Lilly Allen Rats Out New York Times For Syndicating Photos Used For Arts Section

I was shocked to read the New York Times arranged a photo session with Lilly Allen to illustrate an article they ran on her for the Arts Section, only to see those photos syndicated to OK magazine (for starters) so OK could run their own “exclusive” story made up of quotes from third party sources. I realize the Times is not in the best financial shape, but man, it’s pretty sleazy to use your reputation as bait for monetizing the results in a tabloid aftermarket. David Azia is the New York Times photographer in question.

Note to artists: make sure you sign a photo contract that stipulates how photos can be used once the initial use has passed, especially in the digital age….it’s up to you if you want to sell out for the publicity at the expense of controlling your likeness.

Read Lilly Allen’s rant

This Wild Girl’s a Homebody Now (NY Times’ article)

Heroes, Celebrities and the Fans Who Worship Them

It’s a rainy day, so rather than shoot Kelly Clarkson on Regis & Kelly I delved into understanding the psychological meaning behind the artist-fan relationship. Google delivered a worthy result: American Heroes in a Media Age by Susan J. Drucker and Robert S. Cathcart. The working theory of this book suggests the notion that mass media itself has given birth to a late 20th and early 21st Century phenomenon; namely, anyone can become a social artifact aka celebrity when subjected to mass media packaging.

“The responses obtained in this investigation indicate that personal characteristics of celebrities rather than public deeds are related to their elevated status. Identification with the looks and personal characteristics that media publicity celebrates removes the celebrity from the hallowed pedestal of the hero.” (Drucker, Cathcart, 1994)

The dark side of this theory is that corporations today fulfill our psychological and emotional needs by offering up media packages (TV shows, movies, merchandise) that nurture a lifelong emotional attachment that replace human interaction with simulated relationships to fictional characters…which, unfortunately for the actors playing these roles winds up turning THEIR personal lives into fodder for fan consumption as well. The fictional character mysteriously transmogrifies into the real life of the actor whereby the line separating the two disappears in the blink of a tabloid eye.

“The hero may well be he or she whom every American should wish to be, but the celebrity is he or she whom every American can be” (Wecter, 1941).

So where does that leaves an actor like Robert Pattinson? I guess fighting for his personal life in the trenches of his onscreen fictional characters. Is it possible for him to maintain the line between his public and private lives once a fan has become emotionally attached to his fictional personality? Nope.

American Heroes in a Media Age

Starstruck: When A Fan Gets Close to Fame by Michael Joseph Gross

New York Post Leighton Meester Reebok Print Campaign

There was a film permit that simply said “Reebok Meester.” I looked at it Saturday night and suddenly I realized it had to be Leighton Meester from “Gossip Girl.” It’s hard to believe I didn’t realize it sooner. I was up in the Berkshires and decided to head back to New York City early Sunday morning to see if in fact it was Leighton Meester shooting a print campaign for Reebook. It was. And the best part: no other paparazzi discovered the shoot for the entire day. I shot her in Soho at Broome and Greene, then followed the crew into Tribeca for three more setups. The photo ran the next day in the New York Post.