RANT: What Its Like Being A Photographer In Hollywood


Over the past few years, the paparazzi have been given a bad name in Hollywood. The only time celebrities discuss us is when they want to bash a perfectly honest way of living. No one takes the time to understand what or work really entails. Nobody seems to care about our good deed or the real significance of our work. I beg to differ on this belief. On the contrary let me give a neutral opinion of how our profession really works and what it takes to make a living.

What it REALLY entails

In most cases, being paparazzi is more than just snapping photos. Our profession entails more than that. Most photographers that work in Hollywood are not affiliated to any organization. As a result, we truly have to eat what we kill just like other professions.

A common misconception is that we are an unnecessary nuisance. Due to this, this is one of the most restricted types of photojournalism in the western world. Various court orders have been brought against us, which means we risk paying huge fines in the course of our work. This restriction does not apply to other journalists. Sometimes photojournalists also run the risk of real physical injury. For instance, some of my colleagues in my profession have been seriously assaulted or had their expensive equipment damaged or confiscated.

A typical day for a celebrity photographer

Photographer hiding in a tree

Not all celebrity photographers act crazy hiding in trees

My typical day in Hollywood entails guessing where a celebrity will be. This will usually entail staying at a single location for a whole day in the hope that the famous person shows up. Ironically I’ve found the free Showbox app which I use to pass the time. Doing of all things….watching celebrities. HAH!

Sometimes tips from insiders do not always turn out to be true. If the tip does turn out to be true, I have to be careful not to infringe on all the laws passed against celebrity photographers. The major area for concern is usually taking pictures of celebrities’ children. Various court rulings have deemed this harassment. While some of the paparazzi do go a bit too far, most of the rest are just trying to earn a living.

Then I have to find someone to HOPEFULLY buy my photos

After snapping pictures of celebrities going about their lives, I have to convince a newspaper or magazine to purchase the photos. Before this can happen, the photos need to high quality and appealing to readers. This decision lay firmly with the magazine or newspaper. If I don’t sell any photos for a few months, I obviously will go completely broke! There is no assurance EVER that the magazine will accept my photos.

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns

Newbies may sometimes be swindled out of their hard work. For instance, in m early days, cases of magazine and newspapers taking photos and refusing to pay up were common. There is also a push from various quarters to have paparazzi share their earnings with the celebrities. This is just another major hurdle that I will have to face.

It’s not as easy as it looks

Many celebs use look alikes to distract us

Look alikes are common and can totally deceive you into taking a photo no media outlet will buy

Being a celebrity photographer in Hollywood is not as easy as it seems. In most cases, celebrities take great effort to avoid detection like using doubles. In addition, there is no assurance that the news outlets will accept your photos. It is also important to note that this is a mutual relationship between celebrities and us. I get to take a few photos of them and they get the publicity they desire.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.