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Monday, Sep 25, 2023

It’s a Snap for Amateur Paparazzi

Selma Fonseca’s agency Celebrity Vibe has been selling paparazzi photos to the tabs and glossies for 10 years. Now she’s found an easy way for anybody to shoot a star and make some bucks: She made an app for that.

People with iPhones can now play instant paparazzi with her iSnaper application.

“I saw all these people taking pictures of celebrities with their phones,” Fonseca said. “But they weren’t making money.”

The iSnaper app works like this: A tourist sees, say, Lindsay Lohan or Kim Kardashian sunbathing on a Malibu beach, takes the photo using the iSnaper app and then sends it to Fonseca. If Celebrity Vibe sells the photo, the company gives the photographer a 70 percent commission. Photos can be sold for anywhere from $100 to $5,000. Buyers are magazines such as People and US Weekly.

“If it’s a really good picture or an exclusive picture that nobody else has, you can make a lot of money,” Fonseca said.

Before iSnaper, people could e-mail photos to Fonseca – or any of her competitors. The iSnaper gives her a prominent platform for receiving amateur shots of the rich and famous.

Fonseca hired a programmer to design the application for use on Apple’s iPhones. She didn’t have to pay Apple; Apple approved iSnaper and the free application hit Apple’s app store in July.

Fonseca said that she has already made many successful sales. A French clubgoer recently got a commission of $3,500 on a $5,000 sale after she used iSnaper to get a photo of Paris Hilton spraying champagne at a St. Tropez nightclub.

Eventually, Fonseca said she’d like to see celebrities sending in photos of themselves that they want to publicize.

“They put photos on Twitter all the time, but they’re not making any money,” she said. “This way they could self-promote and make money at the same time.”

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