There are lots of reasons to watch the Oscars (opens in new tab), but let's be honest: Most of us tune in for the stunning parade of star power that is the red carpet. It's a rare moment when celebrities stand right smack in the middle of the spotlight instead of avoiding it, and there's *so much* that goes on behind the scenes.
MarieClaire.com spoke to Shutterstock (opens in new tab) red carpet photographer Chelsea Lauren (opens in new tab) about her wildest red carpet stories, tricks for getting celebs to kiss, and—of course—the dreaded wardrobe malfunction.
While Chelsea claims most celebrities are pretty chill, she has a special place in her heart for John Legend and Chrissy Teigen (don't we all), and says she and her fellow photographers were extremely upset when a co-worker sold images of Teigen's recent slit-related wardrobe malfunction. "John and Chrissy are lovely people—they're wonderful," she says. "Everyone was so upset when her bad photos came out recently. That really upset me. I was fuming about it. They're lovely, lovely human beings."
You know all those cute photos of celeb kissing on the carpet? You have photographers to thank for them. "All of us have our own things we say to the talent to get them to kiss," Chelsea says. "If you have a couple that's very stiff or really lovey-dovey, I say, 'c'mon, pretend like you like each other a little bit.' It'll either get the stiff couple to loosen up and laugh, or the lovey-dovey couple to kiss."
That said, Gina Rodriguez gave Lauren the above (completely perfect) shot 100 percent on her own. "I was roaming on the carpet and Gina stopped for me. She was posing, and then she went nose to nose with her boyfriend and stuck her tongue out. It was super cute, and I didn't prompt it. It was just her being adorable."
We're all familiar with celebrity wardrobe malfunctions, which are a gross invasion of privacy and something only some photographers are willing to sell to their clients. "I always try to warn the talent or find a way to get their attention," Chelsea explains. "If I'm roaming on the carpet I'll run and block them, and the other photographers get mad at me. But talent are people. I've gotten some pretty horrific wardrobe malfunctions in photos, but I've never posted one of them."
On That Note, Makeup Malfunctions Are Also a Big Problem
We've all seen celebs with bad makeup on the red carpet, and deciding whether or not to send these images through to clients is a tough call. "Talent are people, and the last thing they want to deal with is someone criticizing their under-eye makeup," Chelsea says. "I don't send the worst, but sometimes it's every frame and you have no choice. If you don't post them, you don't make money, you don't pay your rent. So it's tough."
And Finally, Never Yell at Morgan Freeman
Photographers are competing with each other to get that perfect shot, so yeah—a lot of screaming goes down. But there are certain celebrities who simply do not put up with being yelled at. Specifically, Morgan Freeman. "Everyone is silent when he walks out, everyone knows he'll just leave if you yell," Chelsea explains. "The Academy is trying very, very hard to make sure it's a lot more tame and dignified, so they've already said they don't want us yelling—which makes work so much easier."
Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm. She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade.
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