Many celebrities have been vocal about their disdain for the paparazzi -- some have physically clashed with their photo-snapping tails and others have even taken legal action to restrict their reach. Recently, a New York paparazzo spoke to American Photo magazine for the Hollywood Issue to provide insight into the other side.
Jason Webber, whose photographs have appeared in People magazine and Us Weekly, says that "there's a myth that we're all stalkers who disrespect our subjects."
"Over time I've come to believe that documenting the Hollywood elite requires a balance of sensitivity and detachment," Webber tells American Photo. "It is completely unnatural to follow celebrities around with a camera. I had to get over that because I’m a little shy, and I'm not the type to cause a scene. It took a long time to get used to aggressively going after a shot. It became easier once I realized that most of my subjects are used to it, too."
He adds that "many celebrities understand that fame invites public interest about their daily routines. They accept the attention, and although they may not always want a swarm of photographers everywhere they go, they have learned to go about their lives as if we don't exist."
As for the popular belief that the paps get tipped off by the stars themselves, their handlers or PR as to their whereabouts, Webber says that in his experience, "that is very rare."
He also explains that it is a relatively small pool of shutterbugs who follow the stars around, whose interest it is to keep them safe and healthy. "There aren't really any rules, so we often help each other out," he says, adding that the celebrities' security are usually the ones that go to dangerous measures to "protect" their clients from prying eyes.
For more with Webber, which stars are most difficult to capture and how Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have managed to change the rules, head over to AmericanPhotoMag.com.