How to Master Mood in Photography

Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.

Video Tutorial to take moody photos that convey emotion

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Understand and Master Mood In Photography

How to create moody photos that evoke emotion in your viewer

What separates a decent photo from a eye catching, compelling image? Mood. Mood makes you feel something when you see a photo. Read on to learn how to take moody photos that convey emotion!

Alex Kilbee from the Photography Eye shares their tips for creating moody photos with feeling. 

Photography and emotions – how to convey feelings in your photos

Mood and photography; what is Mood?

Firstly, does mood mean? The dictionary defines mood as “Inducing or suggestive of a particular feeling or state of mind.”

This is actually quite difficult especially if you don’t fully understand the way the person viewing your image feels about it.

With that in mind, here are 3 tips to convey mood well in your photography!

How to Take moody photos to create emotion in the viewer with color light and composition tips


How to take moody photos: Part 1 – Color & Emotion

With a basic level of understanding of color we recognise that colors can make us feel certain ways, like reds are exciting and energetic, and blues are more mellow and relaxing.

When looking at a photograph, specifically your own photograph, try asking yourself ‘how do these colours make me feel?’ 

If you are feeling something looking at a photograph, you can guarantee other people will feel a similar way. 

If there is a color palette that stands out in the scenery or surrounding of where you are taking your photo, that is a great place to start. In order to take really compelling and moody photos, you need to go into it intentionally.

Think about what kind of emotion those colors will make the viewer feel and use it in your photography. How happy does this photo make you feel because of the bright colors?

Convey emotion in Photography with color


How to take moody photos Part 2: Light & Shadow

Light, and shadow for that matter, are huge impacting factors on the mood of a photo. 

Light can be used to draw focus, or to create feelings of hope. The lack of light or dimmness of a photo can really bring the mood down.

Don’t be afrad of using shadow in your photography. Shadows can be used to hide things, or to bring parts of your photo into a distinct focus and create contrast with other elements of the photo. 

In this way, shadows and light can be used to convey a mood.

How do you get better at using light to create emotion in your photographs? 

Take note of the specific lighting when you see a photo that makes you feel something. Ask yourself, ‘what has this photographer done using light to convey this emotion I feel?’

Create Atmosphere in photography using light to convey emotion


How to take moody photos Part 3: Composition

Firstly, what is composition in regards to photography? Composition is all about the placements of the elements of the photograph. 

Composition is not just what is there, but where it is positioned. In other words it is the way a photographer arranges the visual elements of a photo. 

It is classically believed that the subject of your photo needed to be in the center of the image, which creates a static and balanced feel. 

By adjusting the composition, you can move the subject off center to make a photo feel unbalanced and uneasy. Putting the subject at odd angles can make the viewer feel unsettled.

You can use this idea in portrait photography to create a more introspective mood by having your subject off center looking away.

You can create a feeling of mystery by having the person facing away from the camera. 

There are many ways to use the elements in the photo by the way you arrange the composition to convey different moods and feelings to the viewer.

How to take moody photos using composition


These 3 elements play a significant role in how a viewer feels when looking at your photographs. 

Spending time looking at photos with these things in mind and how they are used to make you feel things can help you apply them to your photographs.

Want to improve your photography? Check out this full comprehensive guide on photography skills!

Which of these moody tips will you apply to create emotions in your photos TODAY?

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