Think Outside the Pin

Category: Tips

Date: March 4, 2016

Wedding planners hate surprises. They like predictability. I should know, I’m married to a wedding planner… and a damn good one*. My wife, like her peers, wants to know what’s happening next. For her the unplanned activity can spell disaster to the wedding timeline.



Although this formulaic approach may be a good thing for a wedding planner, for me (a spontaneous photojournalist) an over-planned wedding can become a laborious pattern of Pinterest inspired activities that stifles freedom and creativity. It’s not the wedding planner’s fault, as they’re just following the shot list put forth by most wedding photographers each and every weekend.

Before I continue on what might be perceived as an “Anti-Pinterest “ rant, I should mentioned that Pinterest is not all bad. A picture can speak volumes and there is certainly value in idea sharing. With that said let me tell you about one of my clients… we’ll call her Lucy. Several months ago Lucy sent me a “Pinterest List”. A tidy list of “super creative wedding photos” that she found online. Here’s a taste of what Lucy wanted to see in her wedding photos:

  • Bride & Groom posing behind empty picture frame.
  • Groomsmen jumping in the air.
  • Bridesmaids posing in elevator.
  • 1st look with family in background looking on and smiling.
  • Flower girl wearing bride’s shoes.
  • Sparklers in the shape of a heart.
  • The groom’s hands wrapped around the bride in the shape of a heart while on the dance floor. (Yes I know. It’s nauseating)


What’s the problem you ask? Why does it matter if the bride wants something specific she saw on Pinterest? The problem is we’re no longer creating our own moments; we’re just regurgitating something someone else has already done.

Long before Pinterest and Google images, Ann Geddes made a fortune photographing naked babies sleeping on heads of cabbage. Not really my style but , unlike the thousand of Ann Geddes knock offs, at least her work was a one time original. Now, just like over-duplicated wedding photos, you don’t have to look far to see little naked babies curled up in a variety of vegetables.


So about Lucy… we shot most of her list. They looked fine. It was exactly what she had envisioned. What Lucy didn’t see however, were the moments that would have unfolded naturally if she hadn’t choreographed the entire day.

So the next time you sit down with your wedding planner and discuss the timeline leave space for your life to naturally unfold on your wedding day. Provided you’ve hired a spontaneous photographer you’ll have a collection of the most evocative, captivating, hilarious, and entertaining wedding photographs. And, the best part is, they are uniquely yours



Thank you for visiting our wedding blog and for more information on wedding photography ideas please contact us at or give us a call at 619-285-1207.  San Diego Wedding Photographer Paul Barnett specializes in San Diego Wedding Photography.  View more wedding blog articles on our blog.