Do You Have the Right Image for Your B(r)and?
I have a little secret. When a new bands submits to us, nine times out of ten I’ve already made the decision on whether we’ll accept them based on their band imaging.
That may seem unfair, but the reality is that the world is based on first impressions. And I’m in the business of public relations so my job is to pitch the strongest first impression of a band as possible. I know if I don’t have a strong band publicity photo, there is a very good chance I won’t secure press at tastemaker press outlets, resulting in unmet band expectations.
There are typically three mistakes a band makes to keep them from the success they deserve.
1. Generic Image
The most obvious and overused image is the band standing in front of a brick wall. Boooring. Would you really want to listen to a band dressed in a t-shirt and jeans in front of a non-descript brick wall? What you are telling the world is that they can expect the same kind of music they’ve heard from every other alternative rock band out there. Your picture should tell a story about who you are and the first impression you want people to have you about you. Maybe it’s that you are an indie pop band who likes to have fun. Show that fun loving nature in your imaging.
2. Image Doesn’t Reflect the Music
The second challenge is when a band has a photo that tells me they sound differently than they do. This is one area where you want to fit into the stereotype of your genre to take the guess work out of it for the listener. Not sure what that means? Take a look at images from other successful bands in your genre who are receiving press, while creating an image that feels authentic to you and your band.
3. Poor Quality
The most detrimental is the band who has poor quality photos they shot in their rehearsal space or another location that lacks professionalism. This sends the message they want to stay where they are at – playing shows at the local dive bar to all their friends and family.
Take it from the perspective of the site you are submitting your music. A music blog is also creating a first impression for their readers and posting a bunch of poor quality photos on their site sends the message they aren’t ready for the big time. If Stereogum is given a choice between an artist with a great photo who looks like they have it together and a band with a photo that screams DIY, what do you think they will choose?
Green Light Go: Take a look at your current publicity photos. Do they fit into any of the above categories? If so, brainstorm ideas of the kind of images that will clearly define your brand and take you to the level you want to go.
Sharing is Caring: Know a band suffering from poor b(r)and image? Send them this article to get them on the right track.