Whether you like it or not, being a music artist is about more than just a great voice. You have to have the IMAGE to match, as image plays a HUGE role in how people choose what to listen to and what to pass on. Your all-important headshot is the FIRST impression new fans get of you. If the headshot: a) just totally sucks or doesn't successfully convey your brand, you lose out on so many opportunities right from the beginning. And when you're trying to make your way in this industry, you simply can't afford to miss even one opportunity.
Having your own photo taken can be stressful I know how that goes it's super hard to get a great shot! But if you follow some of the simple tips outlined below (as well as be flat-out determined that you won't rest until it's right), you're bound to end up happy with the end result (see photographic evidence above I think my new brand photos turned out just great, thanks ).
Here are my top 4 tips for getting the perfect headshot for YOUR brand.
- Pick the right photographer: Find a photographer you LOVE. If you don't feel like you can afford a photographer you love, do some more research. You might be surprised once you go bargain hunting. Just like in the music industry, there are plenty of up-and-coming photographers who have the talent but not yet the experience to demand big bucks.
- Don't make it too artsy: As creative types, we sometimes have a tendency to want things to be artsy for the sake of being artsy. That's a HUGE mistake every time with headshots, which should be straightforward, easily digestible manifestations of your brand. I wouldn't recommend a far away shot of you, for instance. It IS 2013 after all, and everything looks better up close and personal transparency rules.
- Plan out the shot: Don't leave it up to the cosmos or your photographer to have a great shoot day. You have to brainstorm and conceptualize how you want to come across and how that translates into your image, background, clothing details, hair, makeup and location. I also highly recommend shooting both inside and outside. Sometimes studio shots come out better because you can control the lighting, while outdoor shots give more ambience and can tell a story. Do both because you never know which will come out better. And bottom line you need a great face shot for your online avatar that is well lit and intimate.
- Plan out your wardrobe, hair + makeup: Don't wait for the day before your shoot to get this together. That is way too last minute for a photo shoot. Spend the few weeks before meeting with a stylist or trying on clothes with your most fashion forward friend at your local boutiques (and snap photos of outfits so you can really see what works best). Remember image is your first shot of gaining fans because in most cases they will SEE you before they HEAR you. Then, research the right hair and makeup people ask local musicians who look cool who they use. And do not even think about shooting without hair + makeup stylists you can easily botch the whole shoot without them.
Remember that bad headshots:
- Drive away fans (even repel people).
- Don't fit or agree with your brand or the brand you hope to establish.
- Sometimes just suck without being able to define exactly why.
Remember that good headshots:
- Accurately convey your brand.
- Tell people who you are and what you're about, in one second.
- Feel warm and authentic.
- Most importantly, HELP YOU MAKE MONEY!!!
What's your headshot experience been like? Were you happy with the process? Happy with the end result? Leave me a comment below and let's discuss!
©2013 Cari Cole, Vocal Mag, Inc. All Rights Reserved.