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Beyoncé Bans All Pro Photographers From Her Concerts

Beyoncé Bans All Pro Photographers From Her Concerts

Last week, exactly 2 months after the Superbowl 'Unflattering photos' fiasco, Beyoncé started her 'Mrs. Carter Show' world tour. As someone who followed the 'Unflattering' story very closely, and as someone who is a big fan of hers, I had no doubt Beyoncé and her publicist will learn from their mistakes on how to deal with bad pictures taken of her, and wont make horrible mistakes again. I was wrong. Beyoncé banned all professional photographers from her shows, hoping this way no unflattering photos will make it to mainstream media. She was wrong. What happened is that media outlets purchased low-quality and not-so-flattering images taken by her fans.

Beyoncé's publicist, the same one who emailed and asked websites to remove images she didn't like few months back, decided that this time they wouldn't allow photographers to shoot her shows. Instead, they would provide 3-5 pre-approved images their own photographer shot for the media to use after each show. They wanted to control what images the media had access to. But we all know how media works - they will do anything possible to get images that other publications don't have. If they can't send a photographer to give them original photos, the next best thing they can do is buy photos from fans in the front rows in the arena (cameras were not allowed, but no one can take away phones). It's the next best thing for them, and a huge nightmare for Beyoncé and her publicist.

Beyoncé The Mrs. Carter Show 2013 World Tour guidelines for Photographers (via Music Photographers):
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They thought by not letting photographers in, they will have full control over the photos shown in the media. Huge mistake. Now not only is the mainstream media showing unflattering photos of her, they are showing bad-quality unflattering photos of her.

I think Beyoncé has a lot to learn from Mckayla Maroney, who decided that instead of being annoying and asking people to stop using her 'not impressed' photo from the Olympics, she joined the party and made fun of herself. Not only she gained points in the public's eye, she also gained positive momentum for her career. Yes, I know, Beyoncé doesn't need anything to boost her career since she is so popular, but she should start making the right decisions before people get tired of her diva-ish actions.

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Her publicist has to understand something about what happened in the Superbowl: In such events, photographers who work for photo agencies shoot like crazy and give their memory cards to someone on their team who runs to download the images and upload them directly to the server. No time for too much sorting or retouching. So yeah, in events like that, some photos might not make it as your next album cover. But in almost any other event, such as normal concerts, photographers have time to go through the images, get rid of the bad ones and send out the absolute best. Generally speaking, no one wants to post bad pictures. Banning professional photographers from all shows is simply stupid. Beyoncé needs to use the media to her advantage, not fight it. Playing games with the media will cause more harm than good. If they didn't learn this from what happened two months ago, maybe this time they will.

Beyoncé is an awesome person and an amazing performer- one of the best of our era. I hope she's going to learn from her mistakes this time and deal with the press as a pro should. Note to Beyoncé: I'm available if you're looking for a photography-related-issues adviser. Just call and i'll be there. No joking.


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What do you think of her decision banning professional photographers from her tour? smart move, or another bad mistake on how to deal with the media?

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107 Comments

Previous comments
4244243's picture

nigggas... what the fuk?

Jorge Moro's picture

She needs to get over herself. Prima Donna.

When is the time that they realize that all professional photographers sometimes take hundreds of pictures of someone, but only a handful will actually be good. Especially when you are in motion like she is during her tours. If she didn't say anything the first time around this wouldn't have happened.

Most all photographers can take the most beautiful picture from their shoot and the most ugly picture at the same time. If not close enough, or just a bad idea.

Dino Traite's picture

Editing and grammatical errors aside, I feel let down. Personally I'm a Beyoncé fan and I'll be attending a concert with my mother in July. I mean, it would be nice to just savor the moments in my memory, but it would be nice to take some photos with my camera, too. My phone doesn't take the best quality photos. But hey, I'll work with what I got if I have to.

Paul Callaghan's picture

I wish someone would just ban her and her crappy formulaic pop drivel she calls music - get over it princess, it's what you signed up for sweety!!

Jeff J. Newman's picture

awww geez another mess...i really like beyonce although my late friend etta did not...etta had a final approval policy as well...they are only pictures for cryin out loud.

Mr Blah's picture

Quite funny. so let's recap:
1- Try to cencor the whoooole web to not show 1 funny face out of a 3h show....
2- ban all protogs
And if we take a guess:
3- reinvite protogs to the shows
4- no one came because she's been a bitch

M. R.'s picture

Let's also recap:

1- In 2009 Beyonce went on a World Tour.

2- Photography was banned except for during the opening number

3- The Super Bowl photo thing happened in 2013.

4. In 2013 Beyonce again bans photography.

Do you really still think it's about flattering photos and not just the way she does things?

Mr Blah's picture

she either: 1- has a ridiculous reason to ban photography at concert or 2-can't stand the fact that she might look funny for 1/500th of second in a 2h show...

Either way she's a bit of a c.....

M. R.'s picture

Is a professional photographer allowed to go to a movie and photograph it? No. So why is it ridiculous to expect professional photographers to be banned on for a concert?

M. R.'s picture

You're making a HUGE assumption. Just because her publicist did that Buzzfeed thing, doesn't mean anything about this. She's banned photographers for most of her past shows as well. Only allowing them to photograph the entrance. I think it's more to preserve secrecy of her tour than anything about vanity! Also she likes to own her image. Not have other people own it.

Kitty Bridgehouse's picture

i have 0 respect for her and her ugly photo shots.

M. R.'s picture

What would be the problem with having bad quality unflattering photos anyway? Who wants to use a LQ image? This whole article is just so poorly thought out.

Kitty Bridgehouse's picture

maybe the photographer has a special camera that brings her innner "beauty" out.. and that's why she has such ugly faces in them... hhahahaha.

Aura Borealis's picture

stupid move. Fans will take pictures and send those to media outlets, so now she'ss have even worse photos of her up...

Haywards50000's picture

Nobody can ever look good while performing the way she has to (or other musicians similar to her). 90% of the time one will end up looking weird because you just naturally make such faces when putting in a lot of effort, (into whatever it may be actually). Having said that its also obvious that somebody photographing that event will manage to take some very unflattering photographs, as has happened in this case. So i don't think it's really a photographers fault when he/she manages to take that photo, and why should it be anybody else's to simply publish a bad photo. If Beyonce or whoever is in charge of representing her in this regard realized that it simply does not matter, everybody would be better off. For those who love her will continue to do so and those who do not will have found reason to put her down further, but that will never change the fact that she is who she is, in the mind of those who perceive her some positive way. It's a bad move on her part as nobody can look perfect at all times and its best if she publicly acknowledged that by allowing herself to be seen in that light. At the end of the day those who consider her a great performer will not suddenly think otherwise because she looked unattractive (at times) while performing on stage, they wont give a shit, and she shouldn't either. Everyone can look severely unattractive at times, so what?

J Andrew Davis's picture

hey beyonce u stupid c u next tuesday i got a nokia phone with a 42 megapixel camera....you have no power here....now go back to cuba with your monkey... im sorry jayz, and dont come back {unt