Step 6. Make Your Artist Photos
To get started making your artist photos,
you need at least two kinds of high resolution photos of yourself.
1. Live and Recording Studio Photos
Live and recording studio photos are photos of yourself
playing in concerts and recording in the studio.
In these photos, you are in action, completely immersed in your music.
One of these photos should be able to be used as a headshot.
Take what you wrote in your characterization,
and aim to get a shot that expresses your biggest strength, your motivation and your uniqueness.
For instance, if your strength is charismatic leadership,
then a shot that communicates charismatic leadership could show you playing
in a concert where you’re guiding the movements of the audience,
where they are following what you are doing.
Likewise, if your uniqueness is your depth in depicting life’s struggles,
then a studio shot of you, after a long session, tired, sweaty,
with your eyes closed, listening to a beat intently, would be a good choice.
However, you need to think it through according to what you want to portray.
2. Studio Photos
Studio photos don’t necessarily need to be taken in a photography studio.
Rather, the term stands for photos that have you looking your best
outside any performance setting (live or recording studio).
You should be in clothes that capture the life you want to depict.
Think in terms of people looking at these photos to get a feel for who you are
and what perceptions you communicate.
That same strength, motivation and uniqueness that
you characterized needs to be communicated in these photos.
It needs to come through everything from
how you dress, to the camera angle, to your facial expression and body language.
If you hire a professional photographer who has experience
taking studio photos of public personalities, then
you should be able to discuss your characterization with them.
They should be able to help you present yourself the way you define.
If you don’t have the funds to hire a professional photographer, then
find a few friends and/or family who have an interest in seeing you reach your goals.
Discuss your characterization with them.
Review how your inspiration/competition presents themselves visually online.
work out the details of:
Clothes – What clothes best communicate your strengths, motivations and uniqueness?
Colors – What colors best communicate your strengths, motivations and uniqueness?
Background/Setting – What background and setting best communicate your strengths, motivations and uniqueness?
Body Language – What body language best communicates your strengths, motivations and uniqueness?
Facial Expression – What facial expressions best communicate your strengths, motivations and uniqueness?
Whether or not you can hold that kind of a meeting,
you can also scan through photos of yourself, picking out things you like and dislike.
Do you like/dislike the way you look from certain angles?
Do you like/dislike certain ways you pose?
Do you like/dislike certain ways you smile?
What clothes, colors, backgrounds/settings, body language and facial expressions do you like most?
Aim to replicate the best in all of the just-mentioned during your photo shoot.
As well as these elements, follow a few photography tips on
how to make yourself look better according to your body type:
If you blink during photos, then close your eyes before the shot, and gradually
open them toward the shot. This also helps to make you more relaxed in your shot
Avoid goofy smiles by putting your tongue
behind your teeth when you smile
To avoid red eye, look at a light
before the photo. This will shrink your pupils during the shot
Turning your head to a three-quarter angle gives more depth
than when you face the camera directly, which can make your face look flat
Standing in front of a white background brightens your facial and skin features. It
also makes it “easier” for the camera to find the right balance settings,
thus avoiding adding too much hue to your skin
Take a lot of photos in your shoot. The more photos you take,
the more photos you have to choose from.
Rarely would you look the way you want in every photo,
so the more to choose from, the better
Make sure the room’s light is in front of you, not above or behind you,
otherwise all sorts of shadows will cover you. Look toward the light source to add sparkle in your eyes.
If you’re taking photos outdoors, then taking them at dawn or dusk,
when the sun is low, is best for avoiding unnecessary shadows. Likewise,
face toward the direction of the sun when taking the photo
Hold an object. An object both relaxes your posture,
and it also adds to your personality.
Choose an object that best accentuates your biggest strength, motivation and uniqueness.
For example, think of the Eminem chainsaw photo that accentuates the Slim Shady crazy image.
Common ones among many rappers: a mic, the white cup, lots of 100 dollar bills, or
showing off jewelry (chains, rings, watches), and hand signs
Get into a conversation with your photographer during the shoot, and joke around.
A natural smile or any natural emotions you can awaken through a conversation in a
relaxed atmosphere will always look better than fake smiles that are forced
Being in a good mood adds confidence and
projects positively through your photo.
Prepare yourself toward your photo shoot by being around certain friends that you
always feel good around,
have your favorite meal or drink coming up to the shoot (just don’t stuff yourself too much),
have a good night’s sleep the night before,
and do a bit of exercise in the morning of your shoot,
all with the aim of feeling good and confident when going for the shoot.
Arrange your day where your photo shoot is the central item for that day,
and everything else is there to support it.
You don’t want to do it on a tight schedule among the stress
of needing to complete all kinds of other things that same day
To make your face look thinner and eliminate a double-chin, push your face forward a little bit
Practice in front of a mirror. During that time, work out what positions you look best in,
and take mental notes of what you are doing mechanically to be
able to replicate that on your photo shoot day
3. Cartoons, Caricatures, Portraits, Sketches and Drawings
After you’ve taken your photos, it is worthwhile to turn your
favorite photos into various other graphic formats,
like cartoons, caricatures, portraits, sketches and drawings.
There are a lot of services online to do this without spending too much.
Run searches on Fiverr for the following words:
The same principle of looking for what kinds of images communicate
your biggest strength, your motivation and your uniqueness
applies to the kind of drawing you choose.
someone who makes funny, goofy caricatures wouldn’t be suitable if
you’re trying to portray your strong leadership qualities,
but might be suitable if you’re trying to express your bizarreness.
Check out my Fiverr gig
The Internet Guide for Rappers – 10 Steps to Establish Your Artist’s Online Presence and Branding [eBook]Get PDF Version Get Kindle Edition
What is The Internet Guide for Rappers, and what will it give you?
A step-by-step process of scrutiny on your artist name: its strengths, weaknesses, what you can change, and what you can’t.
A one-time task that will set the foundation of your artist name’s online real estate.
An essential process that will guide you to find what will make people want to become your loyal advocates.
Frame the perception you want others to have of you as an artist in a 1-2 sentence zipped format.
How to put together a snapshot of your strengths, motivations and uniqueness as a rapper, including examples.
What kinds of photos you need to have of yourself, and tips for how to make yourself more photogenic.
A guide for how to plan your networking in the upcoming 12 months in order to help you realize your goals, and also to open you up to new opportunities.
A checklist for you to apply across all your communication channels to maximize the impression you make.
The importance of differentiating your artist profile and your personal brand from the very beginning, and how to setup your artist profile as an extension of your personal brand.
A guide to fill out your artist characterization, as described in “Step 3. Characterize Your Artist Profile.”
The must-have parts of every artist’s bio to help you write your bio comprehensively and quickly, as described in “Step 5. Write Your Artist Bio.”
One example of how a 12 month communication plan looks like, for you to apply to your own networking actions over the next 12 months, as described in “Step 7. Create a Communication Plan.”
Template of the communication plan checklist described in “Step 8. Implement Your Communication Plan” for you to apply across all your communication channels, to maximize the impression you make.