It all seemed so glamorous then, back in the heyday of black & white prints, trilby hats and the golden age of the 30’s grand film studios, the paparazzo was seen to be an icon himself, moving and shaking with the subjects he intended to capture on film. Popularized by the 1960 film La dolce vita character and inspired by a boy who was nicknamed paparazzo (mosquito) after he was found to be always buzzing around and constantly moving.
Fast forward several decades to the “noughties” and the paparazzi have become a very different breed altogether. The stereotypical pap now comes stocked with a grey elongated lens, a couple of mobile phones, a laptop (preferably Apple), a sporty hatchback and a bad attitude.
The paparazzi world was introduced to me when I noticed a job advertisement entitled “Entertainment Photographer”. A short introductory email and a few telephone conversations later, and I had become self proclaimed Paparazzi. I wanted to find out how easy it was to become a pap and what the role entailed. The pap bug soon engorged my calm and softly spoken demeanour and I wanted more. I applied to 7 paparazzi agencies and was successful in joining 6. Within a few hours I was given the home address of a well-known “celebrity” and was asked to wait outside her house. I was shocked at how easily they had given personal information out and slightly concerned about the other paparazzi agencies offering a position to someone over the telephone.
Now, I’m not proposing that all of the paparazzi industry is cast in depths of dark shadow but it does question, where is the industry heading? And is there any room for a new species of paparazzi? As trends revolve and the mainstream media pack becomes increasingly commonplace, I encourage a new attitude, direction and working method in a new paparazzo revolution.