Paparazzo For a Day At The Asian Awards 2015
I was part of the paparazzi massives on Friday night covering the Asian Awards for a friend. It promised to be exciting with all kinds of big names supposedly attending including the recently departed One Direction band member Zayn Malik. Not that many of the ‘papz’ believed he or any big name would turn up. So the first lesson I learned is that 'cynicism is a norm’.
It’s a little chaotic with fans holding their iPhones and selfie sticks overrunning the press pen. Security eventually move them out and some kind of order is restored. The paparazzi all handi in their NUJ cards to a designated leader who draws them ‘out of a hat’ and allocates a space in the pen in accordingly. Not having an NUJ card (must sort that out) and not realising what’s going on until most spaces have been taken I find a space on what I guess is the 3rd row. It is inhabited solely by me. I’m pretty tall I’ll be fine I tell myself… wrong. Everyone on the second row has steps and the guy infront of me (let’s call him Nikon Man) is quite short so he has really tall steps. I don’t have many options and despair a little.
Sure enough when the celebs start to arrive, i find myself shooting through the gaps in Nikon mans arms or just holding my camera over his head and shooting blind. This really isn’t ideal but I do manage to get the odd shot. After 20 minutes of this it turns out that there is an unused ladder which a Getty Images photographer is kind enough to let me use. I must say it does make a difference when the celebs can see you and actually look in your direction a la Colin Jackson and Meere Syal & Sanjeev Bhaskar.
There is a kind of order to these things i notice. The press guys seem to have a system that in theory should allow them all to get their images with minimal fuss but with the paparazzi outside of the pen also desperate to get shots there is a lot of barking instructions at the celebs at all directions… It all seems a little demeaning at times for all parties but I guess that’s just the way it is.
The show is about to start and a certain ex One Direction member has not arrived. Is he even coming? No according to the hardened cynics. Still there’s plenty of banter and eggy farts to while away the time in case he does. It’s always worth a sneaky peek at the event organisers clipboard or it’s digital equivalent iPad and sure enough it looks as if one is about to tweet that Zayn Malik has arrived. I tell the guys around me and we shoot the hell out of the next car that pulls up. It’s occupant isn’t a celebrity at all but I think she really loved the 3 seconds of fame.
The next car however is Zayn and all hell breaks loose.
Keywords: Colin Jackson, Event Photography, Gurinder Chadha, Jasmin Walia, London Event Photography, Meera Syal, Naughty Boy, One Direction, PR Photography, Paparazzi, Preeya Kalidas, Sanjeev Baskhar, Tasmin Lucia Khan, The Asian Awards, Zayn Malik
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