Making your own music is all well and good but the trick is getting people to hear your music. I haven’t played live in a long long time and have no plans to at present, I’m just enjoying the creative process. So building a fan base will be a tough journey for me, even tougher considering my style of music.
Image has always gone hand in hand with music. I have not had a real online presence for my music, in fact I haven’t even shared any music just yet. That day is coming but for the time being I’m trying to get all my ducks in a row, the songs are well underway, I’ve got a Facebook page set up that had an unprofessional cover photo, this website/blog which has had zero effort in terms of design. I simply have not had good photos to promote myself and like it or not branding and marketing are an important part of being a musician.
Recently I had a photo shoot with an amazing pet photographer. My wife and I got some beautiful photos taken with our much loved dogs José and Coco. It was amazing to see the results and this was all accomplished outside with available light only (and of course a lot of talent). I have loved photography since taking lessons in high school. In the back of my mind I thought I could probably pull off some decent photos of myself considering I have no budget for promoting my music… it’ll be DIY all the way for me!
So on the weekend I bit the bullet and grabbed my Nikon D3200 DSLR, tripod, guitar stand and a guitar and headed out to our tiny back yard to shoot myself.
I was on my own for this shoot so I had to somehow set up the camera, get myself in focus and fire off some shots and pray that I was actually in the shot and in focus and have the correct exposure settings etc. Luckily my camera has a timer and can take multiple shots at the same time. So that way I could at least move around a little bit hoping that I’m sitting correctly in the frame.
To get my focus I popped the guitar on the guitar stand and set focus on it. I then set the timer off, grabbed the guitar, got the guitar stand out of shot and tried to get myself into some sort of position that would hopefully work. I was struggling a little bit to get the depth of field ‘blur’ effect that I wanted in the tight space I had with the lens that I have. I was using manual focus too, in hindsight I should have tried auto or continuous focus. I was also not shooting at the best time of day for lighting, I was trying to keep my head away from the direct sunlight which just kept coming at me.
With a bit of tweaking I actually got a few half decent shots! They are FAR from perfect, the focus was a little bit off but for use on websites they’ll at least get me started and encourage me to get out there and get better shots. The one I used in this post is far from ideal but I’ll save the best shot for the header of my website which I’ll hopefully get online soon (as always time permitting!).
I’ll definitely be getting out to different locations to try and get some variation in my photos. Getting that golden hour of sunlight on a nice day heading into sunset is the ideal time to shoot. I will hopefully be dragging someone else along next time to assist with getting the focus right and hopefully guide ‘my pose’. One of my shots looked a bit too ‘blue steel’ for my liking 😉
It’s such a weird thing to be taking photos of myself, I’m overall a shy person but know I need to do this so I can present myself in a professional manner and have people take me seriously and hopefully lead to them taking the time to have a listen to my (forthcoming) music.
In other news I think I have settled on a new logo too which I’ll unveil soon… it’s exciting to see things continue to move along. 🙂