December 31, 2009

Aniston named as force behind paparazzi law


Jennifer Aniston is said to be the force behind a new law that puts a check on the paparazzi in 2010 and beyond.

Democrat and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass said the former Friends star was instrumental in pushing the legislation that comes into effect from the January 1, 2010.

According to the new law, members of the paparazzi and media outlets that sell and buy unlawfully taken photos and video footage of people, including celebs and their families, will be charged with civil penalties.

"There have to be some boundaries. When you have children in the car and the photographers are rushing you, its just absolutely out of control," Contactmusic quoted Aniston, as telling the Los Angeles Times.

"Its become a public safety issue. Somebodys going to die if we dont do something," she added.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 524 into law in October this year.

December 30, 2009

NYPD Press Pass Extension


The NYPD has apparently backed away from the idea of getting out of the press credentials business.

All working press passes that were due to expire in January will automatically be extended to July 15 while the NYPD transitions to a biannual system.

"We want to be able to issue press cards that are good for two years," said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne. Currently, the cards have to be renewed every year.

Each year, the department issues about 2,500 working press passes, which allow reporters to cross police and fire lines that the general public can't. They also are used to secure the coveted NYP plates issued by state motor vehicle de partments.

Browne said he could not just jettison the one- year passes because it is part of the NYC administrative code and requires public input.

The Malibu Times: New year laws include anti-paparazzi statute

The year 2010 kicks off with several new state laws that go into effect Jan. 1, including anti-paparazzi legislation that will affect media outlets and publishers.

Perhaps the most pertinent to Malibu, however, is the new law that will allow civil lawsuits to be filed against any media outlet that publishes an illegally taken photo.

The law imposes fines from $5,000 to $50,000 on a publisher who causes or condones a paparazzo to engage in offensive behavior?such as persistent following, chasing or trespassing?while in pursuit of photos or video footage of celebrities. The law will heavily affect media outlets seeking first-time publication rights.



Historically, only a paparazzo who took a photo would be held accountable and the publication that published the photo would not be liable.

Supporters of the new law, which include many Malibu residents and some city officials, have long called paparazzi efforts to capture celebrity photos a threat to public safety and an invasion of privacy. But oppositionists, which include the California Newspapers Publishers Association and various celebrity gossip Web sites and TV shows, have expressed that the law does a poor job at balancing the issue with First Amendment rights.

Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich, who earlier this year said many of her friends whose children attend Malibu public schools have been mistaken for celebrities and harassed by paparazzi via car chase, lauds the new law.

?I think it gives an added layer of protection and gives an opportunity for anyone whose privacy is invaded to not only pursue paparazzi but publishers as well,? Conley Ulich said Tuesday in a phone interview. ?You get to go where the deep pockets are, and this will hopefully give incentive to publishers to not buy illegally obtained photographs.?

The issue received further attention through a scuffle between paparazzi and local surfers in June 2008, when a pack of photographers staked out actor Matthew McConaughey as he surfed at Little Dume Beach. Malibu residents Skylar Peak and Philip ?John? Hildebrand have each charged with one count of misdemeanor battery for their alleged involvement in the beating of French paparazzo Rachid Aitmbareck during the altercation.

December 7, 2009

The Photographer Project


December 5, 2009

Gyllenhaal 'involved in paparazzi mixup'

Maggie Gyllenhaal has said that she felt "important" when photographers "swarmed" her at a New York café.

The Dark Knight star and husband Peter Sarsgaard were reportedly surprised when "a ton" of paparazzi came into the same café in which the couple were enjoying their coffee - only to realise that the photographers were only there to spot Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

The 32-year-old told E! Online: "There were a ton of paparazzi in the café with their huge cameras and laptops. I was like, 'Peter, oh my God, they are so into us. They're swarming us. We are so important'.

"It turns out Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were living on that street. It was the winter, so the photographers would go into the café to download their pictures."

December 2, 2009

Paparazzi Cry `No Fair' as N.Y.C Tightens Access to Film Shoots



 Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- When paparazzo Steve Sands arrived at the Coney Island set of Will Ferrell’s movie “The Other Guys” in mid-November, he caught a break. That day they were filming New York Yankee Derek Jeter in a cameo.

Sands got shots that he sold to the celebrity magazine InTouch, among other outlets, and notched what he called a handsome payday.

 A 30-year veteran of the camera ambush, Sands worries that those opportunities, gleaned from regular visits to New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, will disappear since New York City ended its weekly Wednesday public viewing of film-shoot permits yesterday. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

 The permits contained information on filming locations for movies and television shows. The movies “Precious” and “It’s Complicated,” which stars Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin, were shot in New York City. The TV shows “30 Rock,” “Gossip Girls,” “The Good Wife,” “Ugly Betty” and “White Collar” also use city locations.

“There are so many projects in New York, so that’s why you go to the mayor’s office,” said Sands, who sported the paparazzo’s typical unshaven face and disheveled hair. “Now the city is going to make it hard for us to find this information. They’re taking away our rights.”

Requests to view the film-shoot permits now have to be made by mail or e-mail through New York State’s Freedom of Information Law.

“We’re looking to try to have a system to get back to people within a week,” said Marybeth Ihle, a city spokeswoman.


Stolen Documents

The city decided to end the public viewings because of space constraints and reports of stolen documents, Ihle said. The system had been in place for longer than anyone at the film office could recall, Ihle said. The best estimate was more than 15 years.

 To Chris Doherty, president of INF, a New York-based celebrity-photo agency, the decision is an attack on the paparazzi and an effort to cull favor with the film and TV industry that Ihle said contributes about $5 billion a year to the city’s economy.

“There are suggestions that the film industry is getting annoyed with the number of people showing up at these shoots,” Doherty said. “But these are public records that help us to do our job.” Ihle denied that outside pressure prompted the change.

To be sure, the advent of Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and Web sites such as OnLocationVacations.com, dedicated to tracking film shoots and celebrity whereabouts, has made once-elusive information almost commonplace, Doherty said. Still, the film office is a dependable source for leads, he said.


‘Catch-22 Situation’

Doherty, whose agency employs about 30 people in New York and Los Angeles, said he was wary about the Freedom of Information process because of the potential for long waits and because it largely requires photographers to know what they’re looking for.

 “If we don’t know the document exists, how can we ask for it? It’s a Catch-22 situation,” he said.

Norman Siegel, a civil-rights lawyer, said the decision appeared to favor one set of New Yorkers and even non-New Yorkers (TV and movie people) over another (paparazzi and not- so-famous actors who use the listings to seek walk-on leads.)

“The fact that the city has been doing this for so long says that at one point they thought this was something they should do,” Siegel said. “It’s possible the city can do what it’s doing legally but whether it should be doing it is another issue.”


Crowd Control

James Devaney, 32, has placed his photos of Angelina Jolie, Katie Holmes and others in People and Star magazines and the New York Post newspaper. Besides checking the permits, he has gotten tips from film-production people and even public-relations agents. Celebrities often want the publicity afforded by the paparazzi, he said. Still, he’s torn about the city’s change in policy.

“What the city is doing isn’t right,” said Devaney, who has been photographing celebrities for 12 years. “Then again, film shoots have gotten really crowded, so I kind of wondered why it took so long for them to do this.”

Sam Dickerson, a photo editor at Splash News & Picture Agency, said it’s common to find 10 to 12 people waiting to get into the permit office. The city allows just two people at a time to view the documents, and only for 30 minutes.

 “People are going to have to lean a lot heavier on blogs and Twitter and sightings than just going down to the permit office,” said Dickerson, whose agency’s photos adorned the Nov. 15 cover of the New York Times’s Sunday Styles section.

As he has done for years, Sands went down to the city’s film office on Broadway in mid-November a week after the new permit viewing process was announced. For a half-hour he leafed through a stack of the green onion-paper documents before being told his time was up.

“The film office can be a good place but there are just too many photographers, Web sites and paparazzi agencies now,” Sands said. “They killed the golden goose.”

November 12, 2009

Mike Tyson Arrested After Allegedly Punching Photographer at LAX


Mike Tyson and a photographer made citizen's arrests of one another after getting into a scuffle Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport, police say.

At 4:30 p.m., the former boxing champ, 43, was passing through LAX from Europe en route to Las Vegas when a celebrity photographer began taking his picture at the United Airlines terminal, Sgt. Jim Holcomb tells PEOPLE.

"The two men got into a scuffle, and it's alleged that Tyson hit the photographer once in the face with one hand, causing him to fall to the ground," Holcomb says. "The photographer sustained a laceration to the forehead, and was taken to a local hospital."

Officers arrived on the scene and detained Tyson, who was booked at a nearby LAPD station and held on $20,000 bail, according to police records. Documents also show that Tyson was released at 8:24 p.m.

Tyson was reportedly traveling with his wife and 10-month-old baby. The incident was first reported by Radaronline.com.

"Mr. Tyson did absolutely nothing wrong, he was the victim in this case," his attorney, Richard Schonfeld tells PEOPLE. "We look forward to vindicating him and pursuing his rights."

Earlier this year, the boxer's 4-year-old daughter, Exodus, died in Phoenix after accidentally getting her neck wrapped in a cord from an exercise machine. In November 2007, Tyson was sentenced by an Arizona judge to 24 hours in jail and three years probation for drug possession and driving under the influence.

It remains to be seen whether the airport incident will be deemed a violation of his probation terms.

November 11, 2009

Paparazzi peeved: Mayor's film office changes the rule on giving out info on film shoot locations


Raise a Glass to A.J. Sokalner

Those of you who could not attend the funeral this past weekend, come "Raise a Glass to A.J. Sokalner" at The Black Door, 26th between 6th and 7th ave. Friday, November 13th, from 6-9pm.

Remember Veterans Day 
Honoring All Who Served

November 5, 2009

In Memorandum: Photographer AJ Sokalner


AJ Sokalner: Photographer and Friend

I had the distinct pleasure to be working shoulder to shoulder with him on that tragic night. I would like to share my story of the last hours I spent with AJ:

Photographers gathered outside Cipriani on 42nd Street well before 5pm for the7:30pm event.

We were working the ACE Awards. There was a group of about twenty five photographers working outside waiting for Lady Gaga to arrive. There wasn't much space to accommodate all the shooters. Photographers were two and three rows deep, on ladders, awaiting her arrival.


AJ was concerned about getting a spot, but managed to find a spot right next to me by the curb where the talent was arriving. AJ and I decided we would work together until "all hell broke loose" when she arrived. We couldn't block the sidewalk and obstruct the flow of pedestrian traffic. But, once she arrived, we decided we would swing out and get the shot.

Not to our surprise, Lady Gaga wasn't to show up until about 9pm.

During that time, AJ and I were having one of our usual sarcastic conversations. We poked fun at the nature of our business, we reminisced about previous events we had covered together. We even got into a funny conversation about STP. "The gas company with the orange logo?", I asked. "That's tells me how old you are!" AJ responded, as he was referring to a LSD-like drug from the 60's. He always had great wit to his words. We had spent a good four hours together, shooting the breeze and passing the time with humor.

Lady Gaga arrives and AJ and I sprung into action. Just our luck, she posed right in front of us! We shot like madmen, lighting up the night with a barrage of flashes.

As she went inside we all started to pack up our gear and seek warmth from the chill in the air. I had just left my spot and said my goodbyes to everyone when someone yelled "AJ fell..."

I ran back to where he and I had been standing just a minute prior and saw AJ on the ground. I ran up to him and touched his face "AJ, AJ...you alright?" I got no response. "AJ?". People gathered around, the other photographers now noticed what had happened. "Call 911!', someone yelled. A bystander said he knew CPR. "Get in there!" I yelled. He started to pump his chest. Where's the ambulance? Within minutes we saw EMS coming down 42nd Street. We ran into the street, waving frantically to alert them to our position.

An EMT woman was first on the scene to attend to AJ. She started to pump his chest. Another EMT brought out a heart monitor. They went to work on helping AJ right there. Fire engines arrived, police arrived. Another ambulance arrived. They brought out a stretcher and transported him to the ambulance.

They worked on AJ, pumping his chest. They were doing everything in the world to help him. "Hold on AJ!", I yelled into the ambulance. We all stood there, feeling helpless, hoping our friend was ok.

We all started to call people he knew, his girlfriend, his job. We all wanted to make sure he was alright. A few photographers went to the hospital. Another photographer picked up his girlfriend and dropped her off at the hospital.

After everyone had left, a group of us stood outside Cipriani's dazed. What just happened?

It was about 10:50pm when I heard that AJ passed away. I called and let a few of my colleagues know about the tragic event.

AJ, we will miss you buddy.
Erik Pendzich


Funeral Service for AJ Sokalner:
Friday, November 6, 2009, 10:30am

Beth Israel Memorial Park

Woodbridge, NJ



November 2, 2009

Nicole Richie gets restraining order against 2 paparazzi

Nicole Richie and her team of lawyers have successfully obtained a temporary restraining order against paparazzi Eduardo “Bam Bam” Arriveben and Ivon Miguel, TMZ.com reports.

The two photographers have been ordered to stay 100 yards away from Richie, 28, her two children (daughter Harlow, 20 months, and son Sparrow, 6 weeks) and her staff. Richie’s statement notes that the duo harass her “on a daily basis” and have been “stalking our home, as we try to go about living our lives.”


On Oct. 6, the two photographers rear-ended Richie’s Land Rover, leading her to seek private medical treatment for minor injuries. Arriveben, the driver in the incident, was arrested for driving without a license.

October 27, 2009

New movie takes aim at celebrity journalism

LONDON — What do Amy Winehouse's flaming beehive and Guy Ritchie's self-inflicted black eye have in common?
Both stories appeared in the pages of Britain's tabloid press. Neither is true.
The two incidents were fake showbiz news tips phoned into newspapers by the makers of the new documentary "Starsuckers," to see whether they would be used without fact-checking. The fact that they were forms part of the movie's argument that the culture of celebrity has undermined journalistic standards and warped society's values.
"I didn't realize quite how much of our news is public relations, or lies, or on the basis of criminal acts," said the film's 33-year-old director, Chris Atkins.
"Starsuckers," which premieres Wednesday at the London Film Festival, takes aim at Britain's fiercely competitive tabloid press, but its real target is much broader. Atkins believes that society's obsession with fame — gaining it and being near it — has distorted everything from the way news is reported to our children's aspirations.
The film opens with the statement that "everybody is naturally and powerfully attracted to fame," and tries to show how big companies in entertainment, media and PR use that desire to create a world full of insatiable consumers.
Through a series of stunts reminiscent of Michael Moore's movie polemics, Atkins aims to show how dignity, truth and even the law go out the window in the pursuit of celebrity.
Atkins is particularly scornful of reality television — the way such shows distort reality and stretch the limits of what people will do to be on TV.
The film introduces viewers to a Nevada boy named Ryan, who wants urgently to be famous — at five years old, he is already a veteran of agents, auditions and public appearances.
In another sequence, Atkins set up a booth in an English shopping mall purporting to be casting for children's reality TV shows. The filmmakers recorded as parents happily signed waivers for their children to appear on shows with titles like "Baby Boozers" and "Take Your Daughter to the Slaughterhouse" — for which he filmed children cheerfully trying to decapitate rubber chickens.
Critics might say Atkins manipulates people in the same way as the shows he criticizes.
"We tricked people into being in our film," acknowledged Atkins, whose last film, "Taking Liberties," looked at what he saw as the erosion of civil rights under Prime Minister Tony Blair.
"Yes, we had moral qualms, but I firmly believe we're doing it for the wider point. There was subterfuge involved to serve a wider public interest."
Atkins uses the same defense for his attempts to dupe newspapers in a bid to prove that Britain's tabloids won't let the facts get in the way of a good story.
Checkbook journalism and stories sourced to anonymous "friends" are long-standing practices in Britain's popular press. Even murkier tabloid methods have come under scrutiny since 2007, when a News of the World journalist was jailed for illegally hacking into the phones of royal officials. The newspaper insisted it was a one-off blunder, strongly denying claims that phone-tapping of celebrities was widespread.
"Starsuckers" suggests that some tabloids, at least, won't let the truth get in the way of a good story. Newspapers as far afield as India printed the too-good-to-fact-check claims that a blown fuse had singed Winehouse's signature hairdo and Ritchie had given himself a black eye while juggling cutlery.
Even more worryingly, perhaps, Atkins also secretly filmed tabloid reporters as he offered to sell them medical records of celebrities' cosmetic surgery.
Buying such records is illegal in Britain, but the reporters seemed keen. They didn't know that the documents offered by Atkins — purporting to prove Hugh Grant's facelift and Guy Ritchie's chemical peel — were fake.
"We're trying to turn the tables — to put the boot on the other foot," said Atkins of his stings, which also included covertly filming celebrity publicist Max Clifford as he talked about the famous clients who pay him handsomely to keep damaging stories about them out of the headlines.
Atkins said his tactics had prompted letters from lawyers, including those working for Clifford, threatening legal action against the film.
Some viewers of "Starsuckers" may feel that Atkins doesn't give people enough credit. Surely most people know that what they see on reality shows or read in the showbiz pages of tabloids might not be 100 percent true?
Clifford, whose clients include Simon Cowell, said a lot of celebrity stories are "25 percent reality and 75 percent exaggeration" — but that we shouldn't worry too much about it.
"It's entertainment," he said. "The public believe what they want to believe."
The subjects of celebrity stories are less easygoing about it. George Clooney, asked about "Starsuckers" by The Associated Press, said a combination of shrinking newspaper staffs and the Internet meant misinformation could spread instantly around the world.
"Somebody will write a story and it will be in 1,800 different outlets from one person's story," Clooney said.
"It'll be false, and you'll go, 'It's not true.' And they go, 'We're not saying that, we're saying that a London tabloid has said it.' They're just reprinting and reprinting things that aren't necessarily true."
Atkins says the problem is that the blurring of fact and fiction is not confined to celebrity stories. British newspaper editors are frequently former showbiz reporters.
It's hard not to see symbolism in the career of Piers Morgan, who went from entertainment reporter to editor of The News of the World and the Daily Mirror. After he was fired by the Mirror — for running fake photos of British soldiers allegedly abusing Iraqis — he became a celebrity himself, as a judge on "Britain's Got Talent," which launched Susan Boyle to stardom.
"It's the same journalists who write about Amy's hair who write about weapons of mass destruction," Atkins said.

October 21, 2009

Britney Spears Settles Lawsuit with Paparazzi



Britney Spears has settled a lawsuit with a photographer who claimed she ran over his foot in 2007.

On Monday, a notice of settlement was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, and while the terms of the agreement have not been released, the photographer, Ricardo Mendoza, had originally sought more than $200,000.

The Oct. 2007 incident occurred as Spears was driving her white Mercedes out of a Beverly Hills parking garage. It was an especially bad day for the singer: Earlier, a judge had temporarily suspended her rights to see her sons Preston, now 4, and Jayden, now 3.

Mendoza, who was working for TMZ.com at the time, claimed the singer intentionally ran over his left foot and told the site that Spears's handlers should have been aware that she "was not in the mental, emotional and/or physical condition to operate the subject motor vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner."

TMZ.com later auctioned off Mendoza’s tire-stained sock and donated the money to charity.

Nikon D3S Digital SLR Camera

Main Features



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  • Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor with 12.1 effective megapixels
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  • Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System including Image Sensor Cleaning function
  • Incorporates Nikon’s original EXPEED digital image processing
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  • Picture Control: Standard, Vivid, Neutral and Monochrome (Landscape and Portrait can be downloaded from Nikon website)
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  • 9-frames-per-second shooting rate in FX format, 11 fps in DX crop (CIPA Guidelines)
  • Nikon’s original Scene Recognition System, utilizing 1,005-pixel RGB sensor, for more accurate autofocus, auto exposure, i-TTL flash control and auto white balance
  • Multi-CAM 3500FX AF sensor module featuring 51 AF points
  • Viewfinder with approx. 100% frame coverage and approx. 0.7x magnification in FX format
  • Durable shutter unit proven by 300,000 cycles of testing on fully assembled camera
  • Intelligent power management that lets you shoot up to approx. 4,200 frames per charge (based on CIPA Standards)
  • Easy-to-access Live View modes with dedicated button
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  • High-definition (approx. 921k-dot), 170˚ viewing angle, 3-in. VGA LCD monitor with tempered glass

CANON EOS-1D MARK IV DIGITAL SLR CAMERA



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October 17, 2009

Shepard Fairey admits to wrongdoing in Associated Press lawsuit

Fairey

In a strange twist to an already complicated legal situation, artist Shepard Fairey admitted today to legal wrongdoing in his ongoing battle with the Associated Press.

Fairey said in a statement issued late Friday that he knowingly submitted false images and deleted others in the legal proceedings, in an attempt to conceal the fact that the AP had correctly identified the photo that Fairey had used as a reference for his "Hope" poster of then-Sen. Barack Obama.

"Throughout the case, there has been a question as to which Mannie Garcia photo I used as a reference to design the HOPE image," Fairey said. "The AP claimed it was one photo, and I claimed it was another."

New filings to the court, he said, "state for the record that the AP is correct about which photo I used...and that I was mistaken. While I initially believed that the photo I referenced was a different one, I discovered early on in the case that I was wrong. In an attempt to conceal my mistake I submitted false images and deleted other images."

In February, the AP claimed that Fairey violated copyright laws when he used one of their images as the basis for the poster. In response, the artist filed a lawsuit against the AP, claiming that he was protected under fair use. Fairey also claimed that he used a different photo as the inspiration for his poster.

After Fairey's admission, a spokesman for the Associated Press issued a statement saying that Fairey "sued the AP under false pretenses by lying about which AP photograph he used."

Fairey said that his lawyers have taken the steps to amend his court pleadings to reflect the fact that "the AP is correct about which photo I used as a reference and that I was mistaken."

The artist expressed his remorse in his statement, saying that he is taking "full responsibility for my actions which were mine alone. I am taking every step to correct the information and I regret I did not come forward sooner. "

He added: "I am very sorry to have hurt and disappointed colleagues, friends, and family who have supported me in this difficult case and trying time in my life."

Fairey's statement said he regretted that his actions would distract from the issue of fair use for artists. "Regardless of which of the two images was used, the fair use issue should be the same," he said.

October 14, 2009

Gerard Butler aim at nightmare paparazzi

Hollywood actor Gerard Butler has hit out at rude paparazzi who made shooting of his latest film with actress Jennifer Aniston almost
Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler
impossible.


The 39-year-old actor thought he was used to the coverage location shoots get from snappers until he teamed up with Aniston in 'The Bounty', when the paparazzi blocked shots and forced them to re-take, reported Daily Express.

"Unfortunately for poor Jennifer, this roadshow comes out all the time, and then of course there were all the rumours about her and I dating, just because we're doing a movie together, which brought out even more paparazzi," the actor said.

"A lot of the paparazzi are really good people but some of them are a nightmare. They go out of their way to disrupt filming and it's really sad because you're there with a crew of 200 just trying to make a living. You're there for 16 hours a day and you have these guys who don't care if they're standing in your shot," Butler added.
The '300' star also said that he was shocked by the way photographers conduct themselves around a outdoor shoot and the liberties they take.

"They'll flash, so the film you just shot is useless. It's unbelievable sometimes what they do and you're thinking, 'This is allowed?' That can be very frustrating," Butler said.

October 13, 2009

Schwarzenegger signs tougher anti-paparazzi law


California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed an anti-paparazzi bill making it easier to sue media outlets that use photos that invade celebrities' privacy.

A statement issued Monday says the former "Terminator" star had signed a number of bills, including the amendment to a decade-old law that allows fines against paparazzi who illegally or offensively take photos or recordings.

The amendment permits lawsuits against media outlets that pay for and make first use of material they knew was improperly obtained.

Tabloid magazines, TV shows and Internet sites sometimes pay millions of dollars for celebrity fodder.

The amendment takes effect in January.

October 6, 2009

Nicole Richie Hurt, Rear-Ended by Paparazzi

Actress Nicole Richie was hurt Monday after being rear-ended by paparazzi, according to Beverly Hills police.

Lt. Mike Hill of the Beverly Hills Police Department says the 28 year old actress was rear-ended by two photographers driving in a car behind her at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Canon Drive about 2:00 p.m.

"There was a complaint of pain injury. She told officers at the scene that she's going to seek her own medical treatment, " according to Lt. Tony Lee. It's unclear what her injuries might be.

No ambulances were called and the damage to Richie's Land Rover is said to be moderate, Lee said.

Freelance photograher Eduardo Arrivebee, 29, the driver of the car that rammed Richie, was arrested and booked for driving without a license. His car was impounded.

Richie had an adult passenger in the car. There is no word on his condition.

Neither of Richie's two children was involved in the crash. Sparrow, who was born last month, and big sister, 2 year old Harlow, were at home when the accident took place.

September 11, 2009

Leibovitz Settles $24M Loan Lawsuit

Annie Leibovitz has settled a lawsuit with Art Capital Group over her outstanding $24 million debt, the New York Times reports. The celebrity photographer bought back the rights to her homes and intellectual property—both collateral in the loan—for an undisclosed sum as part of the restructuring deal. Struck before her Sept. 8 payment deadline, the agreement "extends the maturity date" of her loan, a joint statement said.

“In these challenging times I am appreciative to Art Capital for all they have done to resolve this matter and for their cooperation and continued support,” Leibovitz said. “I also want to thank my family, friends, and colleagues for being there for me and look forward to concentrating on my work.”

September 1, 2009

Canon 7D DSLR: 18 Megapixels, 24FPS Full HD Video for $1699



Yep, it's real. The Canon 7D is an 18-megapixel semi-pro DSLR that shoots 1080p video in 24—or 30—glorious frames per second for $1699.

The 7D feels like Canon took the results of a survey they handed out to people about what they wanted in a camera and crammed 'em all into one product targeted at semi-pros. Full HD video with manual exposure in 24, 25 or 30 frames per second, check. More rugged, weatherproof body than 5D, check. Customizable buttons, including a new multifunction button, check. A dedicated button for switching to RAW+JPEG mode. Um, check. Electronic axis level? Also check. It has dual DIGIC IV image processors, the first model outside of the pro 1Ds line with dual image processors for fast burst shooting: 8FPS with 94-shot JPEG bursts (124 with UDMA card) or 15 RAW shots, all at full resolution with 14-bit A/D conversion.

But, it's not full-frame: They've crammed 18 megapixels into an APS-C-sized sensor (like in the Rebel series or 50D, versus full-frame in the 5D) with an ISO range from 100-6400, and a Hi setting of 12,800. Canon says they've shortened the distance between the photodiodes in the sensor, which decreases light falloff, supposedly translating into better high ISO performance.

The Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera is scheduled to be delivered to U.S. dealers at the end of September, and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $1,699.00. It will also be offered in a kit version with Canon's EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom lens at an estimated retail price of $1,899.00. The Canon WFT-E5A wireless file transmitter is scheduled to be available in early November and sell at an estimated retail price of $699.99.

August 24, 2009

President urges media shutterbugs to respect daughters’ privacy

The Obama White House, like administrations before it, has gone to great lengths to accommodate the press corps traveling with the president on his first official vacation in office. Staffers arranged for a filing center at a local school, assembled “pools’’ of reporters to tail the president if he goes out, and promised to brief the press daily.

But the real message to those hoping to cover the president’s vacation is: really, we wish you wouldn’t.

Unlike recent presidents, Obama has two young children, and the first couple is adamant that the girls be left alone. That means no approaching, cameras in tow, when Sasha and Malia are trying to get ice cream, or perhaps ride on the island’s famed carousel.

Aside from wishing a good time for all, in fact, the president had one clear message yesterday for reporters, said Bill Burton, the deputy White House press secretary: “The first family would very much appreciate if you respect the privacy of the girls while they’re out here on vacation.’’

That was before Burton even got to the matters of whether the president would be conferring with advisers while on vacation (yes, some) or how he felt about the recent elections in Afghanistan (looking forward to hearing the results along with everybody else).

“I asked him if he had a message for the press corps, and that’s what it is,’’ Burton told those of the press that traveled to the Vineyard on the White House charter.

Further, added press aide Katie Lillie, there will be no tolerating reporters using cellphones to call or text friends with the president’s latest movements on the island. Since the Vineyard has relatively few roads - and it’s easy to figure out how Obama would travel from one venue to another - those in the press pool must agree not to telegraph where he’s going.

Violators, she said, would be thrown out of the pool.

Annie Leibovitz, photographer of stars, faces ruin


Annie Leibovitz is as famous as the people she photographs but now the genius behind the lens is close to financial ruin -- a victim, some say, of her own relentless artistic ambition.

Among the qualities making Leibovitz, 59, the most sought after portrait photographer in the world are legendary perfectionism and the pouring of resources into lavish sets.

Over the course of her long career, nothing has been too extreme in Leibovitz's pursuit of the perfect picture.

She put former action icon and current California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on top of a mountain, submerged black actress Whoopi Goldberg in a bath of milk and closed France's Versailles palace to shoot Kirsten Dunst posing as Marie-Antoinette.

Circus animals, fire, airplanes -- she was rarely denied a requested prop, however seemingly outrageous.

That kind of imagination, and the stylized, hyper-realistic portraits she produced, had a long line of celebrities, from Hollywood stars to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, beating a path to Leibovitz's door.

Yet behind a facade of unlimited financial means, Leibovitz was spending her way into nightmare.

In what now appears as a disastrous decision to raise funds, Leibovitz took a 24-million-dollar loan from Art Capital Group (ACG) -- in effect a high-end pawn broker -- in December 2008 using her own photographs as collateral.

That debt is due September 8 and if she can't pay up, she could lose her life's work.

ACG, which specializes in making loans to owners of high value art works, is unlikely to adopt a soft line.

Leibovitz must "comply with the sales agreement she signed authorizing Art Capital to sell the fine art and real estate assets and to pay the invoices that are due," ACG spokesman Montieth Illingworth said in a statement.

The over-leveraged photographer not only risks losing her photo archives, which The New York Times estimates could be worth 50 million dollars, but also her house in the trendy Greenwich Village district of Manhattan and a second home outside the city.

If she is forced to declare bankruptcy, it will then be up to the courts to decide how to distribute the assets.

Banking giant Goldman Sachs entered the fray this week with a claim to own part of Leibovitz's debt.

ACG disputes that, but says Goldman Sachs could be invited to bid for the loan.

Leibovitz's career has few parallels. Her famous shoots include a nude portrait of John Lennon and Yoko Ono -- just before the Beatle was murdered -- and nude and pregnant actress Demi Moore.

Despite moving in such glamorous circles, Leibovitz has never been known for having a knack for finance.

When she was hired to shoot ads for American Express in the 1980s, it emerged she had been previously turned down by the company when applying for a credit card.

New York's chattering classes are aghast at the renowned photographer's downfall, making her the latest spectacular victim of the bad debt crisis and nationwide recession.

The weekly New York Magazine published a lengthy article recounting her perfectionism at work and her lavish personal taste, including an apartment on the banks of the Seine in Paris to please her lover, writer Susan Sontag, who died in 2004.

Anna Wintour, the equally famous editor of Vogue magazine, said in a documentary that Leibovitz was priceless.

"Budget is not something that enters into her consciousness, but it is worth it because at the end of the day, she gives you an image that nobody else can," said Wintour.

August 20, 2009

Beyonce's bodyguard assualted by paparazzi on video

Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z have been working overtime lately, so the couple decided to take a vacation in Croatia. The singer took a hired yacht into the ocean and had a blast riding the water waves!

Unfortunately their vacation turned out to be not so fun when one of Beyonce's bodyguards was hit in the back by a paparazzi with a camera stand!


August 18, 2009

Pitt 'enjoyed arse-kicking in Basterds'

Pitt 'enjoyed arse-kicking in Basterds'

Brad Pitt has reportedly confessed that he enjoyed his role in Inglourious Basterds because he got to shoot numerous fight scenes.

The 45-year-old plays a Nazi-hunting American soldier in Quentin Tarantino's latest movie.

Contactmusic quotes him as saying: "I just like kicking arse, period. Didn't have to be Nazi, I can beat any ass. Any arse I like kicking, I just kick it.

"The role made me a little tougher. I now walk with a little more swagger."

However, Pitt explained that he is comparatively calm when it comes to the paparazzi, joking: "The [paparazzi] are my friends, they take good care of me. They are really kind and generous and thoughtful people who make the world a better place."

August 14, 2009

George Clooney Suing Paparazzi Over Underage Pictures


It’s George Clooney versus the paps! He’s reportedly suing the pesky photographers for crossing the line recently at his home in Italy.

According to TMZ, a photographer climbed over the wall on Clooney’s property and took pictures of a 13-year-old girl changing in one of his guest rooms.

The pap also got shots of George and his new lady friend Elisabetta Canalis getting cozy in the back yard. The pics have been published in two magazines, and now Georgey boy is suing mad.

He released a statement saying, "We're suing two magazines AND a photographer. I don't know about the law in the United States but in Italy it's illegal for photographers to climb over my wall and to take long lens pictures of a 13-year-old girl in her bedroom.

"I draw the line of privacy at that."

August 13, 2009

Hayden Panettiere Blames Paparazzi For Life's Woes

The 19-year-old actress has spent a lot of time growing up in front of the cameras, having worked in the industry since she could barely walk.

But she’s still not used to the celebrity gossip limelight.

She blames the paparazzi for ruining her relationships, most notably the one she had with Heroes co-star Milo Ventimiglia. Panettiere said she’s pissed by the endless cycle of the public craving details about celebs, and the paparazzi who feed it.

Not that she plays into this by posing in Details or anything.

Hayden Pic

Hayden at the Teen Choice Awards, hating having her photo taken.

“It’s very, very difficult and people have no idea what they do to peoples’ relationships. They destroy them. The paparazzi and the public,” she told Company.

“The public wants to read about your personal life, and the paparazzi give it to them by nosing into your personal life and saying things that are horrible.”

Sure, she's got a point. But she also dated a 30-year-old guy when she was 18, and stars on a hugely successful show. That's going to attract some attention.

Since breaking up with Milo, she has been linked to British TV presenter Steve Jones (age 32, for those keeping score). She's sported some bikinis and a misspelled tattoo lately, both of which are going to be magnets for attention, too!

August 12, 2009

Brigitte Bardot and the Original Paparazzi


As fashion legend Brigitte Bardot turns 75, a new exhibition of iconic images of her life through a lens opens in London.

Fittingly placed to coincide with this year’s London Fashion Week, the exhibition at James Hyman Gallery focuses on the 50-year history of the paparazzi and explores Brigitte’s pivotal role in creating an entirely new image of female sexuality and youth fashion.

Alongside exclusive shots of the beautiful Brigitte, the exhibition showcases the work of Tazio Secchiaroli – the man behind the character Paparazzo in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita – and, ironically, the most famous paparazzo ever.

Innovatively charting the development of photography, the collection explores the ever-powerful rise of celebrity and probes our present-day obsession with shots of stars in front of the flashbulbs.

Old begets new as images of Brigitte on the set of Jean-Luc Godard’s Le Mépris point enticingly to Jean Paul Gaultier’s brand-new and exciting collection. Inspired by the seminal film, the s/s 2010 line promises to be presented with elegance by Brigitte lookalike model Lara Stone.

As well-known pictures nestle among previously unseen gems, debating both the history and the future of fashion, this exhibition promises an enthralling and rare experience redolent with meaning for past and present times.

Brigitte Bardot and the Original Paparazzi: An exhibition of rare original vintage photographs
3 September-3 October 2009
James Hyman Gallery, W1 (020 7494 3857)

Gerard Butler bodyguard under investigation for paparazzi flack


Once again, a paparazzo is at the bottom of an ongoing police investigation, this time to question the bodyguard of actor Gerard Butler. Butler is co-starring with Katherine Heigl in "The Ugly Truth," a major motion picture now in wide release.

Currently, Butler is on location filming "The Bounty" and sparking rumors of a possible romance with Jennifer Aniston. Paparazzi who got wind of the shoot have saturated the locale trying to catch the pair in a tell-tale embrace. No amount of denials can keep the curious in line. Allegedly, this potentially inflammatory situation pushed Butler's bodyguard Chris Tsipouras over the line. Unsubstantiated reports say Tsipouras became enraged over the paparazzi's behavior and purposefully damaged the exterior of cameraman James Devaney's car.

This isn't the first time paparazzi have inspired retaliation in an effort to make them disappear. Last year, rapper Kanye West and his manager were arrested after an airport scuffle with a paparazzo devolved into a smashing experience.

I don't think anyone blames Tsipouras for taking matters into his own hands. But when balanced against the rights of a free press under the First Amendment, paparazzi do have a right to work freely i.e. snap photographs, without threat of loss or intentional bodily harm. Property damage, although completely understandable, is not the answer, nor should it be tolerated in a law-abiding society.

July 31, 2009

Mel Gibson Attacks Paparazzi: Photographer Falsely Accusing Actor

Mel Gibson Attacks Paparazzi: Photographer Falsely Accusing Actor

Actor Mel Gibson was allegedly involved in an incident with a persistent photographer yesterday, that ended with the photographer filing a report against the actor. According to accesshollywood.com, the victim is claiming that he was pushed by Gibson when he tried to take a photo.

Mel Gibson and his pregnant girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva were attending the grand opening of the Playhouse Nightclub, where the incident was meant to have taken place. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department said that the man stated he wasn’t injured.

Although in an initial investigation, detectives interviewed witnesses, who reportedly disputed the victims account. Other reports have suggested that the police feel that the photographer is falsely accusing Mel Gibson and no criminal charges will be filed against him.

July 23, 2009

Angry Jude 'snaps at photgrapher'

Riled up Jude Law has lost his cool with the paparazzi again after he was pictured 'accidentally' slapping a female photographer in the face in the early hours of this morning.

Moody Jude allegedly lashed out at the woman, who appeared to get in his path as he left The Automat bar in Mayfair at 12.30am.

Pow: Jude takes a hand to the back of the snapper's head
Pow: Jude takes a hand to the back of the snapper's head

Fuming Jude is pictured seemingly swinging his arm out at the paparazzo, with other pictures showing his hand pushing the back of her head.

The 28-year-old woman is then pictured holding her face and apparently wincing in pain.

The alleged bust-up kicked off after the actor let his hair down in the same venue as Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio following his latest performance in Hamlet at the Wyndham Theater.

But a spokesperson for the star, 36, has been quick to defend the actor's action.

A spokeswoman said: 'This is all nonsense. Last night's incident was an accident.'

'Jude was blinded by the camera flashes when he left the restaurant, raised his hand to shield himself and inadvertently struck somebody standing very close. He apologised and left. Pictures of this sort can often be misleading.

Out of my face: Photographer holds her face as Jude puts his arm up
Out of my face: Photographer holds her face as Jude puts his arm up

The actor's meltdown is not his first paparazzi-related incident. He was arrested two years ago for allegedly attacking a photographer near his home.

Today, Jude's latest 'victim' was quick to speak out and defend herself after the street tussle.

The photographer claimed: 'He hit me full on the face, it was a real stinger, it was very sore.'

The actor's outburst comes after recent pictures have shown him glum under the strain of droves of autograph hunters outside his theater each night.

July 21, 2009

Sienna Miller: I flashed paparazzi


But they weren't allowed to take her photo

Sienna Miller teased paparazzi photographers who are banned from taking her picture.

The actress, 27, admits it gave her great satisfaction.

'I was the first person to ever sue and win on harassment so now they can't do anything, she told Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear.

'I actually saw two of them the other day that I recognised and I started running.

'And they were like "we can't", and I was like haha and flashed them. It was the best feeling.'

July 15, 2009

Calif. bill proposes fines for paparazzi

A bill to crack down on the paparazzi is making progress in Sacramento, calling for steep fines for photographers who break the law.

The increase in clashes between paparazzi and celebrities in recent years has not gone unnoticed. A recent encounter between Michael Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, and a photographer quickly escalated. Massive paparazzi crowds have surrounded Britney Spears and created conflict with Malibu residents who were protecting Matthew McConaughey.

A state Senate committee approved an amendment to an anti-paparazzi bill by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass. The amendment is aimed at keeping paparazzi from trespassing onto celebrity estates and from violating traffic laws. In addition, government prosecutors and private individuals could seek civil fines of up to $50,000 against violators.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the California Newspaper Publishers Association oppose the measure, citing violations of free speech. They also say the measure will not solve the current problem.

Assembly Speaker Bass issued the following statement :

"Out of control paparazzi are an increasing threat -- not only to the celebrities they stalk but to the public at large if they happen to get in their way. As long as this reckless behavior remains lucrative, the current laws on the books won't be enough to prevent it. That's why AB 524 goes after the money that spurs reckless paparazzi activity and allows for sanctions against those who knowingly sell or use these ill-gotten images."

The measure still requires a vote by the full Senate.

July 1, 2009

OK! Looks to Cash In on Michael Jackson Death Cover


OK! Weekly is bracing for some flak over its pick for this week’s cover. While other publications went with feel-good images to commemorate Michael Jackson, OK! chose a grim photo of the dying star being whisked to the hospital June 25.

A knowledgeable source said British parent Northern & Shell paid the equivalent of roughly $500,000 in U.S. dollars for exclusive magazine rights to the photo in the U.S. and U.K.

OK! claims that the photo, which is similar to an image that has appeared on Entertainment Tonight’s Web site, is the last one showing Jackson alive. It plans to use the image in a number of its international editions.

News and entertainment weeklies are counting on huge newsstand sales this week due to the public’s huge interest in the pop phenom’s death. OK! in particular could use the help; its single-copy sales, which provide more than half its 909,884 circulation, have been generally weak this year. (The magazine says that sales have improved in the past few weeks but wouldn’t give out those figures.)

OK! also has been under the harsh spotlight lately over financial losses and continual changes at the masthead.

Sarah Ivens, OK!’s editorial director, said she thought the photo of the dying Jackson would differentiate the title from the rash of tribute-style covers that have begun hitting newsstands this week.

“It’s a photo that captures the surprise and the upset and the moment of this breaking news story,” Ivens said. “I hope the cover will provoke readers. It celebrated the man, but it also does expose that he was an eccentric character who lived a very controversial life.”

June 30, 2009

Obama tries to have it both ways with media


Press banned from photographing Sasha and Malia at the White House

A free press is all well and good, but not when it comes to the children of President Barack Obama, who has introduced unprecedented rules about which pictures we see of Sasha, eight, and Malia, 10, and which ones we don't.

It was several weeks ago, for instance, when photographers on the White House grounds captured the President waving extravagantly at Sasha standing on the Truman Balcony. Great pictures, to be sure, but the press office instantly requested that news agencies not distribute them.

The Obamas are confronting the same dilemma that faced many first families before them. Nothing endears a nation to its leader more than family snapshots. Even Abraham Lincoln acquiesced to a portrait with his son Tad, eight, at a small table. Few photographs are more beloved than the one of JFK Jr and Caroline playing in the Oval Office. On the other hand, the President and the First Lady want to protect the girls from prying paparazzi.

Thus, all credentialed photographers have been told that the girls are fair game only when they are at formal events. Otherwise, prying lenses should stay away, even when they are on the White House grounds.

To reduce the market for paparazzi shots, the White House puts out photos taken by its own photographer. But these are posted only in low resolution. Editors who want to use them have to ask for a high resolution version and it is up to spokesman Robert Gibbs to grant or deny those requests.

If Mr Obama wants to protect the children from being exploited by a voracious modern-day media, he may find himself treading close to being accused of exploiting them himself, with such a controlled drip-drip of images designed to extract maximum political advantage at the lowest parental cost.

"He's going to try to have it both ways until and unless people start to question his value system and his sincerity in playing that role," notes Gerald Shuster, a political communications expert at the University of Pittsburgh.

The girls, meanwhile, may be discovering the downside of having to stay clear of the paparazzi, having to think twice, for example, before venturing even as far as their climbing frame.

The President whose name is attached to the Truman balcony brought his daughter to Washington, but Margaret Truman loathed the bubble-life she found herself living thanks to her father, Harry, and famously called the executive mansion the Great White Jail.

June 23, 2009

MADONNA PAPARAZZI

Paparazzi are gathered outside Madonna’s townhouse in a posh section of London, hoping for a glimpse or photo of her new adopted daughter, Mercy.

Mercy is said to be bonding with her new mother before the family flies to New York.

Mercy arrived in London on Friday after an overnight flight from the Malawi orphanage where she had been living.

One June 12th the Malawi Supreme Court allowed the singer to adopt the child after a lower court had ruled Madonna would not be able to adopt her because Madonna wasn’t a resident of the Malawi.

Rights groups have accused the Malawi government of giving preferential treatment to Madonna and say this ruling will encourage other foreigners to try to adopt orphans from the southern African country.

Mercy will join her new sister and two brothers.

David Banda, who’s three, was also adopted from Malawi in 2006

Kodak Shutters Kodachrome



Kodak is discontinuing its storied Kodachrome film line, the company announced today. Introduced in 1935, Kodachrome was the first commercially successful color film, and was immortalized in a Paul Simon song in 1973. But these days it represents less than 1% of Kodak’s film sales, and only one lab in the world—Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas, processes it, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports.

“It was certainly a difficult decision to retire it, given its rich history,” said one Kodak executive. To honor that history, National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry will shoot one of the final rolls, donating the prints to the photography museum named for Kodak founder George Eastman. Any other remaining rolls will also be donated to the museum.

June 16, 2009

Pete Doherty Makes Comparison Between Paparazzi and Nazi Death Camps


Pete Doherty has recently been touring in the U.K., although his infamous drug use is threatening his career once more. When he’s not being arrested, the former Libertines singer is giving interviews to the BBC, who featured Doherty in a TV show about media intrusion.

Doherty has plenty of experience of this particular topic, particularly from his time as Kate Moss’s eye candy. In fact, it affected poor Pete so badly that is caused him to draw some unwise comparisons between paparazzi photographers and the Nazis on the BBC show.

“It's going to sound really extreme,” he said, in reference to photographers blaming their antics on newspaper demands. “But you know even the people who were like shoveling bodies into gas chambers were saying 'we're just obeying orders.' You've got to accept responsibility for what you do.”

Doherty’s statement is only likely to stoke the flames of his battle with the paparazzi. But with his fame ailing, it’s only a full-blown Libertines reunion or a reconciliation with Kate Moss that would really restore the level of fame he so desperately craves. Why else would he be making such inflammatory please-look-at-me statements?

The hunted become the hunters: Celebs vs. paparazzi

HOLLYWOOD (Herald de Paris) - Paparazzi. Sometimes, they’re good for buzz, for PR, and for publicity. Other times, they’re downright annoying.

Make that most of the time.

Scores of celebrities are hounded while they try to go about their daily lives, buy groceries, or take their kids to the park. When the more unscrupulous paparazzi cross the line, climb trees, hide in your trash can, or scare your kids, there’s only one thing to do: FIGHT BACK.

We here at L’Herald de Paris have a lot of celebrated friends. We hear often how annoying the paparazzi can be. Therefore, we’re going to give anyone in the public eye the opportunity to level the playing field.

When the paparazzi just will not leave you alone, pull out your mobile phone and snap their photo right back.

Seriously.

Send it to us with the date, time, and location, and we’ll publish it.

Let’s show everyone the faces of disrespectful photo journalism, and see how much THEY like having their unwilling photos published.

June 12, 2009

Hugh Grant kicks a paparazzi out of his way

Brit actor Hugh Grant has landed in yet another row with the paparazzi, and this time he lashed out at a photographer with his foot during a night out in New York.

Grant, 48, was on his way to a restaurant in the Big Apple on June 10 when he took offence at the snappers outside the venue, and as he made his way to another nightspot, he was caught on camera warning the photogs to “back off”.


The actor is said to have become so agitated by the photographers’ persistence that he reportedly kicked one in the groin. “That wasn’t cool. What the f**k is your problem? I was trying to be a nice guy. I was trying to help you find a cab,” the Daily Star quoted the unlucky snapper as shouting.

June 9, 2009

Council to examine protecting children from paparazzi

A circus-like atmosphere began unfolding at the First Presbyterian Nursery School, the source of chaos coming not from crying children, but rather a group of two dozen photographers snapping away from behind a fence.

They hooked their cameras into the fence, some even climbing up the divider erected between the playground and the alley where they stood, all to capture photos of a few celebrity parents with their children.

Such is a description of the scene according to Councilman Richard Bloom who recently visited the nursery school after receiving letters from more than 30 parents complaining about the nuisance caused by the paparazzi. During tonight's City Council meeting, Bloom and Mayor Pro Tem Pam O'Connor plan to ask staff to investigate "intrusive and invasive activities" of paparazzi photographers and videographers in areas where children gather, returning with recommended regulations to protect their privacy.

"Celebrities may not like it but they get that this is something they have to accept and live with … ," Bloom said. "I think there are limits as to what somebody should have to experience in this situation, but for the parents and children of the school, it's a very intolerable situation."

Among the celebrities who reportedly have children enrolled in First Presbyterian are Jennifer Garner and Meg Ryan, both of whom have been photographed at the school and displayed on various celebrity gossip Web sites.

Bloom said he was contacted by parents of the school several months ago about the ongoing issue of the paparazzi. During the visit, the councilman said he witnessed photographers blocking the alley and the entryway to the school.

"Inside the school, there were parents who felt trapped," he said.

In the letters parents talk about the problems experienced with the photographers, at least one even claiming that their family has been verbally assaulted.

The parents said that the paparazzi have also increased congestion on the street, taking up parking spaces and driving recklessly. One parent observed a photographer standing on top of a car and taking pictures over the fence. Another parent said the crowd of photographers also attracts people passing by, adding to the already congested environment. Parents also said the scene can be frightening to their children.

"Our families deserve the opportunity to give our children a safe place to learn and grow," one parent wrote.

In a letter to Bloom, Mary Hartzell, the director of the nursery school, said that church staff have asked the photographers to temper their actions, only to be met with insults.

She added that though the school has had famous parents over the years, the situation it experiences today is one it has never faced before.

"The school has always been a place that welcomes diversity and we have families from different economic, racial, social and religious backgrounds," she wrote.

Hartzell could not be reached for comment.

Bloom said he envisions regulations that would establish a reasonable distance that photographers should have to maintain.

"It has reached the point at this particular school where these folks feel strongly enough about it to contact a council member and ask if something could be done," he said.

Francois Navarre, the owner of Beverly Hills-based X17online, an agency dedicated to celebrity photography, said that there are plenty of rules in place right now that restrict photographers, including one that prohibits them from parking in an alley.

"The police always find a reason to push away photographers," Navarre said. "They say we're disturbing the traffic and disturbing this and that."

He added that more laws could raise issues for his agency.

"Any specific regulations against the paparazzi is very dangerous for me because the difference between paparazzi and journalist is so ambiguous," he said.

May 16, 2009

Gerard Butler Facing 6 Months in Jail for Paparazzi Beat-Down


Movie star hunk Gerard Butler has been charged with misdemeanor criminal battery over an incident involving a paparazzi-photographer last year. If convicted, he could be sentenced up to 6 months in jail. The incident occurred the night of October 7th, 2008 after a premiere party for “RockNRolla.” Allegedly, the photographer was trailing Gerard’s limo for hours, verbally harassing Butler whenever he got in and out of the limo, and even was chasing people through the streets.

Gerard’s manager Alan Siegel said the actor was forced to have his driver stop the car he was riding in after the particular photographer repeatedly sped through red lights and almost struck two pedestrians. Butler was said to have then punched him several times, bloodying the photographer’s lip. Police filed a report against the “300” actor over the scuffle. The Los Angeles City Attorney has already filed legal charge against him on Wednesday, May 13th, and Gerard is due in court for an arraignment on June 10th. His attorney, Blair Berk, has said that Butler is not required to, and won’t, appear in court on the matter.

May 15, 2009

Janice Dickinson attacks paparazzi

Janice Dickinson attacked the press in an expletive-laden rant when she was intercepted on the way to her car after a night out in Los Angeles

The America's Next Top Model judge had posed for photographs on the way into Nobu, but stopped to challenge a member of the paparazzi who called her "drunkie".

As she exited the restaurant, Dickinson waved her scarf at the press and said: "You guys are like insects."

When one photographer described the star as "a great distraction", she asked who had made the comment before responding.

Dickinson said: "You know what, you're a f**king great f**king distraction... you f**king a**hole. You're a f**king a**hole. I'm still after you. You're a c***."

When she was snapped getting into her car on the driver's side, Dickinson tried to chase down one paparazzo who she believed had tried to take a photograph up her dress.

"You come here. Delete. If he f**king deletes it it's fine. He f**king got it when I went into the car and did my [dress]. I'm going to f**k him up. F**king a**hole," she added, before returning to the passenger seat of the car.

May 13, 2009

Jennifer Garner Tells Paparazzi “Shame, Shame, Shame!”

Jennifer Garner is sick and tired of the paparazzi that incessantly hound her and her family. "Because my husband and I are public figures, it is assumed that our daughters are public figures, and there’s nothing to protect them," Jennifer says.

"There are almost as many video cameras as there are film cameras and the situation has shifted so that a huge amount of their focus is put on the children of celebrities," she goes on to say.

There's a mob of paps pretty much living outside Jennifer's and Ben Affleck's home, hoping to get a glimpse of beautiful 3-year-old Violet and her little 4-mos-old sibling, Seraphina Rose. Jennifer says that the daily preschool run is torture.

"When we go to preschool, there are so many paparazzi there that they are knocking kids on the heads with cameras and knocking them down," Jen says. And they aren't happy with just one photo, either. The photographers are constantly calling out to Violet, trying to catch her eye.

"There are huge numbers of them - and they’re aggressive. They talk to her. They yell at her. They try to get her attention. They try to get her to react. It is a shame, shame, shame."

Fawcett lashes out at paparazzi


Former sex symbol Farah Fawcett, 62, reportedly terminally ill with cancer, has blasted paparazzi and the celebrity culture for invading her privacy and spoiling the last years of her life.

In an interview published on Monday in the Los Angeles Times the star of the original Charlie's Angels, who is reported to be close to death, said the unwanted attention had made her battle with cancer more difficult.

"It's much easier to go through something and deal with it without being under a microscope," said the terminally ill star. "It was stressful. I was terrified of getting the chemo. It's not pleasant. And the radiation is not pleasant."

Being under a microscope

"I'm a private person," Fawcett said. "I'm shy about people knowing things. And I'm really shy about my medical (care). It would be good if I could just go and heal and then when I decided to go out, it would be okay. It seems that there are areas that should be off-limits."

"I'm holding onto the hope that there is some reason that I got cancer and there is something, that may not be very clear to me right now, but that I will do."

The interview was released days after her long-time companion Ryan O'Neal revealed that Fawcett had stopped treatment in what was seen as an indication that she was close to death.

Other reports said that her jailed son had been given special dispensation to see her and that she had also said goodbye to her 91-year-old father with a note: "I've lived a full and wonderful life. I've loved and been loved. I'm happy. I'm ready."

May 3, 2009

Have celebrities finally snapped?

Amy Winehouse's injunction against the paparazzi reveals a growing frustration with picture agencies and their methods

You may have noticed that, while just a few months ago you couldn't open a tabloid newspaper or celebrity magazine without seeing a photo of Amy Winehouse - usually taken late at night with the singer in a dishevelled state - there haven't been many pictures of her recently.

The Guardian revealed over the weekend that Winehouse had successfully, and relatively quietly, obtained an injunction preventing picture agencies, and the photographers who work for them, from following her and gathering outside her house. A sign outside her new home since 30 March has warned photographers not to come within 100 metres. The pop star Lily Allen won a similar injunction earlier in the same month preventing two picture agencies - Big Pictures and Matrix Photos - from harassing her, approaching her within 100 metres of her home, or taking photographs when she is in the homes of her family or friends.

Both follow an action brought by the actor Sienna Miller, who sued Big Pictures, one of the biggest agencies for celebrity photographs, for harassment and invasion of privacy, and was awarded £53,000 in damages and costs as part of a settlement that resulted in the agency's photographers being forbidden from following her. Alan Williams, the chief executive of Big Pictures, declined to comment on the injunctions, except to say: "We believe in the right of a photographer to take pictures in a public place."

Celebrities have increasingly turned to injunctions against the paparazzi, claiming an inability to live ordinary lives. How did the once-umbilical relationship deteriorate so much? After the death of Princess Diana, there seemed to be a collective surrender by paparazzi photographers. But with the internet and the success of celebrity magazines creating demand, as well as the growth in the number of amateurs, there are now more paparazzi than ever. In Los Angeles, they are known as "gangbangers", says Nick Stern, a British photographer who divides his time between London and LA. Last year, Stern resigned from Splash picture agency, when he felt the hounding of Britney Spears had gone too far. When Spears was taken to hospital in February last year, the ambulance needed at least 12 police motorcycles to escort it through a swarm of photographers.

The picture of Spears having her head shaved is rumoured to have fetched around £250,000. "Some days there would be 30 or 40 people trying to take her picture. There is very little skill, technical or journalistic, involved - it's just a crazy fight, pure aggression and persistence," Stern says.

The publicist Max Clifford remembers one instance last year when he was in a car "with someone who had done something they shouldn't with someone", and a photographer chasing them on a motorbike came off the road and nearly hit a woman with a pushchair. "He didn't have any regard for his safety or those around him. That's what you're up against now. It is more fierce, confrontational and competitive. The atmosphere has changed."

Clifford blames "over-enthusiastic amateurs ... ruining it for the rest". Before, there was usually an informal agreement between professional paparazzi and the star - the star would pose for a picture, and in return the pack would largely then leave them alone. Now, anybody can pick up a decent digital camera and a laptop with mobile broadband for a couple of thousand pounds and become a paparazzo. Even photographs snapped on mobile phones can reach dizzying sums - the Mirror is thought to have paid about £100,000 for the grainy phone footage of Kate Moss appearing to snort cocaine.

"I know it can be presented as celebrities not wanting photographs to be taken, but this is more about the extraordinary lengths that [photographers] will go to get pictures," says David Sherborne, the barrister who represented Allen, Miller and Winehouse. "It makes doing everyday things that you or I take for granted miserable and dangerous." Sherborne says he thinks more celebrities will seek injunctions, "when they realise something can be done about it".

In a newspaper interview a few weeks ago, Allen described an incident when she left her house and photographers in seven cars followed her. "I turned into a T-junction and they all ran a red light, then tried to overtake on the inside. A woman had to slam the brakes on her car as they cut in. I braked too, of course, and this guy ran into the back of me. I got out of the car. I was shaken up ... Instead of talking to me, like a decent human being would, he got his camera out and started taking pictures, and I just thought, 'I've had it with the press, I can't do this any more.' I got back into the car and called my lawyer."

Dan Bozinovski is one of the photographers affected by Allen's injunction, though he denies that he has ever behaved in an unacceptable way. How does he feel about celebrities taking out injunctions? "I think there should be some way of regulating photographers, rather than taking out injunctions against whole agencies.

"A certain class of people is going to become untouchable. The more money you have for lawyers, the more privilege you can buy." Celebrities can't have it both ways, he says. "A lot of publicity [for Allen] has been generated through us. When she had an album out, her PR was working overtime to tip us off about where she would be. That's the game."

That said, Bozinovski does admit the pack has become "much worse. Most photographers are freelancers who joined the industry in the last couple of years. There are so many more photographers now, so people aren't making as much money and they're getting desperate for that great shot." He says that he has been sworn and spat at, and colleagues have been beaten up by bouncers and celebrities' security guards. "I don't know if I'll be doing it by the end of the year," he says. "It's getting harder, for less money and you have to risk more and more."