Music Industry Red Flags: Having Bad Photos Talks About Your Work Ethic Not Your Look


Many bands don’t care about their image and in fact despise that they even have to think about it. I can’t blame them – it is disheartening to see “cute” bands get ahead of talented ones. Spending tons of money on clothes and your hair can be mind numbing beyond belief. What most bands do not realize is that if you have bad “press shots” or photos it really shows that you have no concern for the quality you present and don’t know how to make connections with talented people.

There is a million ways to make a band with no fashion sense or concern for their image look totally great. Think of it this way, during the metal era photographers still managed to make Nirvana and Hootie And The Blowfish look fresh and good despite the fact that they looked nothing like what the world was used to. Every scene has great photographers who want to work. Simply scroll through Myspace at your local scene and look for photo credits on bands who look good. This will speak for your work ethic, your ability to be self-sufficient and make a good first impression when you look good. No one wants to work with a band with low standards and who can’t make things happen on their own. Photos are one of the first indicators as to whether you are up for the job. Don’t skimp.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.

  • Kit

    Having good pictures even without a good set of recordings has already helped us – it’s given us a brand image, plus when a friend recently asked us out of a bunch of other local bands he worked with if we wanted to be in the newspaper because he knew we had good promo shots taken.

  • Todd

    This is UTTERLY ESSENTIAL. I worked in journalism for years – people are lazy. If you have a good photo, they’ll probably run you – it makes their job easier. When you’re one of SO many bands buzzing around the interwebz you’re going to need to be different. Set yourself apart from the 10 zillion other boring bands and catch someone’s eye.