Paparazzi vie for scraps as Hollywood celebrities hide from virus
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With Hollywood A-listers self-quarantined in their sprawling mansions due to the novel coronavirus, Los Angeles’ notorious paparazzi have almost nobody to shoot — despite soaring demand for celebrity pictures.
The trendy nightclubs, restaurants and movie sets which are typically surrounded by photographers at all hours have been closed since California went into pandemic lockdown a month ago.
This has meant images of gossip magazine staples such as Ben Affleck walking his dogs, or Cameron Diaz popping out for groceries, are a hot commodity, with dozens of paparazzi vying for the same photos.
“Every photo is with sunglasses and a mask on at this point… those are the only pictures you’re going to get,” said Randy Bauer, founder of celebrity photo agency Bauer-Griffin.
“It’s really not a pretty situation,” he added.
Bauer estimates that his agency’s photo output dropped almost overnight by 95 percent after stay-at-home orders were issued and most businesses shuttered.
His agency, which employs around 20 photographers mainly on a freelance basis, went from issuing up to 7,000 celebrity photographs a month to around 500.
“That’s if we’re lucky,” he told AFP. “The whole thing has been turned upside down.” (AFP)