The F-Stop: A Paparazzi Picture

Los Angeles magazine photo editor Amy Feitleberg shares her photography-find of the week

Over the course of my 10-year-long career as a photo editor, I’ve bought thousands of images, but never purchased a paparazzi picture. So in all those years, I’ve been dying to know how just much money makes it worthwhile for photographers to crawl over private walls, chase people down streets, wait outside homes and offices, hover above weddings in helicopters… Now I know: it’s not that much. Paparazzi shooters make, on average, a couple hundred bucks an image. What I also learned from Kevin Mazur’s documentary $ellebrity, which hits theaters next month, is that once in a while, if you’ve stalked someone within an inch of their life and you’re actually there when they meltdown or pass out, you could win the creepy career lotto. Some examples: Tom Cruise on a date with Katie Holmes =$50,000, Lindsay Lohan passing out in her car= $150,000; and a bald Britney Spears wielding an umbrella as a weapon = $400,000. That’s a lot of money. Then again, it must be expensive having angry celebrities constantly breaking your equipment.