Amateur Paparazzi sites offer candid celebrity close-ups

The majority of us are all for freedom of press, especially when it comes to photography. Only recently at the I’m A Photographer, Not A Terrorist event thousands of journalists turned out to support the right to take images without being challenged by the Police.

The flipside of this freedom is the growing amount of ‘amateur paprazzi’, following celebrities attempting to grab a snap of them in some kind of embarassing situation. More frequently the shots are of otherwise normal people doing normal things, such as drinking, eating or chatting. In spite of these non-events websites such as Papture ( thrive on mobile phone and compact camera snaps of famous people, regardless of how loosely the ‘famous’ part is, out and about. There are plenty of posed, candid shots on the site of the likes of Louise Redknapp and Jermaine Defoe, which normally wouldn’t even find a place in the sleaziest of tabloid, but similarly images of people having dinner in a restaurant attempting to gain a modicum of privacy from the attention of their profession.

Although there is an amount of acceptance within celebrity culture of being photographed when out amongst the public, encouraging members of the public to take photos with the promise of cash (Papture quotes “If you upload a good photo Papture may be able to sell your photo to other media sources. The better your photo or video the more money you can make.”) has the potential to entice normal people into the kind of antics which has gotten the professional Paparazzi such bad press. There are further guidelines on when and where images can be taken (“Papture believes that certain aspects of celebrity’s lives should be private; especially when a celebrity is visiting any medical facilities e.g. hospital, Alcoholics Anonymous, doctor’s waiting room.”) the guidelines are vague and restrictions in no way damning, with a lighter tone being attached to catching celebrities in comprimising positions (“Papture wants photos of celebrities anywhere; whether it is in a bar, shop, restaurant or walking their dog in the park.  If you can see a celeb doing something they shouldn’t be doing, take a photo! Hopefully it will make them change their bad ways!”).

As a growing number of photographers are being challenged legally by those they photograph, the chances of members of the public being called upon to capture such images will increase. The lack of any governing body and anonimity of the internet means the liklihood of recrimination is low. Privacy is something we all cherish, and public photography shouldn’t be the cause for a heavy handed police approach, but there’s an amount of responsibility which needs to be associated to that.