Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - September 24, 2010

A Look Inside Paparazzi Photography

Paparazzi [noun] – a freelance photographer, especially one who takes candid pictures of celebrities for publication

We have all seen the cover of tabloid magazines plastered with famous celebrity faces on every newsstand.  Especially here in North America it is difficult to escape it when you are going about your daily chores waiting in line to check out at the local grocery store or drugstore.

I don’t think anyone would disagree that paparazzi photographers are the most hated among other photographers. On average, the paparazzi photogs that do this on a full-time basis make anywhere from $80,000 – $250,000. The really great stalkers, I mean veteran paparazzi photogs make on average $250,000 – $300,000 apparently. I guess the one’s that make the higher incomes can justify their behavior by the amount of money they receive in return for their actions.

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Kayne West & Kim Kardashian |

It is obvious that the fame of many celebrities come and go. At one time their image could be worth a pretty penny but if someone new steps in and steals the spotlight that person may no longer be desirable to the public. Certain people will always be the center of attention like the royal family and images of most of them will always be worth something to publications and especially tabloids.

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Princess Diana | Taken by Alison Jackson |

Images that are often taken of the subject without their knowledge in a vulnerable or private state can be worth big money. Sometimes even in the million dollar range. It is these images that can help increase the sales of a publication to record-breaking numbers.

I read on several occasions that an image of Princess Diana taken after her car crash preceding her death was circulating showing a stream of blood flowing from her mouth. Apparently many newsrooms had received the images from the paparazzi photographers chasing her, but held off on publishing it due to the legal repercussions. The cost of the image versus the amount of copies these news sources could have potentially sold would have been highly profitable. However, all chose not to release it.

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Kate Moss |

Many of the hot night spots primarily in Los Angeles and New York have paparazzi’s waiting outside on any given busy night. The photographers are well aware they have a good chance of capturing some famous face exiting the establishment. The paparazzo are hoping to snap a shot of some drunk and disorderly behavior and sell it to the publications offering the most money.

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Kim Kardashian-West with baby North |

At many of the places frequented by celebrities, the photographer and at least one employee have a pre-arranged deal to notify the paparazzi when someone worthwhile graces their business. The photog will in return reward the rat (or informant) depending on the status of the famous face.

Justin Beiber in an altercation with the paparazzi |

Often at times when a celebrity has a new movie, television show, CD release and its quiet before exiting the celeb will have his/her people call the paparazzi as an unidentified informant. This creates free publicity for shameless promoting. It has been known that a certain cast member of the HBO television show Entourage has done some self promoting during the taping of series.

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Kayne West in altercation with paparazzi |

I guess it is fair to say that there are often times where the celebrity and the paparazzi use each other. However, in times when something extremely personal is going on or the celebrity wants privacy, conflicts between the two can easily arise. In several situations altercations have broken out because the lack of respect and space between the two.

Safety has been an issue in several instances when it is after dark and the flashes are constantly going off in the person’s face and they cannot see where they are going.  Also, most celebrities like to keep their children private from their famed life and to protect the child from any potential harm and the photographers will not give them their privacy.

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Alec Baldwin and paparazzi getting into an altercation.

Several years ago a paparazzi accused Britney Spears of driving over his foot. He was chasing her, taking pictures with his camera inches from her face and making contact with her car. It is sometimes impossible for the celebrity to escape and go on with their lives when there are no boundaries. Laws need to be enforced to protect both parties to avoid any serious injury.

Fergie & Josh Duhamel leaving dinner in Los Angeles.

Certain stores such as Kitson LA has or at one time had a huge celebrity clientele. Often images of these celebrities would be highly sought after by weekly tabloid magazines hoping to capture them in a way that would help increase magazine sales. These boutiques and the celebrity “shopping” in their store would often have an arrangement. They would schedule a time for the celebrity to come into the store and spend a fair amount of time shopping around. Once the celebrity was inside, an employee of the store would call the paparazzi “anonymously” to alert them of which famous face they would be able to capture.

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The most recent paparazzi buzz was created when Prince William and Kate Middleton introduced their new royal baby girl to the world. Many royal fanatics were anxiously waiting for the arrival of the new baby and to find out whether it was a boy or a girl. Images of first sightings create a great deal of anticipation among royal family followers and can be very lucrative to many print publications. However, after the Princesses death, the relationship between the Royal family and the paparazzi. The paparazzi makes an effort to not cross any boundaries that could upset the family or cause them any potential harm. Prince William still believes that the paparazzi photographers were responsible in the death of his late mother. As do many others.

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Kate Middleton & Prince William presenting the royal baby to the world for the first time |

Many paparazzi photographers try to develop a relationship with the celebrity in order to gain some respect from them. In turn, many of the celebrities will cooperate and stop for photos or answer questions when approached. When the celebrities do not want to give the photographer what they are there to capture some paparazzi photographers shout personal remarks attacking their subject in an unnecessary manner. The paparazzo are hoping to get some sort of reaction from them and capture it on camera. No wonder they are looked down upon as “photographers.”

I think I will stick with architecture and landscapes. I don’t need to piss anyone off! Nor does this seems like a skilled form of photography as most of us camera loving enthusiasts know.

Until next time,


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