Brainstorm ideas for your photoshoot in Milanote

Photography brainstorm guide example

Follow this step-by-step guide to learn the modern process of brainstorming in Milanote, a free tool used by top creatives.

Photography brainstorm guide example

How to brainstorm photoshoot ideas in 7 easy steps

Brainstorming is a classic creative technique for generating new ideas. It's a great way to take an initial concept and turn it into a unique creative vision. You can use it to help dream up new styles, approaches, or themes for your photoshoots.

Brainstorming is no longer confined to just sticky notes either. With online tools, your ideas can be communicated as notes, images, video, or even sound.

In this guide, you'll learn the modern approach to brainstorming using Milanote. Remember, the creative process is non-linear, so you may find yourself moving back and forth between the steps as you go.

1. Start with the central idea for your shoot

What are you shooting? It might be a portrait, a particular theme, a location, or even a product. This is your starting point. Add a short note that describes the subject matter so you can reference it as you're generating ideas.

Photoshoot Brainstorm Guide Step1
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a new board for your brainstorming.

    Create a new board

    Drag a board out from the toolbar. Give it a name, then double click to open it.

  2. Add a note to describe the concept of your shoot.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

Pro tip:

Clearly defining the central idea ensures everyone's on the same page and helps frame your brainstorming session.

2. Invite people to collaborate

Next, invite others to brainstorm with you. If you're working in a team, you might invite your client, other creatives, or your crew. Often, it's the mix of perspectives that leads to unique ideas.

Brainstorming online means they can contribute from anywhere. It helps to send access to the digital brainstorming tool ahead of time so everyone can become familiar with it before you start.

Photography brainstorm guide step02
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Invite others to add their ideas.

    Invite editors to your board

    Open the "Editors" menu from the title bar of your board. Add email addresses of the people you'd like to collaborate with—they'll receive an invitation via email.

3. Generate lots of ideas

Now it's time to get creative. Start adding any ideas that relate to your central theme. Think about how you'd like the shots composed, the lighting, colors, location, backdrops, and the overall style you're trying to achieve.

Don't worry about evaluating your ideas yet, that will come later. Just add as many as you can. Setting a timer for 5 minutes is a great way to create a sense of urgency and prevent people from judging their thoughts.

Photoshoot Brainstorm Guide Step3
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add a note for each idea.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

Pro tip:

Don't allow killer phrases like “it’s too expensive, it’s too hard” to derail the brainstorm or judge ideas too quickly. As Alex Osborn said, “It is easier to tone down a wild idea than to think up a new one.”

4. Add imagery

Often the best way to communicate an idea clearly is with an image, especially if it's a mood or style you're trying to convey. Gather photos from your phone or find reference images online and add them to the mix. These images can be repurposed later when you're creating a moodboard.

Photography brainstorm guide step04
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Use the built-in image library.

    Use the built-in image library

    Search over 500,000 beautiful photos powered by Unsplash then drag images straight onto your board.

  2. Drag images from your computer onto the board.

    Upload a image or document  

    Click the "Upload file" button or just drag a file onto your board. You can add images, logos, documents, videos, audio and much more.

5. Get inspired by other artforms

Ideas can often come from other sources besides text and imagery. Look at related creative fields like art or film for a fresh perspective. You might be inspired by the composition of a painting or the lighting style in a film. Looking outside of photography is a great way to create a unique style.

Photography brainstorm guide step05
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Install the Milanote Web Clipper

  2. Save content from other websites straight to your board.

    Save content from the web

    Roll over an image (or highlight text), click Save, then choose the destination in Milanote. Return to your board and find the content in the "Unsorted" column on the right.

6. Evaluate your ideas

Now it's time to take off your creative hat and review the ideas through a critical lens. This is the perfect opportunity to ensure everything you've added ties back to the central theme.

Ask each person to choose their favorite ideas and explain why. Be prepared to share your thinking and welcome suggestions and improvements. Encourage constructive debate. If an idea isn't dramatically improving things, put it aside. You can always return to it later.

Photography brainstorm guide step06
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Start a comment thread.

    Start a comment thread

    Drag out a comment from the toolbar on the left and place it on your board. Other editors can reply to your comment.

  2. Mention teammates to get their attention.

    Mention teammates to get their attention

    Type '@' in any text field to mention someone who has access to your board. They'll receive a notification and be able to respond to your comment.

7. Finally, group your ideas into themes

Once you've selected the strongest ideas, it's time to sort them into groups and connect the dots. This allows you to uncover patterns or similarities in your thinking.

Add a title that describes each group of ideas. When you've finished grouping, you're left with the key themes that will guide your photoshoot.

Photography brainstorm guide step07
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Drag content to create groups of similar ideas

You're done!

Now that your brainstorming session is complete you have a fully fleshed-out idea for your photoshoot. Remember, creativity and inspiration are constantly evolving. Come back and add to the brainstorm when inspiration strikes.

Start Brainstorming

Get started for free with Milanote's easy to use brainstorming template.