Paparazzo in Pursuit: Getting the Hot Shot
May 9, 2005

Whether it's Tom and Katie or Angelina and Brad, one photo agency always seems to be in position to get the shot, and "Extra" caught them in action as they went after one of the world's biggest stars.

Armed with cell phones, walkie-talkies, binoculars and of course, a monster lens, 25-year-old paparazzo Ben was ready for action. Ben is a photographer for Los Angeles' Bauer-Griffin Photo Agency, and on this particular day, we were with him as the big tip came in: Britney Spears was on the move.

Ben, with a partner in another car, raced off in pursuit of Britney's red SUV, and he wanted to make sure his partner had the right lens on his camera. "Have your short on," he advised.

With other shutterbugs also in hot pursuit, it was a high-adrenaline, heart-pumping race to keep Britney's car in view as it entered an underground garage. And then the chase was on as they ran to get into position.

Now came the moment Ben had been waiting hours for: a pregnant Britney emerged with hubby Kevin and his daughter! Brit and Kevin were very cooperative as they headed to the elevators, and the paparazzi thanked them for allowing themselves to be snapped.

"That's a good picture," Ben said, reviewing his catch.

Ben's bosses, Frank Griffin and Randy Bauer, told "Extra" that it takes a network of informants to pull off a celebrity stakeout like this. "We got a lot of information, which I can't reveal how, or how people are traveling and when they are traveling," Griffin revealed.

"People who work at hotels, limo companies," Ben explained.

"You have to be ninety percent detective and ten percent photographer," Bauer insisted. "It's more like working at the CIA."

So why do photographers like Ben work so hard? The money shot of a superstar can mean big money in the bank. For example, those recent pictures of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" costars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in an African getaway.

"Rumor has it that fetched upwards of a million dollars" Bauer told us.

And the race is on to get the next million-dollar picture.


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