Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to Use Photos for Your Business Cards or Brochures

The photos that you print on your brochures or business cards, or that you post on your website and save for press releases and paid advertisement, must all accomplish one thing: they visually must tell who you are. This snapshot of you needs to fit into the bride’s imaginary picture of her perfect wedding day. How can you visually make yourself fit into her picture?

Here are some general thoughts about photos:

1. A professional photo makes you look professional.
Shop for a photographer who has produced the “look” that you want. View their portfolio. A good photographer will be able to get the photo to reveal something about the subject’s personality.

2. Include your instruments in all your photos. The kinds of band shots you see on do not cut it here, where the band members are standing around, looking cool, without an instrument in sight. A bride wants to see exactly what you’ll look like when you
perform for her, which means she also needs to see what your instrument looks like. If you are in a band, your wedding PR photo should show everyone holding his or her instruments. It could be a still shot or an action shot, with everyone playing. It doesn’t matter as long as your instruments and your faces can be seen plainly.

3. Dress like you would dress when you are performing at a wedding. Look the part. A bride wants to see how you will show up at her wedding. Will you show up in a tux and cleanly shaven, or will you be wearing the trendiest shirt, unbuttoned to your waist, with your hair gelled so it sticks straight up? Which picture fits the bride’s fantasy the best?

4. Recruit the services of a make-up artist, if needed. Women should wear heavier make-up for photo sessions. With digital photography, you can see exactly what the camera sees right after the picture is snapped. You’ll have instant feedback about how your make-up looks. But when the photographer is snapping away, there won’t be any time to review your make-up in each shot.

5. Your band or ensemble must look like a cohesive group. This goes further than making sure everyone is dressed like they are in the same band. Facial expressions should be the same, too, with no one member looking off in a diff erent direction wearing a scowl when
everyone else is looking into the camera with a pleasant smile.

6. Update your photos anytime your appearance changes. These changes include changes of personnel in your band or ensemble, significant weight changes, dramatically
different hair styles or colors, wearing contact lenses instead of glasses, and so on.

7. Show that you love what you do. Your wedding PR photo is not one of those photos that are taken of models in high-fashion magazines, where they look posed with serious looks on their faces. Look like you love playing for weddings!

Publicity photos and graphics can help you double the coverage you're now getting.

Copyright © 2008 by Anne Roos, excerpt from "The Musician's Guide to Brides: How to Make Money Playing Weddings", published by Hal Leonard Books. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced in any form, without written permission, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review.

Hundreds of additional tips, are available for musicians (and all entrepreneurs) in my book, "The Musician's Guide to Brides" available wherever Hal Leonard Books are sold: music and bookstores, and through online retailers including,, Sylvia Woods Harp Center catalog, and of course, at my website at

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