Branding Tips

How to Prepare for Your Branding Session: Using your mood board as inspiration

Mood board for brand photography session

January 23, 2023

i’m jenn.
An ADHD millennial  with a love for sharing everything I've learned about being a business owner, a photographer, and a work from home mom.
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You have a mood board and a shot list showing your inspiration for your branding session. Now it’s time to talk about how we take that inspiration and turn it into stunning brand photos that fit your business!

It’s important to realize that our mood boards are just that: the mood you want to set for your session. Your brand is unique, has a unique perspective, and has its own goals for the future. Sometimes, we look at an image and we try to imitate it, but I want you to start looking at your mood board as inspiration vs imitation.

Creating a mood board for a branding session

1. Build your mood board

When you’re putting together your mood board for your brand session, you’re looking more for things that inspire you. Images that feel like your brand.

TIP: When you’re putting together your board, choose fewer images of people and more images of textures, colors, and objects that speak to how you want your brand to feel! Check out some examples on my Pinterest board.

2. Add Notes

When you choose your inspiration images, write a little blurb about what drew you to that particular photo. What about it made you think of your brand? Your goals? How do you think it will help elevate your brand?

This will really help us when we’re diving into your inspiration. The why, and how you envision it fitting into your brand will help us to use the inspiration and mold it to your specific brand instead of just copying the photo.

Adding notes to your mood board pins

3. Be realistic about your images

There are a few things to consider when looking at images on the internet. I always say to dream big dreams (thank you Sing), but I also want to set realistic expectations when it comes to your branding session. Don’t get me wrong, if you want it, I will do my VERY best to get you that shot, but it’s important to know what goes into that shot and to realize the things we can control and the things we can’t.

Factors that will impact your inspiration photos:

  • Budget
  • Location
  • Weather
  • Time
  • Accessibility
  • Build

Let’s dive into those a little deeper

1. Budget: Budget is one of those things that we can and can’t control, but it’s good to know what your overall budget is for your session and how that impacts the outcome. Expenses such as location fees, permits, travel, props, outfits, rentals, models, etc can all impact the results of your images. If there is a specific image that you HAVE to have, we can chat more in depth about what it will take to get it financially!

2. Location: I’m not only talking about your location when it comes to studio vs outdoors vs city etc… I’m talking about country, city, state, and all that encompasses your location. If you want a sweet European vibe, that might be harder to find in a small town in Washington. (Now, I’m not saying impossible! Just more difficult!)

3. Weather: Weather will effect your inspiration SO MUCH! A cloudy day will make your images feel COMPLETELY different than a warm sunny evening.

4. Time: The amount of time you book for your session will definitely impact the amount of shooting, travel time, and set up time we have for your inspiration photos. If you have an intricate idea, it’s important to know how much time will need to go into making that a reality. Something as simple as styling a scene can take at least an hour.

Arranging props for a branding session

5. Accessibility: Sometimes, your desired location is not easy to get to. If you want a full tea party in a remote mountain location, it’s going to take us awhile to make that happen, there might need to be additional assistants hired to help us transport everything, and the weather may not cooperate once we get there.

6. Build: No person is built the same way. It’s really important that you look at your inspiration images and insert your own body type into the photos. EVERY BODY IS BEAUTIFUL. We just need to know that they also move, shape, and photograph differently.

Plus sized brand session photo inspiration

It can seem overwhelming, but don’t worry! You aren’t doing this alone! I’m here to help you make your vision a reality.

Looking for more tips on planning your session? Check out my Top 5 Tips for Preparing for your Brand Session!

If you’re not already working with me, and you’re thinking YES! I need someone to help me through this process, I would love to chat! JMCC is not booking Full and Half Day Branding Sessions, as well as memberships and coaching options. Want to learn a little more? Check out my services!

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