Mixdown’s guide to nailing your group photo

Words by Mixdown Staff

What you should not do

Group photos are one of those things everyone hates to do, but they’re one of the most important aspects of a band’s press kit.

A group photo gives a visual representation of your music, it lets the audience know what to expect before they hear your music, and in many ways establishes the genre or “scene” your music belongs to. It is therefore important to get it right to avoid criticism or give the public a bad impression.

To get you back into the thick of things for 2022, we’re reposting some of your old favorites and ours. This article was originally published on April 20, 2016.

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Instead of giving you a guide on how to take a picture (I think we can all achieve that), this is more of a “what to avoid” checklist.

Avoid showing too much skin

Let’s face it – sex sells. Keep it in the lyrics though. No one wants to see you prancing around in your underwear.

Don’t forget the background

Before taking a photo, make sure you have set your background. The last thing you want is for a studio shot to look like it was set up in your living room.

Avoid doubling outfits

There’s nothing more embarrassing than walking into a gig wearing the same clothes as your bandmate. Also, try to avoid it in your photos (unless you plan to release an LP that will one day be in the 50c bin at your local store).

Chemistry is key

It’s important that your outline represents a group, so try to portray a sense of chemistry in the outline. And we know bass players are full of charisma, but try to contain it.

Think carefully about props/subjects

When you take a photo, think, “Are we sending the right message?” Adding a baby to the frame could add a nice “family” touch, but as far as the metal goes, leave the kids at home.

Positioning can make or break

Although this photo looks like a train wreck, let’s give these guys some credit, they (somewhat) know how to pull off the mediocre and confused glam metal band. I know you’re all thinking, what’s wrong with this picture then?

Besides the fact that there are just too many studded leather accessories, one member seems to be sitting in front of the group as if taking their high school picture. Save these poses for your parents’ refrigerator.

Don’t be caught wearing your own merchandise

Everyone knows that group photos aren’t just for visually promoting your band, they’re also an opportunity to wear your favorite band t-shirt to show everyone that you have good musical taste and that you know an obscure underground artist no one has ever heard of.

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