A member of the paparazzi has spoken to Kyle and Jackie O about his experience of filming the wedding of Sylvia Jeffreys and Peter Stefanovic, and the drama that followed.
On Monday morning, Johnathan Marshall, one of Australia’s leading paparazzi, told the radio hosts he and his team planned ahead for the task of capturing the wedding day.
“We decided looking at the area and doing a bit of a recce in the days before that the best way to shoot this wedding was from the air,” he said. While Marshall was on the ground for Saturday’s wedding, he was in constant communication with another team member in a helicopter.
The paparazzi who filmed and photographed the wedding, of which Marshall said there were about “10 to 12,” were warned by security that if they were caught, they “probably wouldn’t be coming out alive”.
“They were very serious,” Marshall said.
On the day, the Jeffreys and Stefanovic families appeared to have a strategy in place for deterring the paparazzi. Marshall explained that sharing photos on social media was probably an attempt by the families and their guests to stop paparazzi from becoming too invasive, but ultimately, he says, this backfired.
The more photos guests shared on social media, the more desperate the paparazzi became to capture something intimate and unique, he said.
According to Marshall, a second strategy almost tricked the paparazzi into missing the ceremony completely.
“The security guard, who was probably an actor, said they were still waiting for guests to arrive,” Marshall said. But quickly, his team realised this was probably a tactic to deter them, and sure enough, by the time they arrived at the location of the ceremony, it was three quarters of the way through.
Jackie O brought up a rumour that a drone descended just as the bride and groom were saying their vows – a rumour Marshall seemed to confirm. “Security demanded to know who it was,” he said. “They threatened to call the police.”
He also confirmed the rumour that guests could hardly hear the vows because of the sound of the low-flying paparazzi helicopter.
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“You only get one shot at it,” he said.
But the drama didn’t stop on the wedding day. The following morning, Marshall said, a “witch hunt” started to try to identify the person who leaked an audio recording of Karl Stefanovic’s speech at the reception.
Marshall said that after the wedding, a male guest approached the media with several photos and videos from the day on his phone. People were offering “thousands of dollars,” he said.
But ultimately, he gave the recording to a Daily Mail journalist for free.
Marshall didn’t name the man, but ominously said, “this will be the first wedge that drives between the two families that have now come together.”
We can’t be sure a) what Marshall meant by his comment, or b) that he’s being entirely honest, but one thing’s for sure: the mind of a pap is a fascinating yet terrifying place to be.