Pictures are great for capturing memories. Now day’s photos are an integral part of our lives with an astonishing increasing number of photos taken each year down mainly to the big rise in digital cameras which are coming down in price and getting better in spec all the time. At the end of 2011 it was estimated 2.5 billion people had a digital camera and let’s not forget many phones have an integrated camera. It’s estimated on average people will take 150 photos per year that’s a massive 375 billion photos taken.
People like to take pictures of people and we love to see photos of celebrities. This is why the paparazzi are so relentless in their quest for photos of the most well liked celebs. We like to read up on what our favourite stars are doing but the price tag some photos fetch prove we love seeing pictures of them.
The market for celebrity photos is worth millions of dollars, and many celebs are cashing in selling. Some big stars are giving the paparazzi the slip by tipping off their favourite photographer or arranging for their own photos of births and marriages going to highest bidders. This gives the celebs total control and final say on the photos, there are also plenty of celebs who donate their earnings to charity like Jolie-Pitt a pair who regularly appear the most expensive celeb photos.
So what makes a photo worth millions?
The big magazines are willing to pay top dollar for photos which the general public are interested in. Having the latest photos ‘never been seen before’ is going to help boost readership in a fiercely competitive market. There has to be something surprising, newsworthy or an emotional component involved for a photo to start a bidding war between the magazines.
One photo which definitely had the emotional element was a photo which fetched $400,000 of Anna Nicole Smith with her son taken hours before he died. It was emotive and newsworthy as it is connected to such a terrible tragedy.
We love the latest on celeb’s love lives. A photo of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt was sold for $500,000 in 2005 which depicted the two on an African beach. Although no affection was being shown between the two, the photos were seen to be validation of a rumoured romance between the Mr. and Mrs. Smith co-stars, after Pitt who had at the time of the snaps had recently split from his then wife Jennifer Aniston.
One the most expensive celeb photos ever sold was the Jolie-Pitt photo of biological daughter baby Shiloh Nouvel. People magazine reportedly spent $4.1m on this photo. This doesn’t include the $3.5 million Hello! magazine UK also paid. The two donated the proceeds to African children charities.
We all love a wedding and so do OK! magazine who spent a massive $3m back in 2005 on Demi Moore and Ashton Kutchers Wedding Photos. OK! also bought the pictures from the lavish wedding of Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria and NBA all-star Tony Parker. The wedding photos of the big day in Paris sold for a reported $2 million.
For as long as these stars are in the spotlight we will want to see images of their most intimate moments.