How to Design an Effective Mood Board

Jun 6, 2019

How to Design an Effective Mood Board

When it comes to brand imagery and the tone of your product photography, it can be difficult to convey exactly what you are looking for. Even if you have strong ideas about the tone and style that you would like, when it comes to explaining it to the photographer it can be difficult to get it spot on.

Creating a Style Direction

That’s why mood boards are so important. You’ve probably heard the phrase “mood board” bandied around and this refers to a collection of images gathered by the client that convey the desired mood, tone and style of their photoshoot. This could include magazine clippings or images taken from across the World Wide Web that come together to convey a specific theme or style direction.

So, how can you get started?

Our first tip is don’t overthink it. Mood boards should be a collection of inspiration taken from wherever you might find it. Don’t use any preconceived ideas to try and force a theme – take inspiration from where and when you see it. Sometimes you won’t have any specific ideas about what you are looking for and this is also fine. Just take the inspiration as and when you see it but don’t convince yourself into anything – this should be a natural process.

Lighting, Mood and Colour

Start by looking at the world around you and use your smartphone to capture it. This might be snapping a photo of a beautiful building, a moody sunset or even objects whose look and feel really speaks to you.

Consider lighting, mood and colour – the image doesn’t always need to be of something specific, but you can capture a mood, colourscape or similar. When gathered together with the other elements of your mood board, this will evoke a certain look and feel that the photographer can emulate in their images.

Print magazines and newspapers can also be great sources of inspiration – the higher-end glossy magazines often include beautiful product and lifestyle photography to capture the imagination and inspire ideas. When it comes to finding mood board inspiration online, seek out brands that you are already drawn to and those that stick in your mind.

The World of Pinterest

We wouldn’t necessarily recommend Instagram as the imagery is often heavily filtered, but Pinterest is a goldmine of mood board ideas. Consider the words and phrases that you would like people to associate with your brand, then use the Search tool to find the best images.

Mood boards can also include words in the form of poetry, slogans, captions, taglines and more. We would recommend the shorter and snappier words the better, as mood boards should focus mainly on the visuals. These can then be used to illustrate your imagery and reinforce ideas to the photographer.

Your mood board is your visual brief which helps to guide your photographer towards the tone and style of your shoot. Be free with your creativity and embrace the elements that make your brand unique for an effective mood board.

For expert advice and support with setting the tone and style of your professional product photography, contact us today.

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