Friday, August 29, 2008

Paparazzi-Style Photography: What Do You Think?

I've been thinking about offering something completely bizarre: paparazzi-style photography. I know I didn't come up with this idea (who originated it?), but I'd like some feedback on this from both photographers and the public - especially if you're in the St. Louis area. I'm personally unsure of how it would be received, and it's somewhat of a departure from my normal style since I don't typically shoot celebrities.

Here's what I envision, from a customer's perspective:
  1. We plan out a schedule for the day, or a chunk of the day.
  2. I trail you (with an assistant or two) and we take photos of you, both in plain sight and hidden - you're the celebrity, remember?
  3. You get several proofs in the mail with different tabloid-style layouts, concepts, and headlines along with a DVD of the photos that make up the proofs.
  4. You select a layout (or two, or three) and place an order with me. You can use these pages as announcements or invitations.
I think this could be great for maternity announcements ("Laura's Baby Bump?"), baby announcements ("Exclusive! Tim and Jen's Love Child!"), Sweet 16 invitations ("Sixteen and Out of Control!"), Bat Mitzvah or Bar Mitzvah invitations ("Alex, All Grown Up"), engagement announcements ("Sara's Getting Hitched!"), and many others. There's going to have to be a lot of creative thinking all around.

Am I crazy? Would anyone sign up, or is this just too weird for St. Louis? Is anybody interested in giving it a try?



  2. Sounds interesting. If my life was less boring, I'd consider it. :)

  3. I think it depends on the person. There might be a market for it in St. Louis, but I think it would be a very tiny one.

    I would possibly do it as part of a shoot. Maybe incorporate some shots of this type, but not all of them.

  4. What a great ad campaign this would make! When I get some money I'll hire you.

  5. I think this is a fun idea. I see no harm in offering it as an option. It also differenitate you as a photographer.

    You can also upsell your clients. You offer a discount to clients who book a regular session and a two hour paparazzi session, or something like this.

  6. If we "catch" you photographing us, do we get to assault you? I assume that would incud an additional fee....

  7. It seems that in general people like this idea. That's great to hear. I'm glad to do it.

    I don't advise assaulting a photographer or any other professional paid (or unpaid) help. However, if you would like to replace my camera gear a week or so before the shoot and then damage it alone - without harming me - you are more than welcome to... though it will raise the price of the shoot considerably! With deep enough pockets, anything is possible!

  8. I think there is a huge high-end market in StL for this, but it would have to be done just right - with more then just 2 photographers. Look at the girls who frequent the Washington district - they spend over $200 on a pair of shoes!! They'd pay to look famous for a night!!

  9. It is a great idea and I created it! Private Paparazzi was created early 2005 offering Paparazzi Style Photgraphy to clients in the San Diego area. We have now expanded and plan to network with grat photographers who share our vision in the ST. Louis Area. Paparazzi style photography done by Private Paparazzi photographers is simply the best. Check out my site at!