Paparazzi Industry ‘Decimated’ as Celebrities Self-Isolate

Much of the photo industry has been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic, but the subset of photographers receiving the least pity for their woes might be paparazzi. As celebrities self-isolate, their business has dried up almost completely… but you won’t find many people sympathetic to their plight. A report by AFP published on Yahoo! News […]

Paparazzi Industry ‘Decimated’ as Celebrities Self-Isolate

Much of the photo industry has been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic, but the subset of photographers receiving the least pity for their woes might be paparazzi. As celebrities self-isolate, their business has dried up almost completely… but you won’t find many people sympathetic to their plight.

A report by AFP published pointed out that the paparazzi industry in Hollywood has been “decimated by the lockdown,” even as demand for celebrity photography skyrockets. The only chance to snap a photo of a celebrity is if and when they leave their homes to walk their dog or grab groceries, at which point they’re probably wearing a mask and sunglasses—assuming they’re even doing these chores themselves.

Celebrity photo agency founder Randy Bauer that his agency went from licensing about 7,000 celebrity photographs a month, to around 500 “if we’re lucky.”

The reaction online has been, as you might expect, less than sympathetic. Sparked by a tongue-in-cheek tweet by Crissy Teigen, people piled on, with one person comparing paparazzi losing work to burglars losing work:

The report has led to some discussion online about whether or not people should feel sorry for a branch of photography that is often seen as a ‘necessary evil’ at best, and predatory at worst. On one side of the debate are the paparazzi themselves:

“Obviously the general public’s gonna give us a big boohoo about, you know, paparazzi struggling,” said photographer Mark Karloff on a recent episode of the Paparazzi Podcast. “But we are family guys — we have kids, we have family — and we’re human as well.”

But even among fellow photographers, the reaction has been entirely unforgiving. An r/photography thread featuring the AFP report consisted mostly of the same “boohoo” vibes—calling paparazzi photographers “scumbags” and “vultures,” and celebrating the demise of their industry as a lone bright spot of the pandemic.

As one commenter on Reddit put it: “It is extremely rare, but sometimes, there are cases where it’s perfectly OK to feel good about job losses in a particular area. This is one of those times.”


Image credits: Header photo by Kurt Bauschardt, CC BY-SA 2.0

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US Camera Sales Dropped by 64% Last Month; Only Luggage is Doing Worse

As the coronavirus pandemic brings the world economy to its knees, retail intelligence firm Stackline put together a report identifying the 100 fastest growing and 100 fastest declining industries based on e-commerce data from March. No surprise, the outlook is especially grim for cameras. According to the Stackline infographic—which compared March 2019 to March 2020 […]

US Camera Sales Dropped by 64% Last Month; Only Luggage is Doing Worse

As the coronavirus pandemic brings the world economy to its knees, retail intelligence firm Stackline put together a report identifying the 100 fastest growing and 100 fastest declining industries based on e-commerce data from March. No surprise, the outlook is especially grim for cameras.

According to the Stackline infographic—which compared March 2019 to March 2020 using e-commerce sales data from across the United States—Cameras are the third fastest declining businesses in the country right now, with sales dropping a whopping 64%. Only two categories did worse: “Luggage & Suitcases” and “Briefcases,” which both saw sales drop by 77% year-over-year.

That 64% number is brutal, but unsurprising. A recent BCN report showed that mirrorless camera sales in Japan were down by 50% in March 2020 vs March 2019, and while we usually try to factor in regional differences, the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have not been confined to a single region. You can see some of the other industries called out by Stackline below, or browse the full list of 200 at this link:

These e-commerce numbers confirm what the BCN data already hinted at: not just March, but the entire rest of this year will be the most difficult yet for camera makers, who were already fighting an uphill battle against the smartphone revolution.

In mid-March, we wrote that the coronavirus pandemic would force companies to “find the floor” of the industry—that number at which sales stabilize and brands can figure out how many cameras they can reasonably expect to sell in an average year—far more quickly than they had hoped for or anticipated, and adjust accordingly:

With less R&D money to go around, companies will need to cut operating expenses more aggressively than they have in years, focus on the products that turn a profit, and shrink to fit the market that they’re actually playing in… or diversify… or get off the field entirely.

Now, as the real-world ramifications of the worldwide economic shutdown start to hit, we’re seeing just how low those numbers can really go, and holding our breath to see how fast and how far they recover when this is all over.

(via Mirrorless Rumors)

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