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How does a photographer become a paparazzi?

Jonathan Lobb , Jun 01, 2005; 10:26 p.m.

So everytime I turn around there's something in the news about paparazzis. But I've always wondered how one becomes a paparazzi. I know I'm gonna catch alot of flack for this, since they don't have the best reputations, but I don't care.

It just looks like alot of fun. As long as you arn't trying to run people off the road or doing anything dangerous to them, I can see it being a blast.

I don't wanna do it really, I have to much on my plate already. Between school and trying to run my own photography business I'm already stretched thin.

But yeah, how do you become a paparazzi? Is it just something you have to fall into? Or could you just pick up and move to L.A. and start doing it?

If there's anybody here who has actually DONE it, I would LOVE to talk to you over AIM.

Responses


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Sean Noonan , Jun 02, 2005; 12:04 a.m.

How do you become a paparazzi? First you sell your soul to the devil. Second you buy a camera with the money and commence making crappy snapshots of people currently living their in their 15 minutes of fame....

Sorry I couldn't resist!

Really though, I can't imagine getting into the business is much different from getting a freelancing gig with any other magazine or specialist agency.

Regards,

Sean
www.stnphotography.com

Guy Hammond , Jun 02, 2005; 02:00 a.m.

The singular is "paparazzo"; they refer to themselves as "paps". They are just a specialist branch of photojournalist. Here's how to become one: take a bunch of celebrity pictures off your own bat and build a portfolio. Send it to every picture editor you can find. Politely call - not more than once a week - and ask if there's anything they need shooting. Eventually one will say, get me some shots of person X. If you deliver great shots to their desk in 48 hrs, you're in. If you fail, they might call you again in 6 months (after all, your portfolio was good enough to get their attention in the first place) but if you fail again, don't bother calling them again. This is not really different from how to get into any news organization as a PJ.

(Disclaimer: I am not a pap myself, but I do know my way around the news industry).

Curtis Newport , Jun 02, 2005; 03:30 a.m.

Forget everything you ever learned about common decency and abandon all hopes of contributing to society in any meaningful way. Find a biology textbook and learn about parasites, then try to mimic their behavior.

Mike Dixon , Jun 02, 2005; 04:14 a.m.

The relationship between paparazzi and celebrities is much more symbiotic than parasitic. The overwhelming majority of the time, the publicity provided by paparazzi is quite welcome and beneficial to celebrities' marketability.

Before universally condemning paparazzi, perhaps you should ask why their photos can be so valuable? Why does the public crave "illicit" photos so much? (In fact, some of those "sneaky" images come from staged events.)

Guy Hammond , Jun 02, 2005; 05:08 a.m.

Mike, you are absolutely right. I bet Curtis thinks photojournalists covering wars and natural disasters are parasites, exploiting the victims too.

Art Haykin , Jun 02, 2005; 06:39 a.m.

The same way you become a hooker, a bank robber, or a street mime: You go out and rob banks, shake your booty on the boulevard, and walk against the wind. Geeze, you have to show some puppies the stick before you throw it.

Mike Dixon , Jun 02, 2005; 06:53 a.m.

C'mon, Art, don't you think it's a little insulting to paparazzi to compare them to street mimes? They're not THAT big a nuisance.

Curtis Newport , Jun 02, 2005; 08:12 a.m.

"I bet Curtis thinks photojournalists covering wars and natural disasters are parasites, exploiting the victims too."

To compare paparazzi to photojournalists is an insult to both photographers and journalists.

Art Haykin , Jun 02, 2005; 11:21 a.m.

>>>"C'mon, Art, don't you think it's a little insulting to paparazzi to compare them to street mimes? They're not THAT big a nuisance."<<<It wasn't their nuisance value I was addresssing, it was the naiveté of the poster.


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