Commissioning Music Photography: Dan Wilton and Ben Weaver

Key advice from Dan Wilton

  • Don’t wait for someone to commission you. Not only does personal work help in producing commissions but more importantly it’ll help you find your own style and approach.
  • Exhibiting or self publishing zines is a great way to get your work out there. In my opinion it’s much more powerful than a portfolio. Producing project based work helps to clearly show your vision and also your commitment and focus. Plus it’s great fun, I’m happiest when I’m working on personal projects.
  • Saying all that, a portfolio is still important. Try to develop a balanced one of both commissioned and personal work.
  • If you only get five minutes with an artist, be prepared (and try to remember to take the lens cap off!)

Key advice from Ben Weaver, Art Director with The Wire

  • Think about finding connections between photographers and musicians (eg. if they know or are fans of one another’s work)
  • Be sensitive to how musicians want to be photographed, or how ‘visible’ they want to be
  • Art Directors – take risks, but if you know it’s going to be a difficult shoot, work with someone you can trust to get something good the first time around
  • Be prepared to admit when it hasn’t worked