View Full Version : Looking For Band/Musician Photography ideas

03-14-2011, 12:58 AM
Howdy all,

A close friend of mine has asked whether I would do some photos for his two piece band and I have to admit that I am a bit out to sea.

Everything that I can think of would be borrowing from popular band images or extremely Cliche. Does anyone have any resources where I could find some band images? The Genre is rock/Alternative. (linky below)


Any inspiration would be more then welcome!

Ian Grant
03-14-2011, 02:07 AM
Very difficult without seeing the band, depends on the people involved, the music, their appearance.

I've worked with a lot of bands but nearly always use two approaches, I shoot some live shots because these can usually be quite powerful, and I do a 2-3 hour location session, the location comes from discussing ideas with the band, sometimes I use studio shots.

Some ideas appear outrageous, I photographed a band in a wine bar sat eating a bicycle, same band performing to the animals in a zoo to promote a track "Animals in Music, Spiders in Pianos" This was a band I worked with for a few years from the late 70's, and I still work with one of the musicians. At the time they were pre-punk and very avant-garde.

I'd suggest you talk to the band, ask what ideas they have, see if the music sparks ideas. Begin with some live shots if you can.


03-14-2011, 02:37 AM
I agree with Ian. You need to go into the band's mood else you only will have clichets...
Any way, for live performance wide angle lenses can give you very good shots. Have in mind the low light conditions.

Tony Egan
03-14-2011, 02:39 AM
Ask then separately how they would describe the relationship with the other and what metaphor, analogy, historical incident and even cliche would describe how they relate to each other. Where did they meet, what was the common spark that drew them together, what was the piece of music/band/song that kicked of the duo. Can they act that out? Who is their fantasy musical lovechild? What is their fantasy job outside music? Also the standard approaches to brainstorming can produce some hilarious results e.g. Wat does this band have in common with a block of cheese etc. What do they like about each other and what do they hate.. but be careful not to break up the band now!

03-14-2011, 02:45 AM
Hmmm....If that was in the late '70's then it was definitely not "pre-punk," considering that the late '70's was when "post-punk" emerged. :D. "Pre-punk" bands were '60's and early '70's, such as the Sonics, the Dolls, the MC5, and the Stooges.

And according to the information I found on that band, they were around '82 to '86. Even "post punk" was dead by that point.

When it comes to this subject, really know what you are shooting...or don't shoot it IMHO.

Steve Smith
03-14-2011, 02:53 AM
Also, read Tony's article on gig photography which he was too modest to mention himself!



05-09-2011, 10:51 AM
Have a look at Tony's gig shots. Some of the best I've seen.

05-09-2011, 11:18 AM
Have a look at the work of Kevin Cummins, Anton Corbjin, Penny Smith and Jill Furmnosky for starters.
I had a few images published in NME a few years ago, there aren't really any rules :)