It’s Photography, Not Yoga

“Alright, stand straight at me. Now turn your shoulders to the right. Look to the left. Head up. Put your hands together. NO! keep your head to the left!”

You get the idea, it could be difficult posing for a photo for business matters.

Each musical entity out there has (or should have) their own look. Something that sets them apart from the others, just like the music itself. It’s pretty everyday to see a metal band promo shots in some graveyard. It’s been done, look for something else.

When I’m out in the field, I try to get a feel of what the artist/group is looking for a take that based on their musical style. An electro DJ is going to look pretty out of place in a wide open meadow just as much as an acoustic guitarist will look in a fiery dungeon with chains. Unless, of course, that’s the look you’re going for. 

From promotional shots, you and the photographer should keep everything in mind. From the background color, to clothing even to skin tone. There are many looks you can go for and these things have every bit to do with it. You can be that dark shadowy figure, or the most vibrant object in the photo (whether its color or black and white). If you’re a studio musician, a standard head shot works well, most likely with your instrument. Performing bands/groups/artists, is typically on location somewhere (i.e. a garage, rooftop, field, basement, or even just in front of a wall/a staged background). Everyone in the group should be in view. Singers typically stand out but it doesn’t have to be that way. Everyone can be in equal presence. It could even be a funny photo, if thats the type of group you are. When you’re sending these out digitally, the need to be high resolution. The viewer will be able to see every hair and pore, so you should look your best (Your best could be in tattered jeans and unbrushed hair too).

A photograph is a standard part of a press kit. This photo should be an 8×10 image with a white boarder and have your name on it as well. Your name should be in a plain font, nothing crazy. Remember these are just to give the higher ups information about you. Stick to the basics and try to be creative. That’s what your music is for. The photo should also be black and white. Granted, now-a-days most people are switching to color, industry standard is still B&W. 

Live shots are fun. These can go everywhere. Your website, Facebook, Reverb, Indaba, whatever other networking site you are using, flyers. They show you in action, your energy. These are the ones that will get posted next to your concert/show/performance review. The ones that girls (or guys) could squeal about. Sometimes these are set up in advance. You should have them to show yourself off further. Other times, the press will be out there while doing the review. (If this is the case, make sure you find out where and when the publication will be printed and keep it as a clipping for your Press Kit as well!)


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