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Reasons You Should Never Scrimp On Your Photo Shoot (Part 1)


Promotional photos are a huge component of a musician’s marketing and branding. It’s necessary to have just the right images to effectively market your music and its message.

However, as an image consultant for recording artists, I see a lot of mistakes made by independent artists when securing promotional photos. This includes:

  • Not budgeting for all the things required for a photo shoot (i.e. wardrobe, stylist, etc.).
  • Waiting until the last minute to try to book the photographer and stylists (allow at least two weeks notice and another two weeks for retouching).
  • Not using the best photographers and team you can get for your money.

Let’s look more closely at the third point. Because most indie artists just starting out have small budgets, many of them rely on a friend or family member to take their pictures. Unless these acquaintances are actually professional photographers, you will be better off spending a little more money on someone who knows what they’re doing, preferably a professional photographer who is used to shooting for the proper dimensions of an album cover.

I once had a client who insisted on hiring a professional photographer she already knew instead of the one her team and I had recommended. Her photographer was able to get the right shot, but it didn’t fit within the dimensions of an album cover unless it was distorted. And a distorted photo just screams “AMATEUR!”

Why This Matters

When trying to secure media and blog coverage, if you can only provide amateur-looking photos to a professional publication, your story will probably get edited right out since they too have an image to maintain. The higher caliber the publication, the higher caliber the photos they print. Don’t risk missing out on good publicity just because of a lack of good photos!

Lori Bumgarner is an image consultant and media coach for musicians and recording artists. She is the owner of the Nashville-based company paNASH (, and can be reached at


Reader Comments (1)

whatever you try be willing to back it

April 18 | Unregistered Commenteroriginal b

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