Beyoncé’s Publicist Wants To Erase Super Bowl Photos From The Internet

Beyoncé’s Publicist Wants To Erase Super Bowl Photos From The Internet

It's been 3 days since the Super Bowl ended. 110 Million people (in the US only) watched the game, the commercials, and of course Beyoncé taking over the world. Her performance was truly amazing, and she proved to all those who doubted - she can sing live, and do it like a champion. But apparently, her Super Bowl gig is now causing some people in the photo industry to raise some eyebrows.

Beyonce's publicist Yvette Noel-Schure called and emailed the BuzzFeed staff and asked them to remove photos from Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance (taken by Getty Images photographers) they posted the day after the show.

Yvette: "As discussed, there are some unflattering photos on your current feed that we are respectfully asking you to change. I am certain you will be able to find some better photos.
The worst are #5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 19 and 22.
Thank you very much."

In response to that request, the internet is now spreading these photos like wild fire. Publicity fail. Or maybe huge success. Depends how you look at it.
Do you think it was a smart move to ask for the photos to be removed just because she doesn't like them?

[Via BuzzFeed].

Noam Galai's picture

Noam Galai is a Senior Fstoppers Staff Writer and NYC Celebrity / Entertainment photographer. Noam's work appears on publications such as Time Magazine, New York Times, People Magazine, Vogue and Us Weekly on a daily basis.

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I'm sick of celebrities making demands on photographers. Don't make ugly faces and pictures won't be taken of you making an ugly face.   

Yeah, I agree - all those weird celebrity requests are both annoying, and most of the times just cause more damage to the artist. 

I agree that celebrities think too highly of themselves. Having said that I'm sure you're well aware that people's expressions are rarely flattering outside of posing. It's not the case that they make ugly faces.

I agree, I've seen pictures of Beyonce and Jay Z's yacht, maybe she should offer to pay for the pictures to be taken down, since I am sure now that all of the hype is about, the pictures are worth more than good pics of her.  Thats how this type of thing gets started, we want to see people at their worst, makes unattainable celebrities more like us.

How someone gets the job of 'publicist' for such a high profile star without being aware of the Streisand effect is simply beyond me. 

I have to agree with the publicist, those photos are awful. Sorry

But isn´t it a tiny bit in the responisbility of a photographer to take photos of nice moments of the face expression than of the weird moments?

In general, thats true. BUT in events like this - the photographers shoot tons of images, and give their cards directly to the wire agency on location. The photographers in this case are not the ones choosing the photos they like. so the photogs are not the ones to blame for this.... 

I agree with you but I have to agree with the publicist as well, those photos are awful.

It is always the responsibility of the photographer to take a flattering picture of their subject. Of course it's not always possible such as the case of a concert. However it's not in any way unreasonable for the client to request you only display them in their best light. I doubt any here would refuse such a request from their clients. Why should celebrities not deserve the same level of respect? (FYI that question is not directed at you Manuel, but others who may read this)

Yeah, I agree with the general idea. but there is  a big difference here... they know a request like this from a website like this will cause way more mess than good. She's such a high-profile person, and getting tons of good-and-bad press in the past month. Its 101 in publicity... you make a request like this, its going to explode. 

And ill just say: doesnt matter what Beyonce does, she looks great. #1 performer in the world in years. 

Just a bit of a challenge to what you said in the first section.

90% of the people shooting this were sports photographers or photojournalists. Their job is not to take a "flattering picture of their subject" but to get a picture that tells the story of the event. They can chose (or their editors can chose) to run only flattering photos, but thats not your job. Your job is to find THE image and get it.

I agree with you there. The word 'flattering' may have not been the best choice. While not flattering in the sense of a studio portrait, sports and concert work generally portray the performers in a pleasing manner. I googled 'Beyonce performs' (image search) just to double check and the results there stand in stark contrast to images on Buzzfeed. Which is why in this particular case I can sympathise with Beyonce's agent.

Still missing the mark slightly I think. Their job is to portray her in the way that best presents the show at the various aspects. If it seems like she was making those faces a lot (which I did notice when I was watching originally and mentioned at the Super Bowl party I was at) then thats the reality, even if it was not a "pleasing manner".

I'm sitting here laughing at myself thinking I'm not doing so well with words today. Scrap 'pleasing manner' and let's say I take no issue with Buzzfeed delivering the story they did but I understand how Beyonce's agent must feel.

So who exatcly was the "client" Was Beyonce paying? NO? well then.

The photographer is only responsible to take a flattering picture of their subject when the subject or agency is paying the photographer for his or her work. At an event like the Super Bowl, or any other news event, the photographer is only responsible for providing images to the news organization he or she is working for. And...if the purpose of the shoot is art rather than photojournalism, then all bets are off.

I would argue further that the the photojournalist is responsible for capturing the event, in all its glory, regarless of whether the subject or the image is pleasing to the eye. To strip out or censure the "unflattering" images from the news is irresponsible.

I have to agree with the publicist, those photos are awful. Sorry

Over the top what will happen anyone who posted their personal photos on facebook or any other photo sharing site. A Ludicrous #FAIL and a waste of time how many cease and desist notices will be sent out and how many will be actioned.

Simple Rule. Don't publish photos, you would't add to your portfolio. It' is live Performance, she dancing and singing at the same time. You can't just publish every frame you took. When you watch the video of the show you can't notice this ugly mimics. If you had only one frame to share and this frame must tell the story of the performance, you still choose #5 ?

Yeah, but if you're shooting the superbowl there's a good chance you're just handing cards off to runners who are sending them to a picture desk live and whoever is manning the desk is the one selecting the images to publish. It's all well and good saying don't publish photos you wouldn't have in your portfolio, but in the age of instant news editorial control has taken a massive hit.

I think it's a big fuss about nothing. It's not like the publicist threatened the website or anything, they just asked nicely because they thought the pictures looked bad. I'd do the same thing if a photographer took my picture and I thought I didn't look good in some they posted to Facebook. Not threatening, just asking nicely. The only reason this is blowing up now is because it's Beyonce..we just love to see celebs in a vulnerable position or do things they shouldn't be doing.
Also, the post on that website is lame to begin with. During any photoshoot I take like a hundred pictures where the person's face looks weird...but these get deleted right away after I had a good laugh, privately. I could do a series like that for every shoot I do, it's just the way people's faces look when you capture them mid-action. However these shots are in no way representative of the appearance of that person. Just my two cents.

I wish there were more level headed and intelligent people such as yourself here on Fstoppers. God knows we could actually have decent discussions instead of simple minded people bickering over their prejudices. Keep up the good work.

Seriously - you call that "singing"? I think the contrast between her gyration fest and the classy way Jennifer & Alicia handled themselves and really did sing, speaks for itself. As far as the pictures, she really did make those macho faces and the photos are a record of it. If her publicist doesn't like it, keep her home.

I remember reading that when Brittney Spears came here to Sweden, her record company or whatever wanted to own the copyright to all the photos taken during the concert. So all the press boycott the show.

Jens, can you please email me at rebeccabrittphotos(at) 

I'd like to hear more about this for a future article that I'm writing.  

Soundgarden did this recently too. A lot of people have. You could find more on message board, where they make fun of terrible agreements like that.

 Unfortunately it's quite common nowadays, the majority of big acts, like Coldplay, Muse, Foo Fighters, and more always ask to sign down awful photo releases...

Sure thing, I'm on it.

I think it's awesome they boycotted. With 40+ yrs in this industry and, OH MY! a law degree, I'm aware of my rights as a photographer (Title 17 USC), and NO entity or person can DEMAND any sell-out requirements of anyone. Years ago one company tried. I wrote the contract for their demand. Funny, they went to a "lessor" qualified and less experienced amateur. Perhaps it was the 5 million dollars per image price. NEVER give your image RIGHTS away! If they hadn't made such an idiotic demand, a reasonable and legitimate contract could have been signed. As professional photographers, you must remember, every image is OWNED by you and you alone. It's up to you to "lease" or "sell" the rights and "privileges" of each frame you create. No one can demand giving up your rights unless YOU allow it.

I've seen the pics and they're really awful. If they're published by any professional organization I question their ethics.
I've taken quite a few dancing pics and some dancers are almost impossible to take a bad pic of, some have the perfect expression all the time.

What are the ethics that say that all photos have to be flattering? I'm curious where your guidelines came from on that.

The internet ≠ facebook. You can't untag yourself.


who cares? beyonce found herself looking 'too fierce'? maybe she should stop making those 'fierce' faces, then, innit?

Not to be sexist or anything because I'm not,but it's a girl thing, happens to me all the time with my wife! :)

If people with cameras had to reload card every 36 frames they would think more about the picture before pressing the shutter button. These pictures are not "photographs".
And celebrities and publicists have to learn to live with it...

Can't be Foxxy Cleopatra all the time... that is just too many Xs in one name to live up to.

Publicists around the world can ... wait for it ... suck it!

Those images are a pretty darn good representation of what I saw in her performance; ugly face after ugly face and many many awkward moments. 

Its perfectly acceptable to politely ask to have them taken down. We have all gotten a bad photo of us taken that we wish nobody could see, the only difference is that maybe 5 people will see the goofy photo of us and have a laugh at our expense, For beyonce it's billions of people who can have a laugh at her expense. Also it was the publicist who asked to have them taken down, which is the publicist's job! if something is released to the public than can cause bad publicity for beyonce, it is her publicists job to take care of it. Especially considering that beyonce is in a business where sex sells, beyonce needs to hold up a glamourous/sexy public image for her to continue with her career. Just because she is famous doesn't mean she is not entitled to the same respect as everyone else, I mean how would you like it if a bunch of bad photos got out into the public and the only thing attached to your name was a compilation of bad photography. Would that interrupt your career as a photographer? and don't we all take not so great photos sometimes? If beyonces "bad " photos should be extensively publicized, then your "bad" photos from the last job you did should be extensively publicized as well.

When you're that big and under the spotlight (and microscope) - making a (valid) request like this will cause way more mess than do good. Yes, its a valid request and no one said she's not a person... but its just not a very smart request (if the goal was the removal of the images). No one would have seen, care or remember those images if no request was made. but now it just went viral and did the opposite of what they wanted. 

Acceptable? yes, valid? yes yes. smart? not really

The publicist knows better but had to bow to a dumb request from the client.

Obviously the publicist has never heard of the Streisand effect...

I understand 13 and 22  are funny but the rest is still very hot ^^

and fstoppers obey... you post every crap but not these pictures.....

I take a lot of live performance stuff and I'm pretty careful to self edit, its better for business.  I want people to view me as the photographer who makes them look great, not the guy who makes them look like s..

I agree we should remove all images of her, as well as any mentions.

Honestly, I could care less. Never been a fan of her and not that impressed with her looks or music style. I think she has gotten to big for her britches. 

As the bad guy in Taken says: "Good luck".

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