30 Awesome Ideas for Band Photo Shoots

Stumped about what to do for your next band photo shoot? Tired of the same old "stand around on the railroad tracks" or "lean against a brick wall" poses? Well, you're in luck-- here are 30 great ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

Some of these are serious while others are downright wacky, but I think overall you'll find plenty of conversation starters here, whether you're a musician, photographer, or even videographer. Be sure to take a moment to visualize each idea and let it bounce around in your head for a few seconds before moving on to the next one. Also be thinking about how you can adapt each idea to fit your own unique style. Cool? OK, here we go...


1) Choose the band’s most well-known/fan favorite/recognizable song, and try to act it out visually (bonus points for totally poking fun at yourself and making it as sarcastic as possible)


2) Meme-tastic! Pick a viral video or internet meme and act it out (e.g. the Old Spice Guy, RickRolling, Rebecca Black, the Star Wars kid, 2 Girls 1 Cup 8O


3) This one never gets old—everybody jump at the same time and rock your best mid-air move


4) Everyone do something quirky/weird/funny except one person, who looks hopelessly confused as to what’s going on


5) Everyone stand shoulder-to-shoulder holding a number, like they do in criminal lineups. Only be making ridiculous faces while doing it.


6) If you wanna go for maximum epicness, head up to the roof of a parking garage or downtown building. Have your photographer frame the shot so that the city skyline can be seen in the background


7)  Stand in the middle of a busy street…bonus points for almost getting hit! (this idea provided for entertainment purposes only—do not try this at home—parental guidance suggested—beware—warning—caution—achtung)


8)  Use a well-known scene from a famous movie as inspiration (e.g. Borat, The Matrix, Pulp Fiction, The Hangover, Psycho, etc.)


9) Have the band gathered around a TV or computer screen reacting to a picture that's funny/gross/scary. Have the photographer shoot from behind the screen and toward the band so that your faces/reactions are the focus.


10) Shadow puppets: Wait until very early or late in a day when your shadows are long, stand several feet away from a wall, and then use your shadow to spell a word, make a shape, or act out a scene. Have the photographer shoot only the shadows on the wall.


11) Have one band member lie on the ground acting like they’re passed out drunk, while everyone else enjoys some good old-fashioned fraternity-style pwnage (draw a mustache on the victim’s face with a Sharpie, put them in compromising positions with various objects, etc.) :twisted:


12) Have all band members rock their best "duck face"


13) Act out your own “Demotivational” poster and provide an awesome caption


14) Everyone cover themselves with paint. Or glitter. Or peanut butter. (Note: crunchy chafes a bit) :o


15) Go for the artsy vibe: Each person writes a letter/word somewhere on their body (forehead, on a white t-shirt, on the soles of your shoes, etc) so that when everyone sits or stands together, it makes a new word/phrase. Great for making “deep” statements or social commentary.


16) Reenact the "hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" proverb. If you happen to have 4 members in your band, have the 4th member doing something that the other 3 are reacting to.


17) Have the band members all standing around looking at a painting, sculpture, or other work of art, with everyone scratching their heads and/or making confused faces. Or to take this idea in a different direction, try using something ordinary and/or obvious as the focal point.


18) The ol’ switcheroo: Everyone holds an instrument, but NOT the one they normally play. Each person acts "normal", as if there’s absolutely nothing strange whatsoever about the fact that they’re holding the wrong instrument. Fan upheaval ensues.


19) Use sparklers, glowsticks, flashlights, or some other small light source to spell out the band's name, or maybe a word that’s strongly associated with the band (Note: your photographer may need to use a slow shutter speed to successfully capture the light trails).


20) Didn't get the memo: Everyone wear the same color/costume/style/outfit except one person, whose expression and body language indicates that he/she obviously feels left out.


21) Two words: zombie apocalypse.


22) One person stands apart from the group, horrifically embarrassed about something (use your imagination), and the rest of the band is pointing their fingers & cracking up.


23) Great for guy bands: hold pom-poms and stand on each other’s backs, knees, or shoulders in classic cheerleader "Goooo TEAM!" formation


24) Everyone stand with backs to the camera while sporting a funny bumper sticker on their badonkadonk.


25) Have the band gather behind a filthy van or truck and someone(s) write a word/phrase in the dust on the window.


26) All band members make their best "Blue Steel" face, as seen in the movie Zoolander.


27) Everyone rocks their best ugly sweater.


28) Everyone sports “Billy Bob” teeth and a straw hat. Bonus points for pulling it off with completely straight faces. 8)


29) Everyone cuts a piece of cardboard/posterboard in “bubble caption” style and then holds it over their heads with a handwritten word or message on it.


30) Everyone is shirtless, wearing baggy pants, or decked out in a retro-looking karate gi, rocking a Chuck Norris-inspired kung fu pose.


Heck, why stop at 30? Here's a few more...

31) One person planking, another one Tebowing, another one Bradying, and the last one owling, supermanning, Lion Kinging, or whatever the current fad might be.


32) Everyone sports a matching [temporary] tattoo on their arms, foreheads, or chests. Bonus points for tramp stamps. :D


33) Choose a fantabulous 80s-era family portrait from AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com and re-create it. Bonus points for mullets and/or teased hair.


34) If you're specifically looking for posing ideas, check out my new book: "10 Essential Poses for Band Photo Shoots (and How to Set Them Up)".


35) Lastly, if the person behind the camera is really handy with Photoshop, this opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Check out my "Before & After" gallery to see some mind-blowing examples. Seriously, check it out...you won't be disappointed!!


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