Canadian Musician - March/April 2023 - Page 63


Enhancing Your Image with Great Photography

By Neal Burstyn

Great photography can enhance an artist ’ s or band ’ s image , making it visually appealing and piquing interest with a strong visual connection . With the rise of social media , it ’ s more important than ever to have high-quality images that showcase you as a musician or band in the best possible light ( no pun intended ).

Here are some key points for enhancing your promo image with great photography :
Figure Out a Concept Take the time to figure out the vibe and image you want to convey to attract prospective fans and / or industry players .
Do some research and see what catches your eye , inspires you , and compliments your brand . Then , choose whether you want to shoot on location , taking advantage of the environment or if you want a blank canvas and shoot in a studio using controlled lighting .
Use High-Quality Equipment Invest in a good camera and lenses to ensure that your images are sharp and clear . A DSLR camera is an excellent option as it allows for manual adjustments and settings like aperture and shutter speed . A good lens is also essential , as it can affect your photos ’ sharpness and depth of field .
Figure Out the Appropriate Lighting Lighting is everything ! It can make a massive difference in the quality of your photos . Daylight is excellent if you want broad flat light , but it will not give you much in dramatically shaping your light . You can learn to control your lighting in a dark space and shape your image with lighting modifiers , such as softboxes , hard lighting and reflectors . You can also use a combination of ambient and studio lighting to achieve the desired effect , accentuating various elements in your image .
Composition Use the rule of thirds to create balance and interest in your photos . This means placing the subject of the photo off-centre and using negative space to create a sense of depth . The rule of thirds is a basic guideline of composition , which states that an image should be divided into thirds horizontally and vertically and that the subject should be placed along one of the lines or at the intersection of two lines .
Experiment with Different Angles , Perspectives and Lenses Try shooting from different angles and perspectives to create a more dynamic image . Shooting from a low angle can make the subject appear larger and more powerful while shooting from a high angle can make it appear smaller and more vulnerable . Experimenting with different perspectives can also help to create a sense of movement or action in your photos . There are many lenses to choose from to achieve the desired look . A 35mm to 50mm lens is a good start and will minimize lens distortion unless that is your intention .
Edit and Retouch Your Photos Use editing software , such as Lightroom or GIMP , to adjust the brightness , contrast , and colour of your pictures . Don ’ t use Photoshop unless you have to do specific things to your image due to its steep learning curve . Basic editing tools such as cropping , resizing and colour adjustments can be made with free software online . You can make subtle colour and contrast adjustments or go extreme ! There are no rules .
Hire a Professional Photographer If you want to ensure that your images are of the highest quality , consider hiring a professional photographer with experience in all photography aspects , not just music or promotion . Sometimes you need to think outside the box or go with a more traditional approach . It all depends on what your vision is . Professional photographers have the knowledge , skills , appropriate gear and lighting to create visually appealing images that will help to sell your brand and generate interest . They know how to compose and light a shot , how to use editing software , and how the finished photo will look while preparing it for end use . They will also know how to optimize the image for social media or print . This is one of the most critical steps in ensuring you have a proper visual representation of your brand and a clear indication of quality and professionalism .
Neal Burstyn is a freelance commercial photographer in Toronto specializing in travel , portrait , concert , kids , events , fitness , and lifestyle photography . He can be reached at neal @ ntbcreative . com .