Are Street Photographers More Unethical Than Paparazzi?

As a street photographer, I feel conflicted about the paparazzi and how they go about their work.

I believe a photographer should have the right to create images freely in a public space. For almost a decade, I’ve argued with non-street photographers about whether or not the art form should be allowed. Paparazzi certainly crosses over into the world of street photography. The only difference is the subject with paparazzi remains the same – celebrities. But while I’ll fight for the right to make the candid frame, I can’t say I’m entirely on the side of those who photograph celebs.

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Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield Use Paparazzi to Send Charitable Message, Again


They may carry around cameras with expensive lenses all day, and their job may involve taking photos, but the paparazzi are notorious for being scums of the world, a reputation that for the most part is not without justice. They hunt celebrities and famous personalities down like prey, and some even go as far as doing repulsive stuff to get a rise out of the person they happen to be chasing.

It’s little wonder we see and/or hear about celebrities – Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, heck even pacifist Chris Martin and Katie Holmes’ little girl Suri – getting into yelling matches and even physical fights with these so-called photographers. You can’t blame them. They are human, and people generally tend to react negatively when cameras and flashes are being shoved in their faces when they’re just going about their day.

Yet you have to admire how some celebrities handle paparazzi better than others. Take the adorable coupling of Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, for example. These two have been prime paparazzi real estate since that Spiderman reboot came out, yet not once have we seen them go bonkers on any paparazzo. Nope, not even the finger.

Instead, the couple has adopted an ingenious way to turn the menace collective into prime resource themselves. They’ve gotten into this habit of holding up cardboard signs containing handwritten messages to highlight and bring attention to the non-profits they support, including the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, while being stalked and photographed. The first did it in 2012 and again on Tuesday, June 17.

The way the world tends to eat up everything celebrity-related, I’m pretty sure their cardboard sign campaigns are probably just as effective, if not more, as throwing a charity auction or ball. So we’re giving kudos to them for using their celeb power for good. With great power, after all, comes great responsibility.

Via Know Your Meme

Weekend Humor: The Paparazzo-Celebrity Rift Goes All the Way Back to a Food Fight in the 1940s

That's a famous person.

That’s a famous person.

Weekend Humor isn’t meant to be taken seriously. So don’t, ya rube.

The paparazzo is an often reviled figure in A-list circles. Once Alec Baldwin finds himself staring at the business end of a telephoto lens, a white hot rage forms in the core of his being and surges out into his hands. “Fear the Baldwin” has become an oft-repeated phrase in celebrity headhunter circles, but given the need to put food on the table, most resign themselves going out yet again to sit in a café for eight hours at a time. The divide between the person behind the camera and the one in front of it wasn’t always there. A food fight between Felice Quinto, the grandpapa of all paparazzi, and some kid in the 1940s led to the great schism.

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Gisele Bundchen’s Bodyguards Allegedly Fire on Paparazzi

Gisele Bundchen - Beachy Hair


Despite what some folks may think about paparazzi, I’m not sure that anything in the world warrants firing guns on them. At least, that’s what a pair of paparazzi are claiming that supermodel Giselle Bundchen’s bodyguards did to them. Petapixel is reporting that there was a pair working in Costa Rica back in 2009 and that Agence France Presse photographer Yuri Cortez and local shooter Carlos Aviles were photographing her wedding. The photographers were being uncooperative, apparently got into a spat of some sort with the guards who demanded that the photographers handed over their cameras and memory cards, and when they tried to escape they were fired on–with guns.

Now, presses are reporting that the duo were paparazzis, but Agence France Presse is actually a photo agency–and not a paparazzi agency. Trust me, I’d know. As many readers know, I cut my teeth in the photo world fresh out of college in the paparazzi world.

The Boston Herald has an image of the truck with alleged bullet shattered glass, and the story is everywhere now. It isn’t clear exactly what the photographers were doing that warranted the guards to act the way they did though.

The crazier fact; though this is the first time I’ve heard of bullets being fired on paparazzi, it is fairly common for weapons to be flashed at photographers. This not only includes mace, but guns, batons, and knives. It makes me wonder about brass knuckles. Either way though, we hope that the photographers win this suit. No word from Agence France Presse has been floating around.

Kanye West Assaulted a Paparazzi, Again. Being Charged With Robbery

Image Courtesy of Source Magazine

Image Courtesy of Source Magazine

It isn’t uncommon for some paparazzi to get beaten up by stars, but this one seems a bit far fetched. TMZ reported that on Friday afternoon, a photographer was attacked right outside of LAX. The paparazzi used a tactic that agencies have told me to use when I was a former pap–do something to get the celebrity’s attention. West ignored him until he called the photographer out on trying to annoy him. At that point, the photographer was attacked, and West left the scene before police arrived.

According to Swagger NYC, West is now being charged for felony robbery. The video of the event is after the jump.

As a former paparazzo myself, I can’t say that the paparazzo didn’t deserve it in some ways, but I can also say that the industry works in a very weird way. As I’ve stated before in a CTV Interview, agents to talent like Kanye often tell agencies for paparazzi where their clients will be. The agency heads then pass this info onto their photographers. After a while, the agents skip the agencies altogether and go right to the photographers. Now Kanye has attacked many photographers before, but we’re not sure if it was planned by the agents or not.

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First Impressions: Tokina Reflex 300mm F6.3 Mirror Lens (Micro Four Thirds)

The Tokina 300mm F6.3 Reflex lens was designed natively for the Micro Four Thirds mount, and perfectly holds to the philosophy of making everything smaller and more portable. Because it is a mirror lens, it is also a fixed aperture, has a curious looking mirror on the front, is manual focus, and has some interesting quirks.

On a Micro Four Thirds camera like my Olympus OMD EM5, it renders a 600mm field of view due to the crop factor. I’ve spent around two weeks or so with the lens so far, and what I can say is that it will surely encourage some covert ops and some interesting portraits on the street.

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