In the digital world your photo is your way of showing bookers and clients your smile and your talent before they’ve even met you.
We know from experience that when bookers search through our directory for the perfect act the first impression they will get will be created by a performers profile photo. And when sifting through all our acts they will almost certainly judge a book by its cover and the better the cover, the more likely they are to check out the full profile and contact that act to make a booking.
You may already have a couple of fantastic headshots, but even if this is the case, the more good quality photos you have the more likely you are to get those booking.
To get you started we’ve distilled the top 4 most important tips for you, so you can dive right in and get those fabulous photos ready to sell your act.
And if you have photos, but feel they aren’t selling your act, make sure you look at our members’ photo editing service.
1) Plan your photography carefully
To make sure you get the most out of your shoot or photo opportunity it’s a good idea to really consider what images you need. The best place to start with this is to ask yourself this all-important question – who are you trying to attract?
You need to figure out how to get the attention of your bookers, so think about who they are, put yourself in their shoes and think about what they are looking for. If you’re a dancer, do you need to showcase your different dance techniques? If you’re a singer or band, as well as your posed shots, bookers will love to see you in action, with a happy, dancing crowd. A Children’s Entertainer will want to attract mums so some posed shots in colourful costume would be great, but photos with laughing, smiley children are even better. Really delve into what you need your photos to say about you.
Naturally different types of entertainers will need different types of photography, but in all instances it’s worth planning to get a good variety of shots, both posed and natural, in different outfits and costumes, both portrait and landscape. That way you will give bookers a really strong impression of your act and talents and will have the right image for any use, be it a directory, your website or social media.
Once you’ve thought through all of this you should have created a list of all the images you would like, and whether you are hiring a photographer or getting a talented friend to take the shots for you, you now have a shot list to tick off.
2) Don’t forget the technical stuff
If you’re planning to do the photography yourself, this section is a must-read for you. As well as thinking about who your photography is aimed at, you will need to plan where you will use it. If you’re thinking of using it on postcards, leaflets or brochures for example, your final images will need to be high quality and a minimum of 300 dpi.
Even if you’re only planning to use your images in digital format, it is always worth investing in buying or hiring a good quality digital camera, since they range from 20-45 megapixels, which gives you a lot more detail than even the best quality 12 megapixel phone camera. More importantly, it will also allow you to adjust your settings for different lighting and alter focus.
If that’s out of your budget you can still go a long way with a good camera phone, as long as you invest in a simple tripod and are careful with the lighting. There is so much that can be done after the event now with good online photo editing, like GIMP and Pixlr and a great filter!
3) Decide on the who, how and where
If you do choose to hire a photographer, the most important part of the process will be deciding who to go with. Make sure you really do your research, check out their testimonials and reviews and look to see if they specialise in the type of photography you need. Do they have a portfolio of dancers’ photography for instance?
Whether a or gifted friend (with a good eye for all things visual) your next step will be to plan the location and shot set-up. If you’re not working in a studio, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to set up before your shoot and look at what will make the ideal background. The key to this is to keep things simple. A plain background and a simple shot without clutter will really highlight and showcase the performer. Just take a look at some of the most followed dancers accounts on Instagram for example – you’ll find two things. Firstly, a lot of their shots are against a fairly simple background, or in a stunning open and airy location and secondly they follow ‘the rule of thirds’. There are plenty of articles on how to do this, including this one on how to achieve it using an iphone.
Finally, think about whether this might also be a good opportunity to take a video. If your shoot is at a gig, then this might be the perfect time to get some extra footage. Even if it’s a photoshoot, a behind the scenes vid or your day is perfect for social media. For more detailed information on shooting your promo video, take a look at our blog post on this topic.
4) Make sure you’re ready and exploding with that entertainment magic
For the day of the shoot make sure you have everything ready and waiting, from outfits and costumes to props. That means having them all to hand and being very clear about which you are using for each shot.
But most importantly, make sure you are mentally ready to show all of that wonderful talent and sparkle. It’s all about the eyes and teeth as they say, and that twinkle and that smile need to come from the heart and show the world just how much you love what you do. Prepare yourself psychologically in exactly the same way you would for a job or an audition, you are there to perform and show the world what you’ve got.
We hope you feel inspired by these ideas and ready to get the best photos ever taken of you and your act! Remember, it’s really just about communicating how wonderful you are and how much you adore what you do.
If you’re already registered with us, don’t forget we’re always on hand with support and advice, so get in contact if you want help with promoting your profile. If you’re not registered with us, then register now and add your profile today!