Useful Photography Tip #3: Finding Inspiration For a Music Shoot

Inspiration has many sources. Sometimes it comes easily, leading or even creating the photo shoot. Other times it’s like pulling teeth. Fortunately when doing a music shoot someone’s already done some of the work for you – the musician. Whenever I get a call to do an album cover the first thought is to ask what the band name and album title are and to send me the music.

Nu Prosta Kaif – Demons of Anarchy

With an album name like Demons of Anarchy, this one didn’t take long to figure out.

I had seen this death metal band perform live so I already knew they were into theatrics, almost along the lines of Gwar, so the Demons were obviously them. What better time to find Anarchy than in a post-apocolyptic world? So I had one of the band members make an Anarchy flag and we set out to an abandoned factory to recreate the famous Iwo Jima shot. Kitchy? Sure, but for a band like this it works. The natural light that day was perfect for the look and not much had to be done in post production other than desaturate all the colors except red, which I oversaturated. After we got the main shot, we just ran around the factory looking for good lighting and scenery, which is pretty easy to find in a place like this.

The lesson here is simple. The next time you find yourself short on inspiration, look for what’s already been done for you. You might discover it’s not as challenging as you thought. Aside from working with a band’s album concept, this also works for book covers, fashion collections and more. With the lack of something like that, having a collection of interesting locations can serve as your next source of inspiration. A word of caution is to use props to create the inspiration. Unless you’re creating (or finding and using) a whole environment, one or two randomly used props will usually come off looking out of place.

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