Create, Photography

Intentional Shoots



I recently had a photo session with Jessica on the first day of fall. The shoot, for me, was very different than those I’ve shot in the past. I actually spent time thinking about it beforehand. Just like designing – I’m always pushing myself to sketch things out first. To think about it for a few days. To let it simmer.




I did exactly that with this photoshoot. I created a moodboard (below). I sketched out the shots that I wanted. I spent time after another shoot scouting locations. The board below had one purpose – to set the mood. I wanted bright lipstick. An emphasis on her hair. A playful, yet fashionable vibe. I didn’t want to copy the shots but it did inspire the ones that I took.


I like being intentional in all my work. It brings about a better process. And a better result.

See more photos here.

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  • Reply Janae @ bring joy

    First, awesome pictures.

    Second, I think being intentional is something I need to be better at. I love that you created a mood board beforehand–what a great way to get in the mode & as you said, “let things simmer.” Great advice.

    October 2, 2013 at 10:17 AM
    • Reply Allison

      Thanks Janae!!

      I need to be better about it too. It’s easy to just dive into a project or a session. We can do it!!

      October 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM
  • Reply Anna

    Great post! I am always pushing (or reminding) myself to think about the “why” in my process. Even if I don’t change my execution after asking myself, “why do it this way?” – having a solid reason or strategy behind a design makes it so much stronger – and then I can explain it so much better to clients!

    October 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM
    • Reply Allison

      YES! That is so so true. We should always be presenting our work too. That can always be one that I fail at. I try to not just send an email explaining my work. Thanks for the comment, Anna!

      October 2, 2013 at 9:52 PM
  • Reply Carrie

    Great photos. Such a good vibe.

    How did you approach your subject with your ideas? did you show her the mood board? I have had ideas in mind for shoots, but it seems that I am too shy to push it very far because the subject always seems to have ideas of their own. Should I just unleash the little beast photographer and tell them what I think are good, artistic ideas, rather than let them “settle” for what they think are good ideas?

    October 2, 2013 at 3:48 PM
    • Reply Allison

      I follow her on Twitter so I was able to see what she looks like and get to know her a bit beforehand. But then I also went through photos that inspire me and put together a collection that went well together. None of those in the moodboard are exactly alike.

      Then I emailed it to her and gave her suggestions (bright lipstick, braid, summer-y outfits…even though it was the first day of fall).

      She was excited and I think clients like that more than us saying “Oh just wear what you want!” I also showed her shots as the shoot went on. If they can see how it looks (and if they love it) then it’s an easier sell!

      October 2, 2013 at 9:57 PM
  • Reply Juliette Laura

    I LOVE intentional shoots. I love the creative process behind them. In fact, I am having one this weekend!

    October 3, 2013 at 12:55 PM
    • Reply Allison

      Ohhh that’s awesome. Keep me posted on how it goes :)

      October 4, 2013 at 1:01 AM
  • Reply Alyssa | techlovedesign

    You’re so talented! I just bought a canon t5i and I can’t wait to start playing with it. Cute blog :)

    xo Alyssa

    PS If you ever come to Montreal, holla!

    October 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM
  • Reply Angel Y.

    I absolutely adore this shoot! When I saw the first shot I instantly knew it was a hit. I think the idea of being more intentional is something photographers can adjust to! I’m going to reference this to my husband as he works on his photography.

    October 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM
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