Bringing a picture to your stylist is a very easy way to make sure you are both on the same page. As a colorist, we deal with color, tone and underlying pigment all day long. But when a client uses words of caramel, chocolate, honey, etc we might be thinking different colors because the actual color of these words might be different to each person. This is where pictures come in very handy.
I try and make it clear to clients that the pictures they bring me are great for inspiration. Sometimes when we see a hairstyle on a model or an actress, we might think we are looking at the hair but are actually liking the whole package. The best example of this is Jennifer Aniston's hair while playing Rachel on Friends. Everyone wanted that haircut, you know the one I'm talking about; but when you take that hair off Jennifer, it's not going to look great on everyone.
Most can have a version of what they are liking but not always exactly the same. You have to take into consideration face shape, hair texture, current hair color, hair length, hair thickness, skin color, skin undertone and underlying pigment just to mention a few things. When a client brings me a picture or pictures, the first thing I ask is, "What draws you to this picture?" and that's how I like to start my process and then we build from there.
Pinterest is also a great tool to use for "inspiration" but most people need to know some of the photos are unicorns. Most are photoshopped which can change tone and color. When looking at a makeup picture, you need to look at your skin vs. the models. You need to see if the colors look realistic. This can actually go for most things beauty related on Pinterest. The haircut, the color and an updo. Most updos on Pinterest have hair pieces, extensions and could be wigs, also you don't always see the hair from all angles and might not look good from all sides. Just keep in mind of all the funny "Pinterest Fails" we laugh at. Pinterest needs to be used and Inspiration not a Unicorn.