Take a picture, it will last longer

The celebrities have returned, and so have crowded Yorkville sidewalks filled with amateur paparazzi, celebrity hunters and bystanders caught in the contagious excitement of "isn't that someone famous?" and "Oh my god, I think I just saw Jude Law!"

Waiting outside a hotel or restaurant to get a glimpse or photo of a celebrity isn't for everyone, but something about it attracts massive crowds. Have you ever stood around hoping to spot a star? Do you bring your camera to TIFF events just in case there are famous people? What do you think of the throngs of people who do? Would there be a celebrity you would wait for hours in hopes of getting a glimpse or photo?

I talked to a number of camera-carrying Yorkville visitors hoping to capture a star yesterday. Their goal, who they photographed and the gear they used below...

1. Gordon Correll
Purpose in Yorkville: Enthusiastic photography hobbyist, actively seeks celebrity photos just for fun.
Celebrities Photographed Yesterday: Terrence Howard. Last year photographed Jude Law and Ed Harris among many.
Equipment: EOS 30D 17-85

2. Michael Mckenzie
Purpose in Yorkville: Works downtown and stopped by after work. Recently purchased digital SLR and wanted to give it a go.
Celebrities Photographed Yesterday: Terrence Howard through a tinted car window
Equipment: EOS Rebel XTi 75-300

3. Raj Bhatnagar
Purpose in Yorkville: To see Bollywood superstar (not to mention BBC's number one film star of the millennium") and "my idol" Amitabh Bachchan. "I'm totally freaking out right now, I don't know if he's in town, but he will be Sunday [for the premiere of The Last Lear].
Celebrities Photographed Yesterday: Michael Moore
Equipment: Cannon Powershot A460

4. Fernando Inurreta
Purpose in Yorkville: New to Toronto, got caught up in Yorkville crowd and wanted to see what everyone was looking at. Learning English.
Celebrities Photographed Yesterday: None
Equipment: Cannon Powershot A460

If you do decide to hang around Yorkville to hunt for celebrities and you find yourself bored, here are two fun exercises I highly recommend:

Find the real paparazzi and ask to take their pictures. I don't like to use the word irony, but I think in this case, it's too thick not too. Ask to take their picture and see how quickly they scram or how loudly they scream (at you). You'll know who they are, friendly (yeah right!) looking guys with mountains of photography gear and almost always on the phone. I thought they got a bad rap what with celebrities always bitching about them, but with my experiences yesterday, they deserve it.

Get a couple friends with cameras and pick a restaurant or hotel to stand and stare at intently. See how many people come over to join you. Make up celebrities you've heard are inside, see how they react. This doesn't work well alone, in that case, people generally think you're lost.

Let us know who you've seen and how you saw them (did you wait around for hours or did you just 'bump' into them). Upload your TIFF photos to the blogTO flickr pool.

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