Marketplace has a nice little video up in which a reporter tags along with Giles Harrison, a professional paparazzo (though they insist on using the plural, paparazzi, when referring to either a single person or multiple people; we forgive, but still). This job sounds terrible, mostly! Here are a bunch of reasons why being a paparazzo is worse than your job, and one reason it might be better.
1. You have to drive all the time.
Harrison says he spends “at least eight hours a day” in his car. Admittedly it’s a large car, but still.
2. You have to drive an expensive car.
In order not to get rousted by the cops out of the more expensive areas where celebs live, you’ve got to spring for a pricey car. Harrison drives a Cadillac Escalade, a supremely silly vehicle which gets 14 miles to the gallon in the city. Doing some quick math here, I estimate Harrison spends between $1 and $4 million per day on gasoline.
3. You have to remember hundreds of celebrities.
Harrison gives a funny anecdote about taking pictures of Dylan McDermott. Not only do I not have any idea what Dylan McDermott looks like, I had to Google him to figure out how to spell his last name.
4. Apparently you have to spend time at Jamba Juice.
Jamba Juice is popular enough in L.A. that paparazzi refer to low-level celebrity shots as “Jamba Juice money” because they only make … how much does a Jamba Juice jamba juice cost? Six bucks?
5. You have to scare regular people.
New Yorkers have a (mostly untrue, I think) reputation as rude. But in this video, two cars, one of them an enormous SUV, chased a normal dude on a motorcycle into a parking lot just because he might have been Ewan McGregor. He wasn’t a celebrity, but he did literally sprint from his motorcycle into a bank just to get away from these monsters.
6. Sometimes you get spat on.
Harrison doesn’t fully defend the actions of paparazzi, but he does note that he’s been spat on. I can’t think of any other jobs offhand that involve getting spat on.
7. Someone may make a video of you for a series called “You Hate My Job.”
Most jobs aren’t hated.
And the reason Harrison deals with all this nonsense: “Harrison says he makes something in the range of ‘high six figures’ running his agency,” the Marketplace reporter writes in a post that accompanies the video. That is a lot of money. Although remember he is driving an Escalade for eight hours a day.