NOT THE WAY IT USED TO BE

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Photographer STEVE BRODERSEN was talking to me about the difference between, then, and, now, in the paparazzi business. Used to be there were only a few paparazzi shooting on the streets. Most tabloid photographers were reporters working for the various magazines that covered celebrities.

Our photographer RALPH DOMINGUEZ was one of the early celebrity photographers. He photographed the biggest stars, like MARLON BRANDO, ELIZABETH TAYLOR, RICHARD BURTON and all the stars who are now icons of the silver screen. He could go into the famous clubs on the SUNSET STRIP and photo the stars as they partied. Everyone was friendly and cooperative. Everything was cool, Daddy-O!

Then things changed, we started covering things differently. We covered the clubs from the outside, and took the photostories as they developed. If stars were cheating, drunk, fighting, or just raising Hell, we shot it and sold it to the highest bidder. There was no shortage of misbehaving thespians. Life was good, money was abundant.

Film was king. A good professional still photographer could rake in the money, but it took expert technical photographic skills to harvest the pickings. There were only a few of us skilled enough to make a consistently good living. No amateurs could do the job. It was a job for pros.

Then things took a turn no one really expected. I created CELEBRITIES UNCENSORED and showed the world how much fun and money could be had as a paparazzi, and simultaneously, the DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY REVOLUTION reached a technical peak.

Anyone who could afford a digital camera could instantly become a paparazzi. Everyone migrated to Hollywood with their cameras in hand. Each expected to strike it rich in this latest CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH. Now there are so many paparazzi here, that no one is making a decent living. Times are hard for a working professional paparazzi.

In retrospect, I wonder if things would have been any different, if I had just kept my big mouth shut?

CHECK STEVE’S VIDEO OF THE PAPARAZZI SWARMING LINDSAY LOHAN at THE IVY.

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