Setting the mood of your photo shoot

When we get ready for a photo shoot, most of us spend a lot of time thinking about which outfits to wear and what location would work best for the shoot.  But we often overlook the most important part about planning a shoot: What mood do you want your shoot to convey?

Spending some time thinking about the mood of a shoot will steer the rest of your decision-making.  It will help you choose an outfit and a great location, and you will love the result of a set of images that show exactly what you wanted to express.

Try answering some of these questions to find the mood of your perfect photo shoot:

What feeling do you want to have when you look at your photos? 

When you look back at your engagement photos do you want to feel a sense of romance or do you want it to feel fun and playful?  Do you want your senior portraits to feel edgy?  Or dreamy?  Or quirky?  Do you want your family photos to feel loving or distinguished?

Take some time to reflect on this!  It will help you and your photographer plan your perfect shoot.  A whole shoot can be styled around that theme.

If you want a huge list of “mood words” try clicking here.

Which parts of your personality do you want to see in the photos?

This is so important in portraits!  We all have so many parts of our personality.  Do you want to portray your sassy side or your creative side?  Do you want to focus on how sweet you are or on how confident you are?

Be intentionally about it.  Think about what you do and do not want your photos to say about you.

After you answer this question, picking out the perfect outfit will be so much easier!  If you are trying to decide between your three favorite shirts, ask yourself which one demonstrates the personality trait the best.  It brings focus to your decision-making process, and you will end up with photos that really show you exactly as you want to be seen.

Keep in mind…

that your photo shoot can incorporate multiple parts of your personality and multiple moods, but it is important to think about each part and plan for them separately.  Each different part of your personality and each different mood might require a different wardrobe or prop to support it.


Take some time to answer these questions in very specific ways and have fun with it.  It will help you to make decisions about your shoot confidently and it will help your photographer style and unique and wonderful shoot for you! 

P.S.  Questions?  Post them below; I would love to try to answer each and every one!  Click here if you would like to read through the rest of the Client FAQs!

P.P.S.  Photographers, how do you set the mood for a shoot?  and… What information do you want from clients to help you plan the shoot?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this and figure out any information that I am missing!