May 27, 2008

Paparazzi have their lenses on Miley Cyrus

How much is Miley Cyrus’ first kiss worth?

Anywhere from $30,000 to $150,000, depending on which paparazzo you ask. A photo's price could be higher if her designated love object happened to be camera-worthy like a Jonas brother, or Shia LaBeouf, not just some cute Kevin Federline-esque wannabe.

Yes, the paps have discovered the "Hannah Montana" star, forming a scrum of ferocious men-dogs who camp outside her North Hollywood home. They follow her shopping at the Malibu shops, lurk around her lunch spots, accompany her to church, riding her bike, and then pop up again down in Nashville, where's she's recently gone to shoot the "Hannah Montana" movie. No one in the Cyrus camp (not Miley, pa Billy Ray Cyrus, her publicist, or her agent) would comment, though one person close to the star notes that the phenomenon started around February, when Cyrus returned to Los Angeles after finishing her world tour.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

May 26, 2008


ILY ALLEN has hit out at the photographers who took topless pictures of her while she was on holiday in France - insisting there is "nothing professional about them".

The Smile singer was snapped relaxing in only a pair of blue bikini bottoms at a French resort during the Cannes International Film Festival last week (beg19May08) - and her semi-naked form quickly made the headlines.

The star claims she is not ashamed of sunbathing topless, but insists there is nothing noble about being a prying paparazzo.

She writes on her MySpace internet page, "Occasionally I drink wine with lunch and yes I swim topless, this in my book is not embarrassing behaviour.

"I'm 23 years old, it's not my fault if photographers follow me everywhere and need a story to print with their pointless pictures. I wish digital cameras hadn't been invented, if these photographers had to pay for film, it wouldn't be worth their time. There is nothing professional about them, most of them look like they wouldn't be out of place at a BNP (British National Party) meeting." And Allen goes on to deny stories that she was ejected from Formula One boss Flavio Briatore's yacht for drunken behaviour.

She adds, "I don't really like to respond to things I read about my self in the press but, for the record, I was not thrown off anybody's yacht in Cannes."

May 21, 2008

Picture Post: Stars who call the shots

In Los Angeles, the paparazzi will go to any lengths to capture a film star sucking on a Frappuccino in Beverly Hills or, perhaps, looking "closer than ever" to their ex on Malibu Beach.

All of which makes this week's comments from Peter Grossman, the photo editor of Us Weekly – one of America's best-known celebrity rags – all the more unexpected. Speaking to ABC News, he praised the Bourne trilogy star Matt Damon, who, Grossman claimed, had earned his respect because he didn't court the attention of photographers.

"The thing is, there are some celebrities that absolutely get it," Grossman explained. "[Damon is] smart enough to not live in certain parts of Los Angeles and to not go in places where celebrities are always having their picture taken, and he didn't marry another celebrity, and he's the kind of person that has it all." Which is why you won't see many grainy photos of him shopping, jogging or tanning his "moobs" on the beach (not that he has any, of course).

In the UK, Damon's equivalent may be Ewan McGregor, suggests Joe Sené, who is head of editorial at Splash News, one of this country's biggest photo agencies. "He is Hollywood A-list – one of the world's biggest actors – who has been in some of the biggest films ever. But how many people know he has an adopted child from Africa? It's not because people aren't interested. It is that he doesn't court press. So he doesn't go to Saint Tropez in the summer and he doesn't go to the Caribbean in the winter. He doesn't fall out of nightclubs or eat at the Ivy seven nights a week, and doesn't live in Primrose Hill." According to Sené, Sean Bean and Emma Thompson are other great lens-avoiders.

By contrast, the likes of Lily Allen and Victoria Beckham literally bask in the glow of flashbulbs, creating a booming market for snatched pictures of them in any number of mundane situations. This is how Sené puts it: "The celebrities who are doing it are the ones that readers know more about, and therefore want to know even more about. And therefore they are the ones who are chased."

This week it seemed that an unlikely figure had joined the ranks of the paparazzi-teasers. After she appeared in more than a dozen pictures in Hello! magazine, at her grandson's wedding, some critics were yesterday comparing the Queen to a WAG. Matt Damon, for one, would never approve.

May 15, 2008

Exposing the paparazzi

‘You have to love the stars to be in this business’

Britney Spears, left, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton have provided more press material than anyone in Hollywood history, according to the woman behind tinseltown’s most successful paparazzi agency.

Brandy Navarre is the most important Hollywood personality you’ve never heard of. That’s because her life is behind the camera, not in front of it. Navarre runs Hollywood’s most successful paparazzi agency.

Brandy and husband, Regis, entered the paparazzi world 10 years ago, when Regis realized photographing celebrities was more lucrative than his job as a correspondent for Agence France-Presse. Today, their agency, X17, employs nearly 70 photographers, far more than any other organization. “You have to love the stars in order to be in this business,” says Brandy, a former Reuters TV reporter. “But what has made us so successful is that we almost befriend them.”
The Navarres have used this tactic with close to every Hollywood celebrity; Brandy claims only Woody Harrelson dislikes them.

“If we see a blond woman in an expensive car we look more closely, and if she turns out to be a celebrity we introduce ourselves. I usually say something like, ‘We will be following you a bit, but it’s nothing to worry about,’” explains X17 photographer Daniel Ramos.

Ramos was one of the X17 photographers who staked out the hair salon where Britney Spears shaved her head. It was his car she hit with the umbrella afterwards.

On X17’s website,, 300,000 visitors view the latest celebrity shots every day. Brandy has seen the paparazzi business change fundamentally during the past few years. “Now people are following celebrities like the ultimate reality show. The truth is stranger and more entertaining than fiction.”

With Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan — Hollywood’s reigning bad-girl triumvirate — the truth is strange indeed. “Sometimes they’re friends. Sometimes they hate each other. Sometimes they don’t wear underwear. They get arrested for drunk driving. These three women have provided more material for the public than anything in the history of Hollywood,” observes Brandy.

In this age of around-the-clock celebrity coverage, paparazzi have become a real authority. “Britney’s downward spiral isn’t important news, but people are interested”, says Brandy. “War photos used to get people’s attention. Now it’s celebrities.”

Hugh Grant victory deals paparazzi blow

Paparazzi photographers have been dealt a second blow in little over a week as the actor Hugh Grant wins damages for invasion of privacy while on holiday.

Grant (pictured) won a High Court settlement totalling £58,000 in a legal battle brought jointly with his former partner Liz Hurley and her husband Arun Nayar, according to Reuters news agency.

They took action against Big Pictures (UK) Ltd and France-based Eliot Press SARL over photos shot last year while the three claimants were on holiday at a private resort in the Maldives. The images were subsequently published in tabloid newspapers.

They claimed they had chosen the resort for the privacy and seclusion it offered.

Associated Newspapers and News Group Newspapers will also contribute to the compensation payout.

Speaking after the ruling Jonathan Coad, media lawyer at Swan Turton solicitors, told Amateur Photographer: 'These are very hard days for the paparazzi and companies like Big Pictures whose business model is coming under threat.' He added: 'The wind is blowing against them.'

Coad believes it is significant that the courts now pay larger amounts in such privacy cases - as opposed to a few thousand pounds - after taking into account the profits earned from the publication of such pictures.

The news comes just eight days after Harry Potter author JK Rowling won a Court of Appeal ruling that allows her to ban future publication of a paparazzi picture of her son David.

May 8, 2008

Paparazzi Make SJP Feel Dirty

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker says getting followed by the paps makes her feel dirty. That's one way to put it! She says she feels like NYC's town trollop because they're always at every corner trying to get a shot of her.

She says the "thug" photographers have definitely made an impact on her family's lives. That's probably why we never see little James!

SJP says, "I feel very ashamed. I feel like I'm, like, the town trollop. It makes me feel ashamed of my work. And I'm not. But I'm attached to this culture now in a way that it's kind of vulgar.

"And I feel cheapened. And I feel like I'm cheapening the school, like I'm bringing dirt; like I'm bad for the neighborhood."

That's so sad! It makes you realize just how normal celebs can be, and that all they want sometimes is to have a normal life.

May 7, 2008

Sienna's paparazzi rage: Miss Miller attacks photgrapher with her handbag

Despite making a concerted bid for fame in Hollywood - Sienna Miller doesn't seem to like all that comes with it.

The actress took a swing at a photographer with her designer handbag as she walked through Los Angeles airport yesterday.

The 26-year-old felt one of the snappers had got a little too close for comfort and yelled expletives as she lunged at him.

Snap: Sienna Miller lost her temper at LAX airport yesterday

Designer weapon: the actress took a swipe at a pesky photographer with her pink tote as she made her way thorugh the terminal

Perhaps she has been taking tips from her boyfriend Rhys Ifans, who has a reputation for being rather cranky with the paparazzi.

Luckily for the snapper the bag didn't contain anything heavy and he simply laughed at the furious Factory Girl as airport security stepped in to help.

A day earlier the actress caught up with Matthew Rhys, her costar in the upcoming Dylan Thomas biopic The Edge Of Love.

Rowling wins landmark ruling over paparazzi

HARRY Potter author JK Rowling won a landmark privacy ruling yesterday in her battle to ban further publication of a long-lens photograph taken of her son when he was 18 months old.
Rowling's lawyers said the ruling was likely to have a "profound effect" on certain sections of the paparazzi.

The author claimed her son David's right to privacy had been infringed after photographs of him were taken in an Edinburgh street while being pushed in a buggy by his parents.

The action was intended to protect David's rights to privacy and family life under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The initial claim by Rowling and her husband was thrown out by a London court last year, prompting the couple to appeal. But yesterday, in a key finding, the Master of the Rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke, said: "If a child of parents who are not in the public eye could reasonably expect not to have photographs of him published in the media, so too should the child of a famous parent."

The disputed photos, taken on 8 November, 2004, were published in a Sunday Express magazine, prompting Rowling, 42, and her husband to sue Express Newspapers and the Big Pictures photo agency, and seek to block further publication.

The Express settled the claim, but last August Nicholas Patten, a High Court judge, threw out the case against the agency.

In a statement, the parents said: "We embarked on this lawsuit not because we were seeking special privileges for our children but because we wanted them to grow up, like their friends, free from unwarranted intrusion into their privacy.

"We understand and accept that with the success of Harry Potter there will be a measure of legitimate media and public interest in Jo's professional activities and appearances.

"However, we have striven to give our children a normal family life outside the media spotlight."

They said the ruling would give their children protection from "covert, unauthorised photography" and make an "immediate and material difference to their lives".

Keith Schilling of Schillings law firm, representing Rowling's family, predicted the latest ruling could have a "profound effect ... on certain sections of the paparazzi. He said: "This case establishes a law of privacy for children in those cases where, understandably, the parents wish to protect their children from intrusive photography by the paparazzi. I am sure that the overwhelming majority of the media will welcome it."

Big Pictures will have to pay the bulk of the costs of the case, estimated at £600,000.

Last night, a spokesman for Schillings confirmed an appeal by Big Pictures, which had advance notice of the ruling, had been rejected. It can now appeal to the Lords.

Philip Schlesinger, professor of cultural policy at the University of Glasgow, said: "The bottom line is that children should not get clobbered because their parents are celebrities.

"However, despite establishing a principle, there will be a lot of grey areas ahead, especially when the children become teenagers and are doing the sort of things which would make good photographs."

In 2001, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) upheld an invasion of privacy complaint by Rowling after photographs of her daughter Jessica, then aged eight and on holiday in Mauritius, appeared in OK! magazine.


MEDIA lawyers said yesterday's ruling by the Court of Appeal was a major case establishing children's right to privacy.

This ruling is putting into law what is already in the Press Complaints Commission Code of Practice, voluntarily, in relation to children.

Newspapers are aware of paragraph 6 (v) which states: "Editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child's private life."

We are now prohibited from taking pictures of children without consent – all the court has done is impose a rule of law on this.

One of the things the court looked at was the circumstances of this case. I believe the agency had sat outside Rowling's house for two days because they knew there was a professional market for that image.

The paparazzi would have known in advance that JK Rowling did not want this picture taken and they could easily have pixelated it.

But it's arguable whether someone taking a snap in the street on their mobile phone will fall foul of the law and it will depend on the circumstances of each case.

What this case says, quite simply, is that there is a right to privacy. The judge at first instance thought the parents were trying to protect themselves when it actually concerned their children.

However, if you are a celebrity such as Jordan and you brandish your child, it will be very difficult to contend that child has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

But those celebrities who don't pose for pictures will have the right to complain.

May 6, 2008


MET Costume Gala
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 8pm
May 5, 2008

Shooting this event is like being a kid in a candy story... everywhere you look there are goodies to be had!

As a general rule, if the PR hand out a tip sheet to their event, and it has the names of way to many A-List celebrities, the event will probably be lackluster.

The Costume Gala is the only event in NYC where they hand you a 6 page tip sheet, with everyone in the A-list world on it, and they ALL SHOW UP!

By 6pm, the press were staged and lined up to go into the tent that covered the MET's stairs where the arrivals are held. It takes about a half hour to get everyone in place. By the time the last person is positioned, the talent already begins to arrive... and it doesn't stop for 1 1/2 hours!!! A non-stop, continuous barrage of talent ranging from sports stars, fashion insiders to hollywoods top stars.

The events first big name to arrive was Julia Roberts with George Clooney, and grew from there... Tom Cruise and Kate Holmes, Posh and David Beckham, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, Gisele, Hilary Duff, Jennifer Connelly, Kate Bosworth, Scarlett Johansson, Misha Barton, Naomi Watts, John Mayer, Eva Mendes, Christina Ricci, Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen... and they just keep coming.

The phrase that pays the following day is "What time did you get to sleep after doing your edits?"

My time was 5:30am if you care to know....

Tampa Bay Times photographer assaulted

ST. PETERSBURG -- A photographer for Tampa Bay Times was beaten and robbed Monday night near the Vintage Ultra Lounge in downtown St. Petersburg, where he had gone to cover a celebrity's birthday party.

Luis Santana, 25, learned that hip-hop artists Chris Brown and Rihanna were celebrating Brown's 19th birthday at a private party in St. Petersburg. He talked to the Vintage security and was told he could take photographs outside, Santana said.

When he photographed Brown in a black Excursion or Expedition limousine, security guards for the celebrities chased him and forced him to the ground, Santana said. One guard put his knee on Santana's jaw and when he tried to push it away, the guards took his camera, worth about $3,000.

Santana said he has abrasions and bruises on his chest, back and arms.

"I’ve shot many many celebrities and this was just another notch on my belt," Santana said. "Then it just turned sour."

Police said there could be four male suspects who are bodyguards, but their names are unknown. The suspects left the scene in the limousine.

James Guttridge, manager of Vintage Ultra Lounge, said the club instructs security personnel not to get involved in altercations that happen outside the club. Guttridge said guards do not have the authority to prohibit photographers from shooting pictures outside the club, on the public right-of-way.

"Our only concern is what happens inside here," Guttridge said.

Rihanna opened for Kanye West at the Ford Amphitheatre earlier that night. Guttridge said a Vintage VIP invited Rihanna to come to the club while backstage at the show. He declined to comment on whether the club gave Rihanna a discount or paid for her to appear.

Guttridge called the incident "unfortunate" and said he hopes celebrities will feel welcome in St. Petersburg, but also doesn't want residents to be turned off.

Santana took photos of Rihanna at International Plaza on Monday afternoon (including the photo shown here), and said bodyguards resisted his presence there.