Many musicians tend to sink deep into their own area of interest. Just like digging into some material concerning songwriting or production, working in a tunnel-like mode. We know how hard it can be to set aside some brainpower for other things – like music photography – especially when you have musical projects to finish and agendas to pursue. That’s why we want to help you out by providing some photo tips for musicians.
After working with various photographers we just had to sit down and collect some insights and ideas that might make your life easier – especially when you just feel like creating music, without the hastle of setting up a visual concept from scratch.
Here are 3 photo tips for musicians.
1. The Art Of moodboards
An extremely important tool that will make your life and the life of everyone involved MUCH easier. Create extensive moodboards prior to going into a shoot. Ask your photographer to start collecting images and visual moods via e-mail or Facebook, slowly setting up a diverse moodboard.
Not only will you be able to pinpoint and express what you like and – most importantly – dislike, you will make sure the whole team is on the same page long BEFORE you set the first step into any photo-studio or outdoor location.
You will be able to set up style, look & feel, or maybe even run through various options. Try setting up boards in different color-pallets, generating various effects.
Also – don’t be afraid to share the moodboard with fellow musicians and peers you respect. Think of it as a type of visual demo, that you generate feedback on.
2. Know your sources!
It doesn’t even matter if you’re a social media consumer or producer – try digging trough Instagram profiles of artists you respect, and show them to the photographer you’re working with.
Identify color-schemes and patterns, save them to your moodboard if you dig them.
Also really importantly – ask outside people to send you images that they would connect to your music and style. Sometimes it’s surprising, what some people connect certain music to. It can open visual doors that you never even thought of setting a toe trough.
Snowball through different profiles and stumble upon artists and people that share common visual styles. Remember – the most effective profiles are the ones that make it look easy and effortless, but only because they have their style down and work within the Dos and Donts of their own framework.
3. Narrative is key
One of the easiest ways to come up with creative photo-ideas is to build a narrative around a shoot. Not some kind of tacky photo-story – try to think of narrative as a flow of context, be it surroundings, props etc.
Designate different areas within one shooting and work through them, trying out inside/outside moods, wandering around with certain props instead of resting within a rigid state.
If your goal is to capture a sense of authenticity, try staying really close to elements of your daily routine – especially if you’re a DIY musician & producer you should stick to the things that inspire and form your work, even if they might be something completely banal like a plain backyard with picket fence. Move around your shoot like a daily routine. Don’t try to fabricate something completely unobtainable – keeping it real might be your best bet!
We hope these photo tips for musicians were helpful and maybe even de-mystified the process of creating solid photo-content. If you’re interested in more insights on musicianship and social-media, check out some other articles on our ForTunes blog!2 join the family and show some love for this!