Succeed in photography by using MOODBOARDS

by Daniel Agudelo

When I became interested in photography as a professional career, I thought that creativity was all that was needed.

With the passage of time, I have understood that great jobs and clients, not only look for people with creativity and a good eye but also professionals with the ability to execute projects.

But in order to achieve a good execution, it is necessary to plan and have a clear idea of what is going to be done. Keep in mind that the client is not only investing their money by hiring you and the entire team but is also putting something very valuable in your hands, their reputation.

Today I will talk to you about a simple but powerful tool that, if you use it properly, I guarantee that your photos will improve and you will get more clients.

→What is a mood board?←

The mood board is a graphic and visual representation that groups concepts and helps to define a line on which to work.

In other words, it is a tool that allows us to put our ideas on board and when we visualize them we can understand what we need for the project or how we should approach it.

Although it seems simple, it is really useful and sure that after you start using it will be essential in your next shootings.

But, how does all this fit into photography?

Well, I was telling you at the beginning that big clients are not only looking for creative professionals with a good eye, but they also need people they can trust their investments and the reputation of their companies. That’s where Moodboard comes in.

Whether you have too much or too little information, creating mood boards simplifies the creation of concepts.

It also lets you know what you’re forgetting, what’s a priority and even what production elements are needed to develop your project.

In addition, it is a tool in which you can put your ideas, style, ways of working and then you can send them to your clients.

→How to make a mood board?←

When I was in school, the teachers sent us to make collages with magazine clippings. After trimming, we would glue the clippings onto some cardboard so that we could create an image. A mood board is very similar to this. The first thing you need is to have an idea about what the session will be.

After that, you have to look for inspiration. Exactly the same as at school, you have to look for photos, images, things that inspire you. In addition, you can use text, colors, icons, etc…

You must put all this in an organized way in a document that you can easily access and share with the rest of the team to understand what you want to achieve.

The form of presentation, like the organization, is personal. Everyone finds, understands and is inspired by different things, so in this part, you can be creative.

→Things you can’t miss in your mood board←

Keep in mind that the Moodboard should serve as a summary and should contain the essence of what you want to achieve. However, there are some things that are very important and you should keep in mind. I list them for you here:

What is the concept?

The first point is to define the concept of the session. This part is usually the most difficult. Rely on the company’s intention, its objectives or what they want to communicate with the shooting.

What kind of session will you do?

Is it going to be a portrait, beauty, fashion, studio, outdoor, etc…?

What kind of model do you need?

Give details about the type of model you are looking for. Do you need a blonde model, of a specific ethnic group or with some special ability?

What will be the color palette?

It will help you find not only the clothes and the necessary settings, but it will also allow you to start planning the final look that you will give to the photos when you retouch.

Always keep in mind that the Moodboard is something you create to help clarify your ideas and those of the rest of the team. So add all the information you consider relevant.

→When to do a mood board?←

I started using mood boards for doing collaborations (TFP). I did this to get better portfolio pictures.

I realized that by using it and sending it to the whole team, i got a more positive response from them (they see you as a more professional and involved person) and also the results of the session were better.

So I decided to continue using it and now I also do it in my client shootings. This allows me to be better prepared and to be clear about what I need to do to achieve optimal results.

→Pro tips to make your mood boards rock!←

Now that you know what a Moodboard is, it’s time for you to go and build yours. But first I’ll give you some pro tips that I apply to mine.

Find inspiration in

This website offers thousands of nice pictures to inspire you. This is the best platform to do it.

Screenshot from


Personally, I find it an easy tool to use for any type of user. You can use our template or the default ones and add images easily. Then save it in pdf format to share it with the rest of the team.


Model Management has thousands of models worldwide. Post a casting for free and find the right model for your project.

Please, keep it simple!

The best ideas are usually the simplest. The mood board is made to clarify ideas and eliminate the “noise”. Don’t complicate it too much or it will be difficult to do and understand.

Add text

Explain your concepts and leave notes to yourself. When we do a photo shooting for a client we are under pressure. Sometimes we can forget things. Have notes that help you remember everything you have to do.

Send it before the shooting

if possible, share it with the rest of the team a couple of days before. This way everyone will have time to familiarize themselves with the session. If the client wants, send it to him too.

Being a successful photographer doesn’t just depend on creativity. There must also be work and responsibility.

Are you using already mood boards in your shootings? Leave us a message with your questions and if you like this post, share it with your community!