In the land of Hollywood, nothing is real: but we already knew that. It should be no surprise that the impromptu photos of celebs on the street going about their regular lives are equally as not-real as everything else. Now, experienced paparazzi photographer Justin Steffman is spilling the secret tea of celeb snapshots.
Opening up to Cosmo, Steffman came ready with some gossip about the contrived nature of many Tinseltown encounters:
On product endorsements: "Many setup photos include a paid product endorsement, where a photo agency works as a middleman between a celebrity and a company who has a product to sell ... Certain photo agencies specialize in these types of fake paparazzi photos. They usually try to make the photos look natural and candid, but in reality, the celebrity and the photographer are working together. It's a paid photo shoot and the celebrity gets a big check. The readers of tabloid magazines and blogs have no idea!"
On celebrity control: "When your image is such an important part of your career, the last thing they want is to be photographed looking badly. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are a good example of a celebrity couple who hates paparazzi, but you will see nice photos of them released on a regular basis. Those photos are totally set up. When they see paparazzi in real life, they put their heads down and hide their faces — unless they are promoting something."
On Kim Kardashian: "Kim has a personal paparazzi who she texts regularly. This man flies around the world, going wherever she asks him to be, and they work together to produce the latest fake paparazzi pictures of her. She reviews every image before they start selling them to magazines."
On Taylor Swift: "Taylor Swift is a celebrity that won't walk outside without perfect make-up and great fashion, and she smiles at every paparazzi to make sure they all get beautiful picture ... If we act professionally and listen to their instructions, then she will give it up and everyone gets what they want ... She takes an entirely different approach to paparazzi than most celebrities do. It's all about business for her."
But how often are we seeing staged photos? "Very often. I can't remember the last time I flipped through a tabloid or browsed a gossip blog without seeing setup shops in the mix."
Damn! This guy got me going X-Files on all these tabloid magazines. The truth is out there! I want to believe!
You can read the full interview over here.