Theatrical Band Portrait Photography | Kings and Crows

If anyone has seen anything I have done previously with Norwich based indie band Kings and Crows, then you won’t be surprised at all that they are responsible for this crazy photo.  There is reason behind it though!!


Why Tree People?


The tree people set up for this shoot was all a part of the music video that accompanied this shoot.  You can view the video here, and yes… the tree people most certainly make an appearance!!  Besides the narrative of the video, we also had an amazing location to work with for this shoot and that definitely made the finished photo a lot better.   I just don’t think it would have had the same impact had it not been done at the location we shot in, which was an amazing wooden roundhouse…it was as if we were literally inside a tree!


The Setup




The roundhouse was very, very dark.  The only light source coming into the roundhouse was through the door behind me…and that was very dim.  To fully eliminate any ambient light coming through the door I shot this with a shutter speed of 1/250th of a second.  To give us the look we wanted, which was dark, moody, slightly angry and a bit sci-fi we used a smoke machine and 1 very bright backlight to illuminate the smoke and make it look as though they had come in through a portal of some kind.  The main light was then a speedlight shot through a soft box high and camera right.  That was it.   The rest was done to the amazing costumes we had and getting the band into “character”, which with Kings and Crows was a very easy task.  I actually believe this shot was only the third or fourth shot and we had nailed it.


The Challenges


The main challenge with a band portrait like this one was dealing with the costumes and makeup.  The costumes were particularly, ummm, revealing and I had to be conscious of anything that might be showing in a shot.  The only other challenge that we had with this was the smoke machine.  It was a finicky bastard and was working perfectly when we didn’t need it and then when we were ready was taking a very long time to warm up.  Getting the right amount of smoke in the shot was the main reason we took 4 shots to get this instead of 1.  😀


The Finished Image




[Tweet “Hey, look at this awesome theatrical band portrait! #treepeople”]

Awesome Photos, but who is this band Kings and Crows?


Excellent question!!  If you haven’t done so already, you really need to check out the music video we shot to accompany this shoot.


Once you have checked out that video, be sure to go and like them on Facebook here!  The guys are a lot of fun, and that is definitely reflected in their music, so go give it a listen and help them out!


In Conclusion


A shoot with Kings and Crows is always a blast, and I do apologise at just how late this blog post is!  This was done a couple of month ago, but this has been an extremely busy summer and I just starting to get time to blog again.  Having a band, or any subject for that matter, that is creative and willing to try new things will always lead to amazing photos.  It’s just my job to translate their vision into something tangible, and I think we nailed that here!