This blog has been contributed by ACTED, a newly launched artist booking platform to help musicians & entertainers find gigs in the UK & abroad.
We know it’s tricky to find gigs that pay, and for the right bands & artists, you may find heading down a more corporate bookings route may prove more profitable. Plus you might win a pro photo-shoot in the process! For more information on how ACTED works, please go to or contact directly.
So, you’ve put in all the hard work to get your show together; written, re-written and then fine-tuned your songs, rehearsed for countless hours and now it’s time to reap the rewards and get paid for doing what you love. Hold up. Get paid for what you love? Anyone who’s started out trying to find gigs - let alone get paid for them - will tell you this is a whole new ball game. Before you were just ‘Joe - guitarist in The Wannabees’, now you’re ‘Joe - Marketing, social media, PR and promotions guru for The Wannabees’. Where do you turn first? Booking agents? Word of mouth? Or play gigs for free ‘cos it’ll be great exposure for you, mate.’ There are so many ways to promote yourself. So where do you start?
Well, ACTED firmly believe it starts with the pictures just as much as it does your music. And by pictures we mean photos. Photos of you, your band or your music project. Anyone in the corporate bookings sector of the industry looking to book an artist or band will want to see good photos of you just as much as want to hear good music. Particularly for corporate agencies where the all-important professional image is key to fit a theme or feel they are looking to conjure up. firmly believe talent agencies and corporate booking agents both share this in common. Your photo will be the first thing a prospective booker will see, even before they hear your music, so it has to be right.
A professional photoshoot can be expensive and take time to prepare, if you want to get the most from the shoot. The right look in terms of outfits, props if necessary and picking the all-important location. It may well cost anything between £250 and £1,000, in some cases more if you choose to book a photographer who has worked with high profile clients. However, ACTED recommend you do make the investment and hire a specialist music/entertainment photographer – and it’s important to do so, to ensure your talent is being showcased in the most commercially attractive way.
Although it can seem like a lot of money to spend on a photoshoot, ACTED reinforce the idea of investment. “You have to look at how much it will bring you instead of how much it will cost you - if you can cover the fees in a few gigs and it helps you bring twice as much in the future, I’d say it’s a pretty solid investment”.
Which type of photography should you invest in?
Whether you opt for a studio shoot or a live shoot, always make sure you know in advance what your photographs are ultimately going to be used for. A professional photographer will help you with image formats which will be suitable for a range of uses and media. Firstly, ACTED believe you will need an ‘iconic’ lead picture that you could see in a magazine. A vertical photo with a 2:3 ratio is an industry standard and works really well, this is the typical poster format that can be used for many purposes.
For your social media accounts including ACTED’s profile you need a thumbnail. A powerful headshot (1:1 ratio) is your best approach because it will look great even in very small formats.
One of ACTED’s favourite photo types is the large, landscape photo with the artist(s) located at one or the other side of the picture, leaving an empty space. A creatively composed photograph means this space for many purposes. For example to add your logo, some text, a quote. So as well as being functional in a creative future-use way, these types of images are also super-eye-catching, editors love them! This is a format that also suits your social media header needs as well as banners & flyers, as you can crop out portions without altering the composition.
Although there are a million and one things we could talk about in terms of great, creative photography for music and entertainment, in short, hiring the right photographer will mean you get the right images without having to know it all yourself – they’re the professionals, after all that’s what you’re paying for! So, if you’re looking to secure more paid bookings for you act, ACTED could be the way forward. ACTED is free to signup and what better way of using your new photos to creative a great profile that could help you get better paying, corporate gigs.
According to Julien, one of the artist coordinators of ACTED, “our team is working closely with venues for short-term & long-term residencies not only in the UK but also in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha…our platform also makes everything easier to bridge the gap between wedding planners, event managers, and artist bookers”.