Concert Photographers Offended By The Killers' Contradictory Rules for Shooting Live Gigs

Concert Photographers Offended By The Killers' Contradictory Rules for Shooting Live Gigs

The Killers – who were headlining the event that earlier in the night saw Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme kick a photographer in the face – made an on-stage pledge to say photographers were "welcome" and "respected." But one of the band's own rules for live gigs contradicts this very statement, and many live music photographers are not happy.

In the wake of The Killers vocalist Brandon Flowers making a pledge that photographers are welcome at gigs, it’s emerged they are among the acts that, more often than not, only permit their own tour photographer to photograph their live sets.

The band was performing at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas in LA, shortly after the incident involving Chelsea Lauren being kicked in the face, when Flowers invited his band’s house photographer Rob Loud on stage, proclaiming, “I’m not going to kick you in the face, it’s ok.” He continued, “I just want to tell you to tell all your friends that you’re welcome here.”

However, many of the press and photographers in attendance weren’t impressed with the display, having been banned from shooting the set. Allegedly, the band occasionally allow a Getty photographer to take some images but usually permit only their in-house photographer. According to Billboard, The Killers prefer photos taken from the back and side of the stage, rather than the pit, as these images showcase the audience and special effects. Live 105’s Marketing and Promotions Director Brandon Paski confirmed to all photographers shooting the event that The Killers “DO NOT allow any photographers,” and would be providing their own images to publications where needed.

And it’s causing problems for event photographers. Paul Hebert, who was shooting this year’s KROQ concert, said: “[Brandon Flowers] was the only artist that weekend that doesn’t allow himself to be photographed.” He later added that he had a hard time selling his photos from the event to publications – since they didn’t feature the headliner.

Lead image credit: Josh Sorenson.

[via Billboard]

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7 Comments

Neville Ross's picture

Oh God, this nonsense again?

Seems like a visit to this website/blog for a lot of people and politicians is in order: https://photographyisnotacrime.com/

Are you really trying to create correlation between profiting off of celebrity appearances and photojournalistic documentation of police brutality?

The typical commercial concert is a private event that is free to control access as they see fit under the law. Life will go on if there is one less picture of a preening rock star, and that star should have at least a modicum of control over the use of their likeness.

Michael Holst's picture

I couldn't agree more. People seem to forget that the event is private and they can allow/limit whoever they want to document it. It would be like complaining that the NFL doesn't let anyone with a zoom lens to shoot on the sidelines.

That's smart of him. He can publish any photo knowing that they came from the photographer he hired. Instead of having some pit photographer try to extort money from him. That's the nature of the beast.

Adam Ottke's picture

I agree that it makes sense a band/singer would want to control his or her own image where possible. And where they have a right to, why not? It's their right. But I'm not sure pit photographers extort money from bands. It's up to the bands to pay for or not pay for images they like/don't like if they're taken and offered. How you could force/extort someone with a photograph is beyond me (unless you're implying photographers would threaten the publishing of unflattering photos...but does that really happen and/or would people really be so vein as to give into that? Hmm). Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, though.

Rui Bandeira's picture

I see this more and more...bands only alowing theyre tour photographer, and i totaly understand it.
the way i see it it was best if they allow media photographer for the first 3 songs and then the tour photographer would cover the rest of the show...

The only mistake here was saying photographers are all welcome. They aren't, and that's okay. You don't have to welcome event photographers into your show if you want to control what imagery is created and promoted for your band. And from a branding perspective this makes a whole lot of sense. Who doesn't want to control their brand. No one has a right to photograph them, it's a privilege, and they choose to offer that privilege to a specific photographer likely with certain conditions attached, good for them.