April 25, 2013

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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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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