Everybody knows how important visual content is when creating a brand for your music. Pictures, videos, graphics, posters – they all affect the way people perceive you.
Creating a visual aesthetic that you feel inspired by is a challenge. You want to puts your best foot forward, and create a brand that you can stick to.
In particular, it can be hard to find the right people to work with you on content.
In this guide, I want to talk about finding good photographers and videographers to work on your content.
Lately, my band has been hiring more and more content creators to work with us while we’re on tour on in the studio.
I’ve learned a lot about hiring these people, because we’re often hiring people in places that we’re unfamiliar with. So, here are some tips on how to find the right people to work with.
What You Should Look For In A Videographer
When I’m looking through a photographer or videographer’s work, I’m usually looking at the following things:
Every visual creator has specific tones and techniques they lean towards. Just like how musical artists often have certain chord progressions, melodies, or production techniques they’ll often fall back on.
I’m looking first and foremost for the visual treatment. If the photographer principally works in black and white, that doesn’t work for me. My feed is made up of colored images with a faded, retro theme.
Besides the obvious visual treatment, I’m looking for the subtler elements as well. How does it feel? New? Old? Do they lean towards heavily saturated, HDR-ish treatment? Do they like to drain some of the saturation out, leaving a pastel-like theme?
All of these things are important, and you must consider how they fit into your overall aesthetic.
Their Eye For Angles & Action
If the photographer/videographer is shooting a live show, I’m looking for how creative they get with their angles and how the action comes through in the shots.
Are they stretching a bit to get more interesting shots? Do they usually go for close-ups, or are they taking wider band shots?
The way a shot is framed matters just as much as the treatment in post-production. Shots can feel retro or modern just based on how it’s captured.
The Style Of Their Videography
If I’m looking specifically at videographers, I’m going to be watching for how they choose to hold the camera and move around.
A hand-held camera is a different vibe from a camera on a gimble. You can get beautiful, smooth shots by using a gimble. This creates a different sense of motion – it’s much more hi-fi looking.
On the other hand, some videographers specialize in lo-fi looking handheld work, which can also be cool.
How To Find Photographers & Videographers
Whether you’re on the road or at home, finding photographers and videographers isn’t terribly hard. To me, choosing the right creator for your act is the hard part.
Either way, here is how I go about finding photographers:
Another Artist’s Instagram Feed
Generally, bands will tag whoever took their pictures, and I can go through and find the photographers who were present. It quickly becomes apparent who the “go-to” photographers are in a city or a scene within a city.
A Specific Venue’s Instagram Feed
Most venues these days have Instagram accounts, and most tend to share concert photos. Generally, this means they’ll have to tag the photographer responsible for the photo.
This way, you can track down the photographers who are often at the same venue. This can be good, because the photographer will know the venues angles and lighting, which is a plus.
Sometimes, venues have photographers on staff. It’s worth asking the venue if they have someone already taking pictures there.
Even if they don’t have a staff photographer, the venue or promoter will probably have some suggestions for hip photographers to hire.
Ask Local Photographers For Recommendations
I’ve had great luck asking my favorite local photographers for recommendations when I’m touring. Often, photographers and videographers keep tabs on what is happening in other scenes to get new ideas and take inspiration.
The Instagram community of music photographers is very strong and everyone seems to know each other. Asking people for recommendations is also good because it builds a stronger sense of community – other photographers will appreciate the recommendation and return the favor.
Watch Other Band’s Videos
The best way to find a good videographer is by watching other artist’s videos.
If you search for “videographers in ____ city” you’ll end up getting a bunch of people offering wedding videography and all sorts of stuff you don’t need.
By watching music videos and live music videos you’ll narrow down your options to visual creators with a focus on music. Creating good music videos is not easy and requires a good eye and experience. You don’t need to be working with people who don’t understand the craft and will charge a hefty sum for their services. That brings me to my next point, which is…
How Much Should You Pay For Videographers To Make Your A Video?
Rates for video content vary wildly from person to person based on their age, experience, and what the job requires. However, there are some rates that are standard across the board.
Generally speaking, live concert photography for one photographer including editing will cost around $100 to $250. This should include 10+ usable pictures and will also require you to tag them in the picture.
For video content, the price will vary a lot.
For a video of a live concert, you should expect to pay around $50/hr. For an edited video, you’ll be looking at an additional $100 to $200 per video, sometimes more.
If the videographer is also doing professional audio editing for you, expect to pay an additional $100 to $200 on top of their normal rate.
For a full blown music video, you’ll be looking at a minimum of $500 for something very lo-fi.
Generally, music videos cost upwards of $2,000, and can easily reach past $10,000 for a super hi-fi looking video.