Ever wanted to take the worst possible band pictures to turn off fans, A&R men and music journos? It really is much easier than you think.
[NOTE: This is an archived post from Almost Famous, a music blog for unsigned musicians which I ran from 2012-2013]
Just follow these really simple tips.
1) Stand against a brick wall
Because your music is all about those times you spent leaning against brick walls looking at your friends, so what better way to sum up your music than to have the side of your house as the backdrop to your photographs.
2) Stand in the woods
Don’t have a brick wall handy? Want to stand out and be different? Go do your band photographs in the woods. No other band will have ever thought of that idea, and you’ll stand out as being different and edgy.
3) Look guilty of some horrible crime.
All stand in a line, looking straight ahead at the camera and look morose or possibly anxious, as though you’re in a police line-up. That’ll really tell people all about you, your personality and your music. If you like, one of you can stand at an angle, possibly looking off in the distance; it makes you mysterious and interesting.
4) Look bored
If you don’t have enough personality to do the whole ‘police line-up’ thing, don’t worry, you can still achieve much the same success (ie: none) by looking bored or fed-up. Nothing tells a potential fan, investor or music industry type that you’re really passionate about your music than the disinterested look.
5) Photoshop a picture of your band against a background, say of a sun setting against the sea or a midnight star scene.
Ask any number of cabaret artists, nothing says ‘cheap and amateur’ like your group plastered against some blurry sunset.
6) Do your photo shoot in the dark without adequate lighting.
Everybody likes poor-quality photos don’t they?
7) Have no input to the photo shoot at all
Let your photographer come up with all the ideas. After all, he knows you and your music better than you do, right?
Chris Skoyles is a former music journalist who used to get really upset when bands would send him poor quality pictures he couldn’t use. This post has since reawakened those horrors, and he’s now in therapy. Read all about his recovery at chrisskoyles.com