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Sunday Stories by Lisa Haukom — your personal curator and collector of stories to feed your head and inspire your heart. Disco Bestie, our favorite new photography trend.

I'm traditionally slow to follow a trend and skeptically assume by the time I'm on board, it will have already passed by anyway. Citing the recent glazed donut trend, the Little Miss trend, and ballet flats coming back (again!). Nope, nope and no-thank-you.

This wasn't always the case First name / Friend , but trust me — after years of blind trend following that included a tragic asymmetrical haircut in junior high, a perm in elementary school, and some green jeans I'd rather forget (no you can't see pictures), I've learned to wait before jumping in.

Which leads me to the juicy goodies I have below for you. While there is truly nothing wrong with jumping on a trend you love (hello, Disco Bestie — we love you) consider this your permission slip to pick and choose what truly tugs at your heart strings and sends undeniable goosebumps down your left leg (just me?).




A moodboard is a valuable tool used to put all ideas in one place in order to visually stimulate the design process and that can be referred back to for inspiration. In short, moodboards ensure my client and I are on the same page creatively before they step into my virtual studio.

We are sharing our process for creating a moodboard to bring your next photoshoot or creative event to life. This is for you if you are working with a photographer, event planner, or even solo to plan your photoshoot. You'll love our ultimate guide to moodboards for your next photoshoot, our free template, and the ease of having all of your inspiration images in one place.


Self Portrait Studio member Amé Flournoy brought a sense of curiosity and determination to last year's Photo Journal Challenge. We welcomed Amé as our first SPS member and loved seeing her embrace everything she was initially determined to hide, while nurturing a growing love for photography as a medium for creative expression. Connect with Amé and see more of her portraits here.


You need a playlist. We have just what you need; Fiona Apple, Soul Vibration, Mazzy Star — tunes to get your creative confidence flowing.


Weekly curated moodboards from Lisa, primary photographer at GBS & your personal creativity catalyst.

Bye bye curated perfection, say hello to the newest liberating photography trend we are calling Disco Bestie (DB). Images that have the feeling of being shot paparazzi-style by your bestie after she's had a cocktail or two, and is now intent on shooting your fabulous self.

We are loving the newest photography trend that nobody is talking about. Despite hours spent scouring Substack articles and far-flung indie Euro mags (this has European vibes all over it) for the new photo realism trend popping up all over the internet, we kept coming up empty handed. Always happy to do the honors, we are dubbing it DB and here's why we love it.

First, it's very democratic. By this, we mean that it is relatively easy for anyone to achieve the look with their smart phone and regular fluorescent (or other lighting). You don't need studio lights or even an aesthetic backdrop because anything goes.

Second, it is the antidote to the Instagrammable white wall trend that has dominated all social media for the last three years.

Finally, it's very in the moment photo realism. Capturing the subject without contrived poses and backgrounds. It allows the person in front of the camera to just be — and we love that.

Here's how to spot Disco Bestie in your world.

1. IDGAF approach to lighting, exposure, focus, and shadow. In fact, the harsher the lighting, the better to achieve that overexposed just-tracked-down-by-the-paparazzi look. If you are looking to recreate the look on your own just make sure the light is at high noon, directly in front of you and slightly overhead. You'll know you've hit it just right when the shadow behind you is minimal or zero.

2. Tilt & crop. DB doesn't try to hide the background with crops and photoshop. It embraces what is there and leaves you feeling slightly off-kilter in the process. Backdrops are too small, the perspective is slightly too high and tilted. Resist all urges to straighten the lines in your photo. Remember the name is Disco Bestie not Disco Annie Leibovitz.

Will you try your hand at the DB look in your images? Tag us if you do.

It is my biggest joy to have you here. A heartfelt thank you for being you. We adore you. As always reach out to with your ideas and feature requests. Want to become a Sunday Stories OG? Click here.

Until next week,


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