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Photo tips for rock bands

Rock bands always shoot group shots, individual shots and so on for press packs, wallpaper on web sites, advertising and so on. Unfortunately, many of these bands take shots which more or less make the band look amateur and stupid.

Here are four classic no-no's I see all the time:

1) Woods
For some strange reason, rock bands love to take pictures in the woods. This is really bad idea because a) it has absolutely nothing to do with rock music, b) it takes concentration away from the band and puts it in the scenery in the background, and finally c) NO ONE does it except amateurs. Don't do it.

2) Cemeteries
For that "evil" lookin' thing, lots of bands do the cemetery shot. Again, this has nothing to do with rock music.. and it looks stupid.

3) Railroad tracks
Again, nothing to do with rock music. Same problems as the woods shots.

4) Abandoned buildings
Good for videos. Bad for photos. All this does it make you look like you took pictures in a dump, which is exactly what you did.

Here are some better ideas:

1) Solid color backdrop
Look in any rock/metal magazine. You will see tons of artist pictures that have nothing but a solid color behind them. This puts 100% focus on the artist (the goal!)

2) Planned performance
Go and set up a show strictly for picture shooting - basically a rehearsal made to look like a live show. Go through your set of songs and have someone taking pictures. Make sure all your gear is spotless clean and everyone is in the mood to play. You'll get lots of great pictures.

3) Live performance
Same as above. May not look as good as the planned performance but it does the job.

I'm sure you can think of a few more. But please.. stay away from cemeteries, railroad tracks, the woods and broken buildings. Rock is not about any of those things. It's about you and your group. Have your photos concentrate on that. You are the subject, not the background. Background is, and always will be, secondary.

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