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Biofile with Paparazzi Zelig

Occupation: Paparazzi photographer

DOB: March 4, 1981In: Brooklyn, NY

First Photography Memory: “I started off in school at Yeshiva just with the film camera, listening to any rabbis who came to speak. I took photos of everything. Then it started off from there. I started off with the news, now I’m doing this. I’m doing this for three years now. And it’s a lot of fun. People are astounded a Jewish person with a kippa and everything, Oh, that’s a Jewish guy. What’s goin’ on. It’s great.”

Inspirations: “Just to get a nice, good shot of someone doing something in the street or together with a kid or in the park or whichever.”

Greatest Career Moment: “Beyonce. Getting the Beyonce photos with the baby Blue Ivy leaving a store on 59th street. And those photos were everywhere. Every magazine, every newspaper, everywhere, news sites all around the world. (Must have been worth a fortune?) Yes, I got paid. (Can you give a figure?) Over $2,000 [smiles].”

Most Painful Moment: “Well I saw a boyfriend of a star holding hands with another guy. And I didn’t get the shot. He knows I was there, I missed the photo. Summer day last year. I’m standing at the house on Water Street in Dumbo. She was out of town. And he went out with the dogwalker. They were coming towards me. He sees me standing watching him. And he’s holding hands with the male dogwalker. I picked up the camera and he let go. I’m like…That was the biggest photo. I could have broke a story. I could have broke a story her boyfriend, now husband, is gay.”

Funny Career Memory: “Cameron Diaz. Actually really funny. I was sitting at the corner of her house, on the stoop. She comes by and she waves Hi, I’m here. I had to run all the way down the street and shoot her because I missed her walking down the block. And she waved to me Hi. And she knows I’m a paparazzi. Hey, I’m here. I’m like, Oh no. And I missed the shot because I forgot to put the memory card in the camera. So I shoot her and I go to look at the photos and the memory card isn’t in the camera. It was only Cameron Diaz. So I missed that.”

Strange Encounter: “Anne Hathaway. I’m shooting her on her set of a movie. She comes over to me, she gives me a note to ‘Please leave me alone. We’re here the whole week. Please.’ And she gave me that note. I’m like, Okay. And I left her. I didn’t go back the whole week. Then she left town and hasn’t been back. It was strange that she was so nice and she gave me the note. (Did she sign it?) No. She didn’t sign the fucking note. I’m like, Why didn’t you sign the goddamned note [smiles]? I have the note at home.”

Last Book Read: “Subbota. A Jewish book.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Good question…strawberry.”

First Famous Person You Met Or Encountered: “Will Smith. At his hotel. He saw me – Jewish paparazzi – and he went like that (sideways peace sign with hand) and I got him in the paper. The very next day.”

Hobbies/Interests: “Just watch movies, clips on line.”

Favorite Movies: “Havoc. Anne Hathaway. Havoc. Honestly, that’s a beautiful movie.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Whichever, I don’t care. If you want to act like stupid, fine. If you want to be nice, fine. If you want to just act normal, fine. However they act. However you want to act. It’s fine with me.”

About Mark Malinowski

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