An obvious time to book a photoshoot is to coincide with a new release, where you will need new release artwork and fresh promotional materials. Plan your visual theme to correspond with your music and style the shots accordingly. Prepare in advance, gathering costumes and props that will work with your chosen theme.
Be sure while booking a photographer that you are free to use the shots for artwork, websites, flyers, etc. Some photographers will not allow this where others may permit it if they can use your shots in their portfolio or get a link from your website.
It's always important to bear in mind prior to the shoot what exactly you are going to be using your photographs for. Photographers will need to have an idea of what you're hoping to accomplish in advance of the shoot so that they have time to get everything set up and it could help to do sketches of the ideas that you have in mind so that you are working to the same plan and come away with exactly the images you need for your campaign.
A good photographer will automatically frame your picture beautifully to enhance the shot and give the best possible image. However this might not be exactly what you're looking for if there's no room left for graphics at the side of your image or you want it to go across the top of your website and do not have enough background.
The following are the key shots that you will need for a new release campaign:
Artwork – album art is always square so have an idea in advance how you would like the shot framed and where the text will appear.
Band Shot -get a nicely framed band shot that can also be cropped to a square to use as a website profile pic.
Header – get a shot that can be cropped as a header for different social sites and your own website. It will need to be landscape, probably with a fair amount of background as some site headers can be very narrow. Compare header sizes in advance, such as those on iLike, Bandcamp, VibeDeck and any other music sites where you will appear.
Flyer Shot – get a shot that can be used on posters and flyers with a lot of background in that will allow you to display a lot of text on your finished promotional material.
Merchandise – if you are planning on using the same campaign pictures on merchandise then again make sure you have the correctly framed shots to suit your needs, or even take some shots against a plain background should you need to cut your image out for any reason.
Finally – allow the photographer free-reign! Let them take a series of nicely framed shots that can be added to your gallery or printed out as postcards to be handed out at gigs.
Following the shoot you should be left with a good set of pictures that can be cropped in various ways and splashed across your pages in the run up to your release. Make various sizes of them available in your electronic press kit too as different media outlets will have different requirements.