Pinterest for Photographers

Are you pinning? I hope so, but if you are thinking, “what is she on about now?” then you need to check out Pinterest. Simply put, it’s an online pinboard for images found around the internet. You can start a board for just about anything but Pinterest has some suggested themes to get you started like Home Decor and DIY & Crafts. Lots of people and businesses are getting on board with Pinterest and it’s not surprising. It may be one of the newest social networking kids on the block but it was the fastest site ever to reach 10 million unique views in one week.

Some of the reasons why it has become so popular are it is incredibly easy to use and a great way to organise inspirational images into a visual feast. You can follow others and they can follow you and comment on or repin your images. To get started, you need an invite from an existing member or you can join a waiting list at the site and you will need an existing Facebook or Twitter account to log in. You can then happily skip around the internet lifting images that have pins on them, by installing a pin-it button as a tab in your browser, or by simply copying an images URL directly into pinterest.com.

Companies such as Gap and Boden have realised that Pinterest can be a great place to promote their products and more importantly to us, brides are using it to collate all their wedding planning ideas. It seems like a natural progression from wedding bloggers posting inspirational weddings to brides now being able to put together their own collections of the images they see on there. In return the bloggers are embracing Pinterest and most run their own boards, you can see Rock n Roll Bride’s here. Some wedding blogs including Once Wed, The Wedding Chicks, and Ruffled now have a pin graphic that appears when you scroll over the images so images can be pinned even easier, and Style Me Pretty has this week hit 250,000 followers for its boards.

So as a wedding photographer what should you be doing with Pinterest? Well, you can sit around stressing about copyright and maintaining control over your images ~ I’ve even seen photographers stamp ‘Do Not Pin’ on their blog images. If you want to be more subtle, it is quite simple to add code to your site preventing people from pinning images. You can find this in the Pinterest help section. There have been many articles written recently with stern warnings about breach of copyright and user liability, and yes while these are issues Pinterest is trying to address, my opinion is that, for now at least, I want to continue to utilise this massively popular (and free!) marketing tool. You can busy yourself with complaining or you can embrace this new medium and think ‘If couples are using it then I need to have a presence on there.’ If your photography is online and is creative then chances are it has already been pinned and you should be proud that people find your work inspiring. I also find it really useful to see what images of mine are being pinned – it’s like free market research to see what kind of images people are wanting to collect. I recently spoke to one newbie at a workshop who said she was waiting for the day that one of her images was pinned and she would feel like she had ‘made it’ when it did happen.

I joined Pinterest initially to put together boards for the shoots we do at