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Not Since Jesus

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How Much For a Picture
A paparazzo reveals a few rules of the trade.


'It’s all about context.” For instance, a picture of Nicole Richie buying coffee would probably fetch only $1,000. A picture of her eating might go for $10,000 or $15,000, either as an exclusive or sold to five different magazines for $2,000 or $3,000 each. Likewise, Nick Lachey: By himself, maybe $1,000 if you’re lucky, but with another woman, such as Kristin Cavallari, if it’s exclusive it might fetch as much as $100,000. Same goes for George Clooney: a few thousand for a shot of him alone, but much more money for a picture of him with a woman. “There was a horrible photo with him and one of the Desperate Housewives in the back of a car leaving a party, and I heard they made $80,000.”

But when it comes to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, pictures of the two of them together are a dime a dozen, and therefore might not command even $1,000. But pictures of Holmes by herself can get $20,000 or $30,000. “The magazines can say, ‘Where’s Tom? Why isn’t he with her?’ ”

“Anyone in a bikini.” In the past couple of years, Jennifer Lopez has gone from A-list to C-list, and the value of her pictures has plunged. But a few weeks ago she was photographed poolside in Miami in a bikini—a picture that probably had a $25,000 price tag. “Photos of stars in bikinis will go for a minimum of $25,000. They don’t even have to be young.”


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