Against Promotional Band Photographs

Bands want an audience. For better or worse, in the 21st century it’s more likely that potential fans will see an image of a band before they hear their music, and make a preconceived judgment of if they will like them or not accordingly. Therefore, it’s important for bands to have quality photographs to lure in new listeners. The problem is that a lot of band photographs are boring and predictable. At some point, certain categories were established and now most musical groups follow suit like a heard of cattle. It doesn’t matter if the band is well-established or just scheduling their first practice — all bands are susceptible to producing these cliched images.

Since we don’t expect musicians to be virtuosos in every medium, we thought we’d take a critical look at 5 categories of band photography so that other up and coming acts can break out of the formula. Take a look after the jump.

1. The Disinterested Photograph (aka. “The Just-take-the-picture-already-because-we’re-way-above-this”)

This genre of promotional band photographs is the most common. Since it looks bad to be eager about your own music, it’s better to feign humility. The members hope their lack of care and cool persona will stir up interest in the viewer. This strategy is often referred to as “reverse psychology.”


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