Brad Elterman – Paparazzo, Back In The Day

Sure, the concept of paparazzi was popularized in the days of La Dolce Vita.
Yes, celebrities have always been sought after for exclusive personal photos, although never to the extent the paps go after them now. Celebrity magazines have been around since…..well, since Hollywood began.

We’re not back that far (yet) but only to the 70′s.
Brad Elterman was a teenage shooter, finding his way into every cool scene, when there were not many others covering la vida loca.
From his photos of the Ramones, to Bob Dylan, and most of the rockers of the period, he had access to them all.
There were no uploads. There were no email deliveries.
He did the work. Souped the film, made the prints, delivered the goods. And became his subjects friends. Most of the time.

(Check out that shot of Leif Garret and a very young Nicolette Sheridan on the video still frame below. BUT click on it to see the full video)

Now Brad was working in a time when he may have been considered a photojournalist more than a paparazzi.
Today the pap term has connotations for the general public that are pretty negative. Although there are some symbiotic relationships between PR folks and the shooters (how else do they know who is leaving the hairdressers or grocery stores unless a publicist tips them. I mean, really.)
Quite the contrary in Brads case. He was more often invited in and asked to photograph those seeking a little fame.

Tomorrow we’ll highlight the Red Carpet, and the photographers that work under the pressure, in about a 2 ft space, huddled with the rest of the media, getting those shots of celebrities, everyone wants.
What were they wearing, anyway?

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