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Justin Bieber, Paparazzi Accident: When Do The Paparazzi Go Too Far?

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Justin Bieber called for paparazzi legislation reform after news of paparazzo Chris Guerra's death spread.
Justin Bieber called for paparazzi legislation reform after news of paparazzo Chris Guerra's death spread.

Chris Guerra, the paparazzo who was killed last week while in pursuit of a Justin Bieber story, has spurred a debate among celebrities and editors alike about the paparazzi industry. When does a photographer go too far for a story? What rules do the paparazzi follow, if any, and how has the industry changed over the years?

HuffPost Celeb and HuffPost Live checked in with photographer Brad Elterman, who snapped celebrities like Bob Dylan and David Bowie in the '70s and '80s, and photo agency Bauer-Griffin co-founder Frank Griffin.

On the changing nature of celebrity photography, Elterman said the game now just isn't what it used to be:

"The photographers back then would gather in a restaurant called Chasen's on a Sunday night. This was a pack of paparazzos, there was five or six of them. And Dean Martin would come in, Frank Sinatra would be there, Sammy Davis and so on. And the photographers were all greeted by the celebrities, Frank Sinatra would say 'Hi Bob, hi Bill, how's it going?' They took the pictures, they posed for the pictures, and nobody had the audacity back then to get in the car and follow them, to see where they're going, what's happening next."

Meanwhile, Griffin shared the advice he gives to the photographers he employs at Bauer-Griffin, a popular agency that sells "exclusive photos of the hottest stars in Hollywood" and the "latest paparazzi photos." Here's what he says governs them on the road:

"When the photographer becomes a part of the story, it's no longer a story. That's number one. I don't condone in any way, shape or form breaking the law or crossing the line -- unless it's really worth it. Sometimes if you have to run a red light because there's $1 million at the end of it, which never is the case, then fine. But it never happens. I don't see why I should support any photographer of any journalist who has to do something that endangers himself or others in order to get that picture."

Finally, on the topic of Guerra, Griffin says that his profession alone didn't contribute to his death.

"The point I was trying to make was that however young men die, whether they step on a landline trying to take the picture or whether they're ordered by the police to cross the road, and that's how they died. There are a lot of reasons: the Ferrari wasn't issued a citation, therefore the police didn't have to report, the woman could have been driving too fast. There's a lot of reasons you can look at why [Guerra] was killed. He wasn't killed because he was a paparazzo."

What do you think, readers? Watch the clip above and click through to HuffPost Live to watch the full segment, then sound off in comments below.

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