Arguably paparazzi are the lowest form of life in the photography food chain.
I've been asked before if I do, or ever would do paparazzi photography, and my always has always been a very blunt no. When celebrities are "on the job", on stage, at an event (awards ceremony, film première etc) they're fair game to be photographed.
Stalking them, for that's what paps essentially do for me is wrong on every level. Sure most of the time paps are legally doing nothing wrong, photographing someone in a public place, from a public place, but morally its highly questionable.
A low lifes as paps are, is it their fault? Of course just like me they have a choice about what they photograph, but it's a case of supply and demand. The media outlets, newspapers, magazines, but ultimately the general public are to blame. They buy the papers and mags and therefore pay for the paps.
What got me thinking about paparazzi photography was after the Peter Gabriel concert I went to on Thursday. After the gig I went to the pub around the corner with friends. I'd parked my car just opposite the venue, so sometime after midnight we walked by the venue. There were still people waiting at the stage door, so obviously Gabriel had not yet left the building.
Ten minutes later he drove himself out, stopped, politely signed a few autographs and then continued on his way. I could have gone over, aimed my camera at his windscreen and snapped a few... but to what end? He'd left the stage, this was Gabriel in his private life which neither I or anyone else has no reason to be a part of.
What happened next was quite disturbing. Several so called fans jumped into a car waiting across the road and attempted to follow him. Apparently Gabriel lives in London, so chances are he was going home. Wrong, so wrong people.
Sadly it seems paparazzi are here to stay, with our celebrity obsessed culture. I don't get it, but it's only going to get worse.