Photography in the Age of Pinterest

Pinterest popped into everyone’s awareness around 2011, 2012.

Before Pinterest, there was stumbleupon. Before stumbleupon, there were home design blogs. Before blogs, there were lifestyle magazines. 

Part of what made these sites so inspirational was the imagery. The illusion of control, of hashtag goals, of making the ordinary something extraordinary.

These sites played to our dreams– our dream house, our dream style, our dream life.

Take our lives, add some pizzazz, make them something different.

Prepping for a photoshoot!

Tea with a business bestie at the wonderful High Gardens

Nothing wrong with that.

But for some, the bunny hole of perfection is too deep, and as social media, culture, and the internet become even more intertwined, the pressure grows to deliver polished, beautiful, jaw dropping photographs and content constantly. 

This is not a blog where I go into the minutia of that mindset, and how it has influenced the output of today’s creators. Nor is this where I blame anyone one thing or combination of things and cast shame and curses at them. Today is about confession.

I am Briana Gosa. I am a photographer. And my life is not aesthetic.

I was so proud i found a use for extra wrapping paper

A message for my kids, a reminder for me

I do not have a picture worthy home–except when I spend around 18 hours cleaning and then I can appreciate it for only a moment before it continues to be lived in by a family of five.

I do not have a clean, picturesque area on my walls that would make the perfect backdrop in videos, selfies, and other internet trends. (At least, nowhere that I can easily lug a camera set up into).

When I take candid shots throughout the day, I have to constantly make sure there’s not a piece of trash that materialised from the void just to interrupt my shot. The cutest moments of my cats don’t survive the ten seconds to grab, turn on, and angle my camera. More often than not, if I manage to take a selfie that I don’t hate, it’s not gonna be me smiling, it’s going to be either a derp face or squinting.

I am in my thirties with mismatching couches, more shiny rocks than I have places to put them, and still struggle to fold towels the same way each time I do a load.

Messy table, cute cats

Spur of the moment capture as a mom

messy room, cute cat; sense a pattern yet?

But you know what? That doesn’t stop me. I still take those pictures, every single second I see something that stirs my soul. I still goof around in selfies and do videos with too many jackets and a Far Side comic held up with a thumbtack on my wall in the background.  

This is not to say I don’t have things that spark joy (Thanks, Marie Kondo for that perfect saying). I have a photo wall that makes me gloriously happy. I have a writing desk that is framed with art and treasured gifts. I indulge my little quirks and oddities more than I ever have.

But they don’t match up. I have too many interests and loves to put myself in one box. I did that for decades thanks to depression and anxiety, I have no more desire to limit myself. I’m not limiting myself to one moodboard, or trend, or decor style. I want my home, my life, my business, to be something that is freeing, loving, and above all, happy.

By any measure of how someone would use the word today, I do not have an aesthetic life. 

But my god, it’s so beautiful. How can it not be? 

To alter a quote, if you see what someone photographs, you see what they love. 

Well, I don’t love the random sock that’s in the frame when I sneak a photo of my kid passed out on the couch after the holidays, nor do I care for the way I finally found the missing tupperware lid under the table when I took a photo of the new recipe, but that’s how living goes.

I love life in its present, thriving moment.

One of the reasons you need a family photographer is because it’s hard to wrangle your family while trying to document your joy and growth.  Even photographers need each other in order to capture memories. Life is chaotic, life is hard. It’s fast paced with batches that drag on forever. 

But photographs? Those are timeless. They truly are. Please, please, take the picture, or find yourself a photographer you trust with your memories. It doesn’t have to be me. I’ll even give you recommendations if you want! Stop worrying about getting it right, or perfect, or picture ready, and just embrace what is beautifully authentic about yourself and your family! 

Now, this is not to say, I don’t care about the quality of my photographs, or giving myself an excuse to do a bad job. I am a professional photographer, that means I know how to deal with the chaos of a photo session, have experienced all sorts of setbacks and snags during events, and have the equipment to deal with a whole range of problems. 

But I wrote this to say, I understand. I understand that life isn’t the way you want sometimes, that it’s more than you feel you can deal with sometimes, or that it doesn’t turn out the way you expected. I wrote this one imperfect person doing their best to another, that sometimes it’s so much better than you can imagine.



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