How to Create a Mood Board for Your Brand Photo Shoot

What is a mood board?

A mood board is a collection of images, words, colors and ideas that can act as a visual guide for your brand. Most designers start with a mood board when working with clients to establish their branding guidelines. This helps to communicate what your brand is about and who you are as a company.

Mood boards are the perfect tool for early stages of planning and can be used the same way for individual photo shoots. Mood boards are especially helpful when collaborating with others on a photo shoot to make sure everyone involved understands your vision. Lighting, props, looks for models, clothing, and backdrops are all things should start with your mood board.

The concept

As a brand, you have a story to tell. What are you trying to communicate to your audience through your photos? What do you need in order to tell your story? Do you need models? Props?

If you have a brand voice guideline you can refer back to that in the early planning stages of your shoot. If you don’t have an established brand voice take a look at The Ashlyn Write Shop for templates that can help you build a guide that will help you write copy that speaks to your audience.

With or without a brand voice guide you can make a list of words and phrases that answer the follow questions:

  • What are benefits of your product or service?

  • What makes your brand unique?

  • What are a few words that describe your brand personality or company culture?

  • What problem does your product solve?

  • Describe your perfect customer. Who are they? What do they like? Where do they spend their time?

  • What do you want your ideal customer to think or feel when they see your brand images?

These questions will help you decide on your messaging but some other things to consider are:

  • Colors

  • Props

  • Models (they should look like your ideal customer)

  • Lighting

  • Locations

How to put it together

How to you prefer to work and collaborate? Paper? Digital? There are different ways to actually create your mood board and it all depends on your work style and time available.

Putting together a physical board can be great for those who are more hands-on. Gather magazines, books, photographs and anything you can pin to a board. You can take a photo of your board and send it to your team, keep it in your office and bring it to your shoot.

The cons of physical boards are that it may be difficult for remote team members to add or change your board and it may be more time consuming and costly to search through magazines.

There are many different apps out there that can help you to create and share your mood board but the best is by far Pinterest. Because Pinterest is actually a search engine you can quickly and easily search for anything to find images and quotes for your board. Pinterest will even make suggestions based on just a few pins. You can also invite your team members to add or delete images and make comments.

If you have a graphic designer on your team they can also create a custom mood board with your brand assets and images from your Pinterest board.

A brand photo shoot is more than just a pretty photo of your product. With careful planning you can create images that visually communicate your brand’s message and turn your social media posts into sales.

Are you still only using stock images for your website and social media. Read my post about why you need original images for your business.