Zooey Deschanel the Latest Musician to Impose Anti-Photo Policy


Zooey Deschanel is the latest performer to weigh in on concert etiquette, with signs posted at concerts by the actress/singer’s indie pop act She & Him asking fans to ditch their cameraphones and refrain from snapping photos.

“At the request of Matt (musical partner M. Ward) and Zooey, we ask that people not use their cell phones to take pictures and video, but instead enjoy the show they have put together in 3D,” according to signs posted at a recent Toronto stop on the current She & Him tour.

While the request is politely worded and seems more about preserving the aesthetic experience than greed, fans didn’t take kindly to way it was implemented. “Security guards…are now flashing flashlights in the faces of fans in the first few rows who dare pull out their phones,” tweeted concertgoer Rob Duffy.

Other fans had more humorous things to say:

The band did allow a handful of pre-vetted photographers to shoot the show.

While the policy was credited to Deschanel, Ward is an even more outspoken critic, enforcing blanket bans on audience photography at his solo shows.


She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward)

She & Him join a growing roster of indie acts complaining that wall-to-wall photo and video coverage at shows robs fans of a full musical experience. Signs posted at recent shows by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs proclaim:

“Please do not watch the show through a screen on your smart device /camera. Put that (junk) away as a courtesy to the person behind you and to Nick, Karen and Brian.”

Likewise, postpunk firebrands The Savages made this request:

“Our goal is to discover better ways of lving and experiencing music. We believe that the use of phones to film and take pictures during a gig prevents all of us from totally immersing ourselves. Let’s make this evening special. Silence your phones.”

The ostensible concern for audience experience, meanwhile,  contrasts with the vanity-driven photography bans during Beyonce’s current tour.

(via via Gawker)

Image credits: Zooey Deschanel by, She & Him photo by Angel 007

  • thereddiva80

    How annoying is it trying to enjoy a show with every single person around you shoving their cameras and phone in the air to take pictures, blocking the view of their neighbors. I’ve taken some pics at concerts before, of course, but it’s now the norm to ignore what’s happening in front of your eyes to instead view real life through the low-quality screen of your iphone. Take a minute to think about the effort and time these performers put into giving you a chance to be part of a live audience and how disheartening it must be to have 85% of attendees never looking at you directly, paying more attention to posting pics on Facebook or Instagram than to the actual show going on right in front of them.

  • Theranthrope

    How about you just enjoy the show?

    Cameras or no cameras; there will ALWAYS be inconsiderate individuals at
    shows, because people are people: If someone is disrupting the show for
    you, either tell them to knock it off yourself, or if that doesn’t work, escalate it by
    getting the venue staff and/or security involved.

    However, if it’s not worth the effort stepping up in the first place, as your enjoyment isn’t -actually- being diminished (other than an indirect, meta, kind of way…), it’s not worth sweating the issue, because it isn’t your place to tell the youngins that they aren’t “enjoying the concert right”, or to “get that hair out of your eyes”, or “pull up those pants”, or “get off my lawn”, because you’re officially an old fart now: Congratulations! Now leave those kids in peace.

  • Southern Curmudgeon

    “leave the millenials alone. We’ll be fine without the constant probing and concern….”
    We know better, that’s why we are concerned

  • Southern Curmudgeon

    “As a child of the 70’s – 80’s, I was told that video games & heavy metal music would turn my generation into a mass of satanic zombies who send the country directly to hell.”

    Look around; it’s already happened. Congratulations.

  • clouds

    Music is generally an audio experience so using your hands and eyes to take a photo or video will have no effect on what your ears hear, and thus will not upset yours or anybody else’ musical experience.

    I think they should have a ‘stop caring about what other people are doing in the crowd and enjoy the show’ policy

    Self-righteous elitists like Zooey, Matt, and commenters like yourself need to lighten up and let people do what they want, either that or start some sort of hipster-amish-cult where phones aren’t allowed, unless you use a vintage dial-phone ironically.

  • Sky

    I think you missed “live” part. If I would want just to listen the music I would use my iPod.

  • Corey Smith

    The issue with this is the venue needs to make that decision before tickets are sold, this way it can be known up front. What i have a problem with is when tickets are sold and then they change their minds about allowing photographers to use cameras and then dont offer the ability to return / refund the ticket.

  • Kingly

    That was the Baby Boomers. The “Me-Me-Me” generation who greedily took everything they could for themselves at the expense of their kids.