Connect with us


The shocking secrets and techniques of a paparazzo who was as soon as rescued by Angelina Jolie

A veteran paparazzi photographer spent years taking snaps of a number of the world’s hottest celebrities, earlier than being laid low by an surprising sickness and being pressured to reinvent his profession.

James Ambler first picked up a digicam as an adolescent, as a manner of proving whether or not he or his pal appeared cooler whereas skateboarding. 

Inside years, he can be capturing photographs within the mountains of Nepal, and in refugee camps in Thailand. Then, after a interval working for London information businesses, he landed in New York Metropolis as a paparazzo, on the top of the 2000s celeb scene.

On the high of his recreation, Ambler, now 43, brushed shoulders with numerous stars, travelled the world monitoring down hidden movie units, staked out honeymoon resorts, and even befriended Angelina Jolie whereas he was tailing her entourage in New York.

However when he was practically killed by a blood clot at simply 28 years previous, he discovered he may not sustain with the frenetic tempo of the job. 

Proposing to his now spouse in Central Park proved the inspiration he wanted to make a change, and he began to place his covert abilities to work photographing different individuals’s proposals. 

His companies took the town by storm, and over the subsequent ten years, he shot proposals for on a regular basis individuals everywhere in the world, showing on Shark Tank and the At the moment Present within the course of.

Then, at simply 40 years previous, Ambler was struck by one other well being scare when he was all of a sudden recognized with colon most cancers. 

James Ambler first picked up a camera as a teenager, as a way of proving whether he or his friend looked cooler while skateboarding

James Ambler first picked up a digicam as an adolescent, as a manner of proving whether or not he or his pal appeared cooler whereas skateboarding

A shot of Angelina Jolie Ambler snapped around the time she gave him a ride home

A shot of Angelina Jolie Ambler snapped across the time she gave him a trip residence

A shot of Prince Harry Snapped by Ambler. He worked for paparazzi agencies in both New York and London

A shot of Prince Harry Snapped by Ambler. He labored for paparazzi businesses in each New York and London

Now, after beating it with rounds of chemotherapy, he has turned his deal with spreading consciousness of the sickness and males’s psychological well being surrounding it. He not too long ago launched a web site showcasing his profession’s work, which he hopes will present those that ‘photographs could make a distinction.’

Ambler grew up in Wantage, Oxfordshire, the place there was little extra to do than skateboard and take heed to music. Someday he and a pal started debating who ‘appeared cooler’ whereas skating, so Ambler stole his father’s digicam and a roll of movie and the chums set about capturing one another.

From there, the spark was lit, and Ambler started taking a digicam with him in every single place he went, honing his craft. 

‘Any time I went out, I had a digicam on me,’ he instructed ‘I cherished the thriller behind it, as a result of it was non-immediate. You’d have to sit down and wait to get the movie developed.’

He took pictures lessons at school and received the itch to journey whereas wanting on the work {of professional} photographers. So when he noticed an commercial for a charity journey to Nepal, he raised the funds to take part and spent two weeks climbing the mountains and photographing the gorgeous Himalayan nation.

When he returned to high school, his pictures instructor instructed him his work belonged in Nationwide Geographic and that he ought to make a profession out of capturing the world.

Ambler started pursuing a level in pictures, and joined his ophthalmologist father on a service journey to Thailand, the place he was offering cataract surgical procedure for Burmese refugees. Ambler photographed the camps and his father’s work, and the outcomes fashioned his dissertation.

At school and in Thailand, Ambler was impressed by the work of Vietnam Struggle photographer Larry Burrows, and determined he too wished to be a struggle photographer.

He began off working for information businesses in London, however stop by the age of 25, after feeling burned out by the tempo of the work, and the issue he was having breaking into the struggle pictures circuit.

After tending bar for a yr, he received again into pictures with a gig capturing celebrities in London. Throughout that point he educated his lens on Kate Moss and Jude Legislation, Gwenyth Paltrow and Coldplay, and he was despatched to movie units and film premieres each day.

‘Again then it was this big cat-and-mouse recreation,’ Ambler stated. ‘You had been simply taking part in cover and look for the day.’

Matthew and Camila McConaughey walk together in a photo taken by James Ambler

Matthew and Camila McConaughey stroll collectively in a photograph taken by James Ambler

Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake

Channing Tatum

Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake in New York Metropolis, and Channing Tatum, all shot by Ambler

A Rock bank photographer by Ambler. Musicians are one of Ambler's favorite subjects

A Rock financial institution photographer by Ambler. Musicians are one among Ambler’s favourite topics

He made vital connections within the business because of this, and was quickly provided a job working for a paparazzi company in New York Metropolis. He accepted and jumped a aircraft to the US.   

‘That is when the loopy paparazzi began,’ he stated. ‘It was hilarious enjoyable. You actually did not know what was going to occur in your day. You could possibly be biking by the town and get a name that you simply needed to go to the Bahamas.’

Ambler discovered himself getting whisked away on assignments at a second’s discover, typically being referred to as uptown, different occasions being instructed to hop on a aircraft and head to South America and past.

He recalled in the future being despatched to Panama on a tip that scenes from an upcoming James Bond movie had been being shot within the nation. He and a accomplice had been despatched down with their cameras and a handful of money, they usually set about looking for the placement.

‘It was like being in a movie set looking for a movie set,’ Ambler stated, describing how he rented a speedboat to cruise up and down the Panama Canal searching for the shoot.

They loitered round resort lobbies searching for luxurious automobiles that may point out celeb presence, bribed native officers for info, and at last tracked down the set and received their photographs.

Over time, Ambler snuck into Tremendous Bowl afterparties, made his manner onto numerous NYC movie units, and infrequently got here nose to nose with the celebrities he was capturing.

‘I could not give a monkey’s a** about these individuals,’ he stated. ‘I by no means received star struck.’

Sarah Jessica Parker loads up her car in New York City in a photo taken by James Ambler

Sarah Jessica Parker hundreds up her automobile in New York Metropolis in a photograph taken by James Ambler

Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger go for a walk together in snap Ambler nabbed in NYC

Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger go for a stroll collectively in snap Ambler nabbed in NYC

A shot taken by Ambler of Amanda Seyfried walking with Dominic Cooper in New York City

A shot taken by Ambler of Amanda Seyfried strolling with Dominic Cooper in New York Metropolis

That brazen perspective would come to a head throughout a several-day stakeout of Angelina Jolie in New York Metropolis. Ambler had gotten an unique tip Jolie was staying on the Waldorf Astoria in Midtown, and after following her entourage across the metropolis by bicycle for a number of days, received to know her drivers and bodyguards.

Earlier than Ambler revealed his first photographs – and alerted the remainder of the press the place Jolie was – the actress’s safety element provided to offer him additional entry to {photograph} her if he would assist them throw the opposite paparazzi off their path.

When his photographs hit the press, Ambler stated the paparazzi crowds outdoors the Waldorf ‘went from 4 individuals to 44 in a day.’ Per his take care of Jolie, Ambler’s accomplice caught with the principle crowd and alerted her group by radio the place the photographers had been. They might then drive off in the wrong way. Ready within the wings, Ambler swooped in on his bike to snap away, away from the competitors.

Someday, whereas pulling off such an operation within the West Village, Ambler’s bike received a flat tire and, unable to maintain up along with her automobile, he was pressured to surrender the chase. To his shock, Jolie’s automobile merely pulled up subsequent to him, because the star rolled down the window and requested if he wished a trip.

Ambler gladly consented, hopped within the automobile, and chatted his manner as much as the Waldorf Astoria with Jolie and her group.

‘It was weird being within the automobile,’ he stated, recalling the sudden shift in perspective. ‘Once you’re in it it is identical to being in a fishbowl, and watching the automobiles and paps going wild on the skin, I can see how annoying that may be, endlessly.’

Jonah Hill and Russel Brand doing an interview. Ambler snagged a shot of them in the studio

Jonah Hill and Russel Model doing an interview. Ambler snagged a shot of them within the studio 

James Ambler got a shot of Matthew Broderick walking with his son in New York City

James Ambler received a shot of Matthew Broderick strolling together with his son in New York Metropolis

Model Miranda Kerr posing in a photo snagged by James Ambler in New York City

Mannequin Miranda Kerr posing in a photograph snagged by James Ambler in New York Metropolis

After Anna Nicole Smith died, Ambler’s company was given unique pictures rights to the funeral. 

He took footage contained in the ceremony, and joined the procession to the cemetery, the place he stated mats of faux-grass had been laid down to guard the grounds from all of the foot visitors. 

Ambler was standing on the finish of Smith’s grave because the casket was lowered down and her family and friends started tossing roses into the bottom. As he was taking photographs, Ambler stepped too near the sting of the grave and slipped on one of many turf mats. 

Pitching all of a sudden ahead, he barely managed to catch himself on the gold ropes lining the grave, and for a second hung over grave together with his digicam dangling off his neck over the casket.

‘That’s not one thing that occurs to regular individuals however all the time appears to occur to me’ Ambler stated.

In 2007 Ambler was despatched to a resort in Jamaica the place Ashlee Simpson was rumored to be on her honeymoon.

Ambler and his accomplice for the task pretended to be a pair and rented out a set overlooking the resort’s pool, however after just a few days of getting snaps he started to really feel a sew develop in his chest that grew to become more and more painful and at last pressured him to fly again to New York.

As soon as residence, he checked right into a hospital, the place it was discovered he had developed a blood clot and was close to demise. At simply 28, Ambler’s coronary heart was faraway from his physique whereas surgeons cleared out the clot, and he set about resting up.

After recovering, Ambler discovered he was too weak to maintain up with the paparazzi tempo, and because the recession closed in, he was laid off from the company.

Ambler taking a shot of two people proposing as part of his Paparazzi Proposals business

Ambler taking a shot of two individuals proposing as a part of his Paparazzi Proposals enterprise

Ambler appeared on Shark Tank to snag funding for his Paparazzi Proposals business

Ambler appeared on Shark Tank to snag funding for his Paparazzi Proposals enterprise

Ambler appears on the Today Show with Matt Lauer to discuss the paparazzi business

Ambler seems on the At the moment Present with Matt Lauer to debate the paparazzi enterprise

He discovered a job ready tables in Chelsea – the place he incessantly served the likes of Jimmy Fallon and Kate Winslet – whereas he received again on his ft. As soon as the worst of the recession had handed and he was again to full well being, Ambler thought-about getting again into the paparazzi enterprise, however determined in opposition to it.

‘It had gone from six years in the past being 20 guys who knew one another they usually all had a code of ethics,’ he stated. ‘Then it grew to become 100 random guys mobbing the scene.

‘It wasn’t pictures, it was simply provocation and capturing. Sufficient’s sufficient with that.’

As an alternative, after asking his spouse to marry him in Central Park in 2009, Ambler received the concept to supply his companies to males hoping to seize each second of their very own proposals.

‘I wished one thing that was recession proof in pictures – demise, taxes, and weddings,’ Ambler stated.

So he began the enterprise beneath the title ‘Pap the Query,’ which he later modified to ‘Paparazzi Proposals’ after he realized individuals thought they had been a questionnaire firm.

Via that enterprise, Ambler singlehandedly sparked the proposal-shooting scene. He would work with males to arrange their total proposal, establishing discreet video cameras on the actual location the place they deliberate to pop the query, whereas a photographer hid close by with a telephoto lens to seize each second.

The enterprise was a sensation, and Ambler made the tv rounds on the At the moment Present, The Insider, and even shopped round actuality reveals primarily based on the idea. He ultimately wound up on Shark Tank and landed a deal, however later walked away after deciding he did not just like the phrases.

Photos of kids in the Bahamas taken by Ambler on one of his many trips around the world

Photographs of children within the Bahamas taken by Ambler on one among his many journeys world wide

Tattoos Ambler got on his hands while he was battling colon cancer at 40 years old

Tattoos Ambler received on his palms whereas he was battling colon most cancers at 40 years previous

Over time Ambler expanded the enterprise to incorporate a full suite of proposal planning and consulting, earlier than lastly promoting it in 2021.

That very same yr, when Ambler turned 40, he went in for a colonoscopy and was given the devastating information that he had stage two most cancers. He underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy, had ‘Maintain Quick’ tattooed throughout his fingers, and beat the sickness after a grueling interval of therapy.

However as soon as he made it to the opposite facet, he did not know what to do with himself.

‘Combating most cancers was loads simpler for me than surviving most cancers,’ he stated.

He thought-about beginning a espresso store that doubled as a pictures gallery, however later scrapped the concept in a bout of exhaustion.

‘At 42, I used to be simply knackered,’ he stated.

Lastly, he referred to as his father to ask for recommendation. As he’d carried out years earlier, Ambler’s father instructed he be part of for an additional charity journey to Thailand. Ambler received on a aircraft and flew the world over, and once more photographed the charity and his father among the many refugees he was serving to.

Impressed, he determined to dedicate his craft and his story to spreading the phrase about colon most cancers, and males’s psychological sickness surrounding illness.

‘We’re sitting on this big pandemic of males’s psychological well being,’ Ambler stated. ‘The info are actually that colon most cancers in males is on the rise about 500 % – no person is aware of why. It is a silent pandemic that’s getting guys.

‘Pictures actually helped me,’ he stated, including that he plans to start working with males’s most cancers consciousness actions like Movember, and ‘take photographs and make a distinction.

‘Each time I’ve gotten near throwing the cameras away, just a bit little bit of change reenergizes my perception,’ Ambler stated.

To be taught extra about James and his work, go to his web site.  

Supply hyperlink

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *