Tired of Pippa Middleton photos? We're pretty confident she is too. On Wednesday the Daily Mail's photo editor, Paul Silva, told the Leveson Inquiry that he receives up to 400 photographs of Pippa Middleton every day. Apparently there has been so much interest in the Duchess of Cambridge's sister since the royal wedding that photographers are constantly camped outside her home hoping to catch a glimpse of the stylish sibling.
According to the Guardian, the inquiry was set up in the aftermath of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Celebrities constantly complain about being harassed by paparazzi, and you'd think following the tragic accident that caused the death of Princess Diana that photographers would be forced to back off.
Silva insisted the Daily Mail does not use any street photos of Pippa Middleton. "There is no reason to photograph her when she is out and about doing her own thing," he told the Inquiry. "At the moment there are 9 or 10 agencies outside her house [on any given day]. If she goes to get coffee, she goes back into her house, we get 300 to 400 pictures…There is no justification for using them."
But tabloids and papers like the Daily Mail have only increased our hunger for catching celebrities without makeup on or doing mundane things like buying groceries. While we'd like to blame the paparazzi, and they do often cross the line for a photograph, the agencies and publications they shoot for are also largely at fault.
The counsel to the inquiry, Robert Jay QC, asked Silva why the Daily Mail sent 10 or more photographers to the house of Ting Lan Hong, the mother of Hugh Grant's child, last fall. Hong took out an injunction, claiming she was harassed and followed by paparazzi after the birth of her daughter. Silva attempted to describe their process. "A story breaks, we then go to their home, we ask them to pose up, if they say no we'll move on and go away." When asked why the Daily Mail didn't wait for approval before sending photographers to Hong or Grant's house, Silva said, "That's the way we've done it for years."
Many argue that part of becoming a celebrity means letting go of your privacy, but we're pretty sure Pippa Middleton, whose sister happened to marry a Prince, didn't sign up to have her photo snapped 3,000 times a week. News outlets will keep posting these photos to gain more readers and create a fascination with the stars they feature (now people want to dress like Pippa and have a bum like Pippa's). Photographers will then keep taking the photos and collecting their paychecks. And as readers who click on every celebrity headline we are only perpetuating the issue. Is there any foreseeable end to the celebrity obsession, or will it only get worse from here?