Itching to do a portrait project but have been out of ideas for a photo shoot? Don’t worry, it happens even to the best of us. The most obvious solution would be to look up other photographers’ projects and make a mood board out of the ideas we get from them. However, if you really want to increase your chances of making something new and interesting, you must try a different approach. Take some cues from the folks of Mango Street on how they get photography inspiration from other art forms.

In the video above, they shared how they were able to come up with a fully realized portrait shoot out of a movie, show, book and song. In a nutshell, it’s about taking photography inspiration from details like color palette, mood, location or wardrobe of their chosen art form. A mood board is still an important part of the creative process. But at least you’re filling it with elements that will bring your own ideas to life.

Getting ideas from movies and TV shows is a great way to get started since cinematic photography and portraiture make a great mix. It’s not about making exact recreations of the iconic scenes and elements, but doing your own take on them. As for songs and books, drawing ideas from them may be a bit challenging at first. But for starters, you can pick out visual elements from the lyrics and mood from the melodies. Likewise, you can take inspiration from the characters and settings from your favorite literature.

Have you done anything like this for your portrait photography inspiration? Tell us about it in the comments below, or in our group discussions if you’ve already joined the Photofocus Community!