It is very tough to create a great photo of an Artist. In the thousands that I have encountered only a few have had creativity and depth. It may seem cheesy to arrange a photo shoot but if Artist take this part seriously they will deeply benefit from it in the long run.
Create a photo that is clear, light, and attention grabbing. Five musicians sitting on a couch or backed against a brick wall is not interesting. If you have a friend who knows how to use PhotoShop, I highly recommend you enroll him or her to help you do some funky editing.
MYTH: The Artist needs 8 X 10 photos
TRUTH: Postcards are more versatile. Newspapers and magazines will download the photos they need directly from the Artist’s website. 8X10 photos used to be the industry standard but they are no longer the norm. I recommend that an Artist print 3X5 or 4X6 double sided 4/4 color postcards. They look great and professional and extra postcards not used in promo kits can be sent to people on the Artist’s mailing list, or they can be given away at gigs.
Postcards should have an image of the Artist on one side and an image of their album cover with the URL of their website on the other side. They may also include the release date of an upcoming album, contact numbers and a quote about the Artist’s sound from the media or from the bio.
The best types of photos are ones that can be cropped in a vertical or horizontal format. Journalists like photos that have room around the photo. This is so text may be put around the photo. A photo should depict an Artist in the way they are – a junkie band should be in a junkyard a clean band should be in a cleaner atmosphere – environment wardrobe and location are all very important as is creativity.
TIP: Don’t make journalists hunt around for the photos – they will go to someone else’s site to grab them. Downloadable COLOR photos should be readily available on your website and at least 300 dpi and easily findable and downloadable with less than 3 clicks. Put the band members names L-R under the band photo to give journalists a point of reference (many publications publish photos with all band members names L-R so save the writers the trouble of having to ask for the names.