See the above graph? That is the state of the Artist Photograph asset in the Music Industry.
Scary isnt it?
Every business needs up to date publicity assets to market themselves.
As a Music Artist, you are 100% dependent on a customer’s perception of you as a product. Whether it is to promote your local act, a new feature Show, your latest Release or an upcoming Tour, you will need to provide professional high resolution publicity ready photographic assets to stay in business.
Questions to ask yourself: What are you worth as a live music product? For any customer to buy your product – a venue hiring your local act to a fan streaming your music, you need to demonstrate value visually. For a venue to substantiate spending $ on your act playing in their bar, they need BUMS ON SEATS to cover costs. Their primary focus is on marketing.
You may be using the same old photograph that you have used for the last few years. Consider what this cropped old low-res photo looks on a big Night Life Screen. Or in a full gloss colour booklet, large full colour A1 posters, or in a A2 monthly What’s On calendar in the bottle shop or venue foyer? It looks terrible and certainly not the value of what the venue is paying you to perform.
Ever tried to interest a bride in booking your act for her dream wedding with an old low res photo of your act?
It’s not pretty in every way.
Every act MUST take new Publicity Photographs every six months and provide no less than three options to us at high resolution with NO text on them. Just pure publicity photographs.
A common practice for Artists is to crop and photoshop a few different photos together when they cannot get the band together.
We cannot use those photos.
When a photo is being used for a full colour print or publication purpose, any photo that has been edited is diminished in quality and cannot be used.
If you expect to market your band for paying gigs then getting the band together for a photo shoot is paramount.
Another common practice is for Artists to add the name of their act in text on the publicity photo.
We cannot use those photos.
When a photo is being used for a full colour print or publication purpose, any photo that has been edited is diminished in quality and cannot be used. Imagine hundreds of bands, all using different fonts and styles and sizes and colours. If a venue wants to advertise bands on a website or in a magazine, it cannot produce a clean professional look when the photos are all different.
If you expect to market your act for paying gigs, provide professional publicity photos that are ready for publication – no text, not edited, not cropped and not photoshopped. We need the original photo file to be able to get the best photo possible to advertise your band.
Here are our Top Tips for a Great Productive Photo Shoot:
Make a Plan.
Start with this free Pushworth Template to curate your Shoot. Click Here.
Who are you? Who is your audience? Why do you need photos? Curate each shoot for a particular purpose and get it right. Tour Shot? General Publicity Shot for this quarter? Release campaign? Sponsorship Proposal? Charity Gig Shot? Make a plan together as a band, write it down and make each other and your photographer accountable to get the end result that you are looking for.
Location Location Location. What are you trying to say with these photos? Use the background location to help you say that. Look at the colours of your brand, the mood, the vibe, the energy, the story that you are portraying. Find a location that fits that.
Practice Shots. When you choose the location, go there at the same time of day that you plan to shoot and take some practice shots. Become familiar with the location and find as many angles as you can. Check out the lighting. Know the location and the light well in advance.
What are you wearing. Match the time of day, the location, the story, the reason for the shot and your target market to what you each will be wearing. Bring some options. Work in together. Make sure that the colours and styles and textures work together. Contrast as well as match. Try as many options as you can PRIOR to the shoot.
Allow the Moments to Unfold. A good photographer will always be on the lookout for casual authentic shots where the band is super relaxed and enjoying themselves. Allow those moments to unfold naturally.
Put Together a Shoot Team. Organize a couple of helpers for makeup touch ups, clothing adjustments, lighting checks and general assistance to keep the shoot on track.
To Photoshop Or Not? From the perspective of publishing, it is a never ending nightmare for us to provide unphotoshopped images to be promoted. We recommend that photoshop is kept to a very bare minimum to preserve the quality of the image as much as possible.
The Selection Process. Set aside a few hours together as a band to select no less than ten images that best illustrate your story. Make sure you store the images in a safe place on your PC as well as in your files to ensure that you can access them again at a later date. So many bands only have the edited photoshopped version 15 of the image. So save your unedited images securely on your Google Drive as well as a Physical Back Up.
This Process Never Ends as long as you run a Music Business.
Rinse and Repeat. Every Six Months. Every New Release. Every New Tour. You brush your teeth a few times a day no matter what. Maintaining current professional publicity photos of your act is just as important for your music business. The more you do it, the easier it becomes and the better the end result for your music business