A paparazzo photographer is a freelance photographer whose job is to take pictures of celebrities and sell them to magazines and any other outlet that is willing to buy them. In the early 2000s, paparazzi photography was quite lucrative. Photographers went as far as going on trips just to catch celebrities in their unguarded moments and take photos of them. The photos made them a lot of money at the time because people wanted to humanize their favorite stars and a picture of a celebrity doing something as normal as shopping for groceries would make the news and have fans in awe.
Lately, paparazzi photography is not as lucrative as it used to be nor is it given any attention. There are different reasons why that is, but a major and significant reason is social media.
What is the role of social media in the decline of paparazzi photography?
One of the reasons paparazzi photography was so lucrative was that it helped to demystify celebrities. Many people want to see their favorite stars in their unsavory moments, they want to see them in their bathrobe, without makeup, etc. Thanks to social media, fans can now see all of that without having to check magazines for pictures taken by paparazzi photographers. These kinds of pictures are taken and posted by the celebrities themselves.
Another reason paparazzi photography was lucrative was that people are interested in demystifying celebrities. They want to have access to information such as whom their star is dating and whether or not they are pregnant and what their child looks like. Paparazzi used to provide pictures that answer these questions. It is not uncommon for paparazzi to take pictures of pregnant celebrities or celebrities who are out on a date with their romantic partners. Paparazzi were highly instrumental in providing these pictures, but nowadays, pictures like that are on social media for public consumption. Celebrities take official pictures of themselves and post them on social media, they also post pictures of their significant others and who they are hanging out with.
With little mystery around celebrities, the need for paparazzi photographers has declined and the pictures are not worth as much as they used to be.
Has the paparazzi become completely useless?
While paparazzi is no longer as lucrative and pictures of celebrities are no longer as sought after, the answer is no. Paparazzi photography has not become completely useless. People are still interested in seeing their celebrities from angles not chosen by them. They still want to “catch” photos of their favorites when they have just rolled out of bed and have no makeup on. Even when these celebrities have had pictures of themselves without makeup on their social media pages, people still want more.
Also, paparazzi still sometimes get photos of celebrities that they do not want or are not ready to share with the public and they can break news that has never been shared with the public. People are still interested in photos of celebrities on a date with their romantic partners.
Paparazzi photography may not be as lucrative as it used to be, but there will always be a space for a paparazzo and that type of photography will always be relevant.