I recently wrote a post about how to prepare for a yoga photoshoot, and if you haven’t read it yet, head there first. This post expands on one of the topics I wrote about in there.
First, we should define what we even mean by a mood board. What is a mood board?
A mood board allows you to express an idea or feeling through a collage of images. It helps you and your photographer get on the same page thus allowing you to receive more of the images that you want. Clear communication is fundamental between photographer and subject (hey, that’s you!)
When creating a mood board, it’s really important to think about what you’re going to use the images for and how you want to use them.
Think about any upcoming workshops, retreats, or classes you are doing. What is the mood, feel, and intent of those things? How can you express that through imagery? Do you have a workshop based around heart openers coming up? Be sure to include lots of heart opening poses on your mood board then! Are you teaching yoga to corporate clients? If so, maybe focus on imagery that expresses slowing down in the city. If you teach a lot of restorative or relaxing classes, you want your images to have a soft, relaxed feel to them. You probably wouldn’t use an image of you in savasana to advertise a power yoga class. So, thinking about why you want photos, what you plan to use them for, and how you plan to use them is important.
The location you take your photos in helps to add to the mood of your photos, but location isn’t the end all be all when it comes to the overall mood. To prove this point, I’ve made a few different mood boards of different teachers all taken in the same location. Each teacher has something unique that they bring to their teaching. Their energy level and mood is one of those unique things.
Now, let’s take a look at some of these different mood boards. Keep the following questions in mind as we examine them:
- What do you feel when you see these photos?
- Judging by these photos alone, what do you think classes with this person would be like?
- What is it about the photos that makes you think the classes will be like that?
Read below for my own answers on each board. My answers may be different from yours and that’s okay. This is all subjective.
- What do you feel when you see these photos? Meditative, Concentrated, Spiritual.
- Judging by these photos alone, what do you think classes with this person would be like? I feel like there will be a lot of spiritual elements. Very concentrated and meditative. Probably would hold poses for an extended amount of time.
- What is it about the photos that makes you think the classes will be like that? She’s wearing a Japa Mala, or meditation necklace, which evokes feelings of spirituality in the images. Her hands are also in Jnana Mudra in several photos indicating it’s a part of her teaching. Her expressions also feel concentrated perhaps suggesting the need to be in poses longer to settle into them.
- What do you feel when you see these photos? Relaxed, Calm, Zen, Open
- Judging by these photos alone, what do you think classes with this person would be like? Very restorative, perhaps yin. Deep stretching, lots of heart openers. I feel like I would leave this class in a “yogic bliss” state.
- What is it about the photos that makes you think the classes will be like that? Her expression is so soft and peaceful in all of the poses. We have a lot of heart opening poses and seated positions.
- What do you feel when you see these photos? Happy, fun, energetic.
- Judging by these photos alone, what do you think classes with this person would be like? Her classes would probably be quite powerful, but playful at the same time. There would be encouragement to try things and laugh at yourself in the name of fun.
- What is it about the photos that makes you think the classes will be like that? She’s smiling in most of the photos. She’s also doing some stronger poses like crow, side plank, and wheel, which can be taught in a playful manner.
How similar or different were my answers to yours? Do you see a difference in the types of images and moods that each teacher brought to the same location or no? Hopefully you do and you hopefully can see the importance that mood has in creating an image.
Now that we know the importance of a mood board and what one looks like, how do we make one?
The easiest way to create a mood board is through Pinterest. They’re easy to share and multiple people can even collaborate on a single board. Just sign up on the website and start pinning! You can keep the board private or public and either way share it with anyone as long as you have their email address. While, my mood boards above showed all images of the same person, yours doesn’t have to be. Collect images from anywhere and everywhere that inspires you. It also doesn’t have to be all photos of people doing yoga poses. Does a flower inspire you and express the feeling of your teaching? Pin that flower photo to your mood board!
All of this helps your photographer and you to get on the same page when it comes time to take your photos. Just remember, don’t expect to duplicate any image you find. Your body will not look like that persons body because every BODY is different. Do YOUR yoga, not someone else’s. Trust your photographer to take images you will love that are representative of YOUR body and YOUR teaching.
Are you in or around London and looking for a yoga photographer? Like my work? Send me a message and let’s chat!