Music Photography: Taking Promotional Band Photos

Band photos are usually what most people think of when someone refers to music photography. These are the images that you most often find in magazines and on albums and billboards. But, there’s more to promotional band photos than simply lining up the band members in a photo studio and taking a few pictures. You really need to capture the spirit of the band to be a successful band photographer.

Step 1: Research

The first thing you want to do is to get to know the band. Go to one of their concerts, or download their music. Visit the band’s website, and get to know their history, style of music and personality. It will get you thinking about the type of shoot that you want to do.

Then, set up a meeting with the band and talk with them face to face.

Step 2: Finding the Right Spot

Once you figure out the band, you need to figure out where the shoot is going to take place. This too will go back to your research. Check out what the band usually wears, and try to find a location that matches that.

If your subject is known for vintage clothes, set her up in a vintage store, throwing clothes up in the air. Or, if it’s a grunge band, look for an old warehouse or alley.

Or, you may also want to have your band clash with the surroundings. Metallica in a candy store may be just the thing if the band has toned down their music a bit.

Step 3: Set Up the Schedule

When you are ready to go, try to allot at least an hour for the shoot. Some bands will be on a schedule so you should arrive at the location early to set up. Be strict about the times, however. If the band is on tour, you could miss your photo shoot.

Step 4: Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Try to always be taking pictures. Some of the best photos come when the band least expects. Catch them while they’re setting up, talking or taking a break. Just because they’ve stopped for a minute doesn’t mean that you have to.