Posts Tagged 'paparazzi'

Exhibit Eyes Invasions of Privacy

Photo by jonathan mcintosh

As hard as it might be for some people to accept, you don’t own your “image,” you can’t control whether someone takes your photo in public, and no one has to ask your permission. From paparazzi in hot pursuit of starlets to street photographers trying to capture candid moments, it’s all up for grabs. And, sometimes, those are the best shots.

With that in mind, London’s Tate Modern is running the exhibit “Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera,” which explores the “unseen photographer,” from Marilyn Monroe feeling the breeze on the subway grates to a kissing couple in a 1950s movie theater, and how the viewer is implicated in such covert observations. From the Tate’s web site:

The issues raised are particularly relevant in the current climate, with topical debates raging around the rights and desires of individuals, terrorism and the increasing availability and use of surveillance. Exposed confronts these issues and their implications head-on.

The exhibit will go until October 3.

NYC Doorman K.O.’s Photographer

Screen grab: Gawker

One New York City doorman takes his job really seriously — so seriously he punched out photographer Tim Wiencis outside an Upper East Side building for trying to get a shot of  the wife of latest Ponzi scheme mastermind Ken Starr. The doorman was arrested for assault.

It should be noted that Wiencis was on a public sidewalk covering a news event as part of his job, and the doorman was certainly out of line — inexplicably resorting to violence to protect…what? A very possible criminal who lives in his building. It doesn’t seem worth it.

Article from New York Daily News (via Gawker)

Set-Crashing Photog Tells All

If you’ve wondered what goes into getting those clandestine movie set shots that are plastered all over the gossip magazines and E! News, Photo Shelter has an enlightening interview with photographer Eric Ford of On Location News. Ford is a movie buff who started out as an extra, transitioned into photography, and now uses his passion and patience to camp out on sets to get big shots. He got the first-ever set photos of Brad and Angelina on Mr. & Mrs. Smith and made headlines recently with a racy Adam Lambert shot (which he explains how he got).

Ford distinguishes himself from the scrum of regular paparazzi because he only takes set photos, but the article doesn’t mention that he was investigated by the FBI in 2007 for trying to sell sexually explicit photos of the underage Kardashian sisters.

Read the whole interview at Photo Shelter (via The Click)

Bullock Incites Paparazzi Frenzy

You don’t want to be Sandra Bullock right now.

“Top Secret” Photo Assignment

Photo: what’

In his blog, photographer Andrew Hetherington recounts the story of getting a photo of notorious paparazzo Ron Galella–paparazzi-style–for a “top secret” assignment for the AARP Bulletin feature called “Where Are They Now?” After staking out his house, Hetherington tails him in his car and pounces at a photo lab. Galella, 78, said he was impressed by the ambush, but was aware he was around the whole time (if not knowing why). Surprisingly though, Galella tells AARP, he likes being photographed.

Smash His Camera, a documentary on Galella’s distinction as the godfather of paparazzo, stalking the likes of Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Marlon Brando, debuted at Sundance this year. His photos of Jackie O. in the 70s are among the most iconic, right up there with the White House years.

Galella calls the current paparazzi “gangbangers.” (But don’t we always think our way of doing things as more refined, when in all actuality Jackie O. felt just as terrorized as modern-day celebrities with him around.) Still, he says the most photos he took of her in a single year was 20. It seems quaint, doesn’t it?

Read the AARP article on Ron Galella here.

Article from What’s the Jackanory? via The Click

Now Easier to Sue for Paparazzi Pics

An amendment to an anti-paparazzi law went into effect today in California that allows celebrities and others to sue media outlets for publishing photos of them that were taken illegally. As the LA Times reports, it:

Allows celebrities and others to sue for up to $50,000 when someone takes and sells their pictures without permission while they are engaging in “personal or familial activity,” such as taking their children to school.

The obvious problem with this law is what exactly is “personal or familial activity”? It’s so broad and impossible to define. So, taking children to school while in public would be considered a violation, but leaving a grocery store is not…or is it? Eating at an outdoor cafe in public? Shopping in public?

As intrusive or aggressive as the paparazzi can be, there is just no legitimate way to curb the practice. And enacting laws that restrict real journalistic activities sets a bad precedent. As the general counsel for The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press said on their web site:

Nobody is ever going to be able to successfully prosecute one of these actions. Nevertheless, the initiation of even meritless lawsuits has a chilling effect on legitimate news gatherers.

Police Quash Fan Photos of Royals

We posted earlier in the month on how England’s Royal Family is trying to prohibit photographs taken of them on their estates. The problem in recent months has been that the Royals felt their privacy was being invaded as they were caught on a few occasions doing some less-than-flattering things, and they maintain they’ve always offered up staged photo opportunities (that, really, are the least they could do for their “subjects”). So it’s all the more suprising that fans’ cameras were seized by police as the Queen Elizabeth and other family members made their way to church on Sunday.

Norfolk police have admitted they acted on their own and that it was a mistake. But still, it’s a scary precedent to set, and all the more so since it’s regarding something as harmless as fans taking photos of a public event – of the most public and revered family in the country no less! As Matthew Sinclair from the watchdog group TaxPayers’ Alliance says in the Daily Mail, “There needs to be a sense of proportion and this seems to have been completely lost in this case.”

Article from The Daily Mail

Queen Wants to Limit Paparazzi

Photo of Buckingham Palace by madancer

The queen of England is saying off with their heads…that is, to the paparazzi who violate her family’s privacy. The Telegraph reports that Buckingham Palace is taking legal action to bar paparazzi from photographing the Royal family on their private estates. The Royal family grants public photo opportunities but want anything more to be deemed criminal harassment. Some say the Royals are just trying to prevent unflattering pictures from emerging – noting two particular photos where the queen was caught wringing a pheasant’s neck and an earl was hitting his hunting dogs. Paparazzi apparently station themselves on public roads and get intimate shots like these with their telephoto lenses. 

I am firmly not in the aggressive paparazzi camp, so I have a hard time siding with people who intimidate and intrude on their subjects to the point of being sleazy and dangerous. Though, on the other hand, it comes down to public people (in this case, very public) and their reasonable expectations of privacy. Do they have any? Not to mention that it also smacks of some hypocrisy, as the article points out, when members of the Royal family are happy to sell access to their private events for some serious cash to these same “intrusive” media outlets.

Articles via the Telegraph and Guardian

File This In Hollyweird…


From a craigslist posting, it looks like a “celebrity agent and a socialite” in West Hollywood is looking for a paparazzi photographer to follow him around and “snap pictures of him in every possible oppurtunity.” While the ad is directed at “student/photographers/unemployed people,” it doesn’t sound like the criteria is too exacting because “all you need is a camera and the will to follow someone around for long periods of time.”

You Too Can Be the Despised Paparazzi

Photo by discarted

In LA, we have ample opportunities to take photos of famous people. On Sunday in fact we saw Vince Vaughn riding his bike with friends in Santa Monica. (Counter to the common refrain about celebrities, he’s much larger in person.)

In this article in the Guardian, Ravi Somaiya embarks on a mission to take paparazzi-worthy photos – that is to say, photos that can net large payouts from the celebrity weeklies. One fuzzy photo of Salmon Rushdie and a mangled shot of Kirsten Dunst later, Somaiya learned a few things.

Rob Bennett, photographer for the New York Times, gives this advice in reviewing Somaiya’s shots, which can actually be applied to all sorts of street photography:

These both show a fear of revealing yourself to the subject. You can see that you were scared of approaching them. Actually, the one of you and her has value. Citizen journalism like this works when the photographer engages with the subject.

Paparazzi need to have “rhino thick” skin, says Chris Doherty, owner of photo agency INF. That’s presumably to withstand the barrage of insults and expletives thrown your way along the line of “get a real job.” He also says you need multiple sources around town, i.e., doormen, valet parkers, waiters. These people tip you off to comings and goings that might not already be on the radar of the 800 or so other paparazzi on the prowl.

But this little hobby can prove to be very lucrative, as one amateur found out when he got around $32K for photos of Cameron Diaz surfing.
Or you could just hang out on Hollywood Boulevard and get one of hot gossip magnet Scott Adsit, star of “30 Rock” (above).

Article from The Guardian.

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