How to elevate your visual narrative through moodboards and collages

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Chrizelle Monique Sta. Cruz
How to elevate your visual narrative through moodboards and collages

Whenever you need inspiration for your next creative shoot, commonly you’ll be looking at visuals as your source of inspiration. The best way to creatively organise these visuals into one cohesive idea is by creating a moodboard.

What is a moodboard?

A moodboard, or you might know it as an inspiration board or photography storyboard, is a visual roadmap where you can tie all the important elements together for your photoshoot—from the scene, props, lighting, location, atmosphere, and more. This is a great first point of reference before you jump to the actual shooting process, whether it’s for a personal or a client project.

Creating a moodboard can come in physical and digital forms, but typically this will consist of putting together images, colour schemes, sketches, etc. Together they are a unified visual representation of the outcome you want to achieve.

Christall Lowe’s examples of flatlay moodboards. Source: @christall.lowe

Why create a moodboard?

Every creative who includes creating a moodboard in the shooting process knows how this handy tool can simplify your life. Here are reasons why you should start creating one:

Once you’ve put up your moodboard, it will be much easier to move forward to the more specific details of your photoshoot.

What to include in a moodboard?

When creating a moodboard for a photography shoot, these are the types of content that you can include:


Best tools to create moodboards

Physical moodboards

Ludovica sketches her setups for her photoshoot for Innocent Drinks. Source: Creatively Squared
Christall Lowe’s flatlay moodboard. Source: @christall.lowe

Digital moodboards

Febri’s Milanote moodboard in creating this flatlay product photo for Aveeno featuring scientific props and ingredients. Source: Creatively Squared

Where to source content and ideas for moodboards

Aurora has cleverly combined product shots with phone + digital sketch on top + AI generated props or full digital sketch to create a set design mockup for her client. Source: @ac.eye

Bonus Tip: AI-Generated Images


Now that you’ve learned all the things you need to know about creating a moodboard, you might still have that question in mind if it’s really worth the time and effort rummaging through the Internet or your stash to put together the elements you need.

The answer is absolutely yes! The truth is, there are a whole lot of creative ideas out there and some might even pop up in your mind later. The best way to make a clear sense of that is through a moodboard where you can pin ideas and see if they hang together nicely for your final output.

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