June 20, 2010

Another Mistrial Declared in Matthew McConaughey Surf Battle CaseAnother Mistrial Declared in Matthew McConaughey Surf Battle Case

MALIBU, Calif. — A mistrial was declared Friday in the battery case against two surfers accused of beating up a member of the paparazzi on a Malibu beach two years ago.
Skylar Peak, 26, and Philip Hildebrand, 31, were each facing one count of misdemeanor battery stemming from the June 2008 incident. They were accused of attacking French paparazzo Rachid Aitmbareck as he attempted to snap pictures of actor and surfer enthusiast Matthew McConaughey.
The judge also declared a mistrial in March after learning Peak's mother was seriously injured in a car accident.
"These men, at least in the interim, have gotten away with their offenses in the guise of protecting the community from paparazzi," the photographer's attorney, Bryan Altman, told the Los Angeles Times.
Both sides were ordered to return to court on July 2 to determine if the men will be retried.

June 15, 2010

Starbucks: Free Wi-Fi at 6,700 US sites

Transmit Photos For Free!

Starbucks Corp. will begin offering unlimited free Wi-Fi at all of its company-operated U.S. locations next month, part of an ongoing effort to bring more customers in the door.

The free wireless Internet will be available July 1 at about 6,700 locations.

June 13, 2010

How Far Is Too Far For The Paparazzi?

There is a question that needs to be asked, and that is, how far is too far for the Paparazzi? We all witnessed what happened in 1997. If you have no idea what I am talking about, it is the death of Princess Diana. The paps were swarming and in an attempt to get away from them, her boyfriend's (Dodi Fayed) driver lost control, and in a tunnel in Paris, one of the sweetest woman ever was gone.
In a similar scenario, Mad Men star, January Jones almost suffered the same fate Thursday night. In an attempt to get away from the swarming paps, she swerved and hit 3 parked cars. Early on, the police thought it was a hit and run, but it was far from it. January walked a few blocks to her home to call 911 and then returned to the scene, but again, for the paps, how far is too far.
There is a new law in California that is in the works, where photographers will now have to obey celebs privacy, but really is that good enough. In this over exposed world that we live now, it is not out of the realm to see photographers popping out of trees, and staking out favorite hot spots that celebs frequent.
What we are saying is, we understand magazines have to stay in business by taking pictures and writing stories, but why go to the extent of making these celebs cause harm to themselves just to get away from you.
In the past 6 months, some of your favorite headlines read, Lindsay Lohan hits photographer with her car, Jodie Foster assaulted 17 year old kid who she claims is a paparazzi, Kristen Stewart compares been photographed by paparazzi to being raped, January Jones hits 3 parked cars after trying to get away from paparazzi, Paparazzi hiding out in trees after Alec Baldwin returns from Hospital, and the list goes on.
So once again how far is too far, apparently not far enough if these types of headlines keep popping up. We don't need someone else to die to realize that the paparazzi are getting really dangerous with their tactics, so we do hope something is done sooner rather than later.

Lindsay Lohan’s paparazzi Twitter rant

Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan is looking so much better since she was made to wear her SCRAM bracelet. But, she doesn’t appear to want the paparazzi to continue documenting her every move.

She took to Twitter last night to rant a little bit about the relentless snappers. She said, “Can’t paparazzi just disappear for one night? Just so I don’t have severe anxiety? Its like, one night off- like work days and weekends!!!! I’m rambling now…but if not that- arrest them lapd for their wreckless driving and running stop signs & lights for once!”

June 12, 2010

Gaga Strips, Flips at Mets Game

She rails against photographers by taking off clothes

Lady Gaga, upset at being seated too close to photographers at yesterday’s Mets game, did what any rational person would do: She stripped to her undies. Gaga—who was seated in the front row yet and was, for some reason, surprised to find photographers nearby shooting the game—cursed out the snappers, relocated to a private box (owned by...Jerry Seinfeld), showed the world her sparkly skivvies, then started dancing and flipping everyone off.

“She felt it was unfair that she was seated right by the paparazzi,” a pal explains to the New York Post. “Having them take pictures of her all game would've been annoying to all the fans. She went up to the box and said, 'F--- you! F--- you!' to the photographers who were messing up the game for everyone else.” She also apparently kissed a random woman.

June 11, 2010

World Cup Photographer Robbed at Gunpoint

A Portuguese photographer covering the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament was robbed at gunpoint by two men who took his camera equipment, the AP reports. The robbery occurred at the photographer’s hotel room in Magaliesburg, South Africa,  which is 75 miles northwest of Johannesburg and roughly 44 miles from the soccer stadium in Rustenburg. 

Photographer Antonio Simoes told his paper, the Portuguese daily O Jogo, that at about 4 a.m. this morning, he awoke when two men entered his room at the Nutbush Boma Lodge. One pointed a gun at his head while the other took about $35,000 worth of camera and computer equipment, his passport, cellphones, World Cup accreditation and cash.

 "Then they told me to lie on the bed and they covered me with a blanket, pressed the gun against my head and told me to sleep. The whole thing took one or two minutes, but it felt like hours," Simoes told The Associated Press.

Two other journalists staying at the lodge,  Miguel Serrano and Rui Gustavo, also found their rooms had been robbed while they slept. 

Security has been a concern for many photojournalists who must travel between venues within South Africa to cover matches during the World Cup, which kicks off June 11.  In an interview with PDN in the run-up to the tournament, sports photographer Streeter Lecka, who shoots for Getty Images, said, ├ČI know that our personal safety is an area of concern. Our editorial team has made it a high priority, making sure that there is always a few of us at each venue to travel together—keeping us together as a team.

January Jones involved in car wreck, reportedly blames paparazzi

Mad Men star January Jones, who plays Betty, the icy blonde (soon-to-be-ex) wife of Jon Hamm's Don Draper, was apparently involved in a car collision in Los Angeles Thursday night, the LAPD tells TMZ.

The actress, 32, was at the wheel of a Range Rover around 9 p.m. when she allegedly lost control and collided with three parked vehicles, resulting in major damage.

One witness is quoted as telling police that Jones left the scene on foot, having said, "I can't deal with this commotion."

Jones reportedly returned later and said she had left the scene – and her license in the Range Rover – because she was being followed by paparazzi. The report says she walked home to call 911 before returning to her vehicle.

She has not been cited or arrested in the case.

Police, who have impounded her car and launched an investigation, say no alcohol or drugs were involved.

June 10, 2010

Shia LaBeouf Swipes Paparazzo's Camera

Shia LaBeouf was caught red handed when he tried to remove camera equipment from a X17 paparazzo's car in Hollywood on Wednesday afternoon, according to X17 Online. The 'Transformers' star reportedly saw the paparazzi swarming outside of his house and decided the only way to keep them from snapping photos was to take the cameras out of the equation. He helped himself to the equipment and reportedly returned to his residence to call the police. Police eventually had LaBeouf give up the camera and didn't arrest him.
"We handle each incident on a case-by-case basis," an unnamed official told X17 Online.

Of course, LaBeouf has had a few run-ins with the paparazzi in the past and has stated how much he hates his privacy being invaded. In April, Pacific Coast News reported that LaBeouf got into an altercation with a photographer while he was filling up his truck at a gas station.

After realizing he was being photographed, he charged a photographer and allegedly said, "If you follow me all day, I am going to f**k you up."

June 9, 2010

The Paparazzi: Snapshot of Our Times

"The only real thing is paparazzi," photographer Harry Benson told The Observer last week in his thick Scottish accent. We were at Monkey Bar for the after-party of the New York premiere of Smash His Camera, a documentary about Ron Galella, Mr. Benson's fellow shutterbug and perhaps the most famous of all paparazzi. "There's no photojournalism any more. It's all posed, all fake," said Mr. Benson, famed photographer of the Beatles. "The only real legitimate photography going on is by paparazzi."

A rare breed, the paparazzi. Tazio Secchiaroli zoomed around Rome on his Vespa, crowding his famous subjects' personal space, before racing off to surprise Sophia Loren or snap a drunken leading man. Mr. Benson talked his way into the homes of presidents, the funerals of public leaders, the hotel rooms of rock stars. Mr. Galella hid in bushes with forged press credentials waiting for The Shot. "Paparazzi" comes from the name of a pesky photographer in Fellini's La Dolce Vita, based on Secchiaroli.

It's also Italian for "buzzing insect."

They've been villains for decades, but first-wave paparazzi like Mr. Galella and Mr. Benson and their contemporaries are now becoming famous-and respected as photographers. In just the past two years, and almost out of nowhere, major galleries in London, New York, Berlin and Los Angeles have staged exhibitions of paparazzi photos, singling out a few "insects" from the swarm as artists. Mr. Galella's photographs are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, where the HBO documentary about his career premiered. Mr. Benson has had solo exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery and British Museum. A 2008 exhibition in West Hollywood even touted images from TMZ.com as "fine art."

It's not just that paparazzi are outlasting their artistic critics; Curators, dealers and photographers themselves said the changing face of American celebrity-and the country's incessantly growing fascination with it-has made paparazzi photography the dominant style of this new century. If so, Mr. Galella and Mr. Benson are the medium's Da Vinci and Michelangelo.

"He transformed the idea of how we could represent famous people," said Brian Wallis, the chief curator of the International Center of Photography, about Mr. Galella's work. "On a purely aesthetic level [he brought] amateur photography, or the snapshot, into the realm of photojournalism."

"I did it for the art," Mr. Galella told The Observer of his career. He wore his camera around his neck, and on the strap were two buttons featuring pictures Mr. Galella took of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, his most famous subject. The two engaged in a legal battle in the '70s over his right to shoot versus Onassis' right to privacy. In 1975, the court ordered Mr. Galella to not come within 25 feet of her. The text of one of the buttons on his camera reads her quote: "I thought you were in jail."

The art world long had a similar disdain for paparazzi and their pictures. "When we started, no one showed this work, and much of it was scorned," said Takouhy Wise, the director of Staley-Wise gallery, which has represented Mr. Benson for a decade. (Other spaces that have exhibited paparazzi work include The Robert Miller Gallery, Paul Kasmin, Savile Row's James Hyman and the Helmut Newton Foundation.)

"I think the negative aspect of the paparazzi today is there's such a pursuit of people who have negative ways of living. The drugs and abuse. Which is a symptom of our times. And they're recording it." She added: "Once we have enough distance, it probably will define our decade."

The paparazzi snapshot, according to some curators, is the new century's dominant image-the one that circulates the Internet like a virus, the one produced not only by the phalanx of cameramen huddled outside a nightclub, but also by anonymous teenagers with iPhones. Everyone is an artist. Everyone is famous. Paparazzi have made it so.

June 3, 2010

Calif. moves to crack down on paparazzi tactics

Paparazzi could be arrested for loitering outside a celebrity's home or workplace under a measure moving through the California legislature.

The California Assembly passed the bill Thursday on a 41-12 vote. It would make it a crime for individuals to engage in surveillance to get a photo, image or recording of a celebrity.

Democratic Assemblywoman Karen Bass, of Los Angeles, says celebrities have described paparazzi following their children and surrounding and jumping on their vehicles.

Bass says her bill would provide a stronger deterrent to keep "out-of-control paparazzi from violating a person's right to privacy."

The bill now goes to the state Senate.

June 2, 2010

A look inside the world of the paparazzi

Here's a sneak peek at tonight's interview with two of the world's most accomplished paparazzi: Ron Galella and Ben Evenstad. Their advice for celebrities who don't like getting their photo taken: don't go outside. Do you agree?