Whether you are a hip new band photographer, or a musician putting together your MySpace page, here are some photo faux pas to avoid.
1. Fish eyes are not flattering
Just because Phish did it does not make it a good idea. Wide-angle lenses are great for crowds and tight spaces, but be careful when shooting people — especially close-ups. Tip: Not everything has to be eye level, try shooting up/down on your subjects.
2. Don’t get too complex
If you need a stunt double or special effects guy, you may be in over your head. Stick to the basics and you can’t go wrong. Tip: Do your research. What band photos do you like? How did that photographer shoot it?
3. Less is more
We have all seen the super-high contrast grunge look, and the faded vintage photos. When it comes to post production, stay away from trendy Photoshop filters. Just like your leg warmers, those photos are going to look dated really soon. Tip: Are you using text? While it’s not advised to put text over an image (it usually gets cropped out by an editor), think about the color of your text and the colors in your photographs if you must.
4. Musicians are not sardines
So why treat ’em like wet fish? Instead of putting everyone in a big clump, try spreading them out and playing with your aperture. You can also incorporate some movement, ie: have everyone run toward you and slow down your shutter speed. Tip: Try panning — moving with your subjects while your shutter is open. This will keep the subject in focus and the background blurry.
5. No mugshots or firing squads!
The could be the worst of all photo faux pas. You’ve seen it on every high school battle of the bands poster. Its the line-em-up-and-shoot-em in the face photo. If you are going to use a building, get a little creative with it. Tip: If you are looking for that stark-white background, light the white wall behind them. This will eliminate shadows and make post production much easier — especially if you want to cut your subjects out in Photoshop.