For centuries, there’s been a fascination verging on obsession with celebrities, and paparazzi are paid to snap them at every moment, whether they’re giving speeches, attending award shows or simply popping to the supermarket. Photographs of famous faces are constantly splashed across front pages and posted on social media feeds for the whole world to see.
But who is the most photographed celeb? Which famous families and couples are the most sought after by photographers, and are there any patterns behind those who have the most time in the limelight?
The World’s Most Photographed Celebrities
To find out the world’s most photographed celebrities, we looked at Getty Images data for more than 1,000 of the world’s most famous celebrities from the realms of film, TV, music, politics, business, sport, fashion, and more.
Some of the results are to be expected, while others had us surprised to say the least!
Take a moment to think of who you might expect to see in the list, then check out the rankings below to discover who the world’s most photographed famous people really are.
- Donald Trump – 463,574 images
- Barack Obama – 336,823 images
- Queen Elizabeth II – 230,495 images
- Kate Middleton – 155,505 images
- Roger Federer – 149,576 images
- Prince William – 148,784 images
- Joe Biden – 143,412 images
- Hillary Clinton – 135,501 images
- Andy Murray – 132,295 images
- Prince Charles – 130,334 images
- Serena Williams – 125,257 images
- Elton John – 123,080 images
- Prince Harry – 119,379 images
- Jennifer Lopez – 107,997 images
- Paris Hilton – 101,438 images
- Jimmy Kimmel – 100,520 images
- Bill Murray – 92,194 images
- Rihanna – 86,247 images
- Jimmy Fallon – 82,464 images
- Camilla Parker-Bowles – 79,602 images
The World’s Most Photographed Celebrity – Donald Trump
Coming up trumps (if you may) is none other than former President of the United States, Donald Trump. The 75-year-old businessman-turned-politician returns a staggering 463,574 results on Getty Images at the time of research.
The Other Most Photographed Celebrities
Alongside Trump in the top 20 list are three other US politicians. Barack Obama is in the second spot, with Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton sitting at seven and eight. Serving as (or running for) president means your every move will be watched, scrutinized and publicized, so it’s no surprise to see these prominent figures at the top of the pile.
Across the pond, it’s not politicians that are the most photographed. It is, of course, the globally renowned British Royal Family. Six royals appear in our rankings, with Queen Elizabeth II unsurprisingly taking the lead. What’s more surprising is that Kate Middleton is the second most photographed royal, with nearly 7,000 more images than her husband Prince William.
When it comes to sports, you might think that soccer stars and basketballers would be the most frequently snapped, but in fact it’s the world’s tennis stars that are photographed most. That goes to show just how popular this sport and its champions are on a global level.
Federer and Murray join politicians and royals to complete the top 10, while places 11-20 are dominated by musicians, TV hosts, a TV “personality”, and just one actor.
Elton John, with his signature oversized glasses, is the most photographed musician, followed by J-Lo, then Rihanna.
The World’s Most Photographed Celebrity Families
The world loves a famous family, but which celebrity family has been photographed the most? We took the total amount of photographs for each famous family and divided it by the number of family members to work out the average number of times each of them has been photographed:
- The Obamas – 100,437 images
- The Clintons – 72,542 images
- The Trumps – 68,613 images
- British Royal Family – 68,146 images
- The Hiltons – 34,466 images
- The Jonas Brothers – 31,524 images
- The Kardashians/Jenners – 23,896 images
- The Smiths – 23,678 images
- The Gyllenhaal Siblings – 23,237 images
- The Osbournes – 17,179 images
Politicians and royals once again take the top spots, with a global obsession for not just world leaders, but their family lives too. This time, though, the Obamas rank higher than the Trumps, with more photographs on average of each of the immediate family members.
The Kardashian/Jenner family was inevitably going to appear on this list, with a family of A-list celebrities who are all frequently photographed. The most photographed of the bunch is, predictably, Kim Kardashian, with over 74,000 photos on Getty Images, followed by Kendall Jenner, who, despite her fame as a model, features in fewer than half as many (35,403).
Two musical families (the Jonas Brothers and the Osbournes) and two families of actors (the Smiths and the Gyllenhaals) complete the top 10, with the Jonas Brothers’ average outranking even the Kardashians’!
The World’s Most Photographed Celebrity Couples
- Donald Trump and Melania Trump – 250,430 images per person
- Barack Obama and Michelle Obama – 194,419 images per person
- Prince William and Kate Middleton – 152,145 images per person
- Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip – 151,167 images per person
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – 83,171 images per person
- Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck – 69,297 images per person
- Elton John and David Furnish – 66,956 images per person
- Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian – 63,244 images per person
- Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt – 56,644 images per person
- Beyoncé and Jay Z – 54,199 images per person
Lo and behold, politicians and royals take the top spots yet again when looking at the most photographed celebrity couples, both current and former. It’s common for leaders in such positions of authority to bring their other half along to events to showcase their family unit, so it’s perhaps not surprising that all five of the top spots are filled by them.
We then see a mixture of actors, musicians and sports star couples taking the remaining titles of the most photographed famous couples. J-Lo, who is the 15th most photographed celebrity overall, and Ben Affleck, who is the 120th, rekindled their romance last year after 17 years apart and are now engaged for the second time — this landed them at 6th place on our most photographed celebrity couples list.
Despite the long gap in their relationship, J-Lo and Ben are thousands of images ahead of pop star royalty Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who have been together for more than 20 years. The superstar couple is known for cherishing their privacy as a family, which could explain why fewer photos of them exist in the public realm.
The Most Photographed Celebrity Age Group
When assessing the results from our research by age, those who are or would be over the age of 100 at the time of writing are featured in the most images (20,615 on average). This list includes Hollywood royalty like Kirk Douglas, Olivia de Havilland, Betty White and Doris Day, with the average number of photos boosted, of course, by the late HRH Prince Philip, who features in 71,839 images on Getty.
Celebs in their 70s are the next most photographed, including musicians Cher and Paul McCartney, and actor Harrison Ford, who turns 80 this year.
By contrast, teens are the age group photographed the least. Millie Bobby Brown and Romeo James Beckham, who were reportedly dating in 2019, are the most photographed of that demographic.
As well as age groups, we analyzed birth months to find out if celebs included in our research who were born in specific months are typically more photographed than others. We found that, on average, celebrities born in June are photographed the most, followed by famous people who are August- and September-born:
- Celebrities born in June – 16,761 images per person
- Celebrities born in August – 15,802 images per person
- Celebrities born in September – 14,715 images per person
- Celebrities born in November – 13,964 images per person
- Celebrities born in March – 13,246 images per person
- Celebrities born in October – 12,103 images per person
- Celebrities born in May – 12,067 images per person
- Celebrities born in April – 11,712 images per person
- Celebrities born in January – 11,108 images per person
- Celebrities born in July – 10,764 images per person
- Celebrities born in February – 10,210 images per person
- Celebrities born in December – 10,037 images per person
Celebrities vs the Paparazzi: Copyright infringement in Hollywood
Historically, there have been several photo infringement cases involving paparazzi and celebrities such as Khloé Kardashian, Dua Lipa and Emily Ratajkowski.
According to US copyright law, a photographer can sue a celebrity over stolen pictures, which they frequently do, as celebrities often post photos of themselves on their social media accounts without permission from the photographer.
Under US copyright law, a person who captures an image in a public setting is the legal owner of an image – not the photographer’s subject. Each finding of infringement can yield damages of $750 to $30,000, with compensation capped at $150,000 for an intentional violation.
On the other side of the coin is the issue of privacy. Famous cases of celebrities suing paparazzi for an invasion of privacy include George and Amal Clooney, Prince William and Kate Middleton, and Adele.
The conflict between the right to privacy and the right to freedom of expression is an ongoing one. In the US, many state bills, such as California’s anti-paparazzi law, aim to protect celebrity privacy, while the First Amendment of the US Constitution protects freedom of the press. Then there’s the matter of public interest to take into account, as privacy laws can exclude situations that may be of public interest, including matters involving celebrities. What constitutes public interest is a gray area, and one that celebrities often battle with.
It’s not just celebrities that can be sued or held accountable for copyright infringements. Members of the public can too.
If you’re wanting to use images from social media or a search engine, remember that the original photographer typically owns the copyright. Locating the copyright owner can be a bit of a minefield; using an image checker will help you verify the source and correctly attribute the image you want to use, but make sure to get familiar with photo copyright laws first.
If you need help finding an image source, check out our guide on verifying images and sourcing the copyright owner.
If you or one of your employees or contractors uses an image without authorization, your business insurance may include coverage for such situations. Consider taking out additional copyright infringement insurance in the form of professional indemnity or liability insurance.
If you enjoyed this research, why not take a look at our study exploring the world’s most photographed city skylines?
Fair Use Statement
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Methodology and Notes to Editors
Using a range of sources, we drew up a seed list of names of over 1,200 celebrities, who are mostly famous internationally but particularly so in the US and UK. Each of these names was then entered into Getty Images, and we pulled the number of editorial image results available for each person. These figures are accurate at the time of research (March 2022).
We categorized the list by:
- Occupation/why they’re famous
- Date of birth
- Whether they’re part of a particularly famous couple or family
The names mentioned in this article are for research purposes only. There is no affiliation between Pixsy and the people named on this page, nor does any mention of them amount to or imply endorsement.
We used the following sources to inform the list of 1,233 celebrities that were included in the research, all of which were accessed in March 2022:
- YouGov: The Most Popular People in the UK
- YouGov: The Most Popular People in America
- YouGov: The Most Popular Contemporary Actresses in America
- YouGov: The Most Popular Contemporary Actors in America
- YouGov: The Most Popular Contemporary Actors in the UK
- YouGov: The Most Popular Contemporary Music Artists in America
- YouGov: The Most Popular Contemporary Music Artists in the UK
- Cosmopolitan: Celebrity Couples 2021: 13 of the best famous romances
- Parade: 49 Famous Celebrity Couples Who Will Help You Feel the Love
Popular films and TV shows (current and all-time), and the leading cast of those: