Kristen Bell And Dax Shepard Confront Paparazzi Agency Over Photos of Celebrity Children

Kristen Bell And Dax Shepard Confront Paparazzi Agency Over Photos of Celebrity Children

Actors/celebrities Kristen Bell And Dax Shepard are on a mission to make paparazzi stop taking photos of celebrities’ kids. They know it will be hard to make it illegal, so they are trying a different approach: make magazines and media outlets stop buying celebrity children photos from the paparazzi. By that, paparazzi photographers will make less money and make the photos less valuable for them. Recently Kristen and Dax sat down for a heated debate with a paparazzi agency owner and a celebrity reporter to discuss it all (video below).

Access Hollywood invited actors Kristen Bell And Dax Shepard (parents to 1-year old baby), AKM/GSI photo agency owner Steve Ginsburg and celebrity/entertainment reporter Christian Zimmerman to discuss the issues raised by few celebrity parents in the past year or so. Dax said that "If you don't have an ethical issue with that, then I don't think you have ethics", while the agency owner simply said that business is business, and celebrity kids sell.

Just few months ago Halle Berry Jennifer Garner proposed to make it illegal (in California) for paparazzi to run after and photograph celebrities if their kids are with them. ABC's 20/20 discussed the issue with few celebrities as well as few paparazzi and people from the industry.

One of the first magazines that agreed to join Kristen and Dax on their mission, and stop publishing unauthorized photos of celebrity kids is People Magazine. They agreed to stop publishing photos of kids taken by paparazzi photographers, and only publish photos that were pre-approved by the parents. This is a big achievement for the couple, but far from making a difference. Unless most of the big publications worldwide will agree to stop buying these photos from the paparazzi, they won't have a reason to stop chasing celebrities and their kids. They make a lot of money on each of those photos, and makes no fiscal sense for them to stop.

What do you think of Kristen and Dax's new method of fighting the paparazzi? Do you think it can work?

Noam Galai's picture

Noam Galai is a Senior Fstoppers Staff Writer and NYC Celebrity / Entertainment photographer. Noam's work appears on publications such as Time Magazine, New York Times, People Magazine, Vogue and Us Weekly on a daily basis.

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In my opinion, this was a terrible discussion where neither wanted to hear the other speak. Neither were being respectful and it produced nothing. I think the celebrities need to realize that this is something you are going to have to deal with because you have chosen to be celebrities, and your child is going to have to deal with it too despite their choices in life. You cannot change that. Dax said that his child hasn't chosen to be a celebrity but you have and his child shouldn't have to be subject to that. I disagree. It's the nature of the beast, the beast that YOU have chosen. But I do agree with the example Kristen gave. Many of these photographers are nasty and rude. That is obviously inappropriate. So it's not the paparazzi that is a terrible group of people and a terrible career, its the rude and nasty people that do it who are making a bad impression. You cannot get rid of paprazzi, but that attitude of those in the field needs to change to a more respectuful one.

Where do you draw the line before someone becomes "rude and nasty"?

I would say taking unauthorized photos of my children and publishing them around the world for the cash incentive could be considered quite rude.

I think most of us know what David meant when he wrote that, and originally what Kristen meant: the photographers who don't try to stay out of these peoples' way, but rather, become very intrusive. That's when it gets rude and nasty. Snapping pictures from across the street is not intrusive, on the other hand. Let's not turn every statement into black and white just so you can win an argument.

I knew what he meant, but if we are basing the argument on what we consider to be acceptable social norms, I wanted to introduce the fact that I find it a bit strange that that kind of intrusiveness seems to be where he draws the line.

I draw the line elsewhere. That's all I was trying to point out: We have become so jaded we don't find the basic concept of paparazzi culture intrusion enough, especially when children are involved.

Example of how they can be annoying:

they are not photographer, what kind of pictures are they taking she covering her face, it should be illegal to harass someone like this.

Honestly, I think she's awfully bad at navigating airports and arranging for transport, especially given her dislike of paparazi.

There are two types of people, people who enjoys having their photos taken and those who don't. Kim Kardashian is an example of someone who loves having her photos taken, because she enjoys the attention. Kristen is obviously not enjoying all the attention. And you have photo"snappers" who can't or don't care to recognize the difference. In this case, they're even taunting her. Sure, take a few photo and leave her alone, so she can at least see where she's going. How many photo of her walking through the airport do you need? Can you blame her for wanting some privacy?

I don't advocate making the photo taking illegal, but I do think it would be nice if the photos had no value, therefore making the desire to take them go way down.

Yet, if I stood on a sidewalk outside of a school and took photos of children.... That's illegal in most areas.

I get that any legal push into our rights to photograph feels like a slippery slope, but some things have to be made illegal for the protection of the children. If nothing else the methods of the paparazzi have already proven a danger to the safety of others at various times.

And, let's face it, although it is not everyone in the field, being a paparazzo is often just being a legalized stalker for money.

No it isn't. People just assume it is, because it seems like something that might be a law.

As a photographer, I see a simple answer...

Take the photo of Kirsten, then BEFORE handing off to the agency, blur out the children in post. What could be fairer than that?

But that would require all companies to do the same thing and I would assume that not every single pap and agency are the same, morally and ethically. In the world of pap photos, the faster they get put out means more money. Sure you can spend the 30 seconds to blur out the kids but that 30 second delay could mean 3 other agencies have already put the unaltered photos on the wire and their website, rendering the blurred one worthless.

Think of how fast the Lady Diana incident took place.

Now imagine if she had her son with her....

The problem is not the picture, the problem is the chase!

Dianas driver was an idiot to run/drive in that manner in the first place. It is not ok to get into a fatal accident because you are eluding a buncha smelly photogs

I know, but I also know you understand what I meant.... ;)

Photos on a public street are legal. Street photography for example and
news images are legal. By some arguments this might also intrude on that
type of imaging. Very slippery slope. As was mentioned, celebs are all
for it when they have a project they are trying to hawk. What about the images of someone charged with a crime outside a court house? Is it different because they are not a child?

Again, the difference is the chase and harrassement. Though I think paparazzis should all become unemployed TOMORROW, I understand the social needs of picture of celebs/criminal, etc.

NO ONE should be allowed to be harrassed the way those scumbags do.

David, is easy for you to seat there and
say that is the nature of the beast, if you chose to be a celebrity you cannot
complaint, you are not been chase everywhere you go, you don’t have 10 flashes
firing in your face, the trust is that paparazzi give a bad name to
photographer, they don’t create art and all they do is harass celebrities with
their cameras, what celebrities should do is hire a couple of photographer and
have them chase the magazine editor family and a couple of judges and their
families and see how quick the law changes, since is not illegal then it should
not be a problem right.

Since last week this is not a problem in hungary

How did they approach this?

Oh, that thing. Thought they did something specifically for the paparazzi.
Yeah, that sucks.

My real problem with this whole situation is that Kristen Bell married Dax Shepard!!
Really??? She couldn't do any better?

Apparently you were too focused on posting judgemental responses on the Internet to answer the phone when she called you for a date.

Apparently someone is lacking a sense of humor.

Is there another link to this video that is viewable outside the USA?

It is all a question of rights. For example at what point does one persons rights supersede another persons rights? The right to bare arms is a really good example, is this a more important right than say a group of kids rights to be alive? Most reasonable people would say where there is a reasonable risk by allowing a specific person the right to own a gun, that many people may loose their right to live then that right to own a gun should be removed from that person. A prime example would be not allowing an ex con with a history of violence buy a gun.

Now move that argument over to other rights, such as right to privacy, right to a normal non threatening childhood vrs some "photographers" right to make a living from being a scum bag.... Guess which side I am on in this one ;)

One must ask themselves, at what point does a photographers right to take pictures supersede a kids right to a safe non threatening lifestyle?

Where in the US can an Ex Con buy a gun? and actually bare arms lead to really bad sunburn, so keep those arms covered. I would dare to say that you should not try to correlate photography with gun ownership, if you have zero knowledge of gun ownership.

Talk about missing the point, gun ownership is a right, for logical reasons the right is curtailed certain circumstances because it can effects others rights.

The right to free press is a right, in most countries this is curtailed in certain circumstances because it can effect other peoples rights. Think of hate speach or even where someone has a reasonable right to privacy.

This is a more fundamental argument than guns are similar to cameras. It is All Rights are similar, and one must decide which is the greater right

I dont think I missed the point. I also dont think that this tangent gets us back to the thread. But I do think that if I want to be taken seriously, then I will stick to discussing matters that I have knowledge about. Your post is a glaring example of ignorance on firearms. You may not understand that, but it is akin to someone walking out of a camera store, and then proselyting on photography.

Clearly you did miss the point because you still seem to think I was making a point about firearms.

Further more I think it is kind of funny an American suggesting that I have a "glaring ignorance of firearms". After all I am not living in a country that seems to have such a glaring ignorance of the harm they do. What is the gun murder rate over there. It is true I do not own a gun. I think that very fact probably suggests to many intelligent people that I actually do not have a "glaring ignorance of firearms"

But this is a tangent. As I have pointed out and then tried explain to you it is about rights, which right is greater.

Anything that has value, will be pursued. And let's not gloss over the only reason value exist, is status. Celebs could devalue photos taken without their permission, by simply controlling the market value by working with the agencies...and avoiding surprise shots. Several celebs already have established relationships with photographers that work with them. I'd suggest more consider this approach. I personally, have allowed celebs their privacy. Recently I was standing three feet away from Chris Rock, I had two cameras in hand, he was taking care of personal business, I could hear every word of their conversation, I nodded, said hello, and walked away...I didn't take a single shot... Did I want to, absolutely. But it was my impression that he was not interested at that particular moment to be photographed or bothered...thus I allowed him and his group their privacy. This is really a very simply issue. Celebs should work with us,,, and we should work with them. There should never be any push pull or discomfort between us. It's just not necessary. And I agree with others, it can bring about dangerous situations and I personally will never put anyone in danger over a photo or money!

lets be real chris rock is not famous enough for u to catch or fetch $ to sell the photos or video to and as a comedian i would use the harassment of paparazzi in my routine, or do what Joseph Gorden light foot did turn my camera on them..

Will any of this really change anything? Even if all outlets start taking their stance against children being included in the photos, it doesn't mean that the photogs are going to stop simply snapping the celebs themselves when their kids happen to be by. Kristen and Dax seem to have more of a problem of the photographers being within their viewable space rather than the images themselves. Though I agree having tons of photographers in close proximity hounding for a photo as being a little forceful, however the example of the photographer behind the hollowed out surfboard is completely harmless. He wasn't interfering with the family's outing and he was only noticed because of a secondary individual who was close to his own proximity.

Kristen and Dax are the ones who automatically took the right for the their children to have normal lives. Im sure their kids will have to eventually cope with security guards, being easily recognizable and a myriad of other celebrity children problems, so why shouldn't photographers be included?

The photography agencies could easily nullify their argument by agreeing to blur out the children's identities. Thus still allowing their capture methods to continue.

yes do both make taking the photos illegal and non profitable if the paparazzi is charged with distribute for child pornography and the magazines who publish these photos are fined millions of dollars in lawsuits tell u now there would be a big change.. kids are kids and just because their parents are famous does not make them famous..