How to Use Pinterest for Photoshoot Inspiration

Natural Portrait of woman in pink | Karina Louise Photography

People seem to understand the fun of Pinterest instinctively when it comes to creating a dream board for a project or a visual identity for a brand. But it can also be a huge help when it’s time to choose the right photographer for you. Pinterest is an excellent platform to help you to get clear on the type of photos you want to create.

As an online dating photographer I hear it all the time. Clients tell me they just want a ‘nice set of photos of themselves’. But this, even for the most seasoned San Francisco photographer, has too much room for interpretation, which can potentially lead to disappointment. I tend to ask several questions at the beginning of a shoot, so it’s nice for my clients to have at least thought about some of the answers beforehand.

You can find a lot of inspiration through Pinterest photography. I suggest going to Pinterest and setting up a new board specifically for your photoshoot. I like setting it to ‘secret’ at first (it’s an option when you start a new board) so that I can freely pin things without feeling self-conscious of who might be seeing it. You can then start looking at various photographer pages (including my own) for photos that fulfill at least some criteria that you like. Be sure to make a note when you’re pinning that describes what you like about it. Maybe it’s the clothing or the lighting or the expression. This will be helpful for you and your photographer down the line.

Beautiful Woman on steps | Karina Louise Photography

Once you have at least 10 photos pinned, you will be able to recognize some themes in your choices:

Backgrounds

Urban versus natural – do you prefer very artistic and composed, or more relaxed and candid? What kind of background do you think best fits your style and the message you are trying to send?

Clothing

Finding photos you like will definitely help give you clothing inspiration and ideas. Take note of which clothing you already have in your closet that is similar. If in doubt you can always go for simple colours and styles with a great necklace or scarf as the feature.

Expressions

Do you prefer super casual and candid or a little more composed and serious? Your choice can of course be a mixture of both, but it’s often interesting to see what the majority of your pinned images are. Your expression should somehow express your character so think about how to best communicate this through your smile, eyes, and head position.

Candid Portrait of Woman looking down | Karina Louise Photography

Framing

Are you more drawn to close up headshots, full-length body shots, or a mixture of both? What will you use the photos for? If you want them to be cover shots for social media, they should be landscape format, so we need to consider this when taking the photo. If they are headshots for your profile pictures then this also needs to be considered when we frame the shot.

Lighting

Typically we are drawn to certain images because of their lighting. It’s very helpful for your photographer to know what types of lighting you are most drawn to. For example if someone sent me a Pinterest board for a LinkedIn shoot where all of the photos are in a studio, shot with artificial lighting, I would be likely to encourage them to seek out the help of someone who specializes in that. Or, if most of the photos are backlit with sun flare, I would make sure we do the shoot closer to sunset.

It doesn’t mean all the photos in your photoshoot have to fall into the same category, but it’s a great starting point to get clear on what you’re most drawn to. I find that it puts people’s nerves at ease to have created a clear vision for their shoot.

Also keep this information in mind when choosing your location and explaining to your photographer exactly what you want. It’s WAY easier to show them than to try and put words to it. Sending them the link to your board is a great way to make sure that you are literally and figuratively on the same page!