Life Update and Reddit
I haven’t been able to post on my blog as frequently as I want since I’ve been getting busy with life. I now work for a website about soccer and it has kept me busier than I’d imagined. I am also giving guitar lessons and hope to do more of that. A month ago I did a public AMA (Ask Me Anything) on reddit.com, and I was really happy with the result. Since then I have become an avid redditor and it helped to answer the most frequent questions I usually received in a public forum. I have receive a lot of other questions that were not on that AMA, so please feel free to contact me at anytime if you have any questions or to keep asking on the AMA. Most importantly, the AMA reminded that working as a paparazzo gave me the chance to meet and take pictures of very awesome people (especially musicians). I have seen hundreds, if not thousands of celebrities and I have most the pictures I took in my hard drive (I’m sure I took over 100,000+ pictures). To top the list is Paul McCartney, Tom Morello, Henry Rollins, Morrissey, and many more. I also saw a lot of hot girls (celebrities) that I thoroughly enjoyed talking to while taking their pictures. These include a lot of Victoria Secret models, reality tv stars, and gorgeous actresses (I mentioned my biggest crush Natalie Portman before).
My intention of keeping this blog in orderly timeline from 2007-2011 proved to be harder than I originally thought. Next on the timeline would be when I saw Jennifer Aniston and my thoughts about her (they are not good). But I decided to take a break from the timeline and give you some pictures and stories of the people I truly admired. I consider myself really lucky of seeing them in person and snapping away. It is easier to post about stuff I want instead of forcing myself to write on the timeline of my life, however I’m still trying to be concise and will give dates of all the pictures I post (preceded by the story of how they came to be).
I saw him in three different occasions, all of them arriving at LAX. The first time I saw him was on February 5th, 2009. I was at LAX for a departure of Shia LaBeaouf, I had no idea Paul was going to arrive at the same time with girlfriend Nancy Shevell. Shia and Paul actually ran into each other in the elevator and Shia gave Sir Paul a handshake (Shia was also in disbelief in seeing the legend in person, the video was on TMZ). Needless to say, there were other paparazzi there, around five of them and getting better pictures than me as I struggle to cope with the realization that Sir Paul McCartney was in front of me and that my original task of getting pictures of Shia was not a priority. I recovered my senses when he was walking out of the elevator towards his limousine, I ended up with a worse angle than my competition but still got decent pictures. He was a joy to take pictures off, he smiled for everyone, even gave a friendly handshake to his driver, other staff and anyone else that stretched his hand (I wish I did). Here are the pictures of that night:
The second time I saw him I was really nervous. It happened on March 26, 2010 and I was completely by myself waiting for him at LAX (or so I thought). I saw his staff getting ready for his arrival by the doors, ready to take him to his car and not cause a scene. I hid behind a huge pillar between the airport door he was coming out from and where his car was going to be waiting at. When he came out, I kept my cool and kept my distance shooting with my long lens with no flash despite the lack of light. Out of a different huge pillar came another photographer who also thought he was alone (frenemy, competition from Splash). We kept shooting and quickly exchanged words in how disappointed both of us were for making this even non-exclusive. My competition quickly switch to video and started interviewing him (smart move). Paul was as cool as before, we talked to him for a while and he joked around with us. This time I did have a chance to shake his hand before he got into his car, a blue corvette. The pictures of my almost exclusive:
Switched to my flash camera and competition switched to video, the results:
The last time I saw him was on May 25th, 2010. This time, however, everyone knew he was going to be arriving from LHR (London). So countless paparazzi, autograph collectors and fans were waiting for his arrival. He came out of the gate and confronted the mass in a very cool demeanor as he made his way to the same blue corvette whilst holding his electric bass (he even posed with it!). Here are the gangbang pictures of that day:
Paul came out and pose with his bass. That dude next to him is an autograph collector and just wanted to be on the frame. Paul stopped and posed again, but I was behind another photographer, and then I finally got a nice full frame when he was going to the driver’s seat. None of the other photographers expected him to get to the driver’s seat, or the blue corvette for that matter.
Closing thoughts: Most people think paparazzi are annoying assholes that all celebrities hate (and many times this is true). Newsflash, Sir Paul McCartney has handled them perfectly for decades now. The first paparazzi encounters were because of The Beatles (of course they weren’t called that back then), but basically the same thing (in smaller volumes). It was awesome to be able to see him in person and have the opportunity to take his picture. He is one of my many highlights in my years as a paparazzo and I am really happy that I got to take these pictures. Hope you enjoyed the pictures and the stories.