Picture perfect … this snap of Beyoncé in Amsterdam was taken by Frank Micelotta, the only accredited photographer on the Mrs Carter tour. Photograph: Frank Micelotta/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP
Beyoncé has banned professional photographers from her current world tour. According to the venue contract obtained by a music photographers' Facebook group, "no photo credentials" are to be granted for concerts on Beyoncé's Mrs Carter tour. Instead, news outlets have been given a link to a website featuring shots from Amsterdam, Zagreb, Belgrade and Bratislava, all of which were taken by Frank Micelotta. Beyoncé's UK publicist has confirmed to the Guardian that this is the case.
The move to prohibit press photographers is seen by most observers as a reaction to this year's Super Bowl kerfuffle, when sites such as Gawkerand Buzzfeed compiled "unflattering" images of Beyoncé's jubilant exertions. After publishing these shots by Getty Images, Buzzfeedreceived an email from Beyoncé's US publicist Yvette Noel-Schure, "respectfully asking" the site to "change" their article. "I am certain you will be able to find some better photos," Noel-Schure wrote.
As the blog Fstoppers points out, barring professionals means that newspapers and magazines will have to rely on amateurs: "[The media] will do anything possible to get images that other publications don't have," explained Noam Galai. "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 … Now, not only is the mainstream media showing unflattering photos of her, they are showing bad-quality unflattering photos of her."
Case in point: Beyoncé's risqué new bodysuit, used at her Mrs Carter shows, has not been featured in any of the singer's official promo shots. Curious outlets have therefore relied on amateur and paparazzi snaps, taken from far away and with bad lighting, to capture the full brunt of Beyoncé's trompe l'oeil nipples.
Beyoncé's next concert is in Paris tonight. The UK leg of her tour begins in Birmingham on 26 April.