Paparazzi & copyright: where are we and where should we be?

The world-famous fashion house Balanciaga surprised the industry with a publicity campaign that imitates paparazzi photography to showcase their 2018 Spring/Summer collection entitled ‘Balanciaga SS18’ (hereand here) and (here). The fashion house is reported to have collaborated for the shoot with Bestimage, a photography agency, and with the best paparazzi based in Paris. Their intention was to replicate all the conventions of an authentic paparazzi shot, such as the part-hidden face of the model displaying a disapproving look,  imperfect framing, and the blurred faces of by-standers. Balanciaga’s marketing campaigns read as both an homage to paparazzi work and as a criticism of the invasion of privacy that is part and parcel of the activity. According to Vogue magazine (here), Balanciaga’s move is a stroke of genius that ‘oozes of nowness’, playing with the concepts of image, publicity, celebrity and social media in a novel way…

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