Pin ItSocial networking has exploded onto the scene over the last few years and many photographers use sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to showcase their work, network with others and to promote their businesses.
But there are a large range of other social networking sites that are well worth checking out.
One of these is Pinterest – a site that has been growing a lot lately and which an increasing number of photographers are using, particularly as inspiration for their own photography.
Pinterest is an invite only community so far (although it only took me a day or so to get an invite after I requested it) and is quite different to most of the other social networks I’ve mentioned above.
They call themselves ‘a virtual pinboard’ – a place where you can ‘pin’ websites, pictures around different categories that you are interested in. The things you pin on your board come up as images from the sites you pin – and you end up with a pinboard filled with images.
There are a variety of uses for it – one friend that I have uses it as a way to collect all of the different ideas she has for decorating her home. In a sense its her personal scrapbook of ideas that she draws on around her interest. For others Pinterest is more about networking and sharing and finding cool sites in their different niches of interest.
When it started Pinterest definitely seemed to be targeting ‘creative types’ of people – and was very popular particularly with women – but lately I’ve noticed more guys on their too as its user base broadens.
A growing number of photographers are using it in a variety of ways too.
- Learning – the Photography category of Pinterest shows you the most popular things that are being ‘pinned’ on the topic of photography. Many of the things being pinned are tutorials and tips on how to do better photography (including, I’m happy to report, a lot of dPS tutorials. You can actually see the most recently pinned tutorials on dPS here).
- Inspiration – also in the Photography category there are a lot of images that are purely being pinned because they’re cool images. A quick glance through them and you’re bound to find a little inspiration for your own photography. If you have a photoshoot coming up and you’re looking for a little inspiration on how to tackle it – create a board just for that project and begin to pin photos and sites that fit the brief.
- Mood Board – a lot of photographers (and other creative types) that I know keep ‘mood boards’ in their studios, offices and homes. These ‘mood boards’ are about having a little collection of things that inspire them for current projects that they’re working on. In many ways that’s what many people are using Pinterest for.
- Networking – Pinterest isn’t just about pinning your own stuff. It’s also about following other Pinterest users and having them follow you. You ‘follow’ people (or you can follow particularly ‘pinboards’ that they have. In doing so you start to see what your network is pinning and begin to get to know others. If you do sign up for Pinterest you can find me here.
I’m sure others are using Pinterest in other ways. One thing that you probably should be wary of doing is sharing too much of your own stuff. While their etiquette page says you can – it’s not really what the site is about. This isn’t really a site to build a gallery of your own pictures – rather its more about collecting and sharing what inspires you.
Are you on Pinterest? If so – how are you using it?