As a musician you want people to listen to your music. Although streaming your music on the internet is the easiest way to get you music out there nothing can compare to a good old gig. They are great ways to directly connect with your fans as they get to see you in person rather than just hearing your voice/sound.
This is all well and good for the fans you already have but if you want to grow and attract more people to your gigs then it’s not going to happen from your fan’s poor-quality videos shot on phones with audio that makes you sound terrible. So, what are you going to do? To get the best quality content to share from gigs you need to hire a photographer or videographer.
1. Videos and photos from Phones Suck!
If you want to attract more people to your gigs and to show people how good of a time they’ll have, then a phone video isn’t quite going to cut it. Although a phone video/photo is relatable because everyone has a phone and they’re shot from the crowd; phone videos are not good quality. The footage has flat and blown out colours as well as audio that doesn’t capture your true sound, it’s something you really don’t want to use for promotion.
A Photographer on the other hand is going to be using a professional camera so you will be getting higher quality content to use. They’re going to be aiming to take the best photo they can to make you look your best and they have more opportunities to get better angles. Message them for tips on things such as lighting and if they’ve shot at the venue before ask for the best places to stand/set up equipment. To help them get the best shots you need to move around and interact with the crowd because if you just stand there it’s going to be a boring experience for fans and you will get boring photos.
2. Can attract more fans
You’re going to be wanting to have as many fans as possible because let’s be honest, fans are what makes you succeed as an artist. If all you post is gig announcements people are just going to think, ‘meh there’s another one’ but by having photos from your gigs people will see what your gigs are like and will be more likely to want to come if it looks good compared to just seeing an artsy poster.
The photos can be posted in more places than just your account such as the photographer’s account and the company/venue’s that put on your gig. This means that you are going to be seen by a larger audience than just the people that follow your account.
3. It’s not just fans who will see these photos
You need to remember that you’re creating a brand as well as making music. This means that you need something that is going to attract companies, promoters, venues etc. If you can put on a good show and have photos of you with a large crowd then larger venues will be more likely to let you play there. This is because the venue wants to make money too so if you can bring in lots of people then they’re going to make more money. By doing this you will able to move you way up even larger and more popular venues. The same will go for promoters and companies, if you can show that you have a large fan base then they will be more willing to work with you because their product or service is going to be seen by more people and in turn earn them more money.
4. More content to post
You can use gig photos as just extra content to post. If you don’t have much content to post or any announcements to make you can use the gig photos to fill the time between posts and keep your uploads consistent and regular. The photos also work as good ‘throwback’ posts for when you want fans to remember how good that gig was and a way for you to engage with your fans.
5. Better experience for fans
Although fans will record and photograph part of your set as a personal memory of the event, you can hire a photographer to take better quality photos for a record of the event. You can use this to encourage fans to focus more on having a good time and enjoying the moment rather than worrying about getting the photo or short clip on their phone because you have someone taking photos. A lot of large musicians such as Kendrik Lamar, The Lumineers, Guns N’ Roses, etc have already started to do this at their concerts to create the best experience for their fans and to go back to what gigs and concerts used to be.
Where To Find A Photographer?
Now that you’ve decided that you’re going to get a photographer or videographer you now need to find one. One of the best places to start to look is social media and mainly Instagram. Instagram is designed solely for sharing photos and videos. You could just search ‘music photography’ and find some amazing work but the accounts could from other countries or the photographer could be out of your budget. The best way to start is searching by location and to look at the local venues in the area. Once you’ve found the venue look at posts it’s been tagged in and posts with the venue as the location.
Another way to look for photographers is at the local universities and colleges. There is a lot of incredible talent coming from young people and the best place to find them is the local areas. Although they won’t have as much experience as a professional photography you can help each other out and form a working relationship. As they may be new to this form of photography many will be willing to work for free or at a low fee which will save you money. If you like their photos, you could continue to work with them or hire them as the band’s photographer at a lower price that a professional would cost.
When you’re trying to decide on what photographer to pick, one thing to do is to not to look at the number of followers and likes they have but look at the quality and consistency of their work. Some photographers have lots of likes and followers because they promote their photos lots, but these photos can be poor quality and the account can have a very inconsistent post schedule.
Find someone who does something different to everyone else as this will make the photos more noticeable and increase the chances of you band getting seen. Continuing from the previous point of hiring student photographers, as they’re new to the field they will be willing to experiment and learn new things so talk to them about what they can do and what they’re willing to try. They will also have the resources and teachers experience at the college or university to help them try these new things.