The Rise of the Citizen Paparazzi

Welcome to paparazzi nation: Today’s Wall Street Journal documents the rise of citizen paparazzi—all those “civilian” (or non-pro) photographers armed with digital SLRs who snap celebrities when they seem them. As Brad Elterman of the Buzz Foto paparazzi agency says, it’s all about people being in the right place at the right time. But of course all this causes trouble for the real paparazzi, because the non-pros sell their work for cheap, driving down prices. In that that sense the paparazzi in

Welcome to paparazzi nation: Today's Wall Street Journal documents the rise of citizen paparazzi—all those "civilian" (or non-pro) photographers armed with digital SLRs who snap celebrities when they seem them. As Brad Elterman of the Buzz Foto paparazzi agency says, it's all about people being in the right place at the right time. But of course all this causes trouble for the real paparazzi, because the non-pros sell their work for cheap, driving down prices. In that that sense the paparazzi industry is facing the same challenges that other kinds of photographers do. Is it another case of digital technology driving down prices? Is trend merely the natural culmination of our culture's modern obsession with celebrity? The article is plentiful with details about how much paparazzi make, how much agencies like X-17 make a year ($11 million) and more. —David Schonauer