The importance of using great photos
by Andreas Meer, owner and CEO of Andreas Meer Photography
A live concert is an extremely complex event. The sound penetrates your body, the rhythm of the bass and the drums let your pulse sync with the audio experience. Lights in all colors of the rainbow alternate and pulsate, bringing your senses to boil. As a concert photographer, you see everything through your lens, and the ground shakes under your feet. Up front is the first-class location for adrenalin junkies. Click, click, click …
The images that come are a reflection of the music, the light, the whole performance — filtered through the feelings and emotions of the photographer. If the photographer is good, spectacular images meet music.
The remains of the day
What remains after a show? Emotionally-charged memories, more or less successful video recordings with smartphones, CDs and mp3s of the band — and concert photos. The best concert images are not only the subjective product of the photographer. They are never repeatable images of the artist or band. They immortalize faces, expressions, gestures and movement. They reproduce the whole atmosphere of the show.
Look at the image, and the sound literally comes back to the brain. These kinds of pictures usually appear in countless media, published on the band and photographer’s websites, and get a thousand likes on social networks.
The shortest way to the consumer
Each live concert is a multimedia event. Sound, light, image, movie and print reviews are closely linked, spread fast and race around the globe. Images have a particularly important role: They are the shortest way to the consumer. A great concert photo can arouse interest and motivate people to listen to the associated music. Why are these images missing more often than not on album covers, booklets, posters and other merchandize?
Many album cover designs use abstract or extremely confusing graphics and drawings. Some album jackets and booklets contain a few informative images, but these photos are rarely the artist’s best shots or are low-resolution images that look pixelated. A single glance at store shelves shows you how poor graphics significantly reduce the recognition value of the product. What’s striking is that, almost exclusively, only the covers designed around the photography stand out from the grey crowd. The rest just go under, without arousing special attention. (Hard-to-read lettering makes things worse and is NOT a good marketing strategy. But that’s not up to the photographer …)
Luckily, the media are full of incredible, good-quality concert photos. Every day, photographers add a hundred new ones. The decision to use these sensible images is in your hands, dear Rocker Friends — or in the hands of people you need to convince, your managers, labels, designers, etc.
Be brave, resolute and return to a well-established marketing tradition. The best corporate image for you is your own face or you band in action on the stage. Let your CDs, albums and posters get more attention with the best concert photos. Your sales will increase, and your fans will be grateful (and so will the concert photographers!).