Artist promotional pictures also called “promo prints or pics” are very important tools for marketing, promotion and merchandising. They can earn an artist income if they are sold after a show. On the other hand an artist may chose to give them to out to fans and take the time to autograph them, creating a memorial experience for your supporters.
Here are 5 important elements to consider prior to printing the final version of your promotional picture.
1) Always make sure that the information on your picture is accurate: You may chose to add some information at the bottom or top of your picture for example: your website, social media addresses (twitter, facebook…)or even a logo of your company, record label, information for your booking agency… Make sure that the information is not overbearing, crowded or just plain too much. You should take advantage of this tool, but bare it mind it is “a promotional picture” and not an “informative flyer” which happens to have your face on it. Most importantly have your picture approved, proof read by at least 3 persons to make sure that there are no mistakes or “clumsy” typo’s which may cost you more time and money, when you realize that you’re your 5,000 hot of the press new prints… happen to have a missing digit in your booking agent’s telephone number.
2) Glossy or Mat: This is a personal preference, but bare in mind that if you plan on putting your “million dollar signature” on them with a permanent black sharpie, you may want a mat finish, because glossy pictures takes longer to dry. You may want to choose the color of your markers carefully. In some countries and culture when signing in a specific color, may have a meaning behind it.
3) Black and white or color: Once again this is a personal choice. Some people believe that “Black and White” pictures have a classic look, while other’s believe that “color” is more modern. It is up to you to choose. If you are unsure ask your team members, fans or close friends which they prefer, because they are the ones who will be hanging them on a wall for the next 10 years not you.
4) Timeless pictures: Just to pick up on the above last sentence, 10 years on a wall is a long time. You may want to re-visit your look, fashion, hairstyle, and jewelry, etc. If you plan on printing new photos every 6 months… then I would say feel free to change your look as often as you want. If you do not plan on doing another photo session for another year or so… you may want to take a more classic, timeless approach. Do not change your style or look, just tone down the “what’s in style today” and old news tomorrow look. That way nobody be able to date your picture and say… this was so “yesterday’s style” when you are handing them out to your fans. Brand names are ok, but even better when you are endorsed or sponsored by the company. If you are on a tight budget, but you have a little name for yourself… you may want to consider asking a clothing company to provide you with some clothes and a stylist for your photo shoot. They may even be willing to cover the expenses of the photo session and cost of the prints if they feel their clothing line will be recognized.
5) Make sure that the picture is a reflection of who you are and/or what you do: Simple, do not take a picture with a guitar if you cannot play the guitar or if you are a newscaster. Let the picture speak for itself… weather you want it to or not … it is exactly what is does. The image is what people will use to base their first impression and opinion of you if they are unfamiliar with who you are.
I hope the above tips are helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, there is more to come.