What Is a Mood Board for Photography?

What is a Mood Board?

A mood board is a collage of images gathered together to create a cohesive, visual representation of your brand. In design and photography, people use a grid system to help establish visual direction.

A mood board is also a visual record of the look you want to create in your client’s shoot. It should include images that have inspired your choices. When shooting your client’s portrait, it can help you to see where the lighting should be placed and what props and clothes your model will need. This can save time, money, and stress when planning a session.

When looking through images and picking out which ones you like best, do not copy them directly. Instead, think about what mood you want to create in the shoot. Consider what you are trying to achieve and how the people in the photos relate to one another.

Think about the feel of your image, what emotions you want your client to experience. Do you want her to feel sexy, elegant, or warm? Perhaps you want her to feel feminine and soft? Perhaps she should feel happy or sad? Think about her personality, likes and dislikes, what activities she enjoys, and what you know about her and how you can use these to create a look that fits with her personality.

There are different ways of creating a mood board, depending on how much time you have to spend on it and how big you want it to be. If you have time, you can simply write down your thoughts, ideas, and inspirations on paper. This is called doodling or free-flow writing.

You can also make a mood board online. There are several websites, such as Flickr, that allow you to add images and videos to an online board. You can also upload your images directly onto the board. These websites are great for sharing and collaborating with other photographers.

If you have less time than this, there are online mood boards you can use to store images. These usually have themes to help you find inspiration. They are a quick way of finding ideas, but they do not allow you to add words and thoughts to each image. This is where you can be more creative.

As a photographer you should also create your own mood board. You should have it up on your camera monitor so that you can refer back to it while working on your shoot. It will also be handy when you are looking for images to purchase online or at a stock photography agency. You can also use it to inspire yourself and make new images, as well as sharing your board with clients and other photographers.

It’s important to note here that a mood board can be very specific or it can be a lot more general, depending on how detailed you want it to be.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Mood Board?

Using a mood board can help you and your photography clients visualize easily the concept of your photography project. It can be a great way to show your photography skills and expertise via the moodboard.

Some tips to create your Mood Board.

Get Inspiration

There are lots of different ways of creating a Mood board:

a) Use Pinterest. There are some great collections of mood boards on Pinterest. Many people use Pinterest to store their inspirations, and sometimes they even create Pinterest boards based on the mood they want to achieve.

b) Go online. You can find thousands of Mood Boards and inspirational quotes for sale online. You could also go to a book store and find books that inspire you and write down quotes from them.

c) Read a book. You could also find a book that inspires you and read that to get ideas for your Mood Board.

d) Visit museums or art galleries. There are many museums and galleries that have displays which inspire and motivate people to work better. Some art galleries may even allow you to view the artists work and study how he/she has applied the inspiration in their work.

e) Watch a film or TV show. You could watch a film or TV show which inspires you and use the scenes in your Mood board.

Collect Inspiration

You can collect objects, pictures, quotes and things that you feel inspire you. It is important that the things you collect are not just pretty things, but things that you can use or that have meaning. For example, if you collect books, make sure they are books you would actually like to read. Make sure they are books that inspire you.

Create Your Mood Board

The first thing to do is to decide what kind of Mood Board you want to create. Do you want to create a collage of images? A collage of words? Do you want to create a collage of things? You may want to create your Mood Board in a special place where you can see it everyday. This will help you create your mood board in your mind and remind you of the inspiration.

Choose The Right Size

A Mood board should be something you can actually use. It should also be something you can easily carry with you and something that will not take up too much room. So think about what size you want your Mood board to be: whether it is A5, A4, A3, A2.

Think about what you want to express in the mood board.

Think about colors, textures, shapes and patterns. It can be useful to work out your mood board first on paper before you start putting things on it. You may have ideas for images you want to use. Then, once you have your design, write down how you are feeling on the back of your mood board.

Keep it simple.

Don’t have too many pictures on your mood board. It’s better to have a few pictures that are simple and effective than lots of photographs that don’t do anything for you. If you have a limited time to work on your mood board, then try to choose images that are easy to make and that show your mood.

Try different sizes.

There are three common sizes for mood boards: small, medium and large. It can be useful to change the size of your images, as this will make them easier to understand. For example, if you put an image of a person’s face on a small mood board, it may be hard to read and if it is big, it will be a struggle to get to.

Add Images, Words, or Things

Now you can start to collect the images, words, or objects that inspire you. These are the things you would like to include in your Mood Board. Make sure they are meaningful to you. Make sure they are things you would actually like to look at. You may want to have a small photo of yourself, or a quote that inspires you. You may want to have a quote on your wall or on your desk. You may want to add a picture of a famous person that inspires you. You may want to add some pictures of books you have read, or things you have collected.

Cut Out The Images, Words, or Things

The next step is to cut out the things from magazines and newspapers. Cut out the things that inspire you. It is important not to cut out the newspaper articles because these will have information you could use. Instead, cut out the images, words, and objects that inspire you. You may want to save these as your inspiration.

Add A Title

Now it’s time to give your Mood Board a title. You may want to write the title of your Mood Board on it. You could also add an inspirational quote to the front.

Make Your Mood Board Look Nice

Finally, add some stickers or magnets to your Mood Board so you can easily remember it. You can put it in a place where you will see it everyday.

Put your mood board in an area that is easy to get to. If you have one, put it somewhere that is calm, with no distractions. Put the sheet of paper on a wall, on the floor or on a table.


A mood board is a collection of images you like. You might have some that are already in your photography business, but many of them can be found online.

You can even use Pinterest to create one for your business.

A mood board is helpful because it allows you to see what works well and what doesn’t work so well. It can also help you decide which direction to go in with your next photo shoot.

And if you’re going to work with a client on a project, a mood board will help you communicate what you want more clearly.