t a story to scare you. Its a story to inspire you. Ashley and Alex had complete ease about the day. Yes, it was POURING down rain, YES they were a wee bit late to the reception, YES everything worked out great! Ashley wasn’t afraid to get a tiny bit wet during the portraits. If it was only sprinkling, we were out there getting what we could in record time. If it was pouring, they were snuggled up under an umbrella laughing about the circumstances.

Brides, what Im trying to say is… you are only going to wear that dress ONCE. You are only going to have ONE chance to get outside, dance in the rain with your new husband, and have an amazing story to tell when your older. Don’t be afraid of a little rain, a little grass or a little smudge. It’ll be worth it, I promise!!! See for yourself!!!

Ummm…..Dad’s expression? Pass the tissues.

Behind the Scenes: 

 



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Julie Fisher Langley -

Beautiful pictures. What a fabulous photographer. What a fabulous bride and groom.

Sandra Jones -

So glad we were present to witness the love shared between Ashley and Alex. Beautiful pictures.

Julie Lutz Anderson -

Rachel Jacobus you do such a great job…can’t wait to have you take pictures of our family!

Thankful Fridays

Spring, Summer and Fall has always been crazy for us. Its like when the snow starts to melt every wants to get out and take pictures. I don’t blame them! We’re having our own portrait session done at the beach next week and I couldn’t be more excited. We get a chance to be photographed in one of our most favorite places ever. Wrightsville Beach, NC! Im frantically trying to figure out what we will wear, how I’ll do my hair and laying out so I don’t look like a Northerner who sits in her office all day while the sun is out. Oh wait, that IS me.

Im getting sidetracked…. Back to my Thankful Fridays….

This last winter we decided to get ourselves involved in our church’s Wave Groups. We were skeptical at first because trying to meet new people in an environment you truly feel comfortable opening your self up to was terrifying. But we needed it.

Enter these people…..

 

 

I 100% feel that God has placed each one of people in our lives for a reason. Never have I felt the instant connection I do with them! We have created such an open and genuine environment within our friendships that doesn’t seem like it could ever be replaced. I truly am not sure what we were doing each week before we met our Wave Group. I love sharing life with them and being connected. For this Thankful Friday….Im thankful for this group of friends! Life would be crazy without them….

Or maybe life is crazy with them? But crazy in a good way. Crazy as in throwing money in the air and dancing around it, or throwing John Michael up in the air for a photo op. Crazy as in doing recorded spit takes, watching Colleen perform her HS show choir, sending Kristy and Travis off to VA Beach for a month to dig deeper into Jesus. Crazy as in sending Sarah and Mike off to travel the US witnessing to people and promoting his new book, 141 days! Crazy as in eating Thai food with Dave and Lauren and 30 minutes after thinking Im about to take our friendship to a whole new level…with extreme gas and stomach ache…. Crazy as in Taylor and Josh inspiring us to get our first tattoos!!

Crazy. In a good way.:)

If you know what you are thankful for today feel free to share below to spread a cheerful heart!

Have a happy and fun filled weekend! Be back on Monday!



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Danielle and Danny | Wedding

When we first met with Danielle and Danny I knew instantly I wanted to photograph their wedding. They came to us with such passion and love for photography that I knew they were going to appreciate all of our hard work. When I walked into the dressing room I saw Danielle finishing the final touches of her makeup. She excitedly greeted me and began expressing how nervous she was! “I don’t know why Im so nervous!!” She said. “Umm….maybe because its your WEDDING DAY!” replied her bridesmaid. They chuckled and continued getting dolled up.

Danny and Danielle decided to do a first look which made my little heart sing. If you come to me asking if you should do a first look or not, my answer 90% of the time will be YES. Let me explain why….Nerves run high on the wedding day. Time runs tight on a wedding day. If you want to be super relaxed, go through pictures not rushed, and be able to enjoy a cocktail hour with your guest….First looks are for you. 100% of my Brides and Grooms nerves are completely diminished once you see your partner. It calms you it calms them and you then get to enjoy the rest of your WEDDING DAY with your love. Who really wants to spend almost their whole wedding day not being with the one they love? A couple of times I even had a bride and groom get ready together. It was adorable! He zipped her dress, she fixed his tie. *sigh*…. The rest of my reasoning I’ll just make into a whole other blog post entirely…

We had a beautiful amount of time to capture everything with ease. The limo came to pick us up and we all headed down to Schiller Park to take all the portraits. We had amazing light, amazing people to work with, and amazing love to capture. Without further adieu…..Danny and Danielle…..



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Crystal Freeman -

wonderful pictures

Joan Donnelly -

Beautifully captured!

Judy Ann Schiewer -

Just Beautiful.

Permission For Success

I sat there anxiously with my phone grasped securely in the palm of my sweaty hand. It was serving as a security blanket- something I could potentially fake an urgent call if needed. I did a quick reassuring scan every 2 minutes to make sure Jared was still with me. Whew, still there. C’mon Rachel, you got this. I worked up the nerve to approach a group of people as they mingled with their cocktails. From a distance they looked tight. Like, no-more-kids-in-the-club tight. They laughed and talked like this was a high school reunion for them. For me? I just wanted to find the nearest darkest corner, crouch down, and suck my thumb.

This is what it felt like walking into our very first photography workshop/networking meet up. Terror.

I inched my way into the conversation hoping my presence would be as if  I were standing there the whole time. I laughed when they laughed… but had no idea what we were laughing at. When someone noticed me they pleasantly and warmly greeted me as if I were one of the “Tight”.  The super kind photographer asked my name and how long I’d been shooting weddings for…. OMG OMG OMG here it comes, the inevitable question that is surely going to get me kicked out of the Tight’s group. I sheepishly looked at my feet as if they were going to look back up at me and give me something revolutionary to say.

They didn’t.

I panicked.

But responded…. “Ive actually only shot 3 weddings so far!” then I waited….waited for her to look at me with disapproval and kick me out of the group….banish me from ever returning.

But she didn’t. Instead, she looked at me with an excited face and shared how happy she was for us! How making the steps to becoming a professional photographer are exhilarating, empowering, and electrifying! (She didn’t really say it like that but I like my use of “E” words);)

I sunk with relief! Whew! Her reaction confused me because my recent attempts to reach out to other “professionals” in the area had completely backfired! I would email, get nothing in return. I would Facebook them asking to meet up, share ideas, help a sista out…. nothing. I once even had an entire thread of two photographers going back and forth attacking me, for me. Not once did either of them meet me in person or even try to get to know me. But hated me because I was “new in town” and “charging obscenely low prices”, “stealing business because I was cheap” and how “people like me ruin the market”. Ouch….

You know whats sad though? Neither of those two photographers even shoot anymore. They are no longer in business and I honestly think it was because of a poor attitude. Our entire business is built upon referrals from past clients and recommendations from OTHER photographers. Yes, you read that right, other professional photographers send us business. And vice versa. We love sharing business with others. Why not help others be built up rather than become torn down?

If I would have listened to the hate these two photographers were spreading of me, and thrown in the towel and said “you know? you’re right, Im not worthy of this success.”… I wouldn’t be writing to you, seven years later, with a business built on love.

You DONT need approval from others to be successful. You DONT need approval to build your dreams. You only need confidence in yourself. Because with confidence, you can go anywhere…..

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. - Eleanor Roosevelt 



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Jenny Barnes Zink -

well said!! also, you are the cutest!!

Allison Fate Leonard -

Felt so many of these same feelings myself. I’ve been there as well. See my recent FB post. :) Keep it up!

Rachel Jenkins -

Well you’ve got me for life!

Ashley Leslie Ford -

I had similar experiences and had the same feelings as well, when I first started! Well said Rachel! Spread love not hate! <3