Paparazzing in Sundance- How To Take Fan Photos


I’ve never completely understood the allure of celebrity. I’d much rather have a photograph of me and friends than me and actors who don’t know me, but it’s there…and it’s here in Park City, Utah. It’s fairly common to see stars skiing Deer Valley or riding Canyons but that’s typically like searching for Waldo. Not to mention asking for a photo while they’re hoisting a tray in the Silver Lake cafeteria will more likely gain you snarls than snaps. But Jan. 22-26, 2016, is a whole different story as celebrity actors, musicians and filmmakers descend on our little mountain town. It’s perfectly legit to become a Parkarazzi so fine tune your camera and your smartphone. It’s Sundance Film Festival time.
During Sundance, the haystacks are gone and the needles are everywhere. There will be no shortage of cameras snapping during this first extended weekend of this independent film festival so get on that bus. This is not a time to be shy.

Get in there and ask if you want a fan photo of Johnny Depp (yes, he’s supposed to attend) or Zoe Kravitz. These celebs come to Park City with the expectation of facetime with fans. You’re not cramping their day to ask for a picture. In my 20 years of covering the Fest I’ve only experienced one actor who negatively vibed me- and I still got the shot:

That said, here’s some advice on getting your ultimate fanpic-

  1. Take the photo. You often get so overwhelmed standing next to your idol, smiling, and talking, that you forget to ask for a picture. Don’t.

    Instead of stepping over and just photobombing your own moment, respectfully ask. Say something like, “Hi, would it be alright if I took a picture with you?” Though it usually doesn’t happen at Sundance, be ok if they say no; don’t take it personally. They might be running late for a meeting; they might see giving you that pic with open the flood gates for everyone nearby, or maybe they haven’t had their makeup done yet. TIP: If you have kid, use him. Celebs love taking pictures with young fans.

  2. Wait your turn. Don’t try to interrupt for a picture if they are finishing up with someone else.
  3. Avoid the selfie. Get someone else to take the shot so you don’t fumble around and lose your window of opportunity.
  4. Stand next to them and take their lead. Maybe he puts his arm around you, maybe she jumps into your arms. Just let them decide the kind of picture they’ll take. Nothing is weirder than you trying to create the image.
  5. You only get one chance. Practice before you head up to Sundance to make sure your camera is working properly, you have memory space, your friends know how to focus your iPhone. You get one shot when they’re walking down Main Street.
  6. If you blow the shot- it’s blurry, your eyes are closed, etc, don’t try to take another unless you can tell your celeb is super easy going. Otherwise, just let them move along and do better with the next one. Yes, there will be another. Just look for the throng of people in black swarming around.
  7. Smile and say thank you. Duh.

Now, take a look at some of your fan photo targets at Sundance 2016:

Jonny Depp

Hayley Joel Osmet

Vanessa Paradis

Kevin Smith

Adam Brody

Justin Long

Zoe Kravitz

Elijah Wood

Rachel Griffiths

Laura Dern

Kristen Stewart

Michelle Williams

Rachel Weisz

Kathy Bates

Danny Glover

Paul Rudd

Selena Gomez

Mary Stuart Masterson

Michael C. Hall

Anna Gunn

Nick Jonas

Jenna Malone

Brooklyn Decker

Ryan Eggold

Rosanna Arquette

Molly Shannon

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Daniel Radcliffe

Ellen Page

Allison Janney

Justin Bartha

Chris Noth

Viggo Mortensen

Steve Zahn


Juliette Lewis

AnnaLynne McCord

Chad Michael Murray

Eryka Badu

Norman Lear

Lena Dunham

Chelsea Handler

Alicia Witt


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *