How to make a photoshoot mood board

October 31, 2020
collage of high school senior portraits to learn how to make a moodboard

How to make a photoshoot mood board

What is a mood board?

Mood boards are an incredibly effective way to visualize and inspire your next photoshoot. They are a compilation of inspiring images from other sources. By collecting this visual imagery, you can convey the vibe of the images you would like from your photographer. Your collection will become the inspiration for the story you want to share!

A note: The concept of creating a moodboard is meant for inspiration- NOT to copy another artist’s idea.

Here are some tips to make a photoshoot mood board to inspire your next photoshoot!

Moodboard above by Youngish Studio for Fabiola Photography

1. Have an idea in mind

Before you start, have some sort of idea for your shoot. Let’s say you booked a senior session. Where do you want your session to take place, in a flower field or in a city? What kind of clothes are you drawn to? How would you like your makeup to look like? This will help you determine what to search for and what images to save for a more cohesive board.

2. Make your moodboard on Pinterest

Pinterest is hands down the easiest way to compile images that inspire you. After you make your account, create a Pinterest board just for your mood board. From here you can sift through thousands of images on Pinterest, finding the ones that catch your eye, and saving them onto your board.

3. Include hair and makeup references

This is your session. Everything should look and feel like YOU. Make sure you collect images of makeup looks that you like to show the makeup artist. The same goes for hair. That being said, don’t put images depicting a dramatic smokey eye if you want to go for a natural look!

Makeup examples for moodboard

Above: Makeup Inspiration Images by Fabiola Photography

3. Include style and location references

In addition to hair and makeup, find pictures of wardrobe that inspire you. Do you have a more grungy vibe? Or maybe you’re a bit more preppy. Add your wardrobe preferences to inspire your outfits (and maybe a shopping spree!).

Your wardrobe goes hand in hand with your location. A grungy look may be more suitable in an urban location, while floral dresses might do better in a lavender field. Add images of locations that you prefer. This will help your photographer find the perfect location for your shoot.

5. Add images that you love that belong to your photographer

If you booked a particular photographer, that must mean you love their work and style! This means their images have caught your attention. Maybe you saw one of their images and thought, “wow, I wish I was in this shot!”. Make sure to add these images too! That way your photographer can reference their own work while shooting with you.

6. Include images that show off your personality

Do you love bold colors? Maybe you love pictures of the sky or the ocean? Show off your personality! Since this is your shoot and your vibe, we want to see how you would represent yourself visually. This can further help set the theme or mood of the shoot.

Finally, once you have a moodboard with all of these images (you can always add more) send it over to your photographer! This board will become the foundation to create your dream shoot into a reality.

Now that you know the basics of creating a moodboard, you’re ready to plan your dream shoot!

We don’t know what is going to happen this year, but we can still make it something special for you. Are you ready to plan your dream shoot? Fill out my contact form here so we can get started!