How not to take a DJ press shot


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Here at inthemix, we’ve seen our share of DJ promo shots: the good, the bad and the inexplicable. When heading off to their photo shoots, DJs are faced with some burning choices. Do I affect moodiness and risk ending up on the Depressed DJs tumblr? Do I stand with a CDJ under my arm or perhaps some Pioneer headphones between my teeth? Do I go ‘ironic’? It’s a perilous road to navigate, but there are a few common crimes that really should be avoided. Consider this our definitive guide to sidestepping the facepalms of the past.


A favourite of trance DJs everywhere, ‘The Crouch’ is characterised by the subject enacting a ‘camping in the wilderness’ pose. And boy, has it claimed some victims: big names like Markus Schulz, Richard Durand and Tiesto have all bent their knees into that awkward grasshopper pose. Yes, we get it, it’s meant to make you look ‘thoughtful’. But DJs beware: crouch in a press shot and you’re likely to look less like an insightful auteur and more like that girl at the festival who didn’t want to wait in line for the toilet.


So, you’re stuck for things to do in your press shot. Never fear, just grab that disco ball, fry-pan with a CD in it, dirty broom, giant rock with googly eyeballs stuck on it – whatever’s within reach, really. Now, manoeuvre your body awkwardly around it. Right? Wrong! Ask yourself: do I look like a tool? If the answer’s yes, then it’s back to the drawing board for you.


Look no further than Tiesto for a tutorial in how to master the awkward pose. Unless you’re a gymnast or in porn, a press shot shouldn’t be taken as an opportunity to contort your body into the most unnatural-looking pose possible. But the awkward pose can come in any number of forms, and many of them are relative: Are you an aging, male DJ? Then don’t peer through some purple flowers a la a pubescent Marc Jacobs model. Are you Moby? Then please don’t have sex with a robot on camera. But unwise as those poses may be, nothing – nothing – is as bad as the pube stache, modelled here by Nick Littlemore, Busy P and David Guetta.


Good at selling records but really bad at taking press shots, Bob Sinclar and David Guetta are two of dance music’s worst repeat offenders. Take a lesson from Bob Sinclar and steer clear of the shirtless press shot. Extra obnoxious points for the penetrating gaze, angel wings, cowboy hat and cupid-style bow and arrow. Guetta, meanwhile, has a history of sniffing panties, suggestively spreading for the camera and gazing longingly at his own bare chest.


Helmets are to Daft Punk what habits are to nuns or what surgical masks are to residents of an avian flu outbreak-affected area. Why, then, the masters of anonymity (granted, in years now way past) ditched their trademark headwear, only to cover their faces with the wildly-inferior likes of tin-foil, gimp masks to put Pulp Fiction to shame and some freaky plastic bank robber chic, is a head-scratcher. It’s all or nothing, Frenchies.


Hey Pendulum, making music’s meant to be fun, so why do you look like you just saw a puppy die? There’s an art to pulling off the ‘credible artist’ vibe in a press shot without looking like you’re making yourself out to be the second coming of Plato. If you’re not sure you’ve got it down pat, best steer clear.


Armin van Buuren really is in a class of his own. The crouch? The awkward pose? The dumb prop? The uber-serious? Armin’s done ‘em all, and more. But while he’s really ticked every box there is press shot stakes, his speciality is arguably the true everyman outfit, the crisp all-white suit: wear it against a white wall, wear it while looking thoughtful, wear it while seemingly sniffing your own fart, wear it while sitting in a meditative pose on a big white couch. Fashions fade, white linen is eternal.

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