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Photographs for bands, singers and entertainers should be added to the Publicity & Press Pack. First impressions count and your photograph may be the first thing that a potential booker or A & R person will see! It is essential to have a good set of photographs but hiring a professional photographer can be expensive.

If you are on a limited budget it is worth approaching local colleges or universities art & photography students who may include you in one of their projects. Tutors of Photographic Evening classes often require models for their pupils and may include you on one of their sessions. This benefits both parties by gaining experience and an end product that you can use in your publicity & press kits.

Before you dash off and start snapping, check who will own the copyright of the images as the rights to use the pictures may also have to be purchased and the photographer can place restrictions of use or specify that all duplications and reproductions are purchased from them. Some may allow the images to be released to the press or used on your website but it is important to come to some agreement before committing yourself to hiring their services.

Before The Shoot
The photographs should reflect the bands image and music, this may be hard to capture but some consideration should be given to what would be suitable for your act. Live photographs are great if they capture the right moment or feel but may not be suitable for image you want to portray, so it's worth trying out a several outfits, poses and locations using an ordinary or digital camera to get some ideas on what looks good - or not before paying out for professional photo's!

On The Way to the Shoot
Wear comfy clothes and take cleanser, moisturiser, towel and a spritzer spray filled with plain water to keep cool, fresh and hydrated. Take several outfits with you. Avoid using make up until you get to the shoot, if you or the make up artist has to remove existing make up it will waste time, remember that lighting can be draining so make up needs to be applied with care to help highlight and enhance your features. Guys should also consider using make up, a foundation will even out skin tone, hide blemishes and prevent the face looking pale and washed out.

At The Shoot
Although it can be fun, you could be standing or sitting around in different poses under hot lights for several hours. Take a few nibbles and a bottle of water for the breaks. With the exception of 'live gigs' it is unlikely that you will actually be singing during the shoot, take a player and a cd or cassette with your tracks or some music that reflects the mood that you wish to create in your pictures, ask first, but most photographers will be happy for you these to be played whilst you are posing. Be prepared for a long day - the photographer may use several rolls of film depending on your budget. If possible have both black and white and colour pictures taken and don't be afraid to try out reasonable and interesting ideas or suggestions from the photographer.

What Next?
Once you have chosen the best photo's and assuming you have purchased the rights from the photographer, there are several ways in which you can use your photo's to publicise your act/band.

8 x 10
Glossy photos printed with your band/act name and contact details on the bottom. This is a standard sized publicity photograph used by many artists, bands, models & actors.

10 x 16, 16 x 20, 20 x 24
Posters using your photograph/s can be effective, used by venues and promoters, some agencies also require you provide your own posters and publicity.

4 x 6
Postcards, can contain a montage of smaller pictures with your name and contact details printed underneath the photos. Neat size & good for hand-outs. The backs are clear so you can add gig dates or other info.

3 3/4 x 9
Inserts use multiple pictures with your contact details included on the base to fit into business envelopes.

3 1/2 x 2
Business cards containing your photo and contact details are great for solo, duo and cabaret acts.

Converted to Picture File
Websites are an excellent dynamic way to promote yourself. Scanning and converting photographs to picture format for publication on a band or fan site is standard practice, but they can also be used for advertising purposes by creating your own products or using services like CafePress where you can upload your pictures for inclusion on T-Shirts, Mugs, Mousemats and other neat stuff to sell to your fans! Click Here for more merchandising ideas.

Many of the above can be produced on your home computer using software programs like 'Photoshop', 'Publisher' or similar and many scanning software programs are supplied with the ability to manipulate images and create calendars, business cards etc. There are also many professional companies who can bulk produce some or all of the above to your specifications, Click Here to find links to a variety of companies and photographers.

Related Articles

This is just a small selection available in the Marketing & Press Articles. All links open in a new window.

2001, A Photo Odessey
Teen beat interview with the boys of BBMak during a photo shoot.

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A conversation with Matt Black of Coldcut by Marc Weidenbaum, discusses alternative and conventionaly promotion including photo shoots available at Disquiet ambient/electronica.

Mark Okoh
Interview with the docklands based music photographer from MyDocklands.

What to look for in a photo shoot
Written by creative photographer Tony Smith.