One of Britain's best-known photographers, Jason Fraser, has split with French agency Eliot Press after 13 years, saying he has become "uncomfortable" with certain management methods.
He is instead planning to concentrate on what Press Gazette understands is a major web venture.
Press Gazette has seen an early version of the site – which is expected to launch within a month and carries sponsorship from a cosmetics giant, a major airline and a big-name computer company.
Fraser, who has made millions from celebrity photos – most famously the Dodi-Diana kiss – has a 50 per cent stake in the new web venture which is expected to have a staff of 25.
Talking about his split with Eliot – which syndicates Fraser's photos – he said: "I retain fond memories of my personal experiences with the Eliot Press photographers, most of whom are among my closest friends.
"We go on holiday together, stay at each others' homes – but it is the distribution, at times, by the management of information to the photographers and its sources which has made me feel increasingly uncomfortable."
"The competitiveness of the exclusive celebrity photo market has undoubtedly been a temptation for a small number of photo agencies to test the limits in the information-gathering aspect that leads to a photograph being taken."
Two other photo agencies, one in Australia and one in America, are understood to have chosen to withdraw their photographs and stock from Eliot some 10 days before Fraser.
Fraser recently redesigned the French newspaper, France Soir, and said he will continue to work as a photographer.