Expert Advice for Photographing Bands

Mads Perch is a Danish-born, London-based photographer, whose creative artistry has gained him international recognition, particularly in the music world. Although he has an eclectic range of clients and genres, he’s best known for capturing the soul and feel of a band. In the video below, Perch discusses what’s behind this almost magical ability to render the soul of a group or theme into a superlative image:

One of the secrets to Perch’s ability to find the soul of a band is that he listens to their music continuously before going in on a project. While listening, images will often come unbidden into the head. Once he has those (and a direction with which to take the shoot), he then explores the technical aspects to see if his ideas are possible. For Perch, the point is to find an image that brings out the musician’s personality, while at the same time reflects the timbre of their music.

breaking-glass-portrait

One of the most amazing aspects of Perch’s photography is that he does almost everything in-camera; he rarely uses Photoshop. This means that his lighting, composition, and technique have to be next to flawless. For example, in the image above, he actually found a substance that would break like glass and captured it photographically–it’s not Photoshopped.

photographing Album Covers

 Tips for Photographing Musicians

  • Always come in with a plan (especially if you know you’ll be pressed for time).
  • If there’s time, try to shoot something more than your plan–sometimes it’s that extra, unpredictable bit that produces the ideal shot.
  • If you’re doing an editorial and you know you’ll be pressed for time, bring in an interesting object. This can often create fun and candid moments between the artist and the object.
  • Catch your subjects in between formal shots when they’re more likely to be less aware of being photographed.
creative-band-photography

Perch rented a large projector for this project.

“…I think you can do interesting stuff in all different genres these days… For me it’s all about being creative.”

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