Communicate Your Ideas Clearly With Your Team Using Mood Boards
Hey FashionPhotographyBlog.com readers,
Last time we discussed planning a shoot, getting inspired and finding your creative team. Today we’re going through how to effectively communicate your photography vision for the shoot with your team members and get the most out of them in terms of collaboration.
This is the time to hear out others opinions (if you’re open to them, which it’s always good to be) and really hammer down the details. When reaching out to your team, it’s standard protocol to provide them with a mood board.
What is a mood board? Essentially, it’s a collection of images to serve as inspiration and direction for how the shoot is to be pulled together. Typically, it’s a page (can be more) that compiles images and ideas which allows everyone to be on the same wavelength. Often it’s a good idea to include keywords and color references. If you’re not the kind to make a mood board, you can also compile images into a folder to send to your team but it’s the norm to compile it all on a single board.
On a mood board I tend to include inspiration for hair, makeup and styling along with an idea of how I want the image to look in the end. Sometimes this last bit will be a drawing or an image that has the same type of color scheme I’ll end up applying. Anything it takes to get your idea across. Don’t overcomplicate it.
The mood board is then followed up with emails (meetings or phone calls) to clarify any questions, hear out any suggestions and really communicate the idea to be portrayed. Jocelyne and I spent the next week exchanging numerous emails, deciding exactly which clothing to use, which trends to reference, what type of accessories to incorporate, etc. She would show me clothing which I would sort through and show images to Matt. Together we all made decisions which clothing to work with and which to forget about. No stone was left unturned.
*** It’s important to be involved with choosing which clothing you’re going to shoot. Especially if you are working with a new stylist or one that is just starting out in the field. Often times people will listen to what you say but pull clothing that suits their vision, not yours. There have been several times that I’ve showed up to a shoot to find awful clothing that was not at all what was described in the mood board. Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way. Being hands on is the only way to guarantee results that perfectly match your vision.
On the day of the shoot, make sure when your team gets there they have a clear idea of what is to happen for the day. I always take ideas and advice from my creative team but ultimately it comes down to the final concept and what is going to work best. If someone is giving you trouble on set and trying to override your ideas, pull them aside and speak with them. Don’t make it an awkward thing. “I respect your ideas but I don’t necessarily see it working with the overall concept for this shoot,” is all it takes.
Pardon for the quickly thrown together mood board – I couldn’t find the original.
So that’s how you can get the most out of your creative team using mood boards. I hope that helps. If you have any suggestions you would like to share on how you use mood boards, please feel free to leave it in the comment section below. We’d love to see it!
Now that everyone on your creative team is onboard with your photography vision it’s now time to shoot it & wrap it up in post production. Stay tuned, because next time I will be sharing with you my tips for making the time during the shoot and after the shoot in post production run smoothly.
Until then –
Feature image & image 1: courtesy of Alana Tyler Slutsky