Interest in Pinterest?

I know. I know. The last thing any of you (or myself for that matter) want to hear about is another social media-type site. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., etc. are all truly wonderful methods of talking to people, sharing ideas and knowledge and are generally fun to be involved with, but can sometimes feel overwhelming. Because I feel your pain, I will apologize in advance for asking this question …

Have you checked out Pinterest.com yet?

Now, wait, wait, wait. Before you grab the pitchforks, let me explain. Pinterest is fantastically easy, totally fun, and for rank amateurs to seasoned professional photographers, it’s a wonderful tool for idea development. I say this because it’s totally VISUAL!!  In a nutshell Pinterest is a digital pin board, like the one you might already have at home, or in your office. As I type this sentence, I am looking at a rather large, cluttered pin board of my own. It contains some flyers, important docs, and a bunch of photos and promotional pieces I like. Pinterest applies this same age-old concept to the internet. After creating an account, you can create boards based on a topic you are interested in. In your daily cruising around the web, you see something you like, you can “pin it” to your board. According to the site, “people use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.” Without a doubt, this site helps one to build ideas by collecting images.

How can Pinterest help us as photographers? Here’s a few ideas:

1) Location scouting. Let’s say you have plans to travel to Glacier National Park this summer and want to capture the essence of the park in your photos. By doing a search for “Glacier Park” you can see tons of shots of Glacier and repin them to your Glacier Park board. By building and returning to view your board, you can develop an idea of what images you would like to create, and what times are the best to do so.

2) Inspiration. I am willing to guess there are more than a few Pinterest users who have created an inspiration board. We should all have one as the web is an idea gold mine. See a funky outfit that would be cool on your upcoming fashion shoot? Pin it! Love the light in an image and think you could get similar results at a location near you? Pin it! Drawn to the photo treatment used by a clothing company on their site? Pin it! Pinterst allows you to build boards however you like.

3) Personal Growth. One thing one of our instructors asks of our Career Training students prior to arriving for Summer Intensive is to attack some old magazines, and tear out photos that speak to them. Don’t think about it, just grab and tear. The images collected, when looked at as a group, speak volumes about you and your aesthetic sense. Pinterest is perfect for this.

If you are curious, I encourage you to check out Pinterest.com to see if it might be something you could be interested in. If you do, share your thoughts – good or bad – in the comments below. We’d love to hear how you used this site to help your photography.

Pinterest.com sample home page