Mood boards are a great way to put your thoughts together in pictures.  It’s one of my must haves when preparing for a photo shoot.  I find it especially useful when working with new beginner models wanting photos for their portfolio. It helps to give them some creative ideas as well level set expectations for both of you.

My process for building out a photo mood board is pretty straightforward, Google search!  Why build out your own technologies when you can leverage what’s out there already.

Process for creating a picture mood board.

  • Step 1 – Definition – Loosely define the theme of the board (you can refine it later if needed)
  • Step 2 – Image Search – Use online search to help you find images like the ones you want to take.
  • Step 3 – Build Collection – I use Pinterest boards to build out each of my mood boards, it’s simple and easy to do.
  • Step 4 – Refine the Collection – Once you have a collection of images you can use Pinterest boards to add sections creating sub-sections to the main board.

That’s it, pretty simple to create a photo or picture mood board for your next project.

Have questions about mood boards?

What is a mood board and what is it used for?

A mood board is a collection of images that help define a mood.  This is used to help photographers convey an idea to models, makeup artists or anyone else involved in the photo shoot.

What is a fashion mood board?

A fashion mood board is more specific and would include details on the various elements in the fashion shoot i.e. clothing, jewelry and accessories.

How do you plan a photoshoot mood board?

Planning a mood board for a photo shoot can be very simple depending on your skills and the skills of he model.  When selecting sample images keep in mind it’s direction for both you and the model.  Facial expressions, clothing, positioning, location, shooting angle etc..  So keeping it simple will help both of you focus on creating great photos.

Example of photo mood board

Sample photo mood boards I use

  1. Winter portrait mood board
  2. Outdoor modeling mood board
  3. Industrial portrait mood board
  4. Modeling outdoor mood board
  5. Sample of lifestyle mood board


Are you an aspiring model or looking to start a portfolio?