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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The 50 Worst Band Pictures

It's time to laugh a little, unfortunately at the expense of others. Today's post is centered around a something I found called "The 50 worst band pictures." The problems with most of the photos is that the bands just don't know any better. They think a picture is a picture and a photographer is a photographer, but just like a great musician, engineer or producer, you get what you pay for. As the saying goes, a pro is expensive; an amateur costs a fortune. Let's look at a few.

These guys are from Finland, so maybe things are different over there, but:
1) Do these costumes have anything to do with the band, or do they just think they're cool?
2) The post growing out of the head of the 2nd guy from the left is a bit of a distraction, as is the house on top of the head of Thor on the right.
3) Are these guys actors or musicians?
4) Cellphone cameras are nice and all, but it sure would be nice to see some depth of field.
5) There's this really nice grassy knoll in the background. Think they could've used that instead?

Here's a good example of a photo that's just plain bad. Let's count the number of things wrong with this.
1) Band doesn't care enough about the photo to dress for it
2) No matter what anyone tells you, it's never cool to give the finger in a photo.
3) Bad picture of the band that's not very clear
4) Even worse Photoshop job.
5) If the little guy on the left was raised up a bit, they could've used the natural cut toff point at the waist to frame it better.
6) Would you hire this band? Yeah, me neither.

I can't believe that anyone would even consider this as a band photo.
1) Fat and out of shape guys should never take a picture with their shirts off. It's even weird for a guy who's really cut to do it.
2) Once again, "Let's take a really bad picture from your girlfriends iPhone and Photoshop the background out. Yeah, that will do it."
3) "While we're at it, let's Photoshop some lighting bolts in there." That has exactly what to do with shirtless fat guys? Shirtless fat guys have exactly what to do with music?

Here we go again. Just the kind of photo to NOT get you the gig.
1) "Let's rub fake blood all over us to make us look like crazy killers." This has exactly what to do with their music?
2) "Hey buddy, take a picture of our band with this little pocket camera. Make sure the flash is on."
3) Doesn't the fact that the guy on the left is in the dark bother anyone?
4) How does the setting and background relate to crazy killers who think they're a band?

This one's a little better on execution, but does it make you want to hire the band? Does it make you think that they're even a band at all. As the caption on the original website said, "They'll get you a good deal on cell phone accessories."

To see all fifty of these gems, go here.

Here's an excerpt from the Electronic Press Kit chapter of The Musician's Video Handbook that covers band pictures.
Make sure that the still photos are professionally done. Nothing screams out “amateur” than pictures that are blurry, aren’t framed well, and worst of all, aren’t suitable for use in an article. This is one of your key assets and will be used more than anything else except your bio. They don’t have to be studio portraits - they can be crazy and creative if it fits your image. 

If you don’t have any pictures, avoid the temptation to have a friend take some unless he’s a really good photographer. An amateur-looking photograph is almost as bad as none at all. That being said, almost all the techniques used for lighting and framing video also apply to taking photographs, so you can check those chapters for some help.
If you decide to use a pro photographer, stay away from one that does family-style portraits because you’ll get one that makes you look like a family. They don’t do music and most don’t have that kind of mindset. If there’s a local modeling agency, ask them for some suggestions. That way you’ll get someone who’s a lot more inventive and that will result in some photos that are more interesting. If you go this route, make sure that you get an agreement up front that you own the copyrights on the photos, if you can.

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1 comment:

Nathan Wills said...

This is what saddens me when it comes to the plethora of youtube videos. Which people don't research basic principles of video/photography.The comments to the pictures, perfect. Great Post as always, appreciate the insight.



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