Lets face it, not every photo shoot is going to be held at a luxurious location complete with a glam team and hours set aside to create. Sometimes you’re given just a few precious minutes with an artist, set in locations that are rather uninspiring and you have to create awesome photographs despite it all.
It can be intimidating when you’re faced with all these obstacles and yet still have to be creative. Here is a few tips and tricks Ive learned from shooting these quick band promos
Research Your Artist
Research as much as you can about the artists before your shoot. It pays to know the person you’re working with; obviously you want to be familiar with their work and the style of music they create but to go a step further from that and find what makes them unique. I find browsing an artists Instagram is the easiest way to learn about an artists vibe; by analyzing the captions, the filters and the content you can really learn about the individual/ group esthetic.
You don’t need to bring anything too lavish but I do find that the use of props helps in more ways than one. In addition to helping”tell the story”, props can be a welcome distraction for subjects who are shy or uncomfortable in front of the camera. Some of my favorite things to bring are suitcases, old film cameras, mirrors, florals, etc. I also am known to bring furniture like benches and chairs to shoots as well.
Scout Your Location
Whenever the band is being interviewed by my partner for the written part of the feature, I like to scout the location for the ideal place to take portraits. Being a natural light photographer I always try to find a place that has access to nice natural light and doesn’t have a lot of clutter or distractions in the background- unless I can make it work with the storyline of coarse
Have a Game Plan
Once you have your research on the band, the location and the props you want to use form the story you want to tell. Have an idea of the poses and prompts you want to use to get the shots you need in the short time frame you have.
Here is an example of one of my favorite “5 Minute” Photo Shoots with band “Houndmouth”. We were at the Warner Bro’s Studio Office which is not as glamorous as it sounds. Its literally just an office building with people working at their desks making calls, working at computers…Inside my head I was just like, “Oh Crap”
Here is the lovely interview room
Yikes, right?! So during the interview, I snuck outside to scout and grab some props from my car and by the time I came back with the 3 large 1970s suitcase in hand, the band was ready to go.
I handed them their suitcases which just so happened to color coordinate with each of their outfits and we got to playing
The guys opened up one of the suitcases and saw some old granny glasses that I had used on a previous shoot and let me tell you, once they tried them on…it was the funniest shoot I had ever been apart of
Thanks for reading everyone. If you use these tricks next time youre out on a shoot, I would love to hear if it improved your work. Also, feel like to add your own tricks of the trade to the list in the comments!