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Before a release, whether it’s a single or an entire album, photographs are a great medium of portraying your artists brand. Prioritizing well-crafted imagery that holds a common thread creates good conditions for an appealing release. A photo may end up on the artwork, but you also need press photos, profile photos for social media, cover photos and banners as well as content for social media.

Artwork: Some artists want a portrait of themself on their artwork. The image must fit as a perfect square (1: 1), if you are not working with a frame.

Press photos: Each release must have at least 2 press photos if it is a single, and at least 3 press photos if it is for an album. Take both horizontal (landscape) and vertical (portrait) photos.

Images for social media: Building nice content around your artistry is a great way to reach out to your fans. Take photos that can be used as profile pictures, banners, teasers and other content for your channels. Images for social media should work in many different formats. Profile pictures are usually only displayed as a square/circle (1: 1) when they are uploaded. Here, a portrait image of the face is usually most appropriate. Banners require a lot of air around the person, meaning the photographer should take a few steps back to capture more of the surroundings. Instagram uses ratio (1: 1) or (4: 5) in feed or (9:16) in stories. Therefore, keep in mind that many photos will be cropped if they are to be posted on instagram.

Video material: Filming some film sequences during the shooting is great for social media where video more easily captures people’s attention than still images. A good mobile camera and a few 5-second clips can be enough, which you then cut together. The films create life in content for social media or can be used to create a canvas on Spotify.

Preparations before the photo shoot

Make a moodboard of how the photos should feel. Make sure they enhances the same look and feeling of the song you’re about to release. Find inspiration on everything from scenarios, clothes and looks for editing. Pinterest is a great website for this! Start from your MV brief so that the photographs are on brand. If you’d like some more in depth information on how to create a stunning moodboard, read this article. 

Share your moodboard with the photographer before the photo shoot, so you both have a common picture of what result you are working towards. Feel free to send it to our Art Director also to get some more insights and ideas.

Planning is the key to a successful outcome! It’s a good idea to bring a couple of different outfits and think of several different environments, so that the pictures do not become too repetitive. Otherwise, it is easy to happen that you end up with 20 nice pictures that are too similar to each other. Changing the environment does not have to be costly. It can be as easy as changing sweater and turning around so that instead of having a forest as a background, you have the meadow on the other side of the road as a background.

 

During the photo shoot

Take both vertical and horizontal photos.

Take both close-ups/head shots and full body. 

Always shoot in JPEG + RAW. Taking photos in RAW creates better conditions for editing the images afterwards. JPEG is good for quickly selecting images if you do not have software to display RAW files.

Shoot the scenario too. If you take photos at a certain location, environmental photos are always good to have for social media as a background. Let’s say you’re taking photos in the city, take a picture on a nice brick wall while you’re there. If you take photos in nature, take a picture of the forest you are at.

Seize the opportunity! Always take a little too many pictures than a little too few.

Energize. Bring something to eat and drink, photography takes more energy than you might think!

Do not mix light. If you take pictures indoors (provided you are not in a studio), turn off the lights and stand by a window to bring in daylight. Alternatively, pull down the blinds and work only with lamps. When you mix window lights and light bulbs, the editing becomes more difficult as they are different the candles have different temperatures.

Take some airy pictures. Remember to take at least 2-3 pictures with a lot of air around. These are necessary for creating banners for Spotify.

Video is king! If you have the opportunity, film sequences for social media and for Canvas. It can be as easy as asking a friend to follow along during the shoot and film with their mobile phone.

 

Post photo shoot

  • Go through all the pictures and make a selection of which ones you like the most.
  • Always edit the RAW image, not the JPEG.
  • Save the file as a JPEG high resolution (HR) and a JPEG low resolution (LR).
  • Never send a photo delivery over Facebook or mail as the photos are compressed.
  • We need to know the photographer’s name and whether their @ should be visible on blogs/social media.
  • Upload the images to your Google Drive folder and contact the Art Director for feedback.

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