The Power of Mood boards

How do you like to do your work: to improvise along the way or to prepare in advance?

Some creatives have spontaneous flights of fancy and sudden insights on set. Lots of last minute great ideas. Not me. Moreover, when I succumb to such temptations the outcome typically = garbage pictures on my memory card.

I like to plan

I work well when I sit with a moodboard the day before the photoshoot and discuss all the elements with those involved in the process. If you have a moodboard, you have an idea. If there is an idea, there is light, poses, costumes, backgrounds, a message and… a result. A quality result. An intended result.

When it goes wrong

Once I was at a wedding, where the photographer mercilessly overexposed faces and cut off limbs. He also shot everything with a wide-angle lens that elongated people into bizarre shapes. Being generous, you could say that his photography was “artistic”, but it was certainly not an ordinary wedding album. His portfolio on his website did not promise such surprises, and it is unknown what magic star guided him on that day. My newlywed-friend then sued him for damages. So, that didn’t end well.

I don't want that at all. And nor do my clients. That is critical if you are working with clients.


Moodboards are my bffs


Have a plan > Communicate the plan > Execute the plan. If you are taking images for yourself, then you can act on an impulse, but in professional photography there is not much room for error. For that reason, I usually deliberately slow down my flow and act according to the mood board.