Capturing Innocence: Price Tag For Celeb Kids’ Photos Makes Them A Paparazzi Target

September 30, 2013  |  

For most of us, the extent of our daily annoyances have to do with work, maybe a long line at the supermarket or the occasional unwelcome houseguest. But for the famous and the notorious, the paparazzi are a common and persistent nuisance.

In recent months, we’ve seen multiple paparazzi run-ins with Kanye West and Alec Baldwin – and both men have been involved in physical altercations with photogs. It is no coincidence that both of these men recently became fathers to newborn daughters. Kanye even used last week’s Twitter rant against Jimmy Kimmel to sound off on the situation. The tweets have since been deleted.

The intrusive flash of cameras is extremely taxing on an adult star. But according to celebrity moms like Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner, it takes a significant toll on their children, as well. Both women feel so strongly about the issue, that they testified before California lawmakers in August.

Their testimony was heard and on September 24th it was signed into a law dubbed “Halle Berry’s paparazzi bill” by the media. Effective January 1, 2014, the law increases potential jail time and fines for a photographer convicted of harassing a celebrity’s children. Additionally, the law will also allow the parent or guardian of a child being harassed to seek civil liability against the paparazzi.

“Kids shouldn’t be tabloid fodder nor the target of ongoing harassment,” says Senator Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles said, adding that the bill “will give children, no matter who their parent is, protection from harassers who go to extremes to turn a buck.”

Agreed. But on the topic of bucks, how much do these photographers stand to make? These men and women are willing to go to such extraordinary lengths, even risking  bodily harm. In fact, money is such an important part of the paparazzo lifestyle that the American Heritage Dictionary includes it in its definition: “A freelance photographer who doggedly pursues celebrities to take candid pictures for sale to magazines and newspapers.”

According to, the average paparazzi salary nationwide is $101,000 – not too shabby, although this does not account for their expenses while in hot pursuit of the next great shot. And depending upon the celebrities involved and the situations they are involved in, a single photo and video can earn a photog a lot more than that.

Celebrity photographer Jamie Fawcett quoted a payday of $250,000 for one shot of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on vacation in Namibia.  Further, according to a Business Insider article from last year, certain celebrities in 2012 garnered the largest paydays for paparazzi. These celebs included Jennifer Aniston and beau Justin Theroux (photos initially confirming them as a couple went for $110,000), Kate Middleton (at about $250,000 a snap), Jessica Simpson’s as-yet-unborn daughter Maxwell ($400,000), and photos of Blue Ivy’s face ($500,000 per picture).

With the high premiums for photos of these celebrity children, it is no wonder that paparazzi swarm when these kids are out and about with their famous parents. As the price tag for these photos continues to escalate, the added protection of the Halle Berry paparazzi bill could not have come at a better time.

Karen J. Francis is a freelance writer and media attorney living in New York City. Please follow her on Twitter @karebelle.

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