It’s been three years, Hollywood paparazzo E.L. Woody tells CNN, since he sold a celebrity photo for $10,000. The picture was of Shia Labeouf, at a price tag that still pales compared to the glory days of six-figure and even sometimes seven-figure licensing deals.
Another problem with today’s paparazzi trenches, Woody suggests, is that illegal immigrants have jumped into the game, selling their digital snaps for next to nothing. Nevertheless, the 65-year-old veteran says his kind will always be a part of the Hollywood media fabric:
“Celebrities have to have the photogs. It feeds the ego. Every flash, every click feeds their careers,” he says. “It feeds the supernova of fame…”
“We’re the sleazy paparazzi,” Woody said mockingly. “We’re the people that don’t get invited (by celebrities), but we’re the people that they depend on.”
Woody told reporter Michael Martinez that he has a personal video compilation of celebrities and their entourages that he has clashed with physically over the years, a group that includes Snoop Dogg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sylvester Stallone and Drew Barrymore. He claims also to be the oldest paparazzo still working the nighttime Hollywood beat alongside those much younger TMZ whippersnappers.