Sprawl through a dozen or so random band profiles on Facebook and chances are at least half of them will feature black and white pictures of the band looking all moody.
[NOTE: This is an archived post from Almost Famous, a music blog for unsigned musicians which I ran from 2012-2013]
This is probably doing the band more harm than good. Here’s why.
It says nothing about who the band are or what they do
Any three or four people anywhere in the world can get together at any time and have their photo taken. Unless the person doing the shooting is a genius (and most of them aren’t) we won’t be able to tell anything about them.
- Are they just four people who got together randomly?
- Are they a band?
- What kind of band are they? Fun? Aggressive? Mysterious?
Who knows? This is just the same black and white photograph you’ll find across all corners of the planet.
It’s probably misleading
Even if your black and white photograph is quite clearly of a band, it still says very little about what kind of music you play, and can often give the wrong impression.
We’ve lost count of the number of bands whose profile photos show a group of guys standing around in some thought-provoking gaze, with the black and white tones of the photograph adding to that moody and mysterious vibe.
Then, when we’ve heard their music, and it turns out they play shit-kicking heavy metal. Not only that, but they’re live shows are akin to a rock ‘n’ roll party of epic proportions.
No matter what, your band photographs should reveal something about who you are and what you do.
It will piss off people in the media
You know, the same people who want to give your band some coverage and help spread the word about your music?
People in the media, particularly music journalists in the print press want color photographs. They want color photographs because their readers want color photographs, and it’s these readers you ultimately want to get to check out your music.
It will make you look the same as everybody else
And who wants to be the same as everybody else when you’re trying to make your mark on the music world?
Everybody else has those black and white photographs, why don’t you stand out from the crowd?