Credentialed, Super Fan, or Johnny Paparazzi

Greetings everyone one and welcome to my second Outsiders Guide To Hollywood Blog. It’s been a real busy couple of weeks starting with the San Francisco Film Festival and another crazy “Shenza Goes To Hollywood” trip.

On my last Blog, I explained how I started getting into Celebrity Photography. Today I’m going to explain the different ways I cover events. I will be using examples from the events I just covered on my LA trip last week. On a good day, I have Red Carpet credentials from the event I’m working, but being an Independent Photographer and represented by a Wires Service doesn’t always get me credentials. I’ve freelanced for a couple of wire services in the past but my current one, PR Photos is the service I’m using now. The only problem is that PR Photos is very popular and has many photographers, so I don’t always get credentialed from them for the bigger events. I usually book about 50% of the movie premieres I apply for. So what happens when I don’t have credentials?

The first thing to know if you’ve never attended or watched a premiere live or Online is that besides Media covering the event there is a lot more going on. As I discussed in my last Blog, there is always a fan area to watch the event. However not everyone is there is see and meet a star. There are at least 6 different types of people there.

The True / Super Fans – these people are truly devoted fans that support their favorite stars no mater how big or small they are. Their goal is to get an autograph and possibly  a picture with the celebrity. They never try to sell what they get and mainly post their pictures on Facebook to share with their friends.

Autograph Addicts & Collectors – These people may be fans of a certain artist but their main goal is to get an autograph on some kind of merchandise, so they can sell it. Most of these people are cool but some of them can get very aggressive doing whatever they can to get close enough to an artist to get their signature.

Paparazzi/ Videographers/ Independent Photographers –  This is where yours truly fits in. On the Red carpet are Photographers who have been credentialed by the studio. But that leaves many others literally on the outside looking in. They are camped out across the street with their long lenses standing on everything from ladders, signs, to the steps of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” . What I do is get there a few hours earlier and scope out a spot across from the drop off area. Then I  hangout in the fan section and try and get pictures as they come across the street.

Photographer/ Screenwriter Jonathan Scott Shensa "Never Say Never Premiere. Jonathan Scott Shensa Photography

Now that I described the different methods my next Blog will show how I had to use these different methods in shoots at the Playboy Mansion, Something Borrowed Premiere, Celebrity Karaoke with Lorenzo Lamas and the cast from Corey Haim’s last movie Decisions, and the MusicCares event honoring Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode.


About Jonathanshensa

I'm a Celebrity Event Photographer, producer and Screenwriter. I also worked with promoting bands and spent 5 years in music management. In my younger days, I was also an Actor, News reporter, DJ, and have worked at Talent, and Management companies. I love the mass media but also love to talk about everyday topics. I want to have a positive and creative impact on the entertainment business. Check out my entertainment blog, "The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood".
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