Publications can no longer send photographers to Beyoncé shows

Fstoppers | Music Photographers

Beyoncé won’t allow publications to send their own photographers to concerts on her Mrs. Carter tour. Publications wishing to illustrate coverage of the tour will have to download photos from an approved site, Noam Galai reports.

Beyoncé’s publicist Yvette Noel-Schure emailed BuzzFeed after it ran photos of the singer at the Super Bowl halftime show that Noel-Schure called “unflattering.” BuzzFeed turned the email and photos into a piece called “The ‘Unflattering’ Photos Beyoncé’s Publicist Doesn’t Want You To See.”

The no-photographers edict represents an escalation in the struggle between music artists, photographers and the publications that employ the latter.

In 2011, Lady Gaga demanded copyright from certain outlets that wanted to shoot her shows. Publicist Steve Martin, who represented other acts that made such demands, told me the request “often comes from artists who’ve been stuck having to pay a ton for a shot they want for a box set, merch, etc.,” but a source close to Lady Gaga told me he wasn’t convinced photographers should automatically get copyright, especially when photographing a show heavy on visuals such as Gaga’s.

And this year the American band The Killers forbade outside photographers from a concert, so Debbie Hickey, a photographer for the Irish site GoldenPlec, illustrated the site’s review of a Killers concert with Lego sculptures of the band.

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  • zaz_cag

    This is dumb.

  • DCohen

    If this were a city council or some corporation, these restrictions would die a quick death. My advice is simple: cut off her air. The paper will survive without a Beyonce picture. If an artist wants coverage, it has to be wide open, embarrassing shots and all. It could be a way to send a message to these vain and greedy entertainers that contrary to their own thoughts, they do not own the world.

  • Emily L. Ferguson

    Goodness, who needs to use their newspapers as an advertising tool for such junk? Make the line between advertising and news crystal clear by staying home and making things like that pay big bucks for full page adverts. Can’t you see which side your butter is on? Cover your local Suzuki kids’ final spring recital and leave the commercial acts to cover themselves.

  • Larry Higgs

    The problem is with so many “news” outlets, someone is going to agree to the demands so they can have exclusive pics to draw traffic to their website and the artists and promoters know it. Plus, its another revenue stream they want a piece of, especially when media outlets put the pics up for sale on their own websites. While some of it (Beyonce) is about control of her image and persona, I see the majority of these demands motivated by the business side. What’s funny is how do they think they’re going to control all the people in the audience snapping photos and shooting videos with their phones? The quality may not be as good as a pro’s 35 mm camera, but the apps are getting better and better. Until then, I vote Legos.

  • PodcastSteve

    Underscores why legendary rock photog Jim Marshall told me in his last extensive interview ( that he hated going to rock concerts today, because of all the restrictions the artists and their handlers put on the photographers. What happened to the balls of assignment editors? We used to tell these artists to f**k themselves if they tried to control the news like this. Now they think they own everything associated with themselves. Please!

  • R Thomas Berner

    Don’t cover the shows. Period.