The What, Why & How of Mood Boards

As the Head Food Stylist for Recipe Lab, Easy Food and Easy Gluten Free magazines, Charisse van Kan has 6 years of experience in putting together amazing photo shoots. In this post, she discusses the importance of mood boards and how they help her to do her job.


A mood board is an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc. intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept.


Whether it is for Easy Food Magazine or for our food clients, I would always create one.

Creating a mood board always helps to inspire and show clearly which direction the shoot or project is going. It is the easiest way to visualise pretty much anything and it’s a good way to store ideas in one place. A mood board helps me to incorporate the feel of what I am creating and also provide a visual guide, bringing across the concept in a crystal clear manner.

When creating a mood board you should include colours (Pantones to be more specific — see pictures below), images (in most cases for me its of food glorious food), textures, and text. I would normally use between 2 & 6 colours for the Pantones. The colours will help determine the mood or season, e.g. dark – winter/indulgent or light – spring, fresh, colourful – summer, fun, picnic. They will also will help to interpret the feel, e.g. modern, clean, traditional, bright, and quirky.

moodboard post


My favourite way to go about this process is by using Pinterest to create all the mood boards. Pinterest is very easy to use and also has thousands of amazing images. An additional bonus is the fact that you can also upload images to Pinterest as well.

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 14.10.08

Once you have signed up to Pinterest, here is a simple step-by-step guide to using Pinterest.

— Use the “Create a Board” button on the left hand side of the screen.

— Name your board, and add details like a description, category, etc. There is also a button to keep this board secret and an option to invite other to pin to the same group.

— Say goodbye to the next few hours and happy Pinning!

To view some of my mood boards please follow me on Pinterest @chersfabfood.