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The hottest shots

Date

Jo Casamento

Photos of of the rich and famous are often highly prized. But which snaps are worth most and why? Jo Casamento gets the lowdown from the people behind the lens.

Face values ... the price of a prize picture.

Face values ... the price of a prize picture.

They are the sitting ducks. The celebrities with a price on their heads. And we're not talking about how much they make per movie, or how much they earn according to so-called rich lists. These are the stars worth targeting from behind a long zoom while hidden in a bush.

For one of Sydney's most high-profile and controversial paparazzo, Jamie Fawcett, who snaps for OMGnews.com.au, the targets are constantly changing. But it's always worth zooming in on a target, just in case.

He says the public get bored of seeing the same stars all the time - something needs to be happening, such as a pregnancy, marriage or separation.

''A photo worth nothing yesterday can be worth bucketloads today,'' says Fawcett, part of a team of 10 full-time paps. ''Every day we have a meeting and sit down and assess who our targets are.

''People will tell you pictures don't lie. Let me tell you, they do. You need a set of photographs because they tell a million [different] stories.''

According to the co-owner of Media Mode, SJ McKay, reality TV stars are popular at the moment. ''Beautiful pics of [celebrity chef] Pete Evans recently surfing with his daughters sold for over $10,000,'' McKay says.

Fawcett believes photos of Logie nominee Manu Feildel are only going to increase in value. ''Move over, Matt Preston - he's got the 'now' factor.''

McKay says Glenn McGrath and Sara Leonardi are huge sellers, ''Because they have done so much in such a short space of time … They seem to be the hottest topic of interest for Woman's Day and New Idea,'' she says. The first shots taken of the couple in a cafe, by the late paparazzo Peter Carrette, reportedly sold for $91,000. Subsequent shots taken by a passer-by with a mobile phone made $10,000.

When two solo stars join to make a celestial formation, their market value goes up. Think acting couples such as Jessica Marais and James Stewart, or Miranda Otto and Peter O'Brien. Matt Newton and Rachael Taylor (before she took an AVO out on him) would fetch up to $60,000 a shot.

''Jen [Hawkins] and Jake [Wall] get more as a couple - although nice pics of him sweating on a building site would get a nice price,'' Fawcett says.

Nicole Kidman is worth more with Keith Urban than without. Lara Bingle, one-time gold with Michael Clarke, has been relegated to the bargain bin now she's single. Shots of Clarke with new squeeze Kyly Boldy fetch up to $35,000.

So why did Bingle's value drop? When she reportedly signed with a rival agency to Fawcett's, he took matters into his own hands.

''Somebody like Lara Bingle we shoot every other day. To sell a pic? No. But you can devalue her by putting them on the wire service just to make sure she's worth nothing. Although, if she's got her boobs out on the beach, that shot would be worth $10,000.''

Intimate snaps of a celebrity couple's life together also up the ante, such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, aka ''Brangelina''. The first shots of them on holiday in Namibia reportedly sold for $250,000.

The same price was paid for Kylie Minogue and Olivier Martinez together on French Island in May 2005, the day before she announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

But for OMGnews the real bacon has been the Shane Warne and Simone Callahan saga. Fawcett described it as ''the gift that just keeps giving''.

''You would think everyone would know everything about them and for the life of me I can't explain it,'' Fawcett says. ''But [our] agency has made more money out of them than any other couple. When they celebrated getting back together in Fiji, it sold for $300,000.''

Some couples can be thrown in the too-hard basket, the effort not worth the reward. Such as Lleyton and Bec Hewitt. ''You can't get them happy,'' McKay says. Fawcett agrees: ''Bec shopping? Well, you can snap that any day of the week. That's about all she does!''

Others survive solo. Sometimes it's about their fashion sense, like Jodi Gordon, whose value is still rising.

''Interest in her career and her personal life is huge,'' Fawcett says. ''It started with Ryan [Stokes] and now Braith [Anasta]. Also, her health obsession with exercising. She's a constant sell, more, say, than Jennifer Hawkins - who is more editorial. People like to see what she's wearing, she's becoming a bit of a fashion icon. She wears edgy stuff and she puts it together quite nicely. She'll fetch up to $5000.''

Scandals always sell: Brendan Fevola and Wayne Carey are good moneymakers - especially when they are living up to their

bad-boy reputations.

The Holy Grails for paparazzi are the wedding, the honeymoon and the first-baby shots. All net wads of cash - especially if they spoil an exclusive magazine deal.

When it was thought Kate Ritchie might be pregnant, interest in her went up. But after she confirmed she wasn't, Fawcett doubts he could sell a photo of her.

Similarly, both agencies agree Cate Blanchett isn't worth much because she is seen as boring - unless she's on the red carpet.

People like to see happy shots. Except when it comes to Kyle Sandilands, who people apparently want to trash. ''He's such an asshole,'' one unnamed pap says. ''He doesn't like being papped and makes a serious effort not to be - he's just a rude personality.''

It doesn't always have to be that way, according to Fawcett, who, despite being disliked by many celebs, has built relationships with others.

Fawcett joked with Russell Crowe that his photos put the pap's two children through private high schools.

Even Rusty and his wife Danielle Spencer wearing the same black Rabbitohs clobber every day has never diminished their value: ''A total fallacy,'' Fawcett says. ''You sometimes build such a relationship with a celeb [that] you feel a bit protective of them,'' admits Fawcett, who also puts ''seasoned pros'' such as Naomi Watts and Hugh Jackman in this basket. ''These people get it … Over the years, Hugh and [his wife] Deb [Deborra-Lee Furness] have been most magnanimous with me. Kylie's also great in that regard.''

Others who ''get it'' include the Murdochs and the Packers. ''In a way, through their magazine ownership, they have funded our activities, so you have to treat them with respect. Lachlan and Sarah and James and Erica fall into this category. Pictures of them with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes after Kerry's funeral, in their swimmers on the Arctic P - I shot and they laughed.''

Visiting international celebrities can be trophy shots, with pics of Cruise and Holmes - aka TomKat - during their stay in Melbourne selling for high prices, as did Oprah's on her visit Down Under.

So, do paps ever put down their cameras? Is anything off limits? Funerals, Fawcett says, are a no-go zone. ''I've thought twice on many occasions and thought, 'This isn't right.' Like Keanu Reeves dancing nude on the Quay Grand balcony during shooting of The Matrix. I decided not to take those!''

The prices on their heads

■ Shane and Simone Warne (nee Callahan) reuniting in Fiji, $300,000

■ Brangelina in Namibia, $250,000

■ Princess Eugenie at a beach in Thailand, $200,000

■ First shots of Liz Hurley and Shane Warne together, $150,000

■ TomKat in Melbourne, $100,000

■ The first shot of Glenn McGrath and Sara Leonardi together, $91,000

■ James and Erica Packer on holiday in Bora Bora, $60,000

■ Britney Spears in Australia with lover Jason Trawick and kids, $50,000

■ Simone Callahan and her new love, Toby Roberts, getting cosy on Bondi Beach, $50,000

■ The first shots of Michael Clarke and new gal pal Kyly Boldy, $35,000

■ Nigella Lawson in a burqini on Bondi Beach,$35,000

 

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6 comments

  • "But you can devalue her by putting them on the wire service just to make sure she's worth nothing."

    I don't like Bingle but the way these paps use their photos to damage others shows that their personal characters are worth much less than the photos they take.

    Commenter
    SC
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    May 16, 2011, 10:04AM
    • The article raises a valid point, which SC referred to. If you want to stop being chased by paparazzi then just give your images away. That will immediately reduce the value of your images. Also, that way you can make sure the pictures that get out are tasteful ones. I don't feel sorry for celebrities being chased by photographers because they are knowingly creating mystique and drama in a way that makes them enticing and worth more money. It's like how running from a dog will make the dog want to chase you. Celebrities know this and the smart ones like Russell Crowe manage to live fairly normal lives because of it. So think twice before you feel sorry for a celebrity running from the paparazzi.

      Commenter
      Cynic
      Date and time
      May 16, 2011, 11:18AM
      • What a sordid way to make a living.... the Lara comments were disgraceful. @ Cynic understand where you're coming from but not sure I agree wholeheartedly... though flattering pics are better than unflattering ones I guess :)

        Commenter
        LucyX
        Location
        Melb
        Date and time
        May 16, 2011, 12:10PM
        • what i found most interesting was the comment about cate blanchett being seen as 'boring', obviously because she acts like a normal person outside of industry events and doesn't turn up to the opening of an envelope. that's probably the best way to avoid having paparazzi follow you - live a life that is fairly regular and they'll leave you alone.

          Commenter
          pb
          Location
          sydney
          Date and time
          May 16, 2011, 12:11PM
          • The best way to make the paps go away would be for the general populus to stop being obsessed with the cult of celebrity. I deem celebrity watchers to be environmental terrorists for all the trees that are felled to make this pulp drivel (which is inane, boring or just plain untrue) week in and week out. Raise the collective IQ a bit and stop reading this rubbish

            Commenter
            Esoterikal
            Date and time
            May 16, 2011, 12:19PM
            • Tough question I know, but I'm trying to figure out who the true imbeciles are...the photographers who sneak about trying to snap a shot of Lara Bingle's lunchbox or the Tim Tam junkies who wade through Woman's Day and Who Weekly staring open-mouthed at such images.

              Commenter
              ren_ault
              Location
              Melbourne
              Date and time
              May 16, 2011, 5:53PM
              Comments are now closed
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