LOS ANGELES — Paparazzi are known to camp outside celebrity homes, stalk them while they are at lunch and even fight among themselves, according to some media outlets. VOA went behind the lens with a celebrity photographer to see what it’s like to shoot photos of the stars.
Millions of people around the world, like Adrianne Ho, cannot get enough of celebrities and their gossip.
“It is kind of a nice break from everything. The stories can be kind of outrageous sometimes; but, they are fun and a little different and just a nice break from everyday life,” says Ho.
The photographer who founded the London Entertainment Group, Giles Harrison, says most fans enjoy the photos.
“What they do not like is how they perceive you get the photos. It is a guilty pleasure of everybody in the world,” says Harrison.
The public’s insatiable demand for celebrity gossip fuels the London Entertainment Group, a large photo agency based in Los Angeles.
“I used to see celebs all the time. And it never occurred to me that I could make money taking photos of them. And now I know I can. I do,” says Harrison.
Harrison and his team have to stay alert to spot someone famous. He says he found a way to pursue his dream of journalism and add a bit of excitement to his life.
“I have hung out of helicopters. I have hung out of airplanes. I have done a lot of crazy things to get a shot,” he recalls.
Harrison, who employs more than 30 other paparazzi around the world,
prefers to drive around the city searching for celebrities instead of “doorstepping," a term used to describe watching someone’s home. Actors, like David Faustino, do not like it either.
“They are a necessary evil. I have been dealing with them since I was a little kid on Married With Children. But you know I also do not have them chasing me around like say, I do not know, Justin Bieber. It is all good. We are in Hollywood,” says Faustino.
Competition among the Los Angeles paparazzi is fierce; but after 20 years in the business, Harrison has made some friends. With some help from his colleagues, he finds his “A-List” celebrity for the day, Brazilian native and supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio with her children.
Fan Michael Burgeno watches celebrity news online, but he believes it is wrong for the paparazzi to photograph celebrities when they are with their families.
“If they are with their family - yes, I think it should be, you know, that line right there, where they should not try to interact with them yet,” says Burgeno.
Giles Harrison says he understands, but the public and stars cannot have it both ways.
“When you have people like the Kardashians doing photo shoots with their children, and you know selling access to magazines. Once they open that door you just cannot switch it off,” says Harrison.
Depending on the celebrity, paparazzi can earn a few dollars, or occasionally thousands, for a photo. For Harrison, it is all in a day’s work, when your job is shooting the stars.