Paparazzi don't always take the best photos, but many do have backgrounds in photography or other arts-related disciplines. To get the education you'll need to be a paparazzo, try checking out some online schools.
People news has long been a topic of interest for many people, especially those who like to watch the lives of stars and celebrities. With the popularity of gossip magazines, tabloids and blogs that are devoted to the everyday lives of celebrities, sports figures and even politicians, the prospects of being a paparazzo (singular form of paparazzi) has become even more enticing as a career.
While these shutter bugs have been much maligned for the death of Princess Diana, as well as the harassment of the untold number of celebrities, their shots continue to be fodder for both website news and other media.
Most paparazzi work on their own as freelancers. Some of them have even featured for being photographers legal age on some affiliate news channels and websites. It’s really quite easy to become a paparazzo nowadays. All you need is a good camera. Most would invest in a good digital SLR and a set of good high-powered zoom lenses to be able to allow you to shoot photos from a distance. Since the subjects that you’re taking photos of aren’t exactly cooperative, and would almost always be on the move, it will be very important that you have the gear and the skills necessary to take sharp shots that are not blurred even when taking action shots.
While starting as a freelance photographer is easy, earning money may be very difficult at first. The paparazzo business is very competitive since there is a lot of muscling around going on in the regular celebrity haunts. Photographers usually stake out by restaurant and building exits, to be able to take shots of just about everyone who leaves and enters the establishment. While people media can certainly be a great seller, getting that money shot may not exactly be easy. Most celebrities have a good sized amount of security around them and it’s quite common to be roughed up by guards at some venues.
Once you have a photo, you may then approach a magazine, newspaper or a television station for compensation for the shot. Some paparazzi even bid out their photos to different news organizations. The photo rights usually go to the highest bidder! Many good shots have been known to fetch thousands of dollars, so if you hit the mother lode of all paparazzo shots, you may be set for the rest of month or maybe even the year. It’s a lot like hunting–you stalk your prey in hopes of getting a clear shot.
There are also some paparazzi who work as full time staff photographers for magazines, newspapers and websites. This makes the job a lot more stable and you will definitely have a sense of security. Being a staff photographer might not bring in substantial per-photo prices, though, because you are on the regular payroll. Also, you will not be able to sell or auction your photos in the open market.
Being a paparazzo is a very interesting choice of profession but if you like the fast life and you love taking chances for great returns, it may be a career worth pursuing. Just don't forget to keep yourself competitive by taking regular online classes in the arts and design.