8 tips for getting a great fan pic with your favorite star

Pat Sue and Jon Bon Jovi and Al Sharpton

Me with Jon Bon Jovi and Al Sharpton

Whether it’s the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner pre-parties, San Diego Comic Con or just a random encounter on the street, I’ve had the good fortune of snapping pictures with some big stars. Sometimes they can be divas, but usually stars are friendly and accommodating. Here are some dos and don’ts if you want to try to snag a pic with your favorite celebrity.

Pat Sue and Trey Parker

My with Trey Parker at the Book of Mormon opening in Denver

1.) Do go to any fan-focused event. Comic-con, movie premieres, charity events. At fan-focused events, most celebs understand they are there to promote themselves, keep their fan base alive, or to promote a movie or project. They need their fans.  So that is step one to being in the right place at the right time. 

Pat Sue and Charlie Day

Me with Charlie Day at Comic Con

2.) Don’t follow them into a restaurant, retail store, or any elevator. No picture will be worth posting if your celebrity was clearly annoyed with you. Never confine or trap them. They will not only give you a bad picture, but you will walk away knowing you are a huge jerk.

Pat Sue and Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele

Me with Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Key & Peele at Comic Con

3.) Do ask for the photo or make a comment that could get their attention. Perhaps one they haven’t heard a million times. Example – When meeting Jane Fonda at a White House Correspondence pre-party, I could see she wasn’t stopping for many people. I blurted out a reference that I’m pretty sure she hasn’t heard in several years: “I’ve lived my whole life like ‘Cat Ballou!’  Jane, having not heard a reference to a movie she made in 1965, gave a chuckle and stopped for my photo.  Humor is critical!  Humor not only relaxes the celebrity, but the bodyguards as well.

Pat Sue and Jane Fonda

Me with Jane Fonda

4.) Don’t just sidle up near a celebrity and snap a quick picture without saying a word to them. They are people too. It’s never cool to treat them like an object!

5.) Do ask politely. The old saying that please and thank you go a long way, holds true in spades here. I’ve seen die hard fangirls, get their picture with their heartthrob, only to literally run away in giddy embarrassment, leaving the celebrity just standing there wondering what hit them.

Pat Sue and Zach McGowan

Me with Zach McGowan at Comic Con

6.) Don’t get in a lengthy conversation about anything! Nothing you say to a celebrity is going to stick with them, and they are always in a hurry. Most of them meet about 100 strangers a day. Think of it like a Tweet, you have 140 characters to ask and receive you picture.

7.) Do make your few seconds of contact enjoyable! The picture will tell the story if you have put your star crush in the right frame of mind, you will have a picture you can share, frame, and even brag about getting.

Pat Sue and Michael Fassbender

Me with Michael Fassbender at Comic Con

8.) Don’t pursue the “reluctant celebrity”. These are usually the “artists”, the lead singer in the band, who wants all the attention from fans, but only when he/she is on stage. Pass on this group and if you must prove to your friends you saw them in the flesh, just be happy grabbing a picture of them from a distance.

Hopefully these tips will help you next time you find yourself in the same place as a celebrity and you are stuck in position, not knowing how or when to approach them. Good luck!

Pat Sue Gentry

Pat Sue is a contributing writer for Trashwire.com, bringing her unique style to film reviews and pop culture commentary. In addition to blogging, she is also Trashwire’s primary photojournalist.

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