Category Archives: Rising Talent – Live Music Photography
So I got the opportunity to shoot Mystery Jets on Monday after a few months of inactivity (due this be down to A-Levels, travelling or moving to a new city for University). Hopefully the passes will pick up now I’ve settled in here, however!
Also if you click ‘read more’ then there are a few pictures from 2012 that I never got round to putting up…
So you’ve managed the (not inconsiderable!) task of getting your mates together, figuring out who can play what instrument, discovering that your vocalist can’t actually sing and hurriedly recruiting another, and you’re well into practicing for your first gig. Lamentably, however, most music scenes are not very accommodating to new talent. It is important to remember that it is less a case of “build it and they will come” and more a case of “build it, market it and they will come”. Skip the marketing, and the reality is that you’ll be disappointed to find there will be no-one at your first gig. So how can you ensure your band’s popularity?
Branding and Logos
Design an instantly-recognisable logo for your band. If you’ve decided just to have a shape or some kind of design, make sure it is bold and easily identifiable. If it is only writing, or if it contains writing, you should make sure that it’s always in the same typeface and the same colour. The more consistently you brand yourself, the more recognisable that brand will become.
Some bands seem to want to take it easy at first and gradually increase the number of gigs, so as not to be overwhelmed or become over-exposed. If you’re starting from scratch, this may not be an effective plan of action. Don’t overload yourself, by any means, but if possible you should take on as many gigs as you can, to expose your band (and your brand!) as much as possible, increase your visibility, and make people aware of your name.
Once you get a bit of money and popularity going, it could be wise to starting turning out some merchandise. Merchandise is great because (ideally) it makes you money, and it increases awareness of your brand by visibility and word of mouth. As a good money-maker you can sell CDs you’ve recorded at gigs, but it would be best to try to spread your brand, and custom-made clothing is a great way to do this. This can include t-shirts, hoodies, bracelets, caps, whatever you like. Anything with your name and logo on it is helping you market your band.
Piggy-backing and Sponsorship
As you’ll be aware, many bands start out by “piggy-backing” on another, bigger band’s success, usually by travelling around with them as their support/warm-up act. Usually they’ll put you in the footers on the posters for their gigs, and this is excellent for getting your name about. If you can land a deal like this, you’re in with a great chance! Once you’ve gotten a bit bigger yourself, try to secure a sponsorship with a company. Being associated with a brand or a store can significantly increase your visibility and credibility.
Keep the Faith
Trying to make your band successful is hard. It’s a long, difficult road, you’re going to experience rejection and disappointment, and you’re likely to feel disheartened along the way. As long as you stick together, keep supporting each other and persevere in doing what you love doing, you can’t go wrong!
J.D. is writing on behalf of Banana Moon, an online retailer which specialises in personalised t-shirts, sports kits for schools and clubs and hoodies for school leavers.
Over the last few months I’ve been working on developing a new music sessions website called Here Today with a small group of videographers/photographer in Copenhagen. We just launched the site today at noon. The site will feature a range of genres from the Nordic music scene along with upcoming and established international bands.
View the site here
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here as I’ve been travelling for the past 7 months. It’s good to be back and shooting live music again. I’m moving down to London next month so if anybody is based there it’d be sweet to meet up as I know very few people down in the city!
Anyway, I spent the day with punk rock band Sharks at GuilFest shooting for Rock Sound’s website. They’re all real good friends and great musicians. Here are some of the pictures from the day.
Here are some of the pictures on Rock Sound’s website.
I really enjoyed shooting at this gig!
All three bands performed well creating a good
atmosphere at this small venue.
It’s not something that fans often think about, but popular music artists and performers are photographed just about constantly, and for many of them it’s important that these photographs be of very high quality. Part of being a celebrity and/or performer is about image, which is why there are entire photography-based businesses that aim at portraying artists in a flattering and exciting manner. Whether these artists are performing huge shows at major arenas, singing songs at half time of sporting events, or even working private events through an intermediary like the MN2S booking agency, they are photographed just about everywhere they go. So who are some of the artists most recognized for being particularly photogenic? Consider some of the following.
Lady Gaga – No conversation on celebrity image would be complete without mentioning Lady Gaga. And, while she is seen by many as someone who tries a bit too hard when it comes to establishing a unique image, Lady Gaga certainly creates some original and stunning images. But in her seeming effort to be the modern era‚ like Madonna, image is very important to Lady Gaga, so it is crucial that she be photographed and portrayed well.
Brandon Flowers – The famous lead singer of The Killers is known not only for his musical talents, but also as something of a leader in fashion. This is another instance in which it is important for an artist to be photographed often and well, as Flowers‚ his image has become nearly as famous as his music in some circles.
Green Day - Known in part for their unique style, but also for their high-energy performances, Green Day is also portrayed in images that not only set them apart, but help to define who they are. This is certainly a good example of a band that is very visually recognizable.
Kiss – Going back a few years, is there any musical group artist that benefitted more from a widely spread image than Kiss? At least now, years after their height of popularity, Kiss is probably better known now for its unique outfits and painted faces than for its music! Regardless, however, this image has greatly boosted the band’s popularity for years.
The list goes on and on. There are countless iconic images of star artists and groups from The Beatles, to Johnny Cash, to Eminem, with many in between. Stars like Andre Benjamin and Kanye West make a point of demonstrating familiarity with high fashion, and others like Nicki Minaj and Kesha, try to create entire new styles on their own. In all of these cases, photography and image distribution are vital concerns for musicians and stars.
Motorhead performed in Bucharest, last night, on the last day of OST Fest. It was a good concert to attend, even though photographers had to shot from the audience. Here it is:
This is my 4th DUB FX and Flower Fairy concert, photographs taken at their Bucharest performance, June 8th.
This weekend I’ve been in Barcelona shooting Primavera Sound 2012. Featuring band such as The Cure, Rufus Wainwright, Justice, Beirut, Iceage, Purity Ring, Grimes, A$AP Rocky and loads more.