As anybody who works in the music industry, follows the music industry, or who has tried to make it in the music industry knows; getting people to pay attention to you is part great art and part image. In fact, some would say the look, styling, and marketing around any act is more important than the tunes themselves…though let’s not take it that far.
If image is so important to breaking out and enjoying a successful music career, you must spend time and effort crafting yours carefully, and that means that the pictures you share as a band are significant. Coming up with a concept, finding a location, worrying about what to wear and how your hair looks and, of course, working with a photographer (whether that’s a professional or a friend with an iPhone) are all items that must be addressed carefully, but what else is there to think about?
Below are several important details I have personally witnessed too many artists and groups overlook, and while it’s not always a big deal, sometimes failing to think of these future issues can be detrimental.
In This Article:
- The Full Band & Individual Shots
- Different Orientations
- Posing & Action
The Full Band & Individual Shots
If you’re in a band, it makes perfect sense that you would have photos featuring all the members, right? Of course! But what about individual shots? Many non-solo acts don’t think about this idea, and while it might not be the most-used option, it doesn’t take much effort to get pictures of the members on their own.
You don’t need a separate photoshoot for these images, so it shouldn’t cost anything extra if you’ve hired a photographer. Right after taking a round of pictures as a group, spend a minute or two with each musician and grab some solo shots. Also, you all may want to bring a change of clothes, just to mix things up a little bit further.
This is something I run into quite often as someone who writes about bands and musicians, and it is always incredibly frustrating! You must offer more than one orientation to journalists, booking people, promoters, DJs and so on, as each business has a different need. Some are looking for a long, vertical snap to take up a social media post or to fit well on a flyer, while the vast, vast majority of publications on the internet need horizontally-oriented pictures for their websites.
Believe it or not, I have actually run into instances when I was going to write about a band, but they didn’t have a photo we could use, as they were all vertical, and the publications I was working for required the opposite. To simply not have that available at all is a mistake, and one that can be corrected in 30 seconds if you think ahead! A good music promotion team will help guide you and your photographer on what a good portfolio will need from the PR perspective.
Another issue I have personally come up against is when a musician, band, or more likely their team, only offers a single image. This is usually for branding reasons, as one photo can perfectly encapsulate an era in mood, tone and style. That’s perfectly understandable, but when it begins to frustrate those trying to work with you in some way, or perhaps even lose you opportunities, it’s worth stretching the branding a little bit.
Some people in the industry who are looking for a photo of you need something that’s exclusive to them. Others will want to differentiate their post about your band from the others, and the picture is a key part of that. It’s smart to have all the images you’re using during a certain period in your career work together and align thematically, but to only give one snap is not a good idea…and it’s especially bad if a person in a position of power asks for something else and you refuse. Your bands’ PR team should be aware of this – and a high quality music publicist will help your photographer know what to expect on set.
Posing & Action
As a journalist, I see many artists go one of two ways when choosing pictures for their latest round of promotions: either live action shots, or standard portrait-style images. Both work for different reasons, and I’m not here to say that one is better than the other. Instead, I’d suggest having both! Again, options are great, and this rule applies to photos that show movement and which are steady.
This piece of advice is perhaps not as vital as the others, though it is something to think about. When coming up with ideas for your next band photos, many acts consider what they want the pictures to convey. It’s not just a record of who is in the group, but an image that is meant to work thematically with the music it’s meant to promote. This means showcasing a mood and an attitude in the snaps.
Black and white will forever be a popular selection for those hoping to seem more introspective, artistic, or perhaps even gloomy, if that’s what the music calls for. It’s all good until, again, someone requires something else. If you want to stick with color or with black and white for the most part, that’s fine, but please make sure you have something else available in a file somewhere, should someone need it for anything that may help you business-wise.
Looking for some help in adjusting your bands’ image to fit the right niche? Planetary can help with that! Our experienced Music PR team has worked with hundreds of acts, and has helped them transform their careers. Call us at (323) 952-5050 or click here to get in touch with us today!