Mixdown’s guide to nailing your band photo

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Mixdown’s guide to nailing your band photo

Words by Mixdown Staff

What NOT to do

Band photos are one of those things that everyone hates doing, but are one of the most important aspects of a band’s press kit.

A band photo gives a visual representation of your music, it lets audiences know what to expect before listening to your music, and in many ways establishes the genre or ‘scene’ your music belongs to. So it is important to get it right to avoid criticism or giving audiences the wrong impression.

To get you back into the swing of things for 2022, we’re reposting some old favourites of yours and ours. This article was originally published April 20, 2016.

Read up on all the latest features and columns here.

Instead of giving you a guide of how to take a photo (I think we can all achieve that), this is more of a “what to avoid” checklist.

Avoid showing too much skin

Let’s be real – sex sells. Keep it in the lyrics though. No one wants to see you prancing around in your undies.

Don’t forget about the background

Make sure before taking a shot that you scope out your background. The last thing you want is for a studio shot to look like it was set up in your living room.

Avoid doubling up on outfits

There’s nothing more awkward than rocking up to a gig wearing the same clothes as your fellow bandmate. Try avoiding it in your photos too (unless you’re planning on releasing an LP that will one day be in the 50c bin at your local opp. shop).

Chemistry is key

It’s important that your shot represents a group, so try to portray a sense of chemistry within the shot. And we know bassists are full of charisma, but try to contain them.

Think twice about props/subjects

When taking a shot, think, “are we sending the right message?” Adding a baby into the frame could add a nice ‘family’ touch, however when it comes to metal, leave the kids at home.

Positioning can make or break it

Although this photo does appear to be a train wreck, let’s give these guys some credit, they know how to (somewhat) pull off the mediocre confused glam metal band look off quite well. I know you’re all thinking, what is possibly wrong with this photo then?

Besides the fact that there is simply too many studded leather accessories, one member appears to be sitting in front of the group as if he is taking his high school picture. Save those poses for your parents’ fridge.

Don’t be caught wearing your own merch

Everyone knows that band photos aren’t only for visually promoting your band, they are also an opportunity to wear your favourite band tee to show everyone that you have a good taste in music, and that you know an obscure underground artist that no one has ever heard of.

Feel like accessorising? Check out rock and roll’s most memorable glasses.