Films can have a major impact on our culture, influencing areas like fashion, music, and even politics.

To connect with customers, big brands often emulate the visual aesthetic of Hollywood’s top films. Small businesses can do this too, even without a blockbuster budget.

Using the Oscar’s Best Picture nominations as inspiration, here’s how to create your own visual masterpiece.

La La Land

What it’s about: In this modern ode to classic musicals, we follow the ups and downs of Mia and Sebastian, two dreamers who are trying to make it in showbiz.

Get the look: Recreate this love note to Los Angeles with romantic, dreamy pictures of the city skyline. Images of dancers and starry skies give a nod to the mesmerizing dance sequences throughout the film, while pictures of jazz musicians and actresses represent Mia and Sebastian’s aspirations.

Hidden Figures

What it’s about: Three brilliant African American women fight racism and sexism while playing a vital role in NASA’s efforts to send a man to space.

Get the look: Photos that depict intelligent, educated women and images of space shuttles show the impact these brilliant women had on NASA.


What it’s about: After spaceships land on Earth, linguistics professor Louise Banks is brought in to learn how to communicate with the aliens.

Get the look: To convey the dark, mysterious tone of this extraterrestrial thriller, look for imagery of military convoys, people in hazmat suits, and of course, aliens.


What it’s about: In this film, based in 1957 Pittsburgh, sanitation worker Troy Maxson once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but was too old when the major leagues began accepting African American players. He takes out his frustrations on his son, an aspiring football player, and threatens to tear his family apart.

Get the look: To further explore this complex, family relationship, look for imagery of fathers, sons and spouses having emotional conversations as well as pictures of young, determined athletes.

Manchester by the Sea

What it’s about: When Lee Chandler’s brother dies, he returns to his hometown to care for his nephew. He struggles as he tries to manage his own grief, while learning how to raise a teenager.

Get the look: Recreate the setting of this sleepy New England town with snowy streets, fishing boats and marinas.

Hacksaw Ridge

What it’s about: Pacifist Desmond Doss enlists in the army in World War II, but refuses to use a weapon. After being approved to serve as an unarmed medic, he saves countless lives during the Battle of Okinawa.

Get the look: Use 1940’s-era photos of soldiers in the battle field to depict the bravery and courage of this war hero.

Hell or High Water

What it’s about: Brothers Toby and Tanner rob a string of banks in West Texas in order to get enough money to prevent their family ranch from foreclosing.

Get the look: Look for images of  bank robbers, sheriffs and Texas landscapes to recreate that Lonestar flair.


What it’s about: Five-year old Saroo is adopted by a loving Australian couple after being separated by his family in India. As he grows older, he becomes determined to locate his birth family.

Get the look: Recreate Saroo’s journey from his youth in India to his adulthood search with imagery of trains, Indian cityscapes and the bond between brothers.


What it’s about:  Moonlight tells the story of a young African American man growing up in Miami as he struggles with poverty and explores his sexuality. With the help of his drug-addicted mother, a surrogate father and his best friend, he discovers who he is.

Get the look: Images with bright, neon lighting reflect the aesthetic of this visual spectacle. Also look for images of young boys at school or bonding with a father figure to represent pivotal moments in the main character’s youth.

Discover more imagery inspired by this year’s best films at iStock by Getty Images