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Paparazzi-Style Photography

What exactly is a paparazzi photo shoot and how does the whole thing work?

Instagram and Facebook accounts are gradually catching on to a new trend called as Paparazzi Style Photo Shoots. These are images that look like they were taken by paparazzi, but they actually show regular people rather than celebrities.

Marcus Posthumus, a former paparazzo who spent more than ten years working in Los Angeles, Porto Cervo, and St. Tropez, reveals the motivation for the new craze.

He claims that there are many legitimate reasons for a paparazzi-style photo shoot, including for pure amusement or to temporarily make someone feel famous. However, I have also photographed a few paparazzi-style weddings, and some people enjoy the natural feel of those pictures. I mean, you sneak around and take photos without interfering with the event.

There are two types of paparazzi photography practiced:

The so-called "Paps", who are typically freelance photographers selling images to agencies. They are waiting outside of bars, restaurants and hotels for the desired celebrity to emerge.

Then they mercilessly fire a bulk of flashlights in an effort to land a few useful shots. They lurk in a crowd of ten to twenty photographers or more and end up with having nearly the same photos. It is unnecessary for me to state that these images are essentially worthless, but quantity makes the money. They get a few Dollars for each image and so they need a lot to get a worthwhile amount. But anyway this is the easiest way. Although in my perspective this has nothing to do with paparazzi photography, but most "Paps" in Los Angeles operate in this manner.

Paparazzo hiding and taking pictures in Los Angeles
Paparazzo Marcus Posthumus taking secretly pictures of celebrities in Los Angeles.

The second option involves covert images that a celebrity is unaware of until they appear on the cover page of a magazine.

In my active paparazzi time I have focused nearly entirely on exclusive images. It so occurred that I spent days and weeks observing my subject while always taking my shots inconspicuously from a wide distance.

With my lenses I was able to take sharp and usable photos from two kilometers distance. I generally covered upcoming weddings, pregnancies, and covert love affairs. These images were incredibly pricey since they were hard to get by, but not impossible. I won't get into the specifics here, but I would like to direct you to a blog post where I share what it's like to be a paparazzo.

But back to the topic, how exactly do you take paparazzi-style photos?

As the name implies, this type of photography presents "non-celebrities" in an authentic paparazzi photo-like manner.

Of course you need the right equipment for the genuine paparazzi effect. Furthermore, I have practical paparazzi experience, so I know exactly how to arrange the photo to produce the typical paparazzi appearance.

Georgia May Jagger
Georgia May Jagger leaving Adlon Hotel in Berlin.

However, some clients also request pictures, like the example photograph of Georgia May Jagger, who was flash-photographed as she departed her hotel.

It must be that special moment, where you gain the full attention of all bystanders.

You briefly stand in front of the paparazzi flashlight, leading everyone to believe that you must be a famous person.

And I believe that's what adds an adrenaline rush to you and makes those photos so popular.

Even bystanders have been known to get out their smartphones and snap pictures of the alleged celebrity.

I warn my clients in advance that this is a possibility. As a paparazzo, I frequently get questioned, "Who was that?" by people who are passing by. After then, I like to have some fun with it and respond with an imaginary name that nobody can possibly relate to.

Who books this service with you?

Usually, it's women in their twenties and thirties who enjoy themselves and then post the pictures to Facebook and Instagram.

However, several businesses have also requested that this kind of photography be used for their marketing. In this instance, a model who happened to be wearing this company's merchandise was hired and photographed in a paparazzi-style manner. The images were shared on social media and I think this is a very classy example of "product placement."

Engagement or wedding photos in paparazzi style are also particularly popular. It also happens that a man wants to propose to his girlfriend and liked to have this moment photographed secretly without her noticing anything, otherwise the surprise effect would be missing - these are absolutely authentic photos.

Example images for a paparazzi style photo shoot

Paparazzi-Style Shooting as gift idea

The paparazzi-style shooting is also particularly popular as a gift for friends or even as a wedding present. This gift idea will definitely be remembered and offers a lot of fun. Sometimes I also booked as a paparazzi for hen parties, which is quite funny.

How does a paparazzi-style shooting work?

As soon as someone has sent an inquiry using the contact form on my website, they will receive an email from me for a non-binding meeting. It doesn't cost anything and we discuss the process over a few cups of tea or, as is not uncommon here in Ireland, over some pints and create a storyboard.

On the day of the shooting, it always depends on what the customer wants, whether I should take photos covered up or head-on with flash or both. In the end we have quite a few photos (my camera takes 8 images per second) from which I select the best and send them to the customer.

As an unique bonus, you also receive a custom magazine cover with your photo to hang on your wall or simply post on social media.

Magazine cover
Magazine cover with your image

How much does a paparazzi style shooting cost?

Well, since each client has unique needs, it always comes down to how much time needs to be put into the photo shoot, the purpose and where it take place. Generally speaking, the expenses range from 400 to 1200 Euros on average.

Where do you offer your service?

Most of my customers are from Dublin and the West of Ireland, but I'm available nationwide all across Ireland and international.

Become famous today and give me a shout, book your personal paparazzi-style shooting. Get chased by a genuine paparazzo and get the real celebrity feeling.


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