This year I’ve moved on from diptychs and I’ve been working with larger groups of images. One way to do this is a photo essay or narrative that tells a story, and I’ve been giving that a try. But when I was looking at the photographs by Mikkel Vang in a cookbook earlier this year (Bill Granger’s latest, “Bill’s Italian Food”, since you ask) I realised there was another approach: to create a mood board.


This is a very different approach, because presenting all the images as a group means they all need to work together, but individual images are less important. For some things, like showing how something is made, or documenting a particular event, a narrative approach is the way to go. But the way we remember a walk around a city, or a weekend away, often doesn’t have that kind of structure. Instead we remember something more like a mood, and shooting pictures to combine into a mood board can capture that.


Mikkel Vang’s pictures in the cookbook inspired me to give this a try on a recent trip to Naples. It requires a different approach to taking pictures: looking for small details and being more aware of the overall colour palette. It means taking pictures of things that you might otherwise overlook. They might not make a particularly striking image on their own, but they contribute to the overall mood.


Mood boards, made up of other people’s images gathered from magazines or from the web, are commonly used for inspiration when planning a wedding, a household makeover or an advertising campaign. And now of course Pinterest means assembling a mood board is easier than ever. But you can also make one out of your own images. If you’re looking for a different way to see your holiday, you might want to give this a try. The recipes in Bill Granger’s book are really good, but I ended up being just as inspired by this photographic recipe!