Well, what can I say about this one. I never would have expected in a million years that a photograph of Rihanna would turn up in my Project 365, but here it is.
The story behind it is thus. I was in town… well, city… yesterday and to be honest wasn’t feeling in much of a creative mood. The sky was overcast will dull white clouds and the light was rubbish so I wasn’t really feeling that inspired. Plus I’ve done that many laps of the city now that it’s gettin tricky to find new things to photograph. I find that aspect a challenge though and I’m finding the more and more I’m out shooting, the more I see potential in things I haven’t noticed before. Naomi had gone over to the library to look for some jobs so I was wandering around on my own.
So after popping into the Westfield centre to check out the food court there (Whenever I see a sign for a food court I HAVE to take a look to see what they got!) I was walking back past the the corner of Westfield on Castlereagh St. I heard a bit of a commotion behind me and saw 2 photographers sprinting out of the shopping centre and into their cars which they had just left parked at the traffic lights taking up two lanes. (For people back in the UK, imagine someone just leaving their cars taking up 2 lanes down the middle of Deansgate in Manchester… at rush hour!) Needless to say the the people in the cars behind weren’t too impressed. The photographers had long lenses and flashes so I kinda figured they were paparazzi. I carried on walking off but then my curiosity got the better of me and I headed back in and take a look to see what or who they were ‘papping.’
By then a few people were hanging around and several more photographers were starting to show up. It became pretty obvious after speaking to a couple that Rihanna was in the underwear shop pretty near the entrance. The shop had been closed to the public and the big, burly security guy outside the door did his job of scaring and threatening the paparazzi whenever they tried to get near the shop. Having my camera with me I decided it was too good an opportunity to miss so decided to hang around and try and get a shot as she left the shop. Hang around we did… for about an hour. She must really like her underwear that girl!! And after seeing her dancing on X-Factor back before Christmas, whoever gets to see her in it is one lucky guy!
Throughout the hour we were waiting, every time someone pointed their camera or even camera-phone at the shop to take a photo the centre security would come and move them along. This was despite the people being a good 30 feet away and Rihanna being in the changing rooms so there was nothing to see anyway. While we were waiting I got speaking to a woman who ran a photo agency; she mentioned that a good shot of a celebrity like Rihanna, was worth around $10,000, providing no-one else had it. If, as in this case, there was plenty of other people taking photos then the photo would only be worth around $200.
I wont lie, when Rihanna finally did leave the shop and there was a sudden rush to chase after her and get a shot I did get quite a rush off it and it was more exhilarating than I had anticipated. To me though doing it day in day out would get a little dull though and lose it’s appeal, especially with all the waiting around; the woman I spoke to had been waiting outside Rihannas hotel since 8 that morning!
I got a lot closer than I expected to as you can see from the shot below. She exited the shop on a different route than the body guard had told all the papps so it threw them off and gave everyone else a chance to get a bit closer. Carrying your camera with you everyday, everywhere you go can sometimes seem like a chore, but it does tend to reward you with opportunities like this which make it worthwhile. Enjoy!
“Naaa, naaa, naaa, what’s my name? what’s my name? what’s my name?
Rob ‘Paparazzi’ Meredith mate!
But you can call me ‘Big Papa’!”