Band Press Kit photos.

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by phil_ackley, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. Hi All, I'm shooting a set of photo's for a Christian band to be used in their upcoming CD. We're doing a series of outdfoor environmental portaits, sort of inserting people into the type of landscapes I normally shoot (see attached for an example) Okay, no big deal. I can handle that. And I have plenty of time to get the shots I want before the deadline. BUT... Yesterday I get a call saying they need a group photo of the band by NEXT TUESDAY to use as a promo shot for some upcoming gig. Apparently they are opening for some kind of band that's a big deal in those circles, and that band needs their shots ASAP to put on the playbills. They have nothing prepared and are asking me to throw something together quick. I'd rather not. indoor portait photography is not my thing, although I am generally competant in it. But for whatever reason, when I opened my mouth to say no, instead I said "Okay, I'll do it." So what I'm looking for are examples of other band shots. Not CD artwork, but just presskit kind of material. Not looking to copy ideas, more to activly avoid it, but I am curious about the degree of creativity that I can get away with for this type of shoot. IS anything outside a head and shoulders group shot unaacptable? Can I take some creative license and shoot a photo that I will at least find interesting. Should I just shut up and do it the boring way AND the way I want to? Ideas? Links? Flames? Note: if the story has a bunch of visible
  2. I'd look at the websites of other bands with similar styles. Most band websites I've visited have photo sections.

    And I'd say that with music photography, there is almost always a lot of creative flexibility. You should make it interesting to you, but also make sure that your photo projects the band in a manner that fits with their sound. You are marketing the band, trying to get more listeners and fans for them.
  3. I would suggest CYA with some "standard" type of group shot then do your creative thing. Let the band pick what they want. If you do something far out you might like it but the band not or it may be inapropriate for what they need. This was something taught to me by news photographeras many moons ago. Cover yourself first.
  4. I'm right with Roy on this one, IF you've got the time, cover both the conventional and the non-conventional.

    It's my impression that the OTHER band will want something that doesn't compete with them in their brochure or playbill, if they give it any thought at all. Avoid an overwhelming landscape shot, as the image will most likely be a small second to the larger opening band's photograph... the group you're shooting MAY not even show up well.

    Explain this to them when you shoot- that your goal right NOW is to shoot something that will look good, professional, and fit the needs of the playbill. "It's the safest route to take, so I'm going to shoot this particular image this way..." You should be clear that it isn't intended to be a catch-all session, and that it most likely won't be something they'd want to have appear on the cover of a new CD, since the immediate deadline image is asking something different. (You could consider the difference as being more of a portrait for the playbill, and some form of artistic "intervention" for the CD.)

    IMO this should be a head-and-shoulders shot of a band less than six or so members. Anything larger than that, and I'd suggest the opposite- as the fact that the band IS large may very well be big reason they're involved in the 'gig' to begin with. Sure- expose as much "face" as possible with either group- but don't make a hokie shot of a larger group- they'll hate it. (Unless they're retro 70's disco or some such.)

    On my last two musician assignments, they chose images I didn't expect them to. I had the time, (and DIGITAL,) so I did as much as possible. One studio test shot was actually chosen as one of two favorites for one musician- so I was stuck doing FRACTAL in photoshop to make up for the severe crop needed for a "head-and-shoulders" publicity photo.

    On the other shoot, the musicians, (folk musicians,) chose a shot with the least amount of creativity- one where they were sitting, playing and singing. I totally didn't expect this to sell. They felt it the most natural and casual, which WAS the reason I shot it in the first place. I just didn't expect the level of enthusiasm that I ended up with over it.

    Your above example is a breathtaking image, and if your others are along that style, I could see a Christian band shot in this same style. But for now, concentrate on the deadline you have- it will be hard enough to produce images that quickly...especially if you have to deal with photofinishing after the fact.

    DO NOT box yourself in, and attempt to shoot both for this deadline AND the CD. If they press you, tell them time is of the essence, and you'll concentrate on the deadline shots first. If you can fit anything else in on that shoot, you'll be more than glad to do it.

    Just keep the end product in mind, and what your image may end up in- size-wise. I'm sure you'll do fine!
  5. Since it is a christian band, what about lining them all up in the jesus christ nailed to a cross pose?
  6. Thanks, everyone, for the helpful responses.
  7. Thanks again for everyone's advice. Here's one of the shots I came up with.
  8. Phil,

    That will do nicely.

    The thing you are going to have to start doing is to think like a girl. You aren't doing any
    favors to the girl in that photo with the angle or the way she is standing in the lineup.

    I am used to shooting mildly gritty shots that look fine when I am shooting ugly musician
    dudes. Girls HATE that for them :)

  9. Chris, thanks for the tip. That's probably some of the best advice I've ever received :)
  10. Phil,
    It's perfect. "How/why?" you ask, you delivered a good shot (not Rolling Stone or anything but you can see all the members, in focus, etc.) in the very little amount of time they gave you. Remind them to remember you for more (paying) shoots!
  11. Phil . . as a recording studio owner as well as photographer, I have seen many band shots.
    At first I saw this and thought it was great. Then, upon further viewing, I would agree with
    the other post regarding the angle on the lady. It makes her legs look fat . . .and we ALL
    know what can happen to us when we do THAT!

    "Honey, do I look fat in this outfit?" *smile*

    You will find what you are looking for, just stay away from the cliche, 'band on railroad
    tracks, or in alley, or burned out vacant warehouse . . .or standing next to abandon old
    car. :)
  12. her legs do not look fat... t

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