I am sure that some of you guys, when going to primary school would own a notebook filled with photos, quotes, and things reminding you of something. I for sure did and it was one of the most interesting things I did at that time. Not mentioning all of the magazines I destroyed before my family were done reading it. But besides that, it was a great tool to sort out the thoughts and find elements matching each other in some strange manner, which I was not conscious about at that point of my life. In todays post I wanted to write about moodboards, a tool which may help with ideas development as well as their presentation to the other people.
Before elaborating more about moodboards, I wanted to share one tip if you struggle with being too literal in your works. For example, I have seen a great number of photos in the theme of pin-up girls and for some reason, in a lot of people's works you could see a girl wearing clothes in a polka dots or checked pattern. This is probably because they used the very first association with pin-up girl they could think of. A very good exercise is to think of it more in depth. Take the theme and challenge yourself to come up with at least 10 associations. You would be surprised of how different aspects you can come up with, which can make your work more subtle and not so literal.
As an example I want to show a moodboard for my next black and white photo session. The atmosphere is all about minimalism, simplicity, and impact. Those are the dots, which I plan to connect in the close future.
I always think of moodboards as a visual representation/description, in the form of a board, of what is the main idea of the creative project. The interesting part is that they do not only show the parts which can build up your concept, but also limit you and show you which areas you should focus on. Sometimes it is difficult to explain your idea and communicate it to other creatives working with you. Moodboards are visual references which, when executed well, will increase the chance that everyone from your team are on the same page.
Personally, I build on my idea while researching about the concept. Moodboards are used in different businesses where the purpose and their execution differs. For example, in fashion photography you can use different moodboards to express your concepts for lighting, poses, desired location, etc. or it can also be done by using only one moodboard. That could be different for graphic designers, where shape and colors are more important, or fashion designers, which can add materials or patterns where the consistency of the collection is the main interest. No matter in which area you are working it is important to talk about your moodboards with your creative team to make sure that they understand your vision, and help you in its execution.
It is a good idea to create moodboards after talking with a person who hires you for commision so you would create it based on their needs and considerations. Ask your client to create a moodboard for you to understand the style your client is attracted to. This will also give you an opportunity to see if you are a good match to the particular project. If the customer wants something which does not fit what you offer, you can just say that this does not match your style and possibly recommend another person more appropriate for the project.
When it comes to the tools used to create moodboards, you can save photos which you find inspiring in one folder and use different tags, such as lighting, poses, makeup, hair, etc. to have easy access to them when you want to create a moodboard for a project. You can also use different folders with appropriate names. The other solution is to pin photos you like on a board on Pinterest. The website has a great number of images to choose from. One problem with it is that you can not change the placement of your images inside one board, which makes it time consuming to get your images in the correct sequence if you are perfectionist when it comes to the moodboards.
I would like to hear from you. Do you create moodboards for your projects? If so, which kinds of moodboards do you use? Let me know in the comments below.
*Special thanks to the people from Fashion Photography 101 with Lara Jade group who helped me with the content for the post.