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Entertainment behind the scenes

Should celebs sell baby snaps?

July 15, 2008

brad.jpgIf reports are to be believed, “Brangelina” will earn $11 million from selling exclusive rights to the first photographs of their new-born twins.

Chequebook journalism is nothing new, and many (though by no means all) people have a problem with the idea of selling images of an infant for a fat fee. But then there is charity-chequebook-journalism, which is more complicated. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, it is reported, plan to give the proceeds of the photo-shoot to charity, as they did with the money they earned from a similar deal in 2006 after the birth of daughter Shiloh.

That silences some critics of this kind of arrangement. Yet Darryn Lyons, head of Big Pictures who has made plenty of money from celebrity pictures both authorised and unauthorised, argues that, laudable though charitable donations are, such deals are used by celebrities to build their brand. And with it, however indirectly, their worth.

“I find it a little odd when certain celebrities cry ‘privacy’, then throw newborns in front of the camera,” he said, linking exclusive picture deals to the broader debate about how far celebrities should be protected from the prying eyes of paparazzi lenses.

It’s interesting to compare the media circus that has surrounded the Brangelina birth to the relatively understated arrival of Sunday Rose, daughter of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, just days before. Did Brangelina actually court publicity with their decision to have the twins in a hospital in Nice? Elaborate plans to shut out the media only added to the demand, it seemed. And again by way of comparison, Kidman and Urban are reported to be uneasy about selling image of their child. Who do you think is right?


I respect Keith and Nicole for not selling their baby’s photo to the highest bidder! They tried the charity thing with their wedding photo. If you use their photo, donate to charity. Tabloids and news stations used the photo but did not make contributions. Besides this is their child and is something that shouldn’t be exploited. All I can think of is the Lindbergs!

Posted by Gloria | Report as abusive

who cares it always seem that the rich get more money so a few million wont hurt to their bank account

Posted by fred scales | Report as abusive

Kidman and Urban get my vote the way the behaved throughout the pregnancy. Low-key pregnancy, low-key birth and no picture deals.

Jolie and Pitt on the other hand seem to have lost the plot. They lost the plot long ago when they decided to make Shiloh’s birth a circus in Namibia. These deals are less about being charitable and more about their ego.

Celebrities do not have babies in a different way to other women. So, why it needs to be hyped to the high heavens is beyond me.

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive

Yes, I think Brangelina attracts the attention somewhat on purpose. Selling baby photos for millions and millions of dollars and completely opening up your home and family to People Magazine invites further invasion. And they do it every time. Just take your baby for a public walk, or let them snap pics coming out of the hospital and ta da, the pictures are worth less, but Brangelina doesn’t do that. They increase the media circus by allowing these crazy bidding wars, when we all know they could just donate that amount in their child’s name and keep some semblance of privacy in their lives. Selling your child’s photo isn’t right in my opinion, whether it’s for charity or not.

Posted by Anony | Report as abusive

I think selling pictures for $$$ to the magazines is justified because those magazines are going to make a fortune from the picture either way.
If the celebrity in question wants to keep the money, donate the money or not participate in a financial deal at all it is really thier business.

Posted by Ruby Gaines | Report as abusive

Nicole and Keith are right and very classy people. It’s just wrong to put a price on your childs head even for charity! Brangelina can write a check from all the millions they make from movies if they want to give to charity! Their big egos just want to flaunt how much money their babies are worth. Shameful!!

Posted by brangy be ashamed! | Report as abusive

The paparazzi are going to use every means possible to get pics of the babies. It is what they do and how they make their living.

Angelina and Brad travel with the kids a lot – there would be no real way to hide or protect them from getting their pictures taken.

I am all for them selling the pics and giving the money to charity. At least someone in need will benefit from it and not just the magazine and newspaper companies.

Posted by KS Dallas | Report as abusive

Nicole Kidman said she would not sell pictures of her child, but might at some point consider releasing some images for free. Now than is in no way better than any other celebrity who sells pictures, because the morally questionable act is not so much accepting money for these images (they are a very valuable goods on the tabloid market, if you like it or not). But using your children to promote yourself and generate publicity for your own public persona is the real troubling part in all of this madness. So Kidman would get the exact same effect as celebrities as Jolie do, only with the added benefit of pretending to walk the moral high ground when she really is not.

Accusing Jolie she could have had her twins at some remote and secret place like Kidman, but instead deliberately decided to make a circus out of the birth, is not entirely fair. Jolie and Pitt generate a kind of obsession from the entertainment media pretty much unlike any other celebrity in the world. Of course they use this interest and maybe even add to it by allowing their doctor to give press conferences for instance, but they couldn’t generate this kind of media hype, if there wasn’t a genuine enormous interest in them in the first place. Jolie did not announce going to the clinic in Nice – in fact she was there almost two day undetected – but the media find out about that on its own. And the same would have happened, if Jolie decided to have her baby in the same clinic Kidman was in Australia.

Posted by Sloan | Report as abusive

I agree with them about the bidding for baby pictures being inappropriate, but do think they should allow one photo to get out just so the paps can leave them alone and not try to get their own exclusive. The longer they put off the more they’ll get hounded.

Posted by luvkeith | Report as abusive

This is now the second time that Brangelina had chosen to give birth in a foreign country. Don’t they have confidence in the Ameican hospitals and doctors?

And please don’t say that was done to protect their privacy. The media circus in Nice was much more than any media circus would have been in Hollywood.

Posted by JustTheFactsPlease | Report as abusive

If someone is willing to pay a huge amount for a photo that will be old in a month, then why not? Especially if the money goes to a worthy cause. When any family has a birth, they usually want to show off the newborn, so why wouldn’t celebrities?

Posted by terminalfrost | Report as abusive

First of all, Congrats to Angelina & Brad, Nicole & Keith.
Second, it’s sad to live among jealous people. So we’re not talented & beautiful like Angelina & Brad, so we don’t make beautiful babies like them but that doesn’t give us the right to be cruel and call names and judge them for they’re lifestyle. They earned their income, they gave back to the people & communities & other countries, they have rights to adopt whomever they want cause they can afford it. They have guts & power to use their talent to involve people to GIVE BACK. When did you give back?….how often do you give back to the people & your community?….I know I wouldn’t do anything different if I lived their lifestyle. It’s not their fault they’re on every cover of the magazine, it’s our obsession. So I’m all for Angelina & Brad to take the money and donate to people that really need it cause there’s no one else that would do it. :)

Posted by ??? | Report as abusive

“They earned their income, they gave back to the people & communities & other countries”

Not exactly. The money that Angelina gave to charity in 2006 and 2007 all came from selling photos of Shiloh and her other children. If you can call pimping children’s photos as “earned income”, oh well …

Posted by JustTheFactsPlease | Report as abusive

Correct definition for pimping:
“A pimp finds and manages clients for PROSTITUTES and engages them in PROSTITUTION(in brothels in most cases and some cases street prostitution) in order to profit from their earnings. Typically, a pimp will not force prostitutes to stay with him, although some have been known to be abusive in order to keep their prostitutes submissive or to maximize profits.”

Posted by Jena | Report as abusive

Calling this “checkbook journalism” is a bit melodramatic. This isn’t really journalism. It’s feature photography about celebrity babies. Hardly the thing to get worked up about.

Sorry but the public interest in Nicole and Keith doesn’t hold a candle to the heat generated by the obsession with the Jolie Pitt babies. There’s no comparison.

Since a lot of money will be made from pics of these babies by someone, most likely tabloid companies, why not channel some of that money into worthy causes around the world as the Jolie Pitts do. Seems smart to me. It almost seems like an obligation to make some good out of the lack of privacy. When these kids are older, they will be glad they were able to contribute to others just by sleeping through a photoshoot.

Lastly, there was no media circus in Namibia like there was in Nice. It would have been even worse in the U.S. It wouldn’t have mattered how they handled it, the interest is simply there. The paparazzi want to make their money and they don’t care how they do it.

Posted by Genevieve | Report as abusive

It matters not how much they are getting for the pictures b/c every penny they receive from this eleven million is all being donated to charity.

Posted by dork | Report as abusive

I don’t get the logic behind selling the baby’s photos so they won’t get hounded. That sounds like giving in to blackmail. Brangelina sold the first pics of Shiloh and that didn’t stop the paparazzi from pursuing them night and day.

Kudos to Keith and Nicole for not giving in to this tyoe of celebrity blackmail.

Posted by Serena | Report as abusive

Think of it, years from now that kid will feel so great about all the money given to charity that was generated from her photo


I don’t think there was any way for Brangelina to avoid the media interest in their relationship or their kids – and even if they didn’t have any kids, I think they’d still have the same amount of media interest.

How are they building a brand if they’re giving the money from this to charity? Getting the photos over and done with allows them and their kids some modicum of sanity otherwise photogs would be all over them looking for those first pics – why shouldn’t they control how the first photos are taken?

Good for Nicole and Keith not wanting to sell their kid’s photo, everyone is entitled to their choice. I just don’t see why Brangelina has to be looked down upon because they know they’re going to get the attention and are giving the money to charity anyway?

Posted by Mab | Report as abusive

What charity is the money going to????

Why won’t Brangelina name the charity upfront? Is it because they want to take the money first, pocket the interest, and release just the principal amount to charity later? Hmmm… let’s see, what’s the interest on $15Million for a year?

Posted by Jillian | Report as abusive

Leave brangelina alone , i mean it , if any1 has a problem you deal with me , oh also …leave britney alone

Posted by chrisc | Report as abusive

With all due respect to Kidman-Urban, there would probably be less interest (and money offered?) for their baby’s picture.

The frenzy surrounding Jolie & Pitt is basically unprecedented. The media WILL get their pictures and those people WILL stand to make much more money with those than with almost any other celebrity’s kid’s; maybe much, much more.

As unfortunate as it is, the Jolie and Pitt clan can control who, where the pics are taken and to whom the proceeds are donated.


No offense, but I don’t believe that Nicole and Keith were offerred enough money and therefore, decided not to sell. They would rather give photos than to suffer the humiliation of not being as much in demand as Brangelina.

Let’s face it, Nicole Kitman, no longer has the star power she once had an has not had a hit movie in quite a while, while Brangelina is probably at the peak of their popularity and even the people who claim not to like them, have an obsession with them.

Posted by Mars | Report as abusive



Posted by mime | Report as abusive

Brad & Ange always name the charity/cause they donate to, when have any of you’s given to charity of late?? I agree with mime Nicole does not have star power as before to me since she married urban she seems to have forgotten about isabela and connor??
at least Brad & Ange always have there kids with them where ever they go and dont leave them at home with nannies or put in private boarding schools like some of the rich parents in america!!

Posted by wiki | Report as abusive

I believe that if they want to sell photos of their twins to the highest bidder, so be it,it is their personal choice to do it, but the monies made going to charity should be accounted for and made public as to where it went and whom it helped, so that the public knows that they are on the up and up,whether it comes from the parents or the magazine who bought the photos.

Posted by Deidre | Report as abusive

If the celebs are happy to sell the pics of their babies and make money and give it to charity then good on them. It is the media who has the time to waste seting up the circus and ‘bidding wars’. It’s their jobs. Anyone who has gone through a pregnancy/looking after children and working rarely has time to even scratch themselve let alone ‘set up a media circus’. Wake up to reality. I’m sure if Angelina and Brad had their way they wouldn’t want all this media hype. That is obvious by their attempts to privacy. Anyone who has gone through having a baby wouldn’t want the world to know everything – just the pretty pics in the end will do at and at their leisure only. Nicole and Keith are probably happy they’re not being pestered by the media as much as A and B. The media/paparazzi is there to make money only – not to do it for the celebs. And of the public are more than happy to support this ‘circus’ by buying the magazines. It’s all about supply and demand..

Posted by Conscientious Observer | Report as abusive

How i see it….I am so tired of hearing about the twins and how much those pictures of the babies are worth. You know I had a set of twins and you don’t see me getting publicity about my kids. Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lopez also had twins and their twins aren’t the “Million” dollar babies. I think people are so sick about this whole thing. Personally, I wish the best for the family but my statement remains. I hope it gets mailed to all the big reporters cuz I don’t care about the publicity these twins are getting. I actually feel sorry for those kids. thanks for your time.

Posted by denise | Report as abusive

And another thing…How do we know that that money is actually going to charities. Yeah right I don’t believe anything about it!!!!

Posted by denise | Report as abusive

I am getting so tired of the bashing of Brad and Angelina. They appear to be good people who don’t invite the press, but are hounded day and night no matter what they do. Honestly, no one cares too much about Nicole and Keith. The public is more interested in her ex-husband and his wife and child (notice I didn’t say children, because you hardly ever hear about Isabelle and Connor any longer). So Brad and Angie try to grasp some control of theirs and their children’s lives by orchestrating a photoshoot. So be it! I honestly wouldn’t care if they kept every cent.
By the way, does anyone remember the 6 million J.Lo and Marc Anthony got for their twin’s pics?

Posted by Kris | Report as abusive

I’m not a Jolie/Pitt fan, far from it actually. But I do belive selling the pictures is a personal decision. If they want to make sure the money goes to charity and not some scumbag journalist, more power to them. If there wasn’t such a frenzy to see the children, none of this would matter.

Also, please stop acting like they’re the only ones doing it,Matt McConaughey son’s pics sold for like 3 million, J Lo twins sold for around 6 mil, Even Christina Aguilera got 1.5 mil.

The Kidman/Urban connection is not a revenue builder like Branglina. You really should stop comparing the two

Get a grip people.

Posted by Mz. Informed | Report as abusive

The media simply followed Brangelina’s lead, no the other way around, and they’re extremely savvy.

They have sought attention constantly ever since they hooked up. If they wanted a more low key life, they’d have it. They blab too much about their kids as well as other various personal items. Angelina finds tons of way to increase her private awareness, If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Brad does that too (although he was never as disturbingly personal in the past.)

There is a reason the media follow them around more than other actors. They are willing to play ball more.

I agree it DOES create a brand, which increases their career potential, AJ’s career got a big boost just from her involvement with BP. I do believe they are addicted to attention and the image and career perks that goes along with it. If publlicizing their children helps, they’re all for it.

They surely could have found other ways to raise the money.

Posted by rizzy | Report as abusive

the ONLY reason brangelina even GETS offers of money is because they WILL NOT ALLOW pics WITHOUT being PAID!!!

brangelina CREATES chaos and paparrazzi chasing them around……and CREATES offers of money ….BY REFUSING to ALLOW pics!!

but for MONEY….they WILL allow pics!!

as an example, brangelina buy numerous multi-million dollar homes……brangelina can afford to GIVE THEIR OWN MONEY……..

there is NOTHING wrong with wanting to see baby pics…..ANYONE’S babies……this is NORMAL…

or showing your own baby’s pics…….THIS is NORMAL….

brangelina are public figures……yes, they have a right to their privacy, the same as anyone else……but, they WILL be photographed……it IS to be expected…….

brangelina could very, VERY easily release pics FREE OF CHARGE to a local newspaper or the associated press a day or two or week after the birth………and that is the end of it……and NO ONE MAKES ANY MONEY!!

and the danger of paparrazzi is REMOVED (somewhat…..and/or a LOT)…….

and fans are HAPPY…..and brangelina are shown to be proud, happy parents…..

THIS……is EXACTLY what MANY celebs choose to do, and for the EXACT reasons mentioned above…….release pics FREE OF CHARGE……


AND…….they do it QUIETLY!!

and a LOT MORE than brangelina HAS given or WILL EVER give…….

brangelina also chooses to have their biological children OUTSIDE of the USA……a WHOLE town in africa was surrounded by a GIANT green tarp to protect THEIR privacy, when their first biological child was born…….how MUCH do you think brangelina PAID FOR THAT??!!!

SELLING pics of their CHILDREN is NOT the equivalent of a charity auction…….brangelina has NOTHING to offer………they are offering NO service….NO time….NOTHING…..they are REFUSING pics of their CHILDREN……..UNLESS it is for MONEY…….

something that others may WANT to see…..are MANY others are PROUD to share…and DO share EVERY day……..FOR FREE……

their children are, also, NOT doing a job, such as an advertisement, in these pics……their CHILDREN are NOT being PAID…..

angelina jolie’s charity work consists MAINLY of PHOTO OPS of HER with poor children or whatever… organization that checks on charitable works by celebs has said that, although, no one can dispute that she is busy with and attracts publicity for MANY, they are not so sure HOW much SHE is really doing…….she has ADMITTED that her charitable works help to DETRACT from her personal life and that is one reason she does it……this information is VERY easy to find and check……..

yes……they are their children……..yes…..brangelina can do whatever they want to do……

for those who say they would ALSO take millions for pics of their children…..

can you please tell me WHY?

and WHY would you WANT to take money for pics of your children?

Monday, October 29, 2001
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
COLUMN: NORM!Proud parents foil paparazzi again

Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf scored another ace on the paparazzi Sunday.
The tennis greats released the first photo of son Jaden Gil Agassi to The Associated Press in a move likely designed to prevent their
longtime tormenters, the free-lance photographers who often stalk them, from capitalizing on any photos.
The photo was emailed to the AP as a free handout by Agassi Enterprises Inc., his management company.
Last week’s wedding and birth of the child three days later caught the paparazzi flat-footed.

Posted by ts | Report as abusive

i will add…….they have found a very novel and creative way to make money…..

Posted by ts | Report as abusive

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