Photography and a visual ‘presence’ is essential in music, it’s as important as the music itself.
Photography by Kenny Schick – Kenny is a music producer, engineer, singer songwriter & photographer, living in Nashville TN (from the Bay Area CA) (see more photos here)
Having great photos shows people who you are, in the crowded arena of music how you look is going to get attention and supports the music you make.
Music is as much a visual thing as it is audio.
When I check out new music it is not just an amazing song that grabs my attention first off it’s usually a photo, that tells me ‘who’ the artist is, is it someone I can relate to or be inspired by, are they quirky, unique, interesting and what genre are they. People are drawn in whole to an artist. It’s not just about your music but what you believe in and your ‘style’ that attracts like minded people to you. Your audience wants to relate to you and it might be that you just look like someone who I would want to be associated with or be friends with. It’s simply about making a good first impression on your potential new fan. People want to feel ‘connected’ and that they are a part of something. I like an artist more if who they are comes across in photos and video.
What you’re all about should reflect in your music as well as your ‘image’, your photos, your videos, what you support etc… I guess I’m saying don’t let your music down by not having a good visual representation of who you are.
I don’t know how many albums I’ve bought purely because of the cover or a picture of an artist – by flipping through albums in a music store I discovered Gillian Welch and Blonde Redhead and they are my two most favorite artists now and I consider myself a superfan. Sometimes I found gold that way and other times I felt like the cover misrepresented what was on the inside… ha just like people. Once I’m a fan of an artist, seeing exciting beautiful images of them makes me like them even more and certainly makes me interested in a new song, video or album. It’s another element to them that for me is just as important as the audio of them.
For some musicians thinking visually can sometimes be a challenge, but knowing what kind of photo you should have depends on who you are and what your music is all about. What are you trying to say in a photo and who are you trying to attract. It’s a bit of soul searching but with some spit and polish added to it. Its important to understand and know who you really are and be confident in that, and know who your audience is and then attract them to you. If you’re having a hard time trying to figure it out, then copy the best… what is your music likened to (sounds like….) how are they portraying themselves, and what attracts you to them, then do something similar to that. Don’t be shy about it, push it, go beyond your comfort level, you’re an artist right, a performer so go perform. If people like what they see they will explore you, find and listen to your music, hopefully love you and support your music by buying your music and merchandise.