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How to Be a Paparazzo

These days, anyone can make big bucks selling celebrity pictures. You just need to know some tricks of the trade.


  • Step 1: Buy a camera If you're serious about earning a living photographing celebrities, invest in a good camera. Otherwise, a good camera phone will do.
  • Step 2: Study photography Take at least one photography class. The beauty of being a paparazzo is that even grainy photos are sellable, but you don't want to screw up a great shot with a rookie mistake.
  • Step 3: Follow the stars Go where the stars are -- movie premieres, hot nightclubs, tony restaurants, popular coffee shops, upscale hotels, elite gyms, and designer boutiques. To find out where stars hang out, just buy a couple of celebrity magazines.
  • TIP: The Hollywood Reporter is a good source for information on where celebrities are shooting their latest films.
  • Step 4: Cultivate sources Cultivate relationships with people who can alert you to a celebrity's whereabouts -- doormen, bartenders, waiters, personal trainers, and so on. Expect to pay them a 25% cut of any sale you make.
  • Step 5: Make friends with tabloid editors Develop good relationships with tabloid editors so you can land assignments. Celebrity magazines often pay paparazzi day rates to follow a particular celebrity or cover a star's wedding.
  • TIP: If you see a female celebrity exiting a car, get ready! The tabloids pay big bucks for "knicker shots" (up the skirt) and "nipple shots" (down the blouse).
  • Step 6: Tail one celebrity Increase your chances of landing a six-figure exclusive by focusing all your time and attention on one worldwide celebrity.
  • Step 7: Get a star's attention When you spot a celebrity, get their attention by yelling something likely to make them curious enough to turn around.
  • FACT: The term "paparazzo" comes from the name of the photographer in Federico Fellini's 1960 film La Dolce Vita.

You Will Need

  • Photography skills
  • A good camera or camera phone
  • Doggedness

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