Black and White Headshots
By: Jerry A. Greene
Question: What is better for a band's promo kit, black and white headshots, or color ones?
Answer: Typically, you will want to go with black and white headshots when putting together your press/promo kit, but having both available will give you the most versatility.
Getting Your Band in the Paper
When you are looking to get press for your band, you will always want to send professionally printed black and white headshots (unless the paper prints in color). This takes out the step of having to scan the image into photoshop and convert it to grayscale, making it easier for the press to cover you!
Black and White Photographs
Black and white photographs, printed on quality photo paper, will always give a professional touch to your promotional materials. Make sure that you also have all of your contact information professionally printed on the bottom of the photograph.
Color photographs are mainly used for glossies (magazines). They also cost more to print so make sure that your budget allows for this.
A Great Photographer
You wont want your little brother taking your picture (unless he is a great photographer himself!) You want to make sure that you spend some time checking out potential photographers' work. Make sure that they have done headshots for musicians, bands and/or actors/actresses. Paying a little more for the expertise will go a long way in the end. Make sure that your prints are also going to be done on very high-quality photopaper.
The standard size for a headshot is 8 inches by 10 inches. You may want to have some smaller sizes printed (again a time-saving step for the press). Make sure that the resolution for your photographs are taken at a very high level. In digital photography, this is measured in mega-pixels. The higher the number the better! (typically 8 Megapixels, or higher nowadays). In print film, make sure that your pictures are taken with large negatives (medium format cameras are generally used). You don't want your pictures taken with a 35mm camera because the resolution will be fuzzy when blowing up a picture from a 35mm negative.
The more popular you, or your band becomes, the more you are going to be asked for autographs. make sure that you always have a large stack of prints available at each show.
Sign them and give them to fans that ask for them. Autographs are one of those things that can really make you stand out in a fan's mind and you want to make it as special as you can for them, so don't charge for them. The more pictures you have of you and your band hanging in people's homes, studios and workplaces the better! Make it super-easy to obtain one. Even offer a free autographed headshot on your website for fans that would like one. They can be one of the best business expenses you'll ever have!