OAKLAND, Calif. — Local photographer Tyler Pettiston suggested that ska band Passive SKAggression maybe try a serious one after hours of silly poses and cartoonish facial expressions, sources who weren’t sure if the group was nervous or this just part of their whole thing confirmed.
“They all vigorously yelled ‘cheese’ in unison before each and every shot I took, so I had to say something to right this sinking ship,” said Pettiston before calling his wife to let her know he’d be home late due to working with difficult clientele. “If only these guys were more like metal bands. Metalheads always come prepared with their best frowns and they all stand as still as old-growth oak trees. True professionals. Anyway, I gave these guys some tips, like pretend you despise playing music together or imagine your mom died in a horrific car accident. That almost always works. Except for ska bands, I guess.”
Members of Passive SKAggression didn’t respond well to the photographer’s suggestion.
“Every band photo tells a story and our story is that we’re bringing a bouncy castle to your dinner party,” said Riley Tenner, guitarist and aspiring trombonist for the band. “Honestly, it would feel inauthentic if we weren’t posing as if we had successfully completed an escape room or won our local bowling championship. Besides, we didn’t rent these suits and have our dads tie our ties for us just to look depressed in our promo pics. Also, we’ve been practicing our choreographed poses for weeks. No turning back now.”
Experts emphasized the importance of taking just the right band photo.
“Professional photography is the absolute best way for an audience to get a feel for your band’s music,” said critic Portia Reynolds. “And you want to take it seriously to show that you mean business. How would it come across if you saw Glenn Danzig or Henry Rollins smiling in promotional material? Honestly, it would be career suicide if they appeared as if they had fun writing and performing music. Learn from the greats and look miserable in your photos.”
At press time, Pettiston finally got the band to do a serious take moments before his camera battery died, ultimately failing to document any usable shots.