10 of the world’s most photographed persons


10 of the world’s most photographed persons

Media outlets and tabloids constantly watch politicians, athletes, actresses, celebrities, and other high-profile people. This is a double-edged sword since keeping up with celebs’ daily life routines makes them accessible to the public. It raises their popularity, but it also invades their privacy. If you love to keep up with famous people, here are ten of the world’s most photographed personalities!

The evolution of paparazzi photographs

In the 20th century, magazines started to look for candid photos of celebrities. This trend gave rise to the paparazzi. The name comes from La Dolce Vita, a movie by Frederico Fellini. The movie features a photographer called Paparazzo or a buzzing mosquito in Italian slang.

Moreover, by the ’90s and ’00s, celebrity photos became the most popular way to present the private lives of famous people to the public. Gossip magazines offered millions for just a single shot of a trending celebrity.

What’s more, as the technology advanced and cameras went digital, anyone with interest in photography could try to grab their share of the pie. The celebrities on the list below were constant targets of the paparazzi. Check ten of the world’s most photographed people!

Pope John Paul II

John Paul II acted as the pope and the bishop of Rome for nearly thirty years. His reign began in 1978 and ended in 2005. What’s interesting here is that this period corresponds with the evolution of mass media. The media reported heavily on the Pope’s activities, which ultimately made him famous not only among Catholics but also worldwide.

The reign of Pope John Paul II was marked by wide media coverage. This trend is evident through countless photos and videos. Plus, every single papal address from the St. Peter’s Cathedral’s balcony included an audience of thousands of camera-wielding fans.

Barack Obama

Besides being the President, Obama was also a celebrity. One of the things that were special about his presidency is the fact that it correlated with the massive expansion of the internet.

Aside from appearing in front of TV cameras and on social media, media outlets, paparazzi, as well as famous photographers, took thousands of photos of him. In fact, the official photographer of the White House, Pete Souza, took a whopping 20,000 photos of Obama on a weekly basis for eight years!

Marilyn Monroe

Even if you haven’t watched Marlyn Monroe’s movies, you probably know her only due to one legendary black and white photo. Monroe was photographed in a gorgeous white dress that was blown sky-high when air rushed up from the subway grate that she was standing on. This is considered one of the most iconic photos from the previous century. It’s definitely not the only one of her!

Monroe was one of the first celebrities that received wide media coverage. Photographers followed her whenever she would make a public appearance. Unfortunately, the media focused too much on her private issues and looks and rarely mentioned her fantastic acting achievements.

Britney Spears

Without a doubt, Britney is one of the most famous persons of the 21st century. The reason why Britney was so popular is that she basically built up the paparazzi culture in the 2000s.

From 2007 to 2008, she underwent a tough personal crisis. The paparazzi did everything they could to turn her issues into their income. Britney spent a long time in LA, and whenever she left her house, hordes of paparazzi followed her. Just one photo of her would earn five to six figures, and it all began when she shaved her head in 2007.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was possibly the most iconic celebrity of the 1980s. We still consider him one of the top pop stars in history. Nearly everyone knows about his rise to stardom, his incredible career, and his tragic downfall.

Controversy also surrounded Jackson due to his personal relationships, cosmetic surgeries, and child abuse allegations. In the ’90s and ’00s, Michael Jackson became a daily tabloid topic. Everyone wanted to take a photo of him. Paparazzi followed him everywhere and documented his every move, even when his public appearances became less frequent.

Muhammad Ali

This iconic boxer and activist wasn’t photographed a lot, but most of his photos became iconic. One of the most important pictures of the boxer is the famous Esquire photo. In 1968, Ali made the cover of this men’s magazine, and the rest is history.

Namely, the picture shows Ali pierced by multiple arrows and bleeding from his wounds. It portrays Ali as the enemy of the US since he refused to fight in Vietnam. What’s more, prior to this photograph, Ali’s photos in the ring emphasized success and strength for African Americans.

Cristiano Ronaldo

While Ronaldo isn’t too famous in America, he is one of the most popular celebrities and athletes in Europe. Ronaldo is undoubtedly among the top soccer players in the past ten to 20 years.

While he is a big idol to many soccer fans, Ronaldo is also a prominent celebrity. He used the paparazzi and the media to his advantage to make a name for himself and create a brand around him. You’ll see his name on various endorsement deals, from video games to clothing, drinks, perfume, cosmetics, and electronics. In fact, he is a popular face in the marketing world. Plus, the paparazzi are on a constant lookout to catch him and document a glimpse of his controversial private life.

Elvis Presley

It’s surprising that the King was photographed so many times in an era when taking photos of celebrities was not so common. Elvis Presley exploded and became the face of rock and roll and the face of America in the late ’50s. His performances and public appearances caused fans to go absolutely crazy, and he was the leader of a revolution in music and popular culture.

However, by the time he joined the army, his career had come to a halt. When Presley returned, he was a different man, and the media certainly picked up on that. From his comeback shows in Las Vegas to his tragic weight gain and accidental death, Presley was one of the biggest targets for celebrity photographers.


Many people are unaware of just how big celebrities from Asia can be. TVXQ is one of the most popular K-pop duos from South Korea. The name stands for Tong Vfang Xien Qi, and the duo emerged in 2003. They are just one example of how big K-pop acts and bands are in Asia and worldwide. TVXQ is certainly the most popular act, having sold over ten million albums in Japan and South Korea. Part of their celebrity status hails from countless endorsements, daily interviews, and tons of press/paparazzi photographs.

Princess Diana

The Princess of Wales, aka Princess Diana, was quite possibly the most famous member of the Royal Family. She became the princess when she married Prince Charles in 1981, and her new status made her a big target for the media.

Also, she used her power to defy some of the old royal rules, and that caused her to become a favorite around the world. However, the media went even crazier for her once she divorced her husband. Paparazzi followed her everywhere, and sadly, the media attention contributed to her tragic demise. Princess Diana passed away in 1997 when her car crashed in a tunnel after being chased by some paparazzi cars.

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