Why The Paparazzi Love Weddings Of The Rich And Famous

January 4th, 2010

Paparazzi have become a stable part of today’s media. If a celebrity’s trying to plan a private Santa Barbara wedding, there’s not doubt that there’ll be paparazzi there waiting. At every destination wedding photographers will have their cameras out and ready to take a million-dollar image of the celebrities. While the ethics of invading private activities would come as morally questionable to many of us, members of the paparazzi are forever looking for photographs that could land them millions of dollars. When this kind of money is in question, issues of morality and ethics tend to come second place.

While one might think that tabloid journalists would feel a pang of guilt for their behavior, most see themselves as performing a service that people want. This can hardly be denied, as the popularity of magazines that sell photographs of celebrities at their most vulnerable or, indeed, getting married is staggering. These images allow readers to see beyond the heavily made-up, airbrushed and generally “fake” celebrities, and see the celebrities we think of as somehow above us are human after all.

The invention of the internet seems to have increased the popularity of tabloid journalism. While newspapers are undergoing massiving downsizing with decreasing sales, many reporters of substantial news stories have been put out of work. For those who provide celebrity gossip and photos, however, there is still a lot of work available, and even respected newspapers have tabloid journalism on the front page of their websites. The question of why this is can be answered easily: The lives of celebrities get viewers to stay on that website.

Consider the big weddings in recent years such as Brad and Angelina, Tom and Kate, Jennifer and Ben. The bride and groom at each of these weddings took extreme care to control the media presence at these events. In fact, these celebrities decided to take control of the way their wedding is portrayed, agreeing to only chosen reporters having access to their wedding, and having these reporters agree to a set version of events to take back to the news desk.

This manipulation of the media has been undertaken due to the pressure celebrities feel to provide gossip to their fans. Each of the three couples mentioned above also found it necessary to release a couple of pre-approved images of their weddings to the media, in order to pacify their need for images of the event, and to lessen the value of paparazzi images that may have been taken.

The nature of the paparazzi today has become alarmingly instrusive. The deeper issue that needs to be considered here, however, is why there is the desire of “normal” people to peer into the private lives of the rich and famous. As long as this desire is in society, the paparazzi will always have an audience of paying customers. So long as money can be made, someone will be willing to put morality on hold, in order to get the massive payday on offer.

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