Commissioning Music Photography: Dan Wilton and Ben Weaver

Black and white head and shoulders portrait of a white man wearing aviator style glasses looking off to the right smiling slightly.

Commissioning Music Photography: Dan Wilton and Ben Weaver

On Photography

Dan Wilton and Ben Weaver talk about some of the ins and outs of photographing people in the music industry.

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