May 31, 2010

Paparazzo Stays in the Picture

Ron Galella is finally taking a break. The self-described paprazzo superstar, who once spent his time sneaking into hotels and prowling the streets for celebrities, now covers events only sparingly. Instead, Mr. Galella is concentrating on selling his prints in fine-art galleries, producing photography books featuring his work, and promoting "Smash His Camera," a documentary directed by Leon Gast about his career that airs June 7 on HBO.
Born into an Italian family in the Bronx, Mr. Galella, 79, didn't have the money to go to college, so he enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean war "to learn a career." There he became interested in photography, buying his first camera—a roloflex—off a sergeant in the photo lab and studying photography encyclopedias to learn his craft. After the war, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill to enroll at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and began freelancing in 1958. He went on to shoot such luminaries as Marlon Brando (who famously knocked out five of Mr. Galella's teeth in 1973) and Jackie Kennedy Onassis (who sued him twice).
Mr. Galella says he is different from paparazzi photographers working today, whom he calls "gangbangers." "They just do it for the money, and that to me is not a good motive," he says. "To me, shooting the picture is the first reward. The check is the last reward."
Mr. Galella spoke with the Wall Street Journal about his craft, and why they don't make paparazzi like they used to.

Wall Street Journal: What's the biggest difference between being a paparazzo now versus during your heyday?
Ron Galella: There was a great freedom to move about and get into events. For example, I once followed Sophia Loren on board a plane at JFK. I just boarded the plane after her and took a picture of her with her son in her lap. Nobody questioned me; I just walked on and got off before the flight took off. Now you can't even get to the gate.
Plus, everyone gets the same picture. I don't know how they make a living now. When I did it, I didn't get a lot of money for the pictures, just normal rates, but I got them from a lot of different outlets. I'd rather do that then sell to one publication for double or triple that rate. The whole thing is my passion. I'm glad I did it my way.
WSJ: Do the actions of today's aggressive photographers tarnish the legacy of paparazzi like yourself?
Mr. Galella: I think it does. Nowadays, there's too many of them. There's no freedom to move and all the photographers get in each other's way, and it's dangerous sometimes. When I was shooting Jackie, my best year was 1970, and I got her 20 times throughout the course of the year. Today, the gangbangers shoot Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and other people I call "featherweights" all day and night. And they love it! Things have certainly changed.
WSJ: What makes a good paparazzo photograph?
Mr. Galella: The best is always the exclusive. No matter who is it, if you're the only one who has it, you'll make money. It's like an original painting. Then, stars doing unusual things or things that humanize them. I once got Julie Christie barefoot in a market in Malibu. Getting pictures of stars doing things is the main thing. On the red carpet nowadays, you get stars looking directly at the camera, and that's terrible. I like people doing things and relating to each other, getting natural expressions.
WSJ: Having spent your career shooting pictures of other people, how did it feel having documentarians record your every move?
Mr. Galella: I love it. I'm a ham, in a way; I could have been an actor. In fact, when I was studying at the art center, I would crash premieres and take pictures of people like Lucille Ball, William Holden and Frank Sinatra. To me, the whole thing was about curiosity. We see these stars on TV and in movies, and we want to know what they look like in person. Curiosity is the proper motivation.

May 30, 2010

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart no more a couple, Stewart fed up with paparazzi

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are no more a couple, as Pattinson has clarified. Meanwhile Stewart is fed up with paparazzi

Internationally-acclaimed star Kristen Stewart is furious at the paparazzi. Earlier she had lashed out the tabloid for infringing on her privacy. Reports have surfaced that this time she has expressed her anger against the paparazzi who photographed her. Using harsh word, she said that she feels like she has been raped.

Besides, she told a British magazine that what she hates the most is being stalked by men with cameras. "All you see is an actor or a celebrity lit up but a flash.

"It’s so… The photos are so… I feel like I’m looking at someone being raped. A lot of the time I can’t handle it.

"It’s f**ked. I never expected that this would be my life."

This is not her first time outburst against the media. Earlier too she had ripped them apart after they had tailed her to find out about her relationship with Robert Pattinson. She had claimed that she wanted to avoid the media because they always pry on her privacy.

Besides, she also talked about her rumored relationship with Robert.

“People want me to say that I really like it when guys are funny and dorky but I’ve never really gone out with someone I’ve found attractive initially," she said, adding that she had career plans also.

“Oddly enough I have a really clean horizon, I’m excited about the last few films I did coming out but other than that – I always have my next three things planned out so to have a clean horizon is pretty nice."

Meanwhile Robert Pattinson has said that he is not dating Kristen Stewart and is single.

May 27, 2010

Paparazzi lose shooting case

A US judge has dismissed a lawsuit by two paparazzi who claimed they were shot at by the bodyguards of Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen and her husband, American football star Tom Brady.

Photographers Yuri Cortez and Rolando Aviles, supported by the news agency Agence France Presse, contended that the bullets narrowly missed their heads. They were trying to obtain photographs at a party in Costa Rica in April 2009.

Read the original story HERE.

May 10, 2010

Kristen Stewart calls paparazzi 'thugs'

Kristen Stewart has reportedly branded the photographers who follow her as "thugs".

Speaking to Elle magazine, the Twilight star revealed that she finds being hounded by the paparazzi very frustrating.

"The photographers, they're vicious. They're mean. They're like thugs," the 20-year-old said.

She added: "I don't even want to drive around by myself anymore. It’s f***ing dangerous."