On Camera

How to Create a Photography Mood Board

Easy mood board tutorial for photoshoots using Milanote

Watch the episode here or read the full transcript below!


If you’re planning a photo shoot and you just don’t want to leave the final look of it up to chance, which is where a photography mood board comes in. It’s honestly the best way that you can get clear on your own vision for the shoot as well as communicate it with your photographer. Welcome back to my channel. If this is your first time here. Hello, my name is Kat Elizabeth. I am an actor and personal branding coach, obsessed with personal branding photo shoots, and what I’m going to be teaching you today is a method that I’ve used to create my own photography mood boards for shoots as well as some of my students that has resulted in all sorts of really cool results, just like the ones you’re seeing right now on the screen. Before we get right into the house, let’s just quickly talk about what a photography mood board actually is.

I want you to think about it like a vision board for your photoshoots. So it’s basically where you’re going to conceive the entire sort of mood of your shoot, but as well as get a little bit specific things like, okay, what clothes am I going to be wearing? What are the color themes throughout the shoot? What locations could I use? How is my hair and makeup going to look? What about the poses? The personality, I mean the sky’s the limit. You can get as detailed as you want or you could just have something that’s very sort of abstract and high level. It’s completely up to you. But I’m telling you right now that these things are game changer s when it comes to planning your photoshoots.

how to create a photography mood board

Welcome to my Milanote, I’ve actually set up a brand new account and it’s all blank and you can see exactly what it looks like when we first sign in. So this is just a blank board right now and that’s what’s so cool about it is it’s very flexible. But what I’m going to do is I’m going to select templates and I’m going to select mood board because they’ve got it ready to go. So I’m clicking inside this now. You can see this is how they’ve set it up, which is great ’cause it gives you an idea. So they’ve got lots of photos, they’ve set up some colors, they’ve set up some fonts. I’m going to clear example content. However, and I’m going to start adding in some of my own images. Now I have set up some folders that already have some inspiration. So I’m going to go to my photos section of this and I’m grabbing a few different things and now I see that you can actually drag them around and I’m just literally showing you what I would do if, I mean I’m actually planning my next shoot.

So this is very legit right now. This is the kind of research that I do. So I basically started by going into Instagram, found a whole bunch of favourites. You can save them to a collection or you can just screenshot them if you’re looking from your desktop. And I’m just going to keep adding a few extra photos so you can already see when you start seeing them lined up next to each other, you start to notice what all have in common.

See, I like this one because I know that I’m going to be doing some ads in this, like having pointing and stuff in images means that you can actually get people to look towards where you’re pointing when you’re doing. Like a Facebook ad or something like that. And here’s another one. So we’ve probably got enough now. Okay, come on up here. So I have some brand colors that I like trying to use it as much as I can. So I’m going to just be putting in the little hex codes. Obviously, if you don’t have brand colors that’s totally fine. You can just pick some colors that you really like. You might be looking at the photos that you’ve grabbed and there’s some colors inside there. So what else have I got? I have some ads that I’ve saved. So I’ve gone through and had a look at some ads that I thought worked really nicely.

So I liked this one. So I’m gonna put this in here. This kind of just gives me an idea of the way I was thinking of using these photos that was, so I’ll put those there. Next up I want to get some locations happening. So I’m actually going to have a look. We’re going to add a photo and they are pulling here from Unsplash. I’m just going to say loft apartment and see what pops up. So that’s kinda cute. I like this wide. That’s not bad. Okay. I like this. So I’m going to grab this and put this in the corner for some…

So let’s go this now. Let’s see what else was there. Okay. I like this cause I am definitely wanting to get somewhere. It’s like I’m working from home. That’s nice as well. Yeah, this is not an exact science as I’m sure you can see, but it starts just pulling everything together. And maybe just one more. So let’s just look. Um, okay, perfect. So this is really the kind of vibe that I love. So again, I’ll put this down here. So we’ve got locations. So, and what we can do is can actually just put a note here. So location, TBC. So I’m just gonna put this down here. Um, and what else? We’ve got a little bit of outfit inspiration in here, but I’m just going to have a bit more of a search street style fashion. Normally I would search for outfits on Pinterest, but I don’t mind having just a little bit of a look here. Hmm, see I really like this. So I’m writing this down here cause that’s a kind of fun outdoor shoot.

And I like this vibe too for another sort of outdoors-y inspiration. I’m gonna build these up over here and you can kind of just see how it’s starting to come together. Obviously I can work on this more in time. Um, and you know, keep tweaking it. I’m going to remove things that aren’t working anymore. I can add more screenshots of like specific outfits. What I could also do is actually put in like in one corner, I could start putting in some images of my own outfit. So you can grab stock images online of things that you both them kind of fairly recently. You can definitely actually find those stock images from the websites of where you’ve bought them and you could drag in those images and kind of piece them together. So I might put them over here in the corner. Um, and I could just drag these down here.

But as you can see there’s just so much flexibility. You don’t need any design skills and you can start adding notes and things and then you can share the link with your photographer and go, this is the kind of thing I’m thinking. Do you have any, you know, suggestions of where I could find a location that maybe has, you know, this kind of vibe. It definitely has like a space where they can use this and maybe, you know, do you know any cool balls as well that we could, you know, do some outdoor shots. But it’s actually a really fun experience and it’s going to help you become as so much more prepared when you show up for your photo shoot.

Alright, so that is your little photography mood board crash course. Now if you are in the process of planning for another photo shoot, I do actually have a freebie photoshoot planner for you that you can download, which is going to help you walk through all of the stages of planning of your photo shoot, including a checklist of everything you’re going to need to do in the lead up to the big day.

So if you want to download that one, just have a look in the comments in the description section below and I’ll include a link and if you have any requests for future videos around photo shoots, let me know because I I love talking about them. If you can’t tell, all right, if this was helpful, please give it a thumbs up. Subscribe and hit the bell so you don’t miss out on any future videos on photo shoot planning and personal branding, and maybe share this with a friend as well, who you think might get something out of it. Thanks as always for watching and I’ll see you on the next one. Bye for now.



Kat is a copywriter, brand & messaging strategist personal branding coach and the founder of The Personal Branding Project whose mission is to help you go from best-kept secret to in-demand brand.


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