Beyoncé photos spark press-PR feud

Buzzfeed | Manchester Evening News

Nineteen news organizations have opposed guidelines preventing publications from sending photographers to Beyoncé’s shows.

Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, wrote a letter to the firm that handles Beyoncé’s publicity on behalf of the organizations, which include the Associated Press Media Editors Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Media Photographers.

Beyoncé in Paris, April 24, 2013. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP Images)

“We believe that removing the ban will help, not harm, your client’s image in the long run,” Osterreicher wrote to the Schure Media Group.

Ending the ban is more likely to result in publication of fair, objective and mutually beneficial photographs that serve your interests and ours… We believe such action would be seen as a good-faith effort on behalf of your client to support a free and independent press.

Since Buzzfeed published shots of the star that her publicist didn’t like, her PR squad stopped issuing press passes to photojournalists to tour dates, and instead has required news organizations to register with them for access to pictures taken by the tour’s official photographer. They’ve also contacted media outlets like Buzzfeed to request that certain photos be removed.

The strategy hasn’t worked too well for Beyoncé; news outlets, frustrated about the limitations on their photographers, have used the original offending photos, from Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show, in lieu of the provided photos. The Manchester Evening News ran one of the unwanted photos with a review of her concerts in the city.

Her current tour is scheduled to come to the United States on June 28.

Another problem: Beyoncé’s strategy makes it seem like she and her publicists are unaware that a majority of her concertgoers own camera phones.

Related: Publications can no longer send photographers to Beyoncé shows | Government declines to name Beyoncé in FOIA request | How Washingtonian lost its Beyoncé lip-synching scoop

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  • Steve Thornton

    “Ending the ban is more likely to result in publication of fair, objective and mutually beneficial photographs”

    OH! Like the ones that are all over the Internet delivered by photographers who seemingly picked the most hideous images they could find? They are killing their own “Golden Goose” by not being true professionals. Does anyone really think releasing just grossly unflattering images is “Professional”? Not to me.

    I do not blame Beyoncé for wanting to control her image, especially knowing “Professional” photographers don’t care.

    This is why a lot of major acts will hire their own professional photographer who has the act’s best interest at heart and delivers the best images to the news media. This way they never have to worry what “Mutually beneficial” means to some photographers.

    Honestly, it is what I would do. But then I am an unapologetic control freak who absolutely controls his image.

    Steve Thornton

  • pragmatism

    beyonce “owns” a lot of attributes that could be used against her negatively but refuses to “own” that her live show may result in unflattering pics. weird hill to die on. She should just own it as well and move on.

  • Libby Stack

    “Ending the ban is more likely to result in publication of fair, objective and mutually beneficial photographs…”

    But she’s alienated publications, and those with an agenda will publish the worst, and the web at large armed with photoshop will take it from there. Nothing good will come even if ‘togs are allowed to shoot again.

  • Jeff

    The dreaded camera phone. Yeah…that will improve her image.