Paparazzi is one of the most dangerous and discussed professions among photographers. In addition to owning the art of photography, they should possess almost all the skills, if not agent 007, then at least of a private detective and have enough charm and finances to bribe the right people and pay for the services of a lawyer.
The very word “paparazzi” appeared in 1960 after the release of the movie Federico Fellini “Sweet Life”, where the hero Marcelo Mastroiani was constantly pursued by a young photographer named Paparazzo (actor Walter Santesso). The director borrowed this name from his talkative school friend, nicknamed Paparazzo (ital. “Annoying mosquito”). The prototype of the annoying photographer was Fellini’s friend Tazio Secchiaroli. The main task of the paparazzi is to photograph something obviously scandalous. Perhaps one of the first paparazzi is Washington photographer Tom Howartz, who shot the execution of the murderer of his own husband, Ruth Snyder, in 1928. It was impossible to do this openly, so he tied the camera to his own ankle and, photographing, raised his trouser leg.
Paparazzi photography is not an art, but a complex skill, the task of which is to qualitatively convey a piquant situation associated with any famous person. There are two types of such photographs – amusing curiosity (who went where with whom, how a star child or a VIP toilet looks) and soothing public vanity (celebrities also have unpainted eyes, ironed ties and skin problems). Some stars, such as Sharon Stone, hate paparazzi, while others, who usually have a scandalous reputation, like Paris Hilton, willingly give photographers their daily routine. After all, fame depends on the frequency of mentioning in the media, but some do not care what light their name appears there, the main thing is to stay in the information space.
Walter Kari and Tazio Secchiaroli
Of course, the most famous paparazzi, such as Mel Buzad or Steve Sands, work in America – closer to celebrities familiar to almost the whole world, because you can earn much more on big game. Paparazzi can get up to almost $ 300 thousand for some particularly scandalous photos, but the amount they spend on making inquiries, moving and other expenses is huge. Of course, the hunt is exciting, but to look live at the tantrums of Britney Spears is hardly a pleasant thing, and often unsafe. Say, not so long ago, the handsome Pierce Borsnan beat Robert Rosen, a photographer for the online publication Tmz.com, and such cases are not uncommon.Tmz . com Robert Rosen, and such cases are not uncommon.
Paparazzi hunt their victims not only with telephoto lenses. In some cases, they are armed with small inconspicuous compacts that are easy to pull out and hide back, or amateur “soap dishes” so as not to differ from an ordinary fan. Photographers track down and watch over their victim, make inquiries, bribe attendants. The web of connections is so confusing that, for example, in order to get photos of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, you need to start with the personal hairdresser of his wife Matt Damon. Sometimes paparazzi have to rent motorbikes, yachts and even helicopters.
Scandalous photos are printed not only in the so-called cheap yellow press, but also in glossy publications such as the American People or the famous women’s magazine Cosmopolitan. Naturally, the pictures are different and a strict black-and-white photograph of Brigitte Bardot smoking in the restroom is different from the hasty and dynamic photographs of the bald Britney Spears, breaking an umbrella on a jeep, and in her quality and historical status, but they share a common function – satisfying public curiosity . It is known that almost everyone likes to look at such photographs (even those who never admit it), but when it comes to the paparazzi themselves, a general indignation immediately arises: “Violation of rights … how can this be!” It is worth noting that a big role in this respect, the tragic story of Princess Diana played in an accident, according to one version, through the fault of the paparazzi chasing her. This topic was widely developed in the official press and formed a negative public opinion about the photographers themselves and their methods, but by no means repelled the love for the scandalous pictures themselves. I must say that the paparazzi, despite the fact that everyone works for themselves and are in a constant state of competition and hunting, sometimes show professional solidarity. For example, George Clooney, who openly accused the paparazzi of the death of the princess, photographers ignored throughout the premiere of the film “Peacemaker”. Mel Gibson does not feel much love for photographers. In 2004, he produced the thriller Paul Abascal “Paparazzi”, where the main character, a successful young actor (Mel Gibson himself), takes revenge on tabloid photojournalists for the death of his family. Whatever it was, paparazzi are in some way guarding justice – they levy “tribute” to VIPs for their celebrity and give it to society in the form of a kind of psychological encouragement and satisfaction of curiosity. And if suddenly all the paparazzi disappear, then this will not bring joy either to society, or to famous personalities, or to the media world.
Photo by Tazio Secchiaroli. Stripper Aisha Nane at the Rugantino Restaurant
Photo by Tazio Secchiaroli. Sophia Loren and Richard Avedon.