How To Make A Marvelous Mood Board

It’s time to create your mood board for your photo shoot at The Photo Studio! A mood board is a collection of reference images and ideas that help your creative team understand your vision. We have plenty of resources to help you create mood boards that best represent YOU!

By Natalie Dawson

Understanding Mood Boards

The beautiful images that fill the pages of your favourite magazines require a lot of preparation. Industry professionals are well versed in the creation and execution of their ideas, but not without the help of a trusty mood board. Your mood board provides your team with visual imagery that conveys the vibe of your shoot and is a crucial element of your photo shoot experience. Your mood board is an expression of your own personal style. A collection of inspiring images, from your makeup & hair, clothes, and posing inspiration are the starting point for the story you want to tell.

How To Create A Mood Board On Pinterest

Creating your mood boards via Pinterest is the easiest way to compile your thoughts. Pinterest offers the user the ability to create separate boards for different inspirations.

In your case; hair/grooming, makeup, style, posing and lighting/backdrops.

Categorising your reference images assists your team in understanding what each image relates to and narrows down all aspects of your photo shoot.

Getting started requires creating an account on Pinterest. Enter your email address, age and create a password. The world of Pinterest is then at your fingertips!

If you know your way around already, our TPS page can help you get started on your mood board. We’ve started collecting inspiration images for you. Navigate through our boards and you will see that within each board are more niche sections. When you find an image you like, hit save and Pinterest will give you the option to create your first board!

Hair, makeup, posing, style, and lighting/backdrops are crucial elements that you need references for.

Pinterest makes it easy to search specific colours, textures, and looks from an array of artists, influencers and designers. Use the website’s search feature to venture outside our TPS Pinterest page. If you dream of rocking a bold pink lip, search ‘pink lipstick’ on Pinterest. The same applies to hairstyles — loose curls, wavy curls, beach curls, kinky, coiled. Thousands of images will be at your disposal, add them to your board by clicking save.

You can also upload your own references! Find images through Google, or even from our Instagram page (@thephotostudioaustralia) and upload them to your boards. To do this, click the ‘+’ symbol in the bottom right corner of your Pinterest page. Upload your picture and select which board you wish to add it to.

What You’ll Need To Include In Your Mood Board

1. Makeup References

Makeup Mood Board: Makeup artists need references as many people differ in their definition of colour, shape and size. What classifies as fuschia to one person, might be seen as slightly more magenta to another. Show your makeup artists exactly what you want by selecting images that best encapsulate your vision. If the concept for your shoot is soft and subtle, don’t hesitate to compile images with dewy skin and lightly applied foundation. Feeling bold? Present your photoshoot team with neon blues and winged liner. Incorporate glitter, or perhaps keep it simple with soft freshly-kissed lips. It should be noted that aspiring models wishing to build a portfolio need natural makeup with their hair down. Take this into consideration when selecting reference images.

Deepika Padukone for @patrickta

Shay Mitchell for @patrickta

Jasmine Sanders for @patrickta

Taylor Hill for @patrickta

2. Hairstyle References

Hair Mood Board: Similar to makeup, your hairstyle is also dependent on the images you select. Should your go-to routine involve a flat-iron, why not suggest a tight curl to your stylist? Reference images of slick ponytails or tangly-beach waves provide the studio team with a detailed concept of your desired aesthetic. It’s important to choose a style that is achievable for your hair type. Think about what would accentuate your features and collect images that inspire. Top tip: Modelling agencies look for photographs of fresh faces with their hair down. Hair is versatile, but make sure your styling choices match with your end goal.

Lenny Kravitz for @_manabouttownuk

Julianne Moore for @thewallgroup

Eden Fines for @shay_shaz

Jake Gyllenhaal for @Mark Seliger

3. Style References

Wardrobe/Styling Mood Board: For your photo shoot at the studio you’ll be wearing your own clothes and accessories. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t collect images for a styling mood board. Your creative team wants to grasp a sense of your aesthetic. Perhaps you’re inspired by peachy tones and sun-kissed skin. A lace blouse or a floral skirt may be the starting point. Incorporating images of accessories such as flowers, bows or jewelry will further push your anticipated vibe. Push it further and design a mood board entirely dedicated to pastel pinks and baby blues. A soft palette could result in a delicate photoshoot filled with captivating portraits and whimsical poses. There’s no need to go out and completely redo your wardrobe, simply find references that enhance what you’ve already got. This mood board helps our team forge together the perfect look for you.

4. Lighting/Backdrop References

Lighting/Backdrop Mood Board: Photographers also need reference images. There are many different styles of photography and your photographer wants the result to be as close to how you imagined. Remember, you’re being photographed inside a studio environment, so try to select inspiration images that have also been taken in a studio space. Need help getting started? Try looking through our social media pages to see what our studios have to offer.

The Photo Studio Sydney

The Photo Studio Melbourne

The Photo Studio Sydney

The Photo Studio Brisbane

5. Posing References

Posing Mood Board: If your dream is modelling, get in front of the mirror ASAP and practice your poses. Seek out photographs of your favourite models and add them to your mood board. Studying their angles can make getting in front of the camera a lot easier. It’ll also show your creative team what sort of look you’re aiming to achieve. Your photographer will guide you in whichever direction you please based on your reference images.

Creating A Theme For Your Social Media

If you want to build your social media presence make sure your references reflect your brand. Think about the audience you want to attract and incorporate that into your mood board. For example, if your mission is to share your fitness lifestyle, make sure to incorporate reference images that mimic that aesthetic. Think in detail about colours and styles that will best fit with your social media theme. The best way to improve your social media presence is through high quality, well-planned images that best represent you! Discovering your audience and providing on-brand content for your followers is crucial. Everyone has a story they want to tell, try and relay that through your photographs.

What’s Next?

Once you’ve completed your mood board, copy the link and share it with your stylist. You can do this by clicking the share icon and copying the link. It will then be passed onto your creative team and they’ll begin planning your photo shoot. Using these guidelines let your creativity flow!

A mood board is the foundation for your shoot, how much you want to build upon that foundation is your creative freedom!

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We would love to create a unique portfolio just for you.


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We are located 10 minutes from Brisbane CBD. Onsite parking available.

1300 288 818


2 Hertford St, Fitzroy, 3065

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1300 288 818

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