Pinterest can be an amazing resource for photographers when used in the right way! It can be a wonderful source of inspiration, whether you need some ideas for planning for a session, a little help when trying to define your own style, and can even help you create your own inspirational images!
Here's some ways you can make Pinterest work for you....
1) Create an "Inspirational Images" board
If you don't already have one, create a board that you can use for pinning images that you find visually inspirational. Whenever you see a photograph that you like, pin it to that board - the idea here to collect a number of images that you are drawn to. You can find these images around Pinterest itself, or on photographers blogs that you follow and so on. If you don't want to show this to the world, make it a secret board. That way, you don't have to worry about pleasing anyone else or what anyone thinks. ONLY pin images that speak to you, not ones which you think you should like.
2) Looks for patterns
After you have a few images over the course of a few weeks, sit down and look at the images you have pinned. Is there a certain style that shows up again and again in your pinned images? Perhaps you have a lot of classic black and white images, or maybe back-lit with sunflare is your thing? Light and airy? Dark and mysterious? The similarities may not be immediately apparent, but when you go through them carefully, you can usually start to see some patterns emerging. It can be interesting to see what type of photography you are drawn to as you can begin to translate this into the images you are creating.
3) Dissect Specific Images
Take an image that you love from your inspirational images board and dissect it. How did they use light, what composition tools did they use and so on. Find out what was it was that made the image speak to you- was it the light, the tones, the pose, the composition, the colors, the moment? Picking apart the scene and seeing the important elements in it helps you to train your eye in the technical aspects, but also helps you understand how to incorporate the things YOU like into your photographs.
4) Recreate" an Image
You can also try to "recreate" an image that you have seen. I'm using the term recreate here very loosely, as I’m definitely not talking about copying the image, but rather using the image as a jumping off point and putting your own twist on it. How can you change it? What elements can you take out of it and add into an image you make? It could be the color tones, or the background, or light or whatever: Use the image as inspiration for something new. (And don't think you can't do this for lifestyle photography - you absolutely can!)
5) Create Boards for Session Ideas
If you are in business, you could create boards for session ideas - simple props, locations, clothing and so on. You can use these different boards to pull inspiration from when creating your own sessions, or even for direction your clients too when you want to give them ideas about what to wear and so on. If you are a hobbyist only shooting your own family, this can still apply. You could pin lifestyle session ideas, or "props" (which can be as simple as remembering to take a bucket and spade to the beach!)
I hope this has given you some ideas about how you can use Pinterest for photography inspiration!
P.S if you want to see some of my boards, remember you can always follow me at www.pinterest.com/livesnaplove