I’ve never been much of a paparazzi, mostly because I rarely watch TV and don’t keep up with the latest celebrities, making it difficult for me to actually recognize them in case I come across one while carrying my camera.
So when I accepted a photo assignment last week to shoot a fundraiser fashion show for the American Heart Association, I didn’t think it would be anything out of the ordinary.
But then I heard that Shakira might show up to the party afterward.
And although I’m indifferent to most celebrities, I am a huge fan of the Colombian musician. And not only because the bulk of my family lives in Colombia.
Shakira is physically beautiful, musically talented, politically outspoken and extremely compassionate in the fact that she does a lot of humanitarian work for poor children in Colombia. She’s no Britney Spears.
So on Thursday night, as I was shooting models in a Miami Beach dressing room preparing for the fashion show, I noticed a crowd of photographers running out the door to chase some celebrity. My first thought (or hope) was that Shakira had arrived, even though she was only rumored to be attending the party afterward.
And although it wasn’t Shakira or anybody I recognized, I immersed myself in the scrum of photographers and started shooting, figuring I would eventually find out who she was.
“That’s Katrina Campins,” another photographer later told me.
“Katrina Campins from The Apprentice,” he said.
I recognized The Apprentice as one of those reality shows that everybody watches while I spend my time obsessing about First Amendment issues. But her name didn’t ring a bell.
I’ve since conducted research on Campins, realizing she is all over the Internet. But oddly, her Wikipedia page has been deleted.
But she does have her own company website, The Campins Company, in which she touts herself as being “no apprentice when it comes to luxury real estate.”
She even has a video posted where she was recently interviewed by Fox News about the current state of the real estate market in which she advises buyers not to make low-ball offers because it might offend the seller, who in turn, might not sell you the property.
But she failed to mention that it would also affect her commission.
Nevertheless, Campins was perky, personable and photogenic. But she was no Shakira.
I also met Maryline Blackburn, who has released two music CDs but is best known for having beat Sarah Palin during the 1984 Ms. Alaska pageant. Her sparse Wikipedia page has not yet been deleted.
Naturally, Blackburn was being interviewed by several journalists about her opinions on Sarah Palin, who was scheduled that night for her own beauty contest against Joe Biden. Blackburn maintained her pageant diplomacy by saying she was proud of Palin as a woman for having received the vice presidential nomination but believed she wasn’t “knowledgeable” enough for the position.
She then admitted that Palin was a sore loser who had chased her out of Alaska with a shotgun while hanging out of a helicopter after she lost the 1984 beauty contest. Just kidding about that one.
Then there was Adriana Fonseca, a Mexican soap opera star who was not being interviewed because she lives in Mexico, which Palin is unable to see from Alaska. Fonseca also has her own Wikipedia page.
There were countless other models and celebrities that I didn’t recognize, but were still fun to photograph. One model with a sense of humor even stuck her tongue out at me as I was shooting her. And I gained an appreciation for the make-up artists and hairdressers who really do work hard.
After the show, I drove to Key Biscayne to an extravagant party in a luxurious mansion on the water, which had a for sale sign in front, but it wasn’t clear if Campins had the listing.
But I did run into my film buddy, Bruce Merwin, at the party, who is in the blue shirt. Merwin is working with me on the Photography is Not a Crime documentary.
And as I leaned against a bar sipping a glass of Cabarnet Sauvingon, I heard someone who had won a Grammy was about to take the stage to sing.
Could this be the moment Shakira arrives?
I marched to the front of the stage and realized it was a petite Latina singer named Adriana Lucia
who has passion, moves and talent and even a Youtube video, but doesn’t appear to have her own Wikipedia page.
But she was no Shakira.