How to Create Moody Photos for Instagram

I think the term moody has been thrown around all over the place in the photography world for the past decade and the definition of it is no longer that clear anymore i feel like it got lost in the sauce there are questions that you may ask yourself about moody photos like do they always have to be dark desaturated is there a certain time of day that i have to shoot for moody photos is there a particular setting is it only in the editing and can i shoot moody photos on a bright day at least for the work that i posted on my own personal instagram people have complimented and said that these moody tones were really nice the moody vibes are what they like so on and so forth but these compliments aren’t really consistent across like one style photography that i’ve posted online come to think of it i actually don’t even know what the real definition of a moody photo is anymore.

i feel like it’s a broad thing now however in this video i’m going to share what a moody photo can be and how you could incorporate it into your own work and take everything i’m about to say as a grain of salt because this is just my personal opinion personal observations continue to pursue and create art that you consider moody or that you really want but without further ado let’s get into it first off i think the photo has to be surreal from the art style that i’ve seen around the block and also in my work it kind of takes a step away from reality and distances itself from true to life colors or exaggerates a certain kind of element if we’re going to stick to the lane of dark moodiness i feel like manipulating the greens yellows and blues is a great way of starting that because we’re trying to captivate a mood of something that’s dark or somber and distancing yourself.

from true to life colors distancing yourself from reality and creating a new one is a great way of creating this atmosphere that someone could either be captivated by or feel like they’re jumping into because surrealness is an important element of moody photography which leads me into my second point of desaturation and abundant shadows if i were personally aiming for a moody style i’d desaturate happy colors like blues yells and greens like i mentioned before you could desaturate orange if you want but there’s a limit to what you can do before skin tones turn whack an abundance of shadows can really help create that isolation and surrealism and you can either do that through onset design like what i’m doing right here with just one directional light one color right here and just a completely dark background.

you can make that in camera or you can manipulate that in lightroom or in post or wherever you want that is up to you having that element of shadows in my opinion is really important to the storytelling and while we’re on the topic of storytelling let’s talk about the mood of the subject some could argue that the mood of the subject is the one that makes the style is the subject paying any attention to the camera what’s the body language i’ve observed that a more somber or relaxed face or maybe borderline rbf helps a lot most of the times the language that your subject conveys really controls the atmosphere of the photo take for example the show end of the effing world this netflix show is the epitome of moody colors and moody atmosphere and if you look at the set design with the desaturated colors and even the lighting or the mood of the actors and actresses there is no better way of learning the moody style from them as a viewer myself.

if i’m going to watch a show like end of the effing world or look at a photo that has a subject that isn’t displaying any happiness i’m not going to immediately have a happy reaction there’s a strong connection from viewer to art piece especially when there’s eye contact being made from me and the subject of the picture with this third tip alone i really do believe that you could create a moody photograph in broad daylight by the subject’s emotion alone try it out yourself i really think you can do it now with the nice cherry on top this leads us to our last tip which is the filmic tumbler fade i’ve seen this effect get used abused and kicked onto photography back in 2019 to 2013 and it is definitely out of style this effect is essentially achieved by picking up the bottom of the tone curve and lifting it up ever so slightly to create that faded black look this look was popular because it emulates the look of underexposed film and i’ve adopted it into my own style but i still wouldn’t describe my photography look as moody but that element is very much present throughout all of my pictures be warned that this look can easily be overdone and look not so good.

so be gentle with it again that’s my personal opinion if you really want to crush all the blacks and fade out everything go ahead that is your prerogative and that’s all i have for you guys in this video those are some tips and some tricks of how you can create some moody photos for your work your professional stuff for your own personal projects i know i titled these videos how to blank for instagram and uh you could definitely use it outside of that i’m not actually trying to spread a message of creating art solely for social media or solely for instagram i’m only titling this video because it’s search engine optimization and it makes this video a lot more searchable so people can watch it i’m really really not trying to spread the message to only create art for likes it’s definitely not what i’m trying to do just for search engine optimization so please don’t don’t burn me at the stake hope you guys have fun out there creating some moody photos i really want to see those so tag me at who’s chris chew online so i could see your work and make sure you subscribe like the video leave a comment down below and i will see you in the next post peace you.