Paparazzi are constantly on the hunt for that “money shot”. The bigger the star, and more controversial the snap shot, the better the pay cheque. It’s no wonder that they’re always following particular celebs in search of that perfect shot with spy-like instincts and the ability to take a clear action shot in a split second.
Some paparazzi do something called “door-stepping” which is when they’re assigned to a specific celebrity and spend their time literally hanging outside the door of places they’re known to hang out, like a specific gym, restaurant, or directly outside of their front door. Others simply cruise around looking for stars to grab a great picture of.
Since many paparazzi work with the same celebrities day after day, year after year, their relationships often aren’t as strained as the media makes it seem. Sure there are run-ins, there are shots of meltdowns, but at the same time everyone involved is just doing their job.
When a photographer gets that perfect pose from a celebrity, not only do they secure something that the rest of us are talking about for days and weeks to come, they’re also bringing in a lot of cash, sometimes nearly 10K for a single iconic shot. These are 15 memorable paparazzi shots that will be burned into our memories for years to come.
15 Britney & The Umbrella
Britney Spears was going through a rough patch for a while, one from which she thankfully came out of the other side thriving. One former paparazzi, Jennifer Buhl told Cosmopolitan magazine that Britney’s breakdown was tough on everyone because most of her contact and support network for the better part of a year was the people snapping pictures of her. This breakdown caught on film is something that most of us couldn’t turn away from, particularly the press, “Even though it was kind of sick that she got all her affirmation from us, she did and we were really, really rooting for Britney during that period of time. I wasn't working on her every day, but there was a group of guys who worked on her every day and they became very close with and very protective of her.” Rumour has it that during that period of time Britney even dated someone whose job was a paparazzo.
14 Kate Moss Caught In The Powder Room
If you picked up a magazine any time in the past twenty-five years, odds are Kate Moss was featured in at least one ad to feed the fashion industry’s “obsession” with the heroin chic she’s so famously known for. The woman who put “super” in super model has become one of the most recognizable faces in modelling, so it’s no wonder it made tabloid news everywhere when the waif was photographed and nicknamed “Cocaine Kate” when she was caught red handed and white nosed for the entire world to see her fondness for the drug. After the news broke, Kate Moss lost numerous modelling contracts for her drug use because advertisers knew that people couldn’t unsee this paparazzi image and would associate it with the product. While she’s still working, we see a lot less of the model since the incident.
13 Cara Delevingne & Selena Gomez Shower Together
Celebrities can’t even go on vacation without the press snapping their picture. This photographer couldn’t resist the chance to get some pictures of Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne scantily clad in bathing suits while they showered on a yacht in St. Tropez. Because what photographer doesn’t want to be the one to provide the photo that leads to headlines about two sexy stars showering together? It’s the stuff fan fantasies are made of! While the two are just friends, these sizzling photos are sure to get the attention of the duos’ exes Zac Efron and Michelle Rodriguez. While on their French vacation the two didn’t spend all of their time lounging by the pool, the pair made sure they were seen routinely hitting the town, dressed to the nines, to party in style.
12 Tara Reid Red Carpet Nip Slip
Tara Reid has a number of embarrassing moments caught on film. Unfortunately, since she’s been under a microscope for her antics for so long it’s made her self-conscious and she’s undergone endless plastic surgery that she really didn’t need. Most notably, was a moment in 2004, at Diddy’s 35th birthday when Tara had a major wardrobe mishap. Cameras were front and centre to snap pictures of her left breast which fell out of her dress for the world to see (and no she wasn’t wearing a bra). Inventions like double sided tape are a good investment for anyone who doesn’t want to let it all hang out. Other celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, and Rihanna have learned from Reid’s mistakes by sporting pasties when they don’t want to wear a bra but don’t want to fully expose the girls to the world.
11 Kate Middleton Dress In the Wind
Being The Duchess of Cambridge gets you in the news quite a bit. If the tabloids aren’t speculating whether or not Kate is expecting (again) or commenting on the recent thing that Kate Middleton did to infuriate the queen, they’re commenting on her wardrobe. Known for her effortless charming sense of style, Kate has become a fashion icon for women all over the world. When you’re a royal and know that you’re going to be photographed outside, it’s customary to have weights sewn into your dress to avoid a Marilyn Monroe moment. Apparently Kate didn’t get the memo, or threw it in the trash because she keeps getting photographed again and again with the wind picking up her dress and flashing her knickers for the world to see. Maybe that’s why the queen is so cross with her!
10 Amy Winehouse Fight Night
Amy Winehouse’s life was troubled and turbulent from the time she was a teen. By the time she met long-time lover and muse Blake Fielder-Civil things went from bad to worse, no thanks to his bad influence. Known for egging her on and encouraging her addiction, alongside her father, it wasn’t a shock to people when the two were spotted battered and bloodied after a lovers “spat”. Following tabloids releasing stories about trouble between the two, Winehouse contacted celebrity blogger Perez Hilton to defend Fielder-Civil. Winehouse said, “Blake is the best man in the world. We would never ever harm each other... I was cutting myself after he found me in our room about to do drugs with a call girl and rightly said I wasn't good enough for him. I lost it and he saved my life." We’re not buying it.
9 Princess Diana Last Picture
Princess Di was loved by so many people that the entire world stopped when she was involved in a fatal car accident caused by a chase at 70 miles per hour. The accident was related to at least four individual photographers on motorbikes looking for that perfect picture nearly 20 years ago. Even more callously, it’s been reported that several photographers decided to take photos of the mangled car instead of trying to help out, and that these cold-hearted photos were taken before emergency services had arrived on scene to try and revive the princess. Around 400 of these photographs were seized from the paparazzi, and eight photographers and one motorcyclist were arrested following the incident and investigated for manslaughter, but were all formally cleared of the charges in 1999. These photographs became a tragic lesson learned in the dangers associated with stalking a celebrity for photographs.
8 Blanket Dangling From Michael Jackson's Arms
Everyone had known that Michael Jackson was an odd duck for some time. Then these photos surfaced from Berlin and people feared for the safety of his children. When Jackson dangled his then nine-month old son Prince Michael II (also known as Blanket) off of a balcony people worried that he might drop him. Jackson held the infant with one arm around the boy’s waist and dangled him over the metal railing, four stories high. Jackson later released a statement calling the lapse in judgement a “terrible mistake” and clarified, "I offer no excuses for what happened," the statement read. “I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children." Just the same no one looked at Jackson and his children the same way.
7 Tupac Final Photo
Despite popular belief, this infamous photo was not snapped by a paparazzo. It was captured by Leonard Jefferson, who was 29 years old at the time, who was in Las Vegas to see a Mike Tyson fight. When he saw Tupac Shakur at an intersection slightly off the strip he took a picture. A few minutes later the rapper was shot by unknown assailants. Police ended up confiscating and eventually returning Jefferson’s camera film to him since it was evidence. Shortly after it was returned he received a number of calls from news outlets who had received word that he had the last known photograph of the rap legend. He referred the inquiries to an attorney and relied on an agency to handle the distribution of the photo on his behalf. Jefferson did a couple of print interviews following the release of the photo, and despite what conspiracy theorists say, he knows that the photo is not fake and what really happened that night.
6 Jennifer Aniston's Baby Bump
Imagine if any time you consumed a large meal, people assumed you were pregnant. That’s been the case for America’s sweetheart Jennifer Aniston for over two decades. Fans and media alike seem to want Aniston to become a mother, with her suspected pregnancy making the cover of tabloid magazines for years, much to the star’s chagrin. Jennifer Aniston has gotten into the habit of not addressing gossip about her in the press, but the release of this photo had the star release an article in The Huffington Post explaining her position on the constant harassment. Aniston wrote, “For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of “journalism,” the “First Amendment” and “celebrity news.”
5 Cara Delevingne and Michelle Rodriguez Kissing
When two beautiful people find each other the whole world smiles. When those two gorgeous people were 21 year old English supermodel Cara Delevingne and her 35 year old girlfriend, actor Michelle Rodriguez, the people watchers were bound to swoon. This picture shows an intimate moment where the pair share a passionate kiss while enjoying some sand and sunshine. There was a reason why the photographers couldn’t get enough of the duo, they turned heads and got people talking. Since their split in 2015, things seem to remain amicable. When Rodriguez was told about Delevingne coming out in Vogue and that she was dating singer St. Vincent in 2015 she said, “For her to come out, god bless, I think that's beautiful.” It’s clear she’s very proud of her ex for being open about who she is. Rodriguez opened up about her bisexuality in 2013.
4 Lindsay Drunk In Car
At this point in her career, there are more photos of Lindsay Lohan behaving badly than there are promoting her body of work. The young actor is the perfect example of talent squandered on problematic behaviour and excess partying. The photo featured was taken back in 2007, on a weekend when Lohan had smashed her car and was charged with a DUI, shows the actor asleep in the passenger seat of then girlfriend Samantha Ronson’s car. Shortly after the photo hit newsstands, Lohan checked herself into rehab. Apparently the star has a sense of humour about it, in 2012 when she hosted on Saturday Night Live, the actor who said no topic was off limits chose to look the other way when a fan asked her to sign a copy of the infamous photograph.
3 Justin Bieber Paparazzi Fight
While heading about town in London, Justin Bieber got into an altercation with some paparazzi. In a video that was first posted to TMZ, Bieber and his bodyguard were shown quickly making their way to their car, bumping into anyone in their way. Once inside a photographer said, “That’s assault”, Bieber’s team attempted to explain that he was in their way, another photographer retorted, “F off back to America. Effing little moron.” At that point Bieber lost it, said some pretty harsh things, and was held back by his bodyguard. Maybe he was doubly offended since the photographer hadn’t done his research on the star’s origin; he’s Canadian. After the incident Bieber took to Twitter, "Ahhhhh! Rough morning. Trying to feel better for this show tonight but let the paps get the best of me... Sometimes when people r shoving cameras in your face all day and yelling the worst thing possible at u...well I'm human. Rough week."
2 Paris Crying In Car
Way back in 2007, Paris Hilton received a 45 day sentence in county jail because she was found to have violated the terms of her probation in a booze related reckless driving case. This photo is from when Hilton was taken back into court just a day following the order to complete her sentence under house arrest. When the judge overturned the decision and told Paris, “You’re going back to jail”, Paris cried out, “It’s not right!” and then called after her mother three times. To see Paris, who is normally so put together for the cameras in such a state of panic and dismay is really unusual, and got everyone’s attention. The star broke down and was physically assisted out of the room since she was such a mess. Clearly this is a moment Hilton hopes we all forget.
1 Khloe "Keeping It Tight"
Khloe Kardashian is known as one of the more fitness focused members of her family. For anyone familiar with her Instagram account, this is apparent through her advertised content of vitamins, videos of her sparring to keep fit, and post workout posed pics. Various magazines have published personal trainer workouts that were allegedly completed by the star to help keep her in tip top shape. Boasting that her fit body is a result of hard work and healthy eating, it’s no wonder that so many women look up to her displays of fitness. It was also comforting to regular folks when a paparazzi managed to snap a picture of the hottie taking advantage of “mother’s little helper”, proving that everyone’s body looks tighter, fitter, and better with the help of body shaping products like Spanx.