As Correspondent Rita Braver explains on CBS News Sunday Morning, the term "paparazzi" comes from the film "La Dolce Vita," in which one of the pack is actually named "Paparazzo."
But increasingly, rather than ply their trade at staged events, they are on the hunt for shots of celebrities in unscripted moments.
"It's always good to start early to sort of see who's there or what sort of situation you have in front of the house," observes Mark Rylewski, a well-known paparazzo.
Ironically, Rylewski, along with many other paparazzi contacted by CBS News doesn't want his own face on camera. He points out he doesn't "want regular people to recognize me in the street because my cover would be blown."
Rylewski tries to stay out of sight, as he did when he tailed actor Toby McGuire's car.
Rylewski recalls, "He went to a restaurant and I saw a girl there. I thought to myself, 'Is that... No, that's not her.' Then I am like, I just did my job, which is to position yourself right to get the shot."
The "girl" was actress Nicole Kidman, one of the hottest celebrities in the world. Ryleweki says he made $87,000 for his picture of the couple.