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SUNDAY STORIES by Lisa Haukom 11.20.22

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

Studio happenings, photography, mood boards, and weekend reading. Here's your dose of Sunday Stories to feed your head and inspire your heart. This week: Moodboards, moodboards, and oh yeah, moodboards.

As you know I love a good moodboard. The irony is, 20 years ago I would have chalked them up as a colossal waste of time, or worse —play. My achievement-oriented brain would push back, “Why spend time on the vision when you can just get right to work?!?”

A friend recently hired a local photographer to capture her brand images. (It was a last-minute gig, I wasn't available). She asked me to look through the proofs with her, “Something's off she said, they don't feel right. Will you take a look?” I was so excited to see them but when she opened the gallery, I knew what was off.

The images could’ve been taken anywhere, of anyone. It was as though the photographer was simply checking the shoot off of their to do list. Technically, the photos were sound but they were surface level, they lacked soul and story. They had a flat sameness and were missing her fire and flair. She admitted to not having enough time to really connect with the photographer, to share her story and the events that brought her to this moment, in front of their lens.

We have layers upon layers within us. We aren’t just one thing—we are made up of our experiences, our travels, the people in our lives, and even our wonderous contradictions. Let's capture that in a photo. Whether you're creating self-portraits or working with a professional photographer, take your time to open up. Share what lights your soul on fire, spill the wonderful contradictions that make you unique. Captivating photography is all about the connection to ourselves and others. And you know what is amazing for sharing your vision and creating that connection, right? You guessed it, moodboards. This week is dedicated to sharing your story through visuals. Let's dig in.




Love the idea of starting a moodboard but not sure where to begin? Try breaking your personal brand story into themes. Think of the images you need to capture and the mood you'd like to set. Let the story unfold and look for the patterns that repeat. Those are your themes. For example, a recent shoot with Earth & Etherfell into three natural themes with an overarching cohesive color story; movement, portrait, and creative (where we used special kaleidoscope and colored get effects). Decide where your boards will live. I love using Pinterest to organize mine but you may prefer to create a tactile board with magazines, pins, newspaper clippings. Make it enjoyable, take your time, let it unfold.


Music is often my creative muse. Now find all my favorites on the website. Pick one that delights you or choose what I'm listening to in the studio this month. Subscribe.


Tomorrow I have the pleasure of shooting a talented interior designer in a gorgeous British Columbia loft space —truly a dream project that came together in under two weeks. With her entire brand being relaunched, I wanted to ensure every detail of the shoot was on point and who better to call in than stylist Catherine Horgan to work her wardrobe magic. Days from the photoshoot Catherine pulled together six incredible looks, using existing pieces from the clients closet. Each look corresponds to our overall story for the session, with wardrobe options for each theme. My client now has peace of mind, knowing exactly what she will wear for each set-up and location. Catherine shares her expertise and immense passion for styling and best tips over on the blog. You don't want to miss this.


Weekly visual inspiration and moodboards.

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me, they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” – Robert Frank

The history of black and white photography is to a large extent, a history of the medium itself, for, long before photographers were capturing the world in full vivid chromaticity, they did so in monochrome. In 1826, French scientist Joseph Nicéphore exposed a bitumen-coated plate in a camera obscura for several hours and captured an image that would have seismic permutations. Entitled View from the Window at Le Gras, it is believed to be the first photograph ever captured, marking the inception of a medium that would dramatically impact the world at large.

By the turn of the 1980s, the near-supremacy of monochrome had dwindled, accelerated by the emergence of a new wave of influential color photographers who would further demonstrate the immense potential of the format. Today color enjoys near monolithic status, ubiquitous from billboards to social media; print magazines, newspapers, and across the online sphere.

Yet, in spite of this, for some modern practitioners, the subtle tones of black and white continue to inspire: a palette that provokes, intrigues, and stirs the imagination.

“One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state.” – Paul Outerbridge

Photographers Choice.

Extra flair for your week. Click below to visit. xoxo L.

Still cooking a whole turkey? Oh honey we need to talk. Watch this, your back will thank us.

Dad is always using napkins as makeshift earplugs when we go out to eat. He will love this app.

25 travel experiences you may love.

Athena’s dreamy backyard.

How is The Chamber of Secrets celebrating it's 20th anniversary? Here's some HP trivia you may not know.

So very charmed by Ms. Keaton.

Your Q's.

Q. With the days getting shorter I don't have enough time to shoot outside. Can you share your tips for shooting indoors?

A. Whether the weather outside moves your photoshoot indoors, or you want that intimate lifestyle vibe, indoor photo locations can be absolutely stunning. On the flip side, they can cause a headache with mixed lighting, color casts, or not enough light. Here's my biggest tip — unless you're going for a cinematic look, get rid of mixed lighting. If your main light source is a window (cool, natural light)-- turn off overhead lights, lamps, etc, which typically are warm light and can cause chaos in your editing. This will save you time when you edit and your colors and skin tones will be more consistent.



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