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Paparazzi: My friends or foes? - Zach Porter

At the movies cops and lawyers get to be our heroes, generally serving as the personification of justice for our audience. Photographers it seems are getting a raw deal though. You see, Twentieth Century Fox will soon release its photography thriller titled Paparazzi in which over-zealous celebrity photographers stalk a movie star of the action hero variety. This action hero most likely plays none other than a tough as nails, hard boiled cop who's not afraid to jump from rooftop to rooftop- moving vehicle to moving vehicle on the expressway at rush hour. So the big celebrity gets to be the hero, the sleazy pack of dogs with cameras around their necks the villains.

Will I see the film? Of course! Will I get a kick out of it? Probably- it'll be a real hoot even! So what then am I carrying on about? My job is tough enough as it is and the number of photographically eligible humans on the earth seem to be shrinking. Soon even the animals and insects will refuse to have their picture taken, shielding their faces with paws or tentacles of some such thing. "Where's this going?" people ask with an air of suspicion as if I'm going to send the photo to Homeland Security for analysis or upload it to some scandalous web site. Films like Paparazzi may further people's fears of having their picture snapped and clicked.

Perhaps with the onslaught of tabloid magazines, reality TV shows, and the editing antics of filmmaker Michael Moore, ordinary people have become all too aware of the power of a single image to vilify, incriminate, or misrepresent them. I can't blame someone for wanting to protect himself or herself but it's getting to the point where people may be so aware of the camera and how they will look that they cease to be themselves. Subjects may take the power of the camera away from the photographer by projecting the image they want people to see instead of letting the photographer and camera reveal something about who they really are. For instance a person who is a naturally unkempt individual might attempt to straighten their hair or the squalor they live in before a photo is taken. They are creating their own image for the rest of us. Everything is so neat and organized now, "media events" being a product of publicists, the media the invitees to their own party. The paparazzi probably have more fun just crashing it.

I'm growing tired of people dodging my camera, hindering my job and obscuring the truth about themselves. In fact I may just buy me a big tub of popcorn, a super-sized cola, and root for these villainous paparazzi predators.

Zach Porter is a photographer with the News Daily. He can be reached at zporter@news-daily.com or (770) 478-5753 ext. 248.