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My Paparazzo: Hiring a Stalker Is Easy

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Old 10-03-2008
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My Paparazzo: Hiring a Stalker Is Easy
I'm sitting outside a trendy Brooklyn café chatting with friends. I glance to my left and notice a huge telephoto lens peeking around the corner of the building. The actress Keri Russell is known to hang here, but she's nowhere in sight. That paparazzo is hounding me. And it's no wonder — I paid him to do it. We live in the age of the candid snapshot. People don't want to pose for glamour photos; they want artful images that look unstaged and off-the-cuff, like a party pic from TheCobrasnake.com or a tousled cover model on Vice magazine. But calculated spontaneity is hard to pull off without the help of a professional. And I wanted some pics of me that say "I look awesome even when I'm not trying." That's where Izaz Rony comes in. The 22-year-old, who credits YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook as inspirations, does guerrilla-style photo shoots for $500 an hour and up. It's like hiring a stalker for a day. After setting up a shoot with Rony, I email him some recent snapshots so he'll recognize me. I also supply a vague itinerary of my plans for the following Sunday, leaving it fairly open — I want to act the part of a harried celeb with TMZ on my trail. When the day arrives, I'm a mess. What do you wear to be photographed by your very own paparazzo? I don't want to look like I'm going to the Oscars, but I can't rock my everyday grungy freelancer garb. I try on 15 different outfits before settling on the right pair of jeans, then I make sure my hair...

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