Pint-sized Paparazzi

Filed under: Teens, Media, Day Care & Education, Gadgets, That's Entertainment

When it comes to making money, kids can be very creative. Some bug their parents for lemons and sugar for a lemonaid stand, others for a bike and a paper route.

But Austin Visschedyk and Blaine Hewison from Los Angeles had a different request-they wanted a $6,000 camera in order to snap magazine-quality photographs of celebrities. Even more surprising, the parents of the 14 and 15 year olds, actually gave them the money.

The two teenagers, armed with cameras that cost as much as a used car in some areas, hop on their skate boards and loiter outside celebrity hot spots and private parties hoping for a big money shot. They are members of the paparazzi, freelance photographers who trail and photograph the rich, famous and infamous.

However, not everyone is charmed by baby-faces snapping babes with famous faces.

"You are so young!" a visiting British socialite exclaimed as the flashes went off. "You should be in bed. Where are your parents?"

There is not doubt that the boys have an eye for photography. Their pictures have been used in The Daily News in New York, OK! magazine, and TMZ. However, an agency that brokers the sale of celebrity photographs will no longer represent the pair.

"I want to be able to sleep at night," the owner of Buzz Foto explains. "If something happened to one of these kids, I don't know what I would do."

Being paparazzi isn't like working in the Sears photography studio and can get dangerous.

"In my opinion, 1,000 percent, they should not be doing this," said Alison Silva, 27, a photographer with a cast on his left arm from an incident involving Keanu Reeves and a car. "They (the boys) don't think like we do. Fights break out. A lot of the guys, they're like, 'What are these little guys doing here?'"

But Austin's mom doesn't see the harm.

"I'm very supportive of it." She added: "He's a real bright kid. He's careful. He can get just as injured in sports at school."

Only in Los Angeles is chase down celebrities with a group of men preferable to a kid being on the track team! Wow,

And of course, a reality show about the boys is in the works.


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.