If you've ever invested in a logo, branding, interior design or a photo shoot, you may have heard of the term MOOD BOARD. It's a step in the creative process that helps you get clear on the story and style that you are trying to communicate. Many designers ask their clients to create one as the starting point for the branding process. Brand photographers also use this method as a way to help gather information on the visual direction for the session.
What is a Mood Board?
It’s a visual tool that represents the look and feel that you are hoping to capture. It is a collection of images that acts as the inspiration for the creative direction for the photo shoot. A mood board is intended to inspire and set your creative wheels turning.
How do you create one?
With your brand story in mind, start compiling pictures, via Pinterest, that fit the vision you have in mind. Think about the mood or feeling you want your audience to have about your brand. Pin pictures, colors, expressions, locations, outfits, moods, environments — anything that stands out to you and grabs your attention. Write a description of what you like about each image.
And if you are more old school and like to create and hold things with your hands, grab magazines, fabrics, art prints, photos, quotes or postcards. Put them together on a poster board or cork board. Arrange them in a way that feels good to you.
My Mood Board is done...now what?
After you've created your mood board, take some time to really look at it. Study the themes and ideas that emerge from the board. Look for patterns or common threads that unite the visuals. Ask yourself - What kinds of images am I attracted to? What feelings or moods are being portrayed on the board? What overall style is coming through? What stories are being told? Write down everything and consider how you can use that information as part of your visual strategy.
Soon, an aesthetic and style direction will formulate. Soon photo themes and concepts will arise that fit your story. Share this information with your brand photographer and later with your hair and makeup artist, your stylist, your copywriter, your web designer — anyone who is involved in the creative process. This will become the visual guide to the brand photo stories that your photographer will capture.
What can it do for me?
Think creativity, clarity and confidence. This process helps us open up our minds and articulate our thoughts and words through visuals. Often, it is hard to really express what we want to say and show about our brands. The mood board can be a catalyst to brainstorm and get our creative juices flowing. It can help us get clear on our brand message, style and story. This clarity helps us feel more confident that everyone on the team (photographer or other creatives) are all on board and understand the objectives and goals.
Mood boards are useful, inspirational and versatile tools that can help bring your brand photography vision to life. Are you interested to learn more about brand photography and why you need it to stand out? Grab my FREE Brand Photography Look Book and get an insider look at what brand photography looks like for five women in five different industries.