For musicians and music groups, image alone can play a huge role in success. It's crucial to be attentive to that image and for it to be reflected accurately. Enter: Studio promo photos. The right photoshoot can establish your band's vibe to potential audiences who don't even know your sound yet. We recently had the absolute pleasure of working with Night Fury, a local glam/rock/punk group, for their first studio photoshoot. Keep reading for our top three band photography tips and some examples from our shoot.
1) Use a Studio Background
Promo photos can work wonders for music groups. High-quality photos will give you an edge of professionalism that really can't be achieved by (candid) phone shoots. Different genres have slightly different preferences, but a clean studio backdrop is typically the ideal for band promos. The studio setting establishes a level of expertise and conveys a sense of pride in your work, both of which are needed for successful band promos. Sticking to the industry go-to (especially for your first shoot) will ensure that you won't be falling into any amateur tropes or tired trends for your photos. A good professional studio (such as ours!!) will have various options for plain backdrops. Remember that your band is the focus of the shoot. If the set gets too complicated, it'll steal the show!
2) Style Your Look
Clothes, hair, and makeup are important for all promo shoots, but especially with band photos. It is crucial that styling stays on brand so that your look reflects your music. Had Night Fury decided to wear jean overalls or black-tie formalwear to their shoot, the photos would misrepresent the band's music. Long before the shoot, make sure you and your bandmates agree on the desired aesthetic of both the band in general and the shoot itself. Plan your looks before the shoot, and always bring at least one change of clothes and/or layering options. Depending on your needs and style, you may also consider both formal and casual looks. It probably goes without saying that hair and makeup must fit with your outfit choices. For Night Fury's shoot, we were thrilled to have stylist June Moon (@j.m.glamour on Instagram) on set. Like all skilled stylists, June was able to elevate the band's look in a way that highlights their personality and sound.
3) Use Different Poses
This might sound a little obvious, but there's a little more to it than you might think. Before your shoot, think about what these images will be used for. Having a range of photos with different poses and compositions assures that your shoot will yield images that will work for a variety of types of promos and social media posts. Even if you're dead set on only shooting a couple different types of photos, trust us--you really need to get a solid mix. This means full-body shots; close-up/head shots; photos with just individual group members, a mixture of members, and all members; both symmetrical and asymmetrical compositions; both landscape- and portrait-oriented photos; and both color and black and white photos, just to name a few. Definitely get creative and be open to direction from your photographer. When the shoot is a truly collaborative process, it shows. And it can give your band a polish that will help you stand out for all the right reasons.
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