Behind the camera of GHS Paparazzi


Ari Priest

Trinity O’Leary (left) poses for Charlie Groleau – the official photographer of GHS Paparazzi.

ARI PRIEST, Staff Writer

GHS students, don’t get caught lacking, the paparazzi is always lurking!

The GHS Paparazzi is an Instagram account created by Charlie Groleau, along with a few other students who started the account last school year. The other students help run the account and take pictures. With over 800 followers and more than 150 posts, the account features students, teachers, and administration, all posing for the camera in different settings. 

The idea started when Groleau’s class went on a career development field trip.  “We were supposed to dress up as a random carrier of our choice, so I took the easy route and put on a basic outfit with a camera around my neck,” said Groleau. “I went to school and walked the halls with my camera and started taking pictures of everyone. I got tons of pictures of students.  All the pictures had a spontaneous look to them, making them look more like a paparazzi moment. I collected all the pictures and started posting them onto an Instagram account.” 

Some pictures show students in a classroom setting, in the halls, or in the cafeteria, while others show students or teachers at a football game, pep rally, or dressed up for spirit week. In addition to Instagram, pictures from the paparazzi can be found on display on the TV in the snack shack. 

“It started as nothing – a simple joke my friends and a few people followed,” said Groleau. “It was a fun joke, so I continued to bring the camera to school the following weeks. As more people posed, I would tag their personal Instagram accounts in the photos. From there they would republish the posts on their own Instagram stories. It grew from there. The paparazzi account was originally a fun little thing but then turned into a widely known account. The camera passed around from person to person.” 

Groleau wants the project to be a direct time capsule into these years as a student. Groleau is a fan of nostalgia, and years from now, he wants to look back at these images of the faces he saw every day as a sentimental experience.

“There’s really no general goal, it’s all in fun,” said Groleau. “It’s just another one of those things that hopefully make the high school experience more enjoyable and upbeat even in the slightest way.” 

As popular as the paparazzi account is among students at GHS, other local schools, such as Rockport, Manchester Essex, and Essex Tech seemed to have taken inspiration for their own accounts. Those schools seemed to have copied the idea for the paparazzi account here at GHS. But in all, it’s not that big of a deal. Groleau is glad that he played a part in inspiring creativity. 

“A paparazzi account isn’t my original idea, but because North Shore schools love to beef, I took the opportunity to poke fun at it,” said Groleau. “GHS’s account grew in popularity and other schools took the inspiration. Manch, the Tech, and Rockport all made their own paparazzi accounts too. Most pieces of me think it’s great! But other pieces of me like to poke fun at it.”

It is not a rare sighting to see Charlie, or one of his other paparazzi friends in the halls, at lunch, and at events to capture pictures to upload to Paparazzi. If you see them about to take a picture, make sure to smile! 

“It’s been really fun. I appreciate everyone that has supported it throughout last and this year,” said Groleau. “More importantly, thanks to the people who have taken the camera around and played paparazzi for the day. Again I can’t take credit for the whole project. I started and sparked something that has been a fun project that many friends of mine have contributed to. I’m lucky that I’ve grown the platform to what it has been. It’s so cool to have the reins to such a fun school-wide account. I like to develop the account in a way where it goes off and on like a light switch.”

Charlie would like to thank the students of GHS for always being ready for pictures by posing. The students recognize that specific camera, no matter what hands it’s in.

Senior Charlie Groleau snaps a photo of freshmen Velia Wrinn