Before the days where everyone had a camera conveniently sitting in their pockets, fans typically asked celebrities for their autographs instead of a picture with them. While autographs are still requested on occasion, these days, it's far more common for a fan to ask their favorite celeb for a selfie, which begs the question: Do celebrities like taking pictures with fans? While most don't mind the occasional quick pic with a fan, there are those celebrities who refuse photos altogether.
Most aren't vocal about where they stand in the discussion about celebrity selfies with fans. It's likely they don't want to alienate their fans by appearing standoffish, but there are a few prominent names in Hollywood who have made their feelings on the subject quite clear, and it doesn't look good for the selfie-obsessed.
Emma Watson recognizes that her fans want to snap a photo with her, but she prefers to keep her life as private as possible. She has a practical reason for refusing the request, and it has to do with attracting additional attention from a single picture:
For me, it's the difference between being able to have a life and not. If someone takes a photograph of me and posts it, within 2 seconds, they've created a marker of exactly where I am within 10 meters. [The public] can see what I'm wearing and who I'm with. I just can't give that tracking data. I'll say, "I will sit here and answer every single Harry Potter fandom question you have but I just can't do a picture."
Chris Pratt is generally a pretty busy actor, so he knows that time is valuable. But that doesn't mean he isn't happy engaging with fans. It's just that when it comes to taking a photo with them, he'd rather enjoy the moment than take a selfie:
I've always been a pretty deferential, go-with-the-flow guy. But now I have to be economical with my time. If I go out and want to do normal things, I have to be comfortable disappointing people. So I just don't take pictures with people. Because that's not about enjoying the moment; it's about [taking] the moment to brag about later. So I say, "Would you settle for a handshake?" And then they take the picture anyway.
Amy Schumer used to take pictures with fans, but when one fan became too aggressive for her taste, she decided to no longer allow selfies. She posted a picture of the fan in question with the following caption on her Instagram page:
This guy in front of his family just ran up next to me scared the sh*t out of me. Put a camera in my face. I asked him to stop, and he said, "No, it's America and we paid for you." This was in front of his daughter. I was saying stop and no. Great message to your kid. Yes, legally you are allowed to take a picture of me. But I was asking you to stop and saying no. I will not take pictures with people anymore and it's because of this dude in Greenville.
Kit Harington has been the target of selfie requests since Game of Thrones hit it big, but the actor is neither entirely comfortable being a celebrity, nor does he enjoy "the photo thing" as he puts it. For selfies, he tends to brush off the request as politely as he can, and it's mostly because it makes him feel uncomfortable:
But you just have to, otherwise you start feeling like a mannequin. Especially me and Rose, we never do a photo together. Because then it makes our relationship feel like... puppets. Like we’re a walking show.
Jennifer Lawrence is one of the biggest stars in the world, and she is well aware of the fact her fans would love to take a picture with her. When it comes to Lawrence, it's more about the situation or how she feels when it comes to whether or not she will snap a pic with a fan. She discussed the issue in an interview with CNN in 2013:
Sometimes I'm nice; sometimes I'm in a bad mood. Like if I'm at dinner and I'm eating, and somebody wants me to stand up and take a picture - that's actually helped with my anxiety, knowing that I don't have to say yes and I can say no... It is hard because you don't want to feel rude, but at the same time, I have to defend my life and my mental wellness.
Justin Bieber no longer takes photos with fans, as he feels the process is dehumanizing; it makes him "feel like a zoo animal." The singer posted on his Instagram page addressing his stance on selfies in 2016:
If you happen to see me out somewhere know that I'm not gonna take a picture. I'm done taking pictures. It has gotten to the point that people won't even say hi to me or recognize me as a human. I feel like a zoo animal, and I wanna be able to keep my sanity. I realize people will be disappointed, but I don't owe anybody a picture, and people who say, "But I bought ur [sic] album," know that you got my album and you got what you paid for, AN ALBUM! It doesn't say in fine print whenever you see me, you also get a photo.