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opinions on press kit pics

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by csholtmeier, Sep 9, 2005.


  1. csholtmeier

    csholtmeier

    Feb 8, 2004
    omaha, ne
    I'm new at this,so any feedback/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. It's for a Jager sponsored band, hence the flag and bottles.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    My advice about promo pics is that they should be reproduceable in a number of formats (i.e. newspapers, internet, posters, photocopy, etc.). It's a hassle to send one pic for internet, one for newprint, etc. The "one picture works for all" policy not only saves time and money, it will also provide consistency.

    Even though your pic looks cool, it probably won't reproduce well in a newspaper or for a cheap photocopied flyer/poster. But, it would do well online.
     
  3. Agreed. Working as a graphic artist we run into that sort of thing all the time. The composition is great though. Very cool and dark feel. You look ready to kick some a$$. Just make sure that feel is conveyed in different mediums.

    J
     
  4. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm not kidding you when I say that I DID learn much from RockAndRollConfidential's 'Hall Of Douchbags'.

    http://www.rockandrollconfidential.com/hall/hall_detail.php?dd_keyid=695

    Rip through a hundred-or-so of these. It really IS helpful to see what they make fun of!

    I suppose I could send my band promo in to them, and if it doesn't appear in the 'Hall', I'm doing alright!

    Joe
     
  5. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    The advice here is good, and about what I would have told you.

    Go to rockandrollconfidential.com and keep clicking backwards until you have a total negative education in band-photo "don'ts."

    My opinion is that the above is a R&RC photo.

    A long time ago, I had my fifteen minutes as an industry bigshot in NYC and I put hundreds of indy acts to sleep purely on the lameness of their presentation. Here's a post about photos I wrote elsewhere, but it just scratches the surface.
     
  6. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    "Well now we know what NOT to put in our press kit"<---my guitarist.
     
  7. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Believe it or not, there are apparently TalkBass regulars who've made The Hall. Pointing them out (even unknowingly) gets you threatened by the moderators, though.
     
  8. I've never seend that site. That's some of the funniest crap ever. The captions are a pisser.
     
  9. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    It's also the most valuable site for band education on the net that I've ever seen.

    It's been my experience that I can't educate young bands positively because they're too stubbornly self-justifying. Scrolling through The Hall gets past that resistance and they start to see what amateurish, cliched tripe they're putting out. They start recognizing what they're doing wrong.

    Another thing I've noticed about R&RC is that on music fora, a whole LOT of people get bent about it and have absolutely no sense of humor about it at all. Again, I'm thinking it's due to self-recognition. :D
     
  10. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Soooooo,

    How many members here have their band's picture on that site?? :D
     
  11. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Other moderators here have deemed that subject unfit for discussion. Terminally unfit.
     
  12. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I've actually made it a goal to get on that site, but only by accident. Its cheating otherwise.

    I had a great idea with my last band: since we were melodic black metal with a heavy Norwegian influence I suggested we do the full leather/spikes/makeup thing. Then get fake swords and maces and weird assorted props of vikingness, and take our picture on a merry-go-round! :)

    I was vetoed by the other guys.
     
  13. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Oh yeah, CSH...where's the REST of the band?
     
  14. csholtmeier

    csholtmeier

    Feb 8, 2004
    omaha, ne
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't know. There just doesn't seem to be enough green in those pics.
     
  16. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    I'd just like to thank Joe P. for making me aware of R&RC. My band was looking around for stuff to use for promo shots yesterday and were leaning towards using an old dowl (looks sorta train track-ish) by my singer's parents' place. I think I'll be sending that link around the band after our gig today.
     
  17. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I'd say run each image through a photocopier and see how they turn out. I imagine that most of em won't.

    But, if you want to keep the theme you got going there, a photocopied print will give you an idea of what you need to tweak.
     
  18. I'm a professional photographer and one of my favorite projects is photographing bands - both in staged and live sequences.

    Just my opinion, but a few things come to mind about your pics. Consider it constructive criticism since you asked.

    Too busy. You might be sponsored by Jager but the pics are confusing. The sponsor shouldn't be bigger than you! Too many elements that distract rather than add to the flow or mood you are trying to get. The light is too directional and causes too much shadowing on your background. I know you are trying to have a harsh "edgy" look, but the overall feel is of a cheap monodirectional lighting source. That actually isn't always bad, but it shouldn't be as totally straight on as this is. Here's an example of one of my shots of a bassist done with harsh one-source lighting [​IMG] Basically, it's for an intentional effect. Most of the time, you need at least two light sources to avoid shadows.

    One thing to always keep in mind in photography. When possible, shoot "up" at your subject so as to make it/him/her appear more powerful. Get down and angle the shot up. The pic of the dude with the flying V is like this, but the others are shot by someone standing up.

    The problem with the flying V dude is that he is striking a decidedly "posed" pose. It doesn't convey much energy, menace or attitude. I'm not sure what to make of it, but the angle is the best of the four.

    It looks to me like you were the principle photographer here and got the guys to line up for some shots and then had one of them shoot you. You've got more of a flair for a dramatic pose, but again the angle takes away some of your power and EEEEVILLLLL menace. None of the other guys look like they were too into the idea.

    I would really look into having a decent local photographer do it for you. You should be able to find someone who can do a reasonably good shoot for about $200 and you'll have a lot more effective presentation if you want a pro media kit. Photography is every bit as much of an art form as music. You can't wing it and get as good a result as a pro.

    Just my two cents. I really don't think your pics are bad at all. I just think you are leaving a lot on the table that could be coming through in your shots. You guys could look like serious rock stars with a little effort!
     
  19. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Not to be too obvious here, but why not do what I'd do:

    This is sort of the obverse of the R&RC thing. That site told you what NOT to do, now find a really successful ($$$) band in the same genre and go through all the promo material their recording company burned up $250,000 of the band's recoupable debt having done by top pros. Then do that, or as close an interpretation of it as you are able.

    What's really unfortunate is how some "real" acts are still having a lot of stuff in their promo packs, websites and fan sites that clearly look like they were conceived and executed by their no-talent girlfriends.

    That's really depressing. :(

    Again, you have to do shots with the end use in mind. Something for newspaper halftone publication has to be really simple and clear, essentially a band portrait. If you think a band portrait is too simple, try doing it sometime. It isn't. If your local newspaper has a weekly entertainment suppliment, check out the print-media pictures that major acts have distributed through their publicists..

    Stuff for a website can be a lot more complex and you have a lot more room for experimentation because you'll presumably have many pictures for people to scroll through.
     
  20. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    +1

    Having done a number of crap band photos from amateurs, I realized that a knowledgeable photographer can really make the difference. Not just in the composition of a photo, but the useability of a photo for various formats.

    Photography is painting with light, and you need someone that understands how to manipulate it. In the same way you don't hire a sound engineer who doesn't understand sound, you don't want a photographer that doesn't understand light. Proper lighting is key for a quality portrait, and a guy who understands light can create photos that make an impact without being distracting. It's amazing what a guy with a window and various reflectors can do with a subject. Just using the knowledge of light the photgrapher can make a subject look warm, cool, intimate, distant, serious, etc. just by using light properly.

    Another forgotten art is design and composition. True professionals not only can make an impact on the viewer's emotions through the content and layout, but they can guide the eye of the viewer and the focus of their attention to what you want them to see. It's a psychological mind-game, but the artistry and science of it is amazing. A person with a solid grasp of design concepts can manipulate the viewer into seeing what you want them to see, and them evoking the appropriate response. It's subtle, but very effective.

    It's a shame that bands will spend $$ and hours on a CD for their promo pack but put no effort into the photos. The thing to know is that a photo is what makes the potential client willing to listen to the CD. It's sad, but many demo CDs wind up in the trash bin because of a cheesy photo.