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Dear (new’ish) Model,

My name is Other Model. I have spent the last couple of years finding out a few things that I wish I’d known from the start. Please don’t think I’m patronising as I mean this only in goodwill, as there is absolutely no gain for me by sharing these cheats. Not all of my points will be valid for you as posing varies in each genre. Just take what you can and ignore the rest. If only one suggestion helps your future career then my time has been well spent…

Rule one, the mirror is your BFF. Stand there, perfect your poses and learn how your body shapes. The mirror is a perfect tool to show you what the camera can see – try to imagine it behind your photographers head when shooting and always consider what can be seen from that angle. For example, if your foot is closest to the lens, it is worth remembering that your foot is going to the largest thing in the picture….and nobody wants to be remembered as Bigfoot…

You want to take great band photos, don’t you? Not just ones where everyone’s in focus and the bassist remembered to wipe the stalactite of spit from his upper lip?

Yeah, of course you do. We all do — especially when the difference between your music getting ignored and getting big exposure in the press often comes down to one thing: having great band photos.

But in order to get that great shot you’re going to need the right clothes, the right setting, the right lighting, the right expression at the right moment, and the right photographer to catch it all in one instant. For many of us, that’s already a tall order. Now consider this: a single band photo is not enough.

As creative and expressive musical artists, we’d like to believe our music speaks for itself. It does, of course, but a well-crafted artist bio is still a necessary part of your press kit and promotional efforts. In addition to giving the reader a glimpse into your musical career/journey/accomplishments to date, an engagingly written band bio can increase the chances of your music getting heard, whether you’re approaching music journalists for press coverage, creating an electronic press kit, or just trying to draw in casual visitors to your website.

It’s no easy task to create a song that speaks to a wide audience and carries your unique fingerprint – and crafting a compelling and accessible artist bio can prove just as daunting. To help shed light on how to create a stellar band bio, I sought advice from Cary Baker, founder of the Los Angeles music publicity firm Conqueroo. Prior to starting Conqueroo, Baker served as VP of Publicity for Capitol Records, I.R.S. Records, and other labels – and before that, he worked as a music journalist for publications like Billboard, Mix, and Creem.

Even if you’re relatively new to the musician world, you’ve probably heard the term “press kit” thrown around quite a few times by now. A press kit is a package of materials that you might send to record labels, media outlets, venues, etc. that contains all of the pertinent information about your band. But what does that mean exactly? What is and isn’t relevant information?

You’ll want your press kit to follow some basic standards if industry people are going to look at it. Here are a few tips and essentials on putting together the ultimate press kit.

Band Photo

The first thing in your press kit should be a hi-resolution photo of the band (or yourself if you’re a solo artist.) This can be black and white or full color. There aren’t a whole lot of rules when it comes to taking a great band photo (although you might want to stay away from some common clichés such as railroad tracks and brick walls).  But you should definitely make sure of at least two things: everyone’s face should be easily seen in the picture, and the band’s “image” should be on display. If you play dark metal music, it might not suit your image to be wearing bright colors and lying in a field of flowers. If you’re an upbeat pop band, it might not fit to be wearing all black and looking dreary. Let your band’s character shine through!

A good band photo can make the difference when it comes to getting your band featured in a magazine. It may seem pretty simple to whip out your phone, click a couple of shots and send them off, but getting your best band photos should involve more than that ... a lot more.

Here are some tips and tricks to consider when taking band photos, plus some advice for the budding band photographer in you.

The Best Band Photos Start Here

When considering how to get your band photos done, you should keep these five points in mind:

Promotional photos serve many purposes for music journalists beyond just being something to feast our eyes upon. They introduce us to the people behind the music and help create or reinforce a narrative of a band, which can aid us in our writing process. They grab readers' attention and can make more people inclined to check out a story. They sometimes even make our articles easier to read by breaking up otherwise dense chunks of text. We love promo photos and who can blame us?
 
One thing most people don't know is that from where we're sitting, the functionality of a promo photo is often as important as any other element. In our deadline-centric worlds, we need to round up artwork fast, and those images often have to meet exacting standards of size or style (for example, some magazines won't run live shots outside of concert reviews). With all of that in mind, here are five elements essential to music journalists when it comes to promo photos.

Ever notice how the camera just seems to LOVE certain people, but the rest of us end up with triple chins, mysterious red blotches, and half-closed eyes? Yeah, I feel your pain.

Getting a halfway flattering portrait of one person is often a challenge, but when you compound the problem by attempting to capture an entire group of people in one good shot...well that can seem darn near impossible sometimes.

Fortunately, I've managed to pick up a few posing tips & techniques over the years that have really bailed me out of a number of tough situations. The good news is that most of these techniques work equally well, regardless of whether you're shooting a family portrait, a band promo, or perhaps even a group photo for some company executives.

So without further ado, let's get on with the good stuff...

Becoming a model can be easy, or it can be difficult, depending on how you approach it and the people with whom you associate.

Here are 5 expert tips to get you started on your modeling career.

1. Get an Honest Evaluation by Several Respected Professionals

It is very important to get the opinion of more than one agent or scout because many agents and scouts specialize in just one particular area. Some only represent editorial (high fashion) models, and others may only represent commercial models, child models, plus-size, showroom and fit models or petite models. Just because one agent can't represent you, it doesn't mean that another agent won't. Getting the opinion of several different types of agents is the best way to find out if you have what it takes to be a model.

Everywhere we turn in the music business, the impact on digital marketing, promotion, sales, performances and publicity is changing the way artists and bands, as well as record labels are carrying out there business.

What is strange to me is that with all the website work one has to update, and blogs to keep up on and text messaging and emails etc. etc. one thing remains true; the elements of what must be turned into digital items have their roots in the 'analog' world, especially when it comes to writing up a press release.

Today the traditional press kit still has its place. So, knowing how to write (and/or post) a professional press release can help you get the word out about what's going on with your music career.

Here is a guideline for writing a professional press release:

As many of you know, I avidly follow the latest trends in internet marketing, and gather nuggets of useful information for independent musicians.

The internet is a veritable treasure trove of information, but at the core of it all are three key principles to increasing your income. These principles are fairly basic, and critically important.

The Three Ways to Increase Your Income:

1. Increase your number of clients (fans).

2. Increase the frequency of purchase (how often your fans buy from you). To do this, you’d better have more than just music to sell!

3. Strategize to make a sustainable living.

Okay, none of these three things are brain surgery. But from a musician’s perspective, they bring up some interesting points.

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