Promo photos are super-important, 'cause they let people put a face to the music. Here are some tips on how not to look like a creep in yours.
1. Pay attention to band photo clichés. Are you standing in front of a brick wall, sporting an ironic T-shirt and/or leather pants, lined up in a row, aiming your eyes disaffectedly to the sky, wearing lots of mousse? So is everyone else in the universe. Resist the urge! Also, don't wear self-promotional T-shirts. That's just lame. (See Blink-182 photo.)
2. Do not send a photocopied, half-toned, or laser-printed image, even if it appears to be of high quality. Everything already sorta looks like ass in newsprint, and if it's photocopied to begin with, it will look that much assier. "The moment I see a half-toned promo photo, I rip it into shreds and feed it to the office pug," comments Mercury art director Jen Davison, angrily. I.e., she won't print it! A better option is an email-friendly, high-resolution digital image.
3. Don't look bored or angry--unless you think being in your band is boring or annoying, in which case, go nuts.
4. Get arty! Get interesting! Get creative! This is exciting! But make sure your photo is in focus! 'Cause unfocused images are not arty! They're just out of focus!
5. Action photos are cool. When musicians are doing something in their promo shot, they look alive, like real people, instead of creepy mannequins.
6. If you're an all-boy band, make sure you put a lot of hot chicks in your photo that have nothing to do with your band. It will really add an air of legitimacy to your work. Really.
7. Do not pose, or make faces that are unnatural to your face-making repertoire. Unless you're Dame Judi Dench, your fake facial expression is more transparent than a bucket of Saran Wrap.
8. Don't wear a shirt that says, "I Choked Linda Lovelace."