Read our article on promo photos for musicians. Band image is the cause of so many debates in the scene. Whether you agree or disagree with the fact that it really can help a band’s progress immensely, you’ll be sure to have your opinion greeted with fierce contradiction – see for yourself with this article! (Tumbleweed? Awkward.)
But seriously, just how much emphasis should you put on image? Should it be relevant? Seemingly, it is already being used as a tool, whether for furthering careers or justifying levels of respect for other artists. Of course, what you do to gain fans is entirely your choice, but there’s no denying in some cases, more certainly is actually more. It’s no longer a question really of ‘if’ image makes the difference, it’s more a case of ‘should it?’. Some bands, rather frustratingly, seem to climb the charts on looks alone. It’s something that tends to invite a lot of criticism, because of the age-old cries of selling out – or worse. Bands that don trendy clothes or make-up, for example, are often subjected to homophobic slurs, which just doesn’t have a place in an industry that is supposed to unite traditionally marginalized people.
At the end of the day, you might accuse someone of placing too much emphasis on image, but if it bothers you so much, then you’re obviously being distracted from what really matters too – the music. So, why not? If you’re ready to look a little slicker, create some hype and stand out, a little image change could well be on the cards for you. After all, the scene as a whole has always been known for allowing people to express themselves freely – maybe it’s time you embrace it.
Getting The Right ‘Look’
Whether you all choose to wear huge black eyeliner, or you all co-ordinate your skinny jeans, the right style at the right time can really get you noticed. Providing your music and talent is still the most important thing, what’s the harm? If you’re really going to go for it in the image department, it can be something as simple as making sure you’re all ‘matching’ can make a difference. No, we don’t mean by wearing white suits a-la-boyband-of-95, but if one of you is a goth and the rest of you look like hip hop kids, you’d better hope you’re quirky enough to pull it off. At the very least, look like you’re clean and you actually have access to a shower and maybe even a mirror. It’s up to you to take it from there as to whether you’re going for ‘approachable’ or not. Nobody is saying conform, lose weight or even lose sight of yourself completely – that would go against the grain, and we definitely don’t need any more pressure in society. Just do whatever you think makes you look the part. You might hate to admit it, but people do notice these things, so why not stop being stubborn and make it work for you? It doesn’t have to be all the time, just while you’re in the public eye. Which you’d hope would be a lot, right? Dream big.
Getting Professional Photoshoots & Videos
Once you’ve got how you want to present yourselves down, capture it for promotional purposes. Videography is huge these days, and not just for music videos – although this is definitely something you ought to think about, too. Why not hire a music production company, like Posh Gecko, for a documentary? You’ll allow your personalities to shine in your own little way, and while you may not see yourselves as ‘corporate’ or even that important just yet, you’ve still got a story to tell.
What about show time? After all, that’s why you do this. When it comes to worrying about being ‘posers’, forget about it. Your gigs are performances after all, so it’s totally okay to be a little ‘in character’ for these events. You should get in touch with local photographers to shoot your set – many will do it for free for their portfolio and maybe a cheeky bit of guest list. Support the local scene with this grassroots approach, and it can really pay off. It all helps get your name out there, and adds nicely to your collection – you look as though you really mean business! Promo shots will also get you noticed and help you look nice and professional, and the likes of Joe Brady Photography and Emma-Lee can sort you out to suit varying budgets – and there’ll be loads in your own city, just search!
Not Getting Caught Out
You’re probably at the stage where a publicist or marketing campaign is out of the question, so do yourself some favors and follow this advice, okay? As a band, you’re also a brand. Your name and your members all represent you, and what you’re trying to get across should be consistent. Unless you’re trying to present yourselves as the ultimate anarchists (do so at your own risk…) then there’s probably no point whatsoever in being known as ‘the ones who always have to be the openers because three of the members have now got a curfew due to a bar brawl’. Ultimately, there’s too much criticism in the music industry, so of course, let your own choices be exactly that – your own. But the consequences aren’t always just on you.
Remember, you’re representing your fellow musicians now, and whilst that may not mean being squeaky clean, you need to think even more carefully about your choices so your career isn’t ruined before it’s even begun!