Watch: Smash His Camera (2010)


As I mentioned before I love watching documentaries [Documentaries Every Creative Should Watch,] especially whenever I’m working on a set of images. Please excuse my messy desk in the photo above… Thanks! During one of my retouching sessions I found “Smash His Camera” on Netflix. The film is follows the life of paparazzi photographer Ron Galetta and the iconic subjects he’s captured throughout the years. Ron has shot pretty much everyone who is anyone. Marlon Brandon, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, David Bowe, John Lennon, Andy Warhol, Steve McQueen, Liza Minnelli, as I said anyone who is anyone. The documentary particularly highlights Ron’s favorite subject, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and the turbulent adventure she took him on.

Photography…it’s the easiest medium in which to be competent. Anybody with a point-and-shoot camera can take a competent picture. But it’s the hardest medium in which to have, to express, some kind of personal vision. Because there is no touch, there is no hand, there is no physicality. The fact that you CAN have something that’s recognizable from 50 feet across the gallery as a Diane Arbus or an Irving Penn…the fact that you can have recognizable authorship means they really have done something. – Chuck Close

Personally I’ve never engaged in paparazzi photography –something never sat right with me with “stealing” a moment from someone. That’s probably why Ron’s story intrigued me so much. The man-made a living and legacy from his years of paparazzi photography. He was extremely good at making interesting content. The actual photographic quality might have unremarkable and meh, but Ron was always able to pull a punctum out of unwilling subjects. Warhol even loved him!

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And Ron gives some pretty good photography tips…

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Watch Smash His Camera on Netflix.

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