From Moodboard to Final Photos

How Planning Ahead Makes a Shoot Successful

Planning for a shoot is always smart. But how do you plan ahead for an aesthetic that’s created on-the-spot? This is where a moodboard is critical. In my opinion, the illustrious moodboard is a visual contract with guidelines for both the client and photographer (and any other parties present, i.e. prop stylist, food stylist, director, etc.); additionally, a well-produced version will make a photo or video shoot go smoothly by addressing any miscommunication or major hiccups ahead of time.

As a photographer, I look for three specific things in a moodboard: lighting, framing, and tone. For example – after discussing a campaign with my client/the Creative Director and receiving examples of what she wanted, I crafted the moodboard below. The three important aspects that I mentioned before are easily understood: the lighting is dramatic (highlighting each ingredient’s texture), the framing is tight (zooming in on the detail), and the tone is rich yet playful. Having all of these elements at a glance helped me quickly and accurately craft photos when the day of the shoot came.

Ultimately the photos reflected the moodboard and thus the client’s and my shared vision. Success! Here are several outtakes for reference.

Hope this helps in planning your next shoot. If you have any questions feel free to email me at hello(at)miachel(dot)com.

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