One great photo can tell an artist's life story, a raw visual accompaniment to the music complete with originality and authenticity.
In this series, we speak to Creative Commission member and photographer Joupin Ghamsari who discusses his working life as a music photographer and offers his top tips for capturing the better artist photos.
What are your 5 best tips when shooting artists or bands?
1. Making them feel comfortable
This is probably the most important to me as it will show in the images if the artist is uncomfortable and when the artist feels comfortable and confident then this will shine through in the images.
Having good music and a good vibe on set amongst the whole team will help relax the artist and make them feel good and just remembering to have fun on set as that positive energy will be contagious and rub off on everyone.
Also talking to the artist before actually shooting whilst they are getting ready really helps to break the ice and build up a relationship with them which will help the shoot flow once you start shooting. I think also including the artist in creative conversations whether it be with the stylist or hair and makeup really helps too as everyone's opinion matters on set.
Sometimes you're working with completely new artists who have no experience at all so it always helps to give some direction on poses, mood etc to help them find their feet and even with experienced artists who are going in a new direction visually. It’s a collaborative process and it always helps to show the artist how the images are looking as you go along and also helps them to see what works and what doesn’t.
3. Research, Research, Research!
Listen to the artist beforehand to get a feel for their music and vibe, find out their interests and what they do and don’t like and check out previous shoots to see how yours can be different whilst still being true to the artist.
This probably sounds like an obvious one but never be in a situation where you don’t have what you need on the day. I always make sure I have whatever props, film etc way in advance so that there’s no added stress to the shoot on the day and also a recce of the location and a shot list beforehand. Always charge and pack your equipment the night before and take more than you need as you never know what will happen on the day.
5. Expect the unexpected
You can plan a shoot perfectly and things can still go wrong so always have a backup plan and be reactive if the unexpected does happen.