The other side of the lens: 5Qs about Paparazzi

LOS ANGELES — Kristen Bell’s No Kids Policy seeks to reduce the market for paparazzi photography of celebrity children by leveraging celebrity itself: She assembled a roster of dozens of stars, from Jennifer Aniston to Jennifer Lawrence, who agreed not to grant interviews to entertainment shows or publications that purchase paparazzi imagery of famous people’s children.

But what about paparazzi photography? Here’s a look at the other side of the lens:

1. Are all celebrity photographers considered paparazzi?

No. The Italian word “paparazzi” refers to independent photographers who pursue celebrities to take candid images, unlike photographers from credentialed news outlets who are invited to cover celebrity events.

2. How do paparazzi know where to find celebrities?

Many get information from tipsters regarding celebrity whereabouts, such as airport arrivals or restaurant reservations. Others memorize license plate numbers of celebrities’ cars, while some stake stars’ homes and hangouts. Still others frequent film sets, rehearsal studios and farmers’ markets that stars are known to attend.

3. How do paparazzi sell their photos?

Successful freelance photographers distribute their images through photo agencies that deliver content directly to magazines, websites and news shows. The photographer edits his take, then uploads it to an agency’s server. Sometimes, paparazzi sell images direct to media outlets.

4. How valuable are these photos?

Unique photos make the most money, says Tuan, a paparazzo who shoots for Phamous Photos. He says he made $17,000 for a picture of Katie Holmes with baby Suri. The image was taken with a long lens from a helicopter, and it was an accident. Tuan was on assignment for a photo feature about celebrity homes and didn’t realize until later that he’d captured the first image of Holmes with her daughter.

5. How does someone become a paparazzo?

Any photographer or videographer may join the industry. Patience, tenacity and drive are required, as the working environment is competitive and cutthroat. There’s no guaranteed payday, so paparazzi are always on the chase for that money shot.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press


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