3…2…1 Smile!

By Jessie Cheng, Rock the Dream

3…2…1…and Smile! If you’re camera shy, it’s perfectly understandable. But, having great professional photos is an extremely important aspect of successful artist branding and promotion. 

Why are professional photos important? 

  • Easy recognition. Your photos should portray your artist image, so your fans will recognize your face more and more, especially on social media. This will help draw positive attention to you, your social media, and most importantly, your music! 
  • Music promotion. When promoting new music, you can use photos to create “teaser” images or for press purposes. This establishes your credibility as an artist and looks very professional. 
  • Creative expression. Professional photos are also a great way to express your unique artistry. Through your outfit, makeup, facial expressions, unique props and background visuals, etc., you can effectively promote your artist image and music. Make it different than all the other typical press photos. Imagine someone who looks at hundreds photos all day, and make them stop on yours and say “Wow, this is interesting!”

Tips for low-budget, stunning professional photos:

  • Choose colors that match your artist image, or the theme of your current project. Rock bold colors for an uplifting, positive mood, or maybe black and white for something more somber. Choose a solid background if your outfit is colorful or a little chaotic, unless chaos is what you’re going for!
  • There is no need for fancy, expensive outfits. Choose a look that’s professional and stylish, whatever that means for your image. You can borrow, rent, or thrift to find an outfit, but don’t break the bank just on that. If you can, do your own hair and makeup. The most important part is that you get the quality and mood you’re going for, so plan ahead with your photographer!
  • If you have other people in your photos, make sure the spotlight stays on you. It will be cheaper to go solo than hire models, but if it’s necessary for the image see if you can get friends to volunteer instead! Anyone else in the image should also look put together and styled to theme. Get a few solo shots of yourself or each band member if you have the time. You never know when you might need them. 
  • If you’re able to, bring your crew to manage your photoshoot! A team makes it easier for you to get the best angles, poses, and lighting. Either way, make sure to be on time and prepared to get the most out of your shoot time. Plan ahead with your photographer to know exactly what to expect from the shoot and final product, and what the price will be. 
  • Choose a photographer who has “mad” photoshop skills. This most often takes a regular photo to a whole new level. And, one last tip, do not go for the huge outdoor scenery shots. You are the focus, not the background. Pick something unique and intriguing, or do an in-studio shot.

What are you waiting for? Look into the camera…and in 3…2…1…Smile!  

Photo Shoot vs Photoshoot

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