I graduated in May 2008 from Saint John’s University in Minnesota and I was moving to Hollywood, Ca. for my new job. My brother got a two bedroom apartment on the corner of Curson Ave. and Rosewood Ave., rent was $2,000 dollars which we split 50/50 though he had a bigger room. First order of business was talking to the bosses and figuring out how I was going to work independently. They wanted me to have my own company car, phone, and have my own photography equipment. The next day Ivan (guy I worked with) picked me up to get my license at the DMV and to buy gear from Sammy’s Camera. They bought me a Canon 40d with a 70-200mm/2.8f lens, filters, memory cards, straps and a camera bag (I already had the camera I took to college as my flash camera). It was going to be a while for them to give me a company car, so in the meantime I was supposed to work with my brother, but he was a freelance then and decided not to work, but opted for going to San Diego to visit my other brother.
We drove over to San Diego and I brought my new camera with the long lens to play and practice and he brought his flash camera with the short lens for fun. On our second day in San Diego, the bosses called my brother and told them that Jessica Simpson was headed to the airport that we needed to cover it. We told them that we were in San Diego and that it wasn’t possible for us to cover it, but it turned out that’s what they meant. Jessica Simpson was flying out of the San Diego Airport with Tony Romo towards Dallas, TX. We were at the beach when we got this call, and our small vacation suddenly turned into serious work.
We rushed to San Diego Airport from Pacific Beach while my brother still talked on the phone with my boss over the details of the flight, and then we hit traffic. It seemed hopeless that we would get any pictures since we were far from the airport and the flight was departing soon. After a while of battling with traffic we were near the airport ramp when we saw a black Lincoln Navigator with the windows down. My brother drove next to it and we saw Jessica Simpson inside. We followed the car to the airport and parked in the curve right behind it and then she came out. We were both coming from the beach so we were wearing sandals and swim trunks, but we started snapping away. They were checking their tickets out at curbside and Tony Romo wasn’t letting us take a clean picture. Then they walked in and had to make their way through the airport, we needed a clean picture of them together. My brother tripped while walking backwards and taking pictures that he threw his sandals to the side and continue the action shoeless. Jessica was nice to the camera, but Tony Romo was shying away, though we did the best we could to get a two-shot of them together.
Our pictures were everywhere and I got a full page print on my first day at work and my brother got the cover on US weekly magazine. The rest of the week they had me working on the airport in Los Angeles and I took pictures of the following people: Cindy Crawford, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Lauren Conrad, Megan Fox, Spike Lee, and Tim Meadows. Not bad at all for my first week working as a paparazzo (my Spike Lee pictures also got printed).
Me holding the US Weekly magazine where my picture got printed back in June 16th, 2008. Picture from December 27th, 2012, I bought magazines that had my picture in big print and this was my very first one.
Jessica is one of the celebrities I saw the most at LAX throughout my career. She definitely has the most frequent miles on her card than anyone else. I saw her at least once a week. Sometimes I got amazing pictures of her smiling at me exclusive, a lot of the times she avoided us completely that we couldn’t take a good picture, and other times she was just surrounded by paparazzi. I have over 30 folders and more than 3,000 pictures with her name on from many different days. I collected what I think are the best and wrote short stories of what happened that day.
This picture was taken August 31st, 2009, and though it looks like she’s waving right at the camera she was waving at a group of teenage girls that yelled “we love you Jessica Simpson”. I saw the group of teenage girls all giddy about the paparazzi on the scene and I told them that they should yell that they love her and I got the picture exclusive though there were over 15 photographers that day (it printed in several magazines).
Picture from September 21st, 2009 at the Tom Bradley Terminal. That day I spotted her bodyguard and two other paparazzi waiting while I was walking back to my car. I completely jumped in their story and took the pictures, not only that, I out shot them and got printed in several magazines.
This was one October 27, 2009 when she came back from India (notice the henna tattoo). More than 50 paparazzi and screaming fans were there.
December 5th, 2009. Not much of a story here, Jessica at LAX.
Taken April 11th, 2010 this picture is the perfect example of how celebrities can ruin a great set of pictures and make the paparazzi worthless. On one of my slowest days ever I went to the airport that day looking for Ted Danson when I suddenly saw Jessica’s bodyguard and hid at the distance waiting for her to appear. She’s been avoiding the paparazzi for quite a while that her picture was worth getting, especially exclusive. Then I saw her limousine pull far away from the airport’s exit, and since they didn’t suspect any paparazzi to be around she came out of the car and took a long walk and I got a perfect set of pictures. My pictures sold to several magazines but they were canceled last minute because she went on twitter and posted pictures of her during the flight wearing a wig! My pics were ready to be printed and they were already paid for when the magazines asked for their money back because she thought it would be funny to post some twitter pictures of her with short hair. The magazines picked up the twitter pictures instead of mine, since twitter pictures are free.
April 21st, 2010 Jessica Simpson arrives with Ken Paves (she flies with him a lot). The wind caught her dress and Ken quickly grabbed it to not let it fly up, though in the picture it just seems he is checking her ass out. A lot of photographers were there that day.
May 4th, 2010. Again I was walking to the parking lot to get in my car and leave LAX for the day when I saw Simpson’s bodyguard waiting by the elevator. I got her exclusive.
June 23rd, 2010 Jessica arrives, signs autographs and smiles for the cameras.
On July 14th 2010 Jessica Simpson arrived at night time and almost ruined my chances with a pretty girl I was hanging out with. I remember it was a Wednesday and I worked that morning on Sandra Bullock and I had nothing going on for the rest of the day. Out of nowhere this really cute girl called me and told me she was in Venice beach and asked me if I wanted to hang out. I told her I was supposed to be working but the day was pretty slow so I could hang out as long as I stay near the airport just in case.
Things were going great between me and her that we were cuddling up watching a movie with a bottle of wine, and then my phone rang. My boss called me and told me Simpson was arriving at that very moment and that I needed to cover it. I told my date that I had to go to work that we should continue it some other day… but she wanted to come to work with me and see Jessica. We got to the airport at the nick of time but more than 40 photographers were there, I knew most of them, and they saw me with a pretty girl so they caused a scene and started taking pictures of us (mostly of her).
After that Jessica came out and these were the best pictures I got that day. I went home with her but I needed to edit and send the pictures to my office right away and it was late. When we got back to my place the pretty girl said goodnight and I never saw her again.
October 10th, 2010 Jessica departs and puts her high-heels on an airport crate. US magazine (and others) love this type of pictures for their “celebrities are just like us” section. They also love if a celebrity holds their boarding pass with their mouths, no matter which celebrity, but if they put their boarding pass on their mouths its going to get printed on a magazine.
The last time I saw her was on January 4th, 2011. There were a lot of photographers that day but no one could get a picture because she wasn’t wearing any make up and didn’t let them, but she never saw me on one of my favorite hiding spots in LAX and I got clean pictures of her looking…. well… like that.
That’s it for Jessica Simpson, and its a lot. I saw her constantly on my years as a paparazzi. When she was ready for it, she was extremely nice and smiled for the camera, when she didn’t have make-up or she wasn’t ready it was a nightmare to try to get her picture. A lot of the times I got shoved by her bodyguard or other members of her crew, but almost always I got a good picture of her and her pictures sell well.
Thanks for reading/viewing and if you have any questions, please use the comment section and I’ll answer them.