Paparazzi like roaches | AspenTimes.com

Paparazzi like roaches

Dear Editor:I proudly lived in Aspen from 2000 until 2004, and its a town that I plan on returning to (Goldie Hawn: Paparazzi have shooed us out, Jan. 3). When I lived there, it was a place where originally, was amazed at how the celebrities could just walk down the road at their own free will, only to occasionally be snapped by passing tourists. After a bit of time living in Aspen, it was just the norm seeing a celebrity on the street, hardly ever giving it a second thought. I remember standing in D&E one day waiting to pay when Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas came in and stood next to me to pay. No one even batted an eye. It was like they just were a normal couple. After Aspen, I had moved to Miami and then to London for work, seeing a celebrity also was quite normal but a trail of photographers also would be in tow. Paparazzi have been around for quite some time and, to be fair, most celebrities owe their careers to the paparazzi. Some even go as far as to hire paparazzi so that they seem more important than they are. But its only recently that this career has drawn and attracted so many, the majority having become such disgusting pests with no talent or care whatsoever. Its true what Goldie says about these guys not being real photographers and not having anything else to do. Most would barely qualify for work as a dishwasher.Im a photographer and rely 100 percent on my photography for income, but I would never consider stalking anyone for a photo and invading their space in the process just for profit. Theres a line that has to be drawn on what these people can and cannot do. For example, following someone by car to where they live is clearly out of bounds, and taking photos of their children is a 100 percent no. Not only are they invading their space as well as stalking the person they are trying to photograph, they are clearly endangering others in the process. Its dangerous enough driving in the winter in the valley, I cant imagine having to try to get away from someone in the process.Mayor Mick Ireland says hes worried about the First Amendment rights coming into play in this situation, and points out that these people simply arent being considerate. These people arent concerned about being considerate of others, and are simply in it for the money. In the end, all theyre worried about is getting the next picture that will net them the cash. So what if someone dies from being driven off of the road, theyll get over it.Laws can clearly be passed to make it a royal pain in the ass for these guys to follow and stalk, and thats what needs to be done. Send the message that its a pain to get the photos in Aspen, and that will prevent others from coming down in hopes of a quick profit. These guys are like roaches once a few make a base, then others appear out of nowhere. Keep in mind that once you have them, you cant get rid of them.Robert CharbonnetLondon


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