Pinterest, Wedding Inspiration or Duplication?

One of the things I love the most about being a professional wedding photographer is the ability to create beautiful, memorable images for my clients.  Although we photograph many weddings each year, lots of times going back to the same locations over and over again, I strive to make each wedding unique by creating different looking images for my clients.  My reasons for this are twofold.  First, I want to make each of my weddings unique and provide fun, creative and artistic images for my clients, that they will cherish for a lifetime.  If you put all of my wedding albums from the same location together in a row, you would see that the images differ a bit and are not the same pose, same place.  The other reason is purely selfish.  I feel that in order to better myself as an artist and keep things interesting, I need to try to create new imagery, making images at the same location, but not making the same image.  This is what keeps things fresh and feeds my love for wedding photography.  So, at each wedding I photograph, I try to make the images different, even when I’m at the same location.

Where do I seek inspiration for my newly created images? Pinterest.com of course.  I also gain inspiration from other sources, but mostly the Pinterest website.  With the extensive library of the Pinterest website, there is an unlimited supply of  images to be inspired by and I love going there to see all the great wedding images and feed my inspiration.  However, I do have a Love/Hate relationship with Pinterest and here’s why…

Lately,  (this is happening a lot more often) I have been getting several shot lists, and links to Pinterest boards, both from perspective and future clients, with photos that they saw on Pinterest that they want me to do.  While I have no problem giving our clients what they want and I will certainly do so, this practice is killing the creative process of wedding photography.   Perhaps there is some confusion between the two words: Inspiration and Duplication.  I love to get INSPIRED by photos that I see, not only on Pinterest, but from many other sources.  But my goal is not to DUPLICATE the images that I see, but to use that as a basis for my own take on it.  Use it to inspire me to create my own images.   Because if I did try to duplicate an image, that does not help me grow as an artist.  It just teaches me how to copy someone else’s work.  It also doesn’t get my clients excited about my work…because it isn’t my work.  Of the times I have duplicated and image that a client requested from Pinterest, once the client sees the image, there is no emotional connection or impact.  It’s simply bland.  Yup, okay good…you got that one.  Yes, you got that one too.  But when they see the images that I have created, that they were not expecting, that came from within me at that very moment, then I’ll get the WOW, OMG and OOHs, they have a much greater impact and are treasured much more by my clients, because they have not seen them before.  They are emotionally connected to the image because it brings back memories of their special day.

Photo by Mattnnat.com, Pennsylvania

Photo by Mattnnat.com, Pennsylvania

Duplicated Photo from Pinterest

My Duplicated Photo for the client.

I feel my clients are drawn to me and my style of photography because they like what I see when I look into my camera.  They like my creativity.  This is the reason they choose me to capture their wedding memories.  But sometimes, someone will show me a bunch of photos they found on Pinterest and say, I want you to do this photo and this one…oh and this one too, etc…  There goes my creativity! 😦  If I have to worry about a shot-list:  gotta do this shot, then gotta do this one, oh and can’t forget this one, checking off each one on the list so I don’t forget any…then the entire wedding will be a duplication of other peoples photos and will not be a true representation of the reason the clients hired me in the first place.  There will be no time for me to be creative, if I’m constantly looking at a list, or some Pinterest photos that I need to copy.  The end result will be a wedding that doesn’t match my style and doesn’t represent my work and doesn’t provide that emotional connection for my clients.

So, I just wanted to voice this to any future brides out there reading this blog.  If you hire a professional photographer because you like their style and the images they have created, then allow them to WOW you with their talent.  Providing a list of Pinterest photos that you want them to duplicate will totally squash their creativity and in the end, you will not like the images as much as you may have thought you would.  A wedding is an Amazing Day and should be filled with images that make you say WOW, OMG and remind you of that amazing experience, not images that make you just say, yup…okay…got it…good.

I feel that Pinterest is a great tool for gaining INSPIRATION.  I don’t feel it should be used for DUPLICATION of images that someone else has already created.  Ask your photographer to look at the images that you like and that you are drawn to.  We can be inspired by them to create something unique and quite possibly better than the images that you saw and those images will have a better emotional connection and timeless impact than anything that can be duplicated.

Thanks for reading.

Advertisements

Excuse me Miss, but your Pad is showing!

I absolutely LOVE being a full-time professional photographer and I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do than photograph people’s weddings  and their milestone moments.  But at the same time, I think one of the most difficult jobs out there nowadays is to be a professional wedding photographer. What with the onslaught of consumer point-and-shoot cameras, mobile phones, tablets, digital capture devices, personal video recording devices and more,  it’s an extremely difficult task to get a really great image of the bride and groom throughout the day.  Why is it so tough?  Because lately, more and more guests at a wedding are not being very considerate of the bride and groom.

how your guests ruin your wedding photos

Excuse me Miss, your pad is showing!

While I don’t usually mind the many guests at a wedding taking multiple photographs during the ceremony and reception,  it’s particularly stressful and also a pet peeve of mine when I’m trying to get a really awesome and memorable shot of the bride and her dad coming down the aisle, (such as this one posted here) only for it to be ruined by somebody’s digital device being stuck out into the aisle right in front of my camera view, ruining both the moment and the photograph.

A wedding is one of those milestone events that you only have one chance to get right.  There are no do overs!  When the moment is gone, it’s lost forever.  That’s why this is a source of great stress for the professional photographer (me) trying to capture that magical moment that my clients invested very good money for!  I’m in position, I’m ready, here comes the moment…and there goes someone ruining it.  I feel sad for the wedding couple, because they won’t get to enjoy and cherish these photos now.

how your guests can ruin your wedding photos

Groomsman suffering from facebook-interruptus during the ceremony

The shots shown here are by no means an isolated incident. A quick search online to news sites like the Huffington Post and CNN, will confirm that more and more wedding memories are being lost due to others interfering with the professional photographers shots.  There are hundreds more photographs, just like these here that end up in my computer’s recycling bin instead of as part of the bride and grooms most memorable and treasured collection.

With the myriad of digital devices getting bigger and bigger screens, this problem is getting even worse!  So, what can we do to put a stop to this?  I do understand that the guests of the wedding are anxious and excited to take photos of the bride and groom, but is it so important that they need to ruin the bride’s memories of her special day?  There’s got to be another way!  Do we return to the old ways and put it into our photography contracts that no one else is allowed to take photographs?

In the past, professional photographers such as myself had it written into our contracts that no other people were allowed to take photos during the Ceremony or the Formals.  Over the years,  this became frowned upon due to the fact that most of the guests carried with them point and shoot cameras, mobile phones with cameras and nowadays, tablets with cameras.  But these old-day rules were put into the contract for good reason.  We photographers work incredibly hard to try to capture every special moment and lots of those moments are ruined either by some other camera’s flash, or by someone jerking out their device in front, just to get a shot.  These bigger screen digital devices truly are disruptive to the wedding and ruin many photos throughout the day as you see from these shots.  It’s gotten to be so bad that even the wedding party is pulling out phones or devices, just to get a “live” shot to upload to social media.  Do you suffer from Facebook Interruptus?

I find it hard to believe that guests of a wedding cannot see how wrong this is.  Think of all the shots that we professionals have to throw away because of this.  There isn’t just one person at the wedding doing this either, there are many, many people doing this all at the same time.  You may even wonder sometimes how the professional gets any good shots at all.  There has to be a happy medium somewhere that will please both the guests and not ruin the professional’s images.  Personally, I feel it is up to the married couple to set the ground rules on this one.  Don’t let your guests ruin your wedding photos!  Tell them that you are having an “Unplugged Wedding”.  What’s an unplugged wedding?  Simply put, no digital capture devices.  Invite your guests to enjoy the wedding, hear the beautiful words that are being shared and feel the love in the room during the ceremony.  Most professional photographers will post the wedding images online and all of your guests will have the chance to see all the amazing photos taken throughout the day.  They are even available for purchase, if guests want to have a keepsake of your wedding day.

I chose to blog about this today, after having this happen to me at some recent weddings and after reading several online news stories about this happening at other weddings too.  My goal is only to bring some awareness to any of my future wedding clients who are reading this.  As the married couple,  you have every right to make special requests on your wedding day.  The simplest way to take control of the situation and avoid this happening during your wedding would be to include a note to your invited guests within your wedding invitation, stating the you do not wish your guests to use their digital cameras, tablets, or otherwise during the ceremony, formals, or otherwise interfere with the professional photographers photos.

You see, this information coming directly from your professional photographer to your guests, would be received in a very negative way, thereby making him or her out to be a bad/mean person.  But merely all we are trying to do is ensure that you get the very best value and amazing, memorable images throughout your day, which is what you paid me top dollar to do.  We work extremely hard and are 100% invested into your wedding, trying to make it the experience of your lifetime.  It is very, very sad when an amazing and heart-warming image that would take your breath away, is ruined by someone with a mobile device and long arms, or someone Photo-Bombing during a milestone occasion, such as the Cake Cutting.

cake-bombing

wedding guest cake-bombing

So, if you agree with me and if your wedding  photography is very important to you, you may consider sending a note to your guests, along with the invitation stating that your wedding be an “Unplugged” occasion.  This means asking them to refrain from using electronic devices and thereby placing them in the photographer’s way during the ceremony and formal photos.  They will have plenty of opportunities to photograph the bride and groom during the reception.  Unplugged weddings are gaining popularity and are the best way to get to most out of your wedding  images.

If you don’t agree with me and if photography is not that important, then please be forewarned that although we will do our very best to get all the great moments and images we can, some of your once-in-a-lifetime, heart-stopping, most memorable, unable to be done over, moments may be lost forever, because someone’s pad is showing, someone is photo-bombing or someone otherwise ruined the photos.

(Stepping off my soapbox)

Off I go to my next wedding, with fingers crossed and hoping no one photo bombs it!

Thanks for reading!

Don’t Trash the Dress, Glam the Dress!

Bridal Portrait on the Beach

Don’t Trash the Dress, Glam the Dress!

If you have been keeping up with the news stories, there has been a lot of debate about brides wanting to do a Trash the Dress photo session after their wedding. There are lots of stories and probably thousands of Youtube videos showing what can and sometimes does go wrong during these sessions. If you have time to kill, you can spend about a weeks time watching all the videos.

We love doing TTD sessions, and we love to be creative about them. But, we also believe that a Trash the Dress session isn’t for everyone. Not everyone wants to jump into a river, climb a tree, dive into mud, or slide into home-plate with their wedding dress. Especially if you paid lots of money for your wedding dress! So, before you store that dress away in that box, under your bed, or up in the attic…keep reading!

What can you do with your dress after the wedding that won’t ruin it, but will still be exciting, fun and can reward you with gorgeous, stunning wall art and stylish images that you will cherish forever? Don’t Trash the dress, Glam the dress! Our Glamour Photography sessions are the perfect way to get more from your wedding dress than the short period of time of your wedding day. Perhaps you didn’t have enough time to get those awesome images you had in mind on your wedding day because things were too hectic or were running behind schedule. Perhaps the weather wasn’t perfect and you had to go to Plan B for your wedding and have it indoors instead of outside. Whatever your reasons were, you can truly get some fun, fashionable, beautiful images in your wedding dress, when you book a Glamour Session with us. You can pick a location, or we can do your photo shoot in our studio. Our no-obligation, pre-session planning meeting will help you prepare for your photo shoot. We will talk about hair, makeup, how to prepare and what to expect on the day of your shoot. Then, we will schedule a date to create the Magic that is You!

Contact us now to book your Glamour Photography Session with us, even if we didn’t photograph your wedding. We’d love to create the images of your dreams and beyond. What’s better than lots of high fashion, stunning images of you? Lots of high fashion, stunning images of you – created by us! 🙂

Call today to book your Glam Session. Who knows, your glamour bridal portraits may be picked to be in one of our local bridal magazines or be an entry into our photography competitions! (Major Bragging Rights there!)

Click on the photo above or visit our website to book your session!   www.DiazDD.com

Top Wedding Trends for 2008

Hello all!

I found another very informative article about the Top Wedding Trends for 2008 that I’d like to share with all you brides-to-be out there and anyone else looking to keep up with what’s hot with weddings.

Enjoy!

Top Wedding Trends for 2008
By: Christa Vagnozzi

What’s hot now? This year, bigger is definitely better, from luxe place settings to statement-making gowns and hairstyles.
Is chocolate brown still the new black? Are brides really planning to wear two dresses? These are some of the many burning questions this year’s brides and grooms are asking.

Trend 1: Making Split Decisions
Can’t decide between a princess ball gown and a sexy mini? Wear both! In 2008, brides will make their guests do a double take by switching up their looks between the ceremony and reception with their gowns and hairstyles — like an elegant up do for when you recite your vows and switching to natural cascading curls to party. And it’s not just the bride that’s getting a makeover between acts. Couples are also changing up their palettes with a progression of color throughout the day. Guests arrive to a clean, all-white ceremony, experience a hint of pale hues during the cocktail hour, and then step into an explosion of rich color for the reception.

Trend 2: The Gray Area
Steel gray will replace chocolate brown as the accent color. We absolutely love this soft yet deep hue teamed with butter yellow, bright aqua, rich eggplant, or pale pink. It’s so versatile! Introduce the color in your stationery, either in the typeface or paper, and then gradually build it into your reception space by way of slate gray table accents and pewter-toned bridesmaid dresses with a contrasting sash.

Trend 3: A Return to White
In recent years, white has taken a backseat to bold hues like hot pink, orange, and purple. The classic color (or lack thereof) is poised to make a huge comeback in a fresh, modern way. Think tall, glistening glass vases overflowing with crisp arrangements of white phalaenopsis orchids and clouds of soft baby’s breath. Also, picture sparkling white cakes covered from top to bottom in miniature fondant blossoms. Palette partner: Rose-colored metallics will add a big dose of sophisticated glamour.

Trend 4: Lush and Luxe
Size does matter. Event designers and brides alike are teaming up to create show stopping floral arrangements, such as those seen during the days of Marie Antoinette. This move toward French opulence means more petals, blossoms, candles — even feathers! — as centerpieces go from simple and low to towering and lush. Gilded place settings, brocade linens, and hand-painted invitations complete the elaborate look.

Trend 5: Sample Stations
Self-proclaimed foodies will love this trend: tasting bars for every whim. Sure to be popular, wine and cheese stations are not only delicious, they can be educational as well. We know one couple who hired a professional sommelier to provide pairing pointers. Our favorite is the champagne bar. Just pick your favorite bottles of bubbly and don’t forget the mixers, such as Chambord, Midori, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice. Guests will have so much fun making their own signature cocktails.

Trend 6: Vintage Visions
From dresses to rings, brides are revisiting the past for style inspiration. For wedding gowns, that means delicate fabrics like chiffon and tiers of tulle, along with bygone embellishments such as beaded straps, keyhole halters, and lace sleeves. For rings, the hot style for ’08 is something vintage. Whether it’s simply an antique-style band or a real antique (think your great-grandmother’s diamond), what’s old is definitely new again.

Trend 7: Guests Make the Call
Need help picking that first dance song? Have your guests vote on it. With wedding websites adding more features like blogs, polls, and quizzes, it’s easier than ever to involve your loved ones in the planning and decision making. Blogs are also great for reaching out to your bridesmaids and getting feedback on dress colors, flower options, and decor ideas. We love the idea of setting up wedding polls on your website and asking your guests to vote for their favorite cake flavor, entree choices, or dance music.

More Hot Trends

Green Weddings:
Couples continue to be earth-conscious in 2008, from buying conflict-free diamond rings and recycled gold wedding bands to serving locally grown, free-range fare and donning bio-friendly wedding dresses made of 100 percent silk and cottons. They’re also honeymooning at eco-resorts and gathering friends for charitable showers at soup kitchens and local park events.

Honeymoon Hopping: By now, it’s no secret: Brides and grooms are going big this year for their weddings, and that includes the honeymoon too. Newlyweds are jetting off to not one, but two or three different destinations to celebrate their union. And they’re traveling further than ever before. The hot spots: South Pacific jaunts to Tahiti and Bora Bora; Mediterranean getaways to Sicily and the Greek Isles; and African expeditions to Zambia, Botswana, and Johannesburg.

Home-Spun Weddings: For the utmost in personalization, couples are choosing to wed in their own or their parents’ backyard. While it may be harder to plan than a ballroom wedding (you’ll need to bring in your own caterer, tent, decor, etc.), your day will be truly one-of-a-kind.

Cover Bands: You heard it here first. Cover bands are in demand for 2008. From ’80s cover bands to other genres such as classic rock, swing orchestras, or Latin ensembles, it’s all about specialized live music to keep guests on their feet.