Prescription Bluegrass Launches “Photo Tips” for DIY Musicians

Editor’s Note: We told you at the beginning of the year that 2013 was going to hold some nice surprises for Prescription Bluegrass Readers.   As part of our series of tips to help musicians, bands, agents, managers or any one else interested in furthering their career or a client’s career, we’re proud to introduce you to Jan Hudson.  Jan has photographed the big and the small, the famous and the soon to be famous.  She has also taught photography in the classroom so don’t be surprised if she assigns you some homework. 

Jan Hudson w BanjoHow to take great photos of your band......

Photography Tips by: Jan Hudson

Well, that sounds pretty straightforward and simple, but in order to get the results that will knock the socks off of everyone who sees your photos, we need to delve into the photographic process just a little bit further than a point and shoot camera allows. This should be a fun and hopefully interesting foray into the world of photography and cameras. So, hold onto to your hat and let's get this blog started!

I should start out by introducing myself! My name is Jan Hudson (www.hudsonstudioofphotography.com) and I have been a professional photographer and studio owner for ....well, let's just say ... a LONG time! lol. Actually, 39 years. Lordy, that time has flown by, but in that span of time, I have been blessed to have photographed just about anyone and anything. We are photographing our 3,077th wedding this weekend and our studio photographs everything from senior high school photos, family portraits, teams..you name it (and if it's legal) we photograph it . Image634939412130032632Through the years and my involvement in bluegrass circles I have had the honor of photographing groups like Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, Jim and Jesse, the Johnson Mountain Boys, and many, many more groups, including my own band, Fossil Creek. I have also taught photography for 30 years, so I am hoping that some of this experience will help you to create the best group and candid photos that are possible.

Many advertising, newspaper, and album companies need images of your band and unfortunately the quality of many of those images is very poor. I'm hoping that this blog will teach you how to get great images from your digital camera and in the process help your band to not only look great, but look professional. Of course, using a professional photographer is always a great idea and will give you excellent results, but many times budgets, schedules, and travel are issues that force you to take things into your own hands. I'm a professional and I can see the upside of photographing your own band. Cost, of course, is the number one reason. I have found that some of the most beautiful places to photograph your band is on the road at the festivals where you are playing. The scenery is fantastic and the band is spit-polished and looking great. I also find that the candid shots of the group as they are playing live are things that you cannot re-create in a studio. So, with that in mind...let's learn how to make great band shots.

I've kicked around in my mind how to proceed with this lesson in band photography and have come to the final conclusion that we have to start from scratch. Many of you may all ready know how to use your cameras, but many do not. Bear with me, as I need to begin this class with a lesson on photography and how to use your camera. For those of you who know how to use your equipment...I'll see you in class two. For those of you who are struggling or new to photography, let's start at the beginning and flourish from there. I promise that I will keep it simple and not talk above anyone's head. I want you to learn the why's and how's and then go out and show off what you've learned.

So, beginning next week, we will start with Lesson One: The Camera. What do all of those things on the camera mean? What do they do? What in the heck is a shutter speed and why do I care? What is ISO? What is a megapixel? We have a lot to cover, so next week, pull that camera out of the bag and let's learn.

If you have any specific questions before next week's blog lesson, please let me know and I'll surely answer them. This blog will last about four (or more) weeks and it's my goal to have you all set to shoot before the season begins.

Well, here's to great, professional, and fun band photos! Meet you here next week. =) Jan

  • Class One: The camera and what it's all about. Composition, how to hold a camera, many tips on using your equipment, including flash.
  • Class Two: How, where, and when to pose a group.
  • Class Three: Candids, flash or no flash, inside or outside do's and don'ts.
  • Class Four: After Capture: downloading into a file, color correction, sending files, burning files, etc.
  • Class Five: Wrap-up, questions, image help.

Please note, in the way of a pseudo-disclaimer, if you also happen to be a professional photographer, we’re not advocating that anyone abandon the idea of booking you and we’re certainly not saying that any method of obtaining quality photographic results is better than any other. We recognize that for budgetary or any other reasons, some will elect to try the do-it-yourself method. Prescription Bluegrass only hopes to improve some of the chances for a better-than-average image that can be used for social media, website, portfolio or any other need that the musicians/bands may have.

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