How Young Is Too Young to Be a Paparazzo?

"No," he said, "because it's the world that we live in. And I mean he needs to learn to survive in this world and there are people like that and you need to be able to deal with them."

No Ordinary Part-Time Job

"I think it's been enormously beneficial for [Austin]," Sieberts said. "I mean, all of this has been a wonderful way for him to learn, and what better way to learn than by doing?"

And to those who may say she is letting Austin grow up too quickly? "I think it's just, it's wrong to pass judgment unless you're in that person's shoes. Nobody knows my son like I do."

Their parents also point out that the boys' regular schooling has not been neglected. They're in independent study programs, doing 15 hours of assigned school work each week. That leaves time to pursue photography not as a whimsical hobby, but as a lucrative part-time job.

Austin and Blaine are coy when it comes to the details of how much they're paid. Though Austin first said that he's only paid "a couple bucks" for each of his photos, he later admitted the real number is closer to "thousands."

Us Weekly paid Austin top dollar for a photo of Rihanna that was published in a full-page spread.

"It is … an incredibly lucrative business," said Brad Elterman, the founder of BuzzFoto. "And even if you're doing it part time … you can make six figures doing this."

Elterman has been described as the original teenage paparazzi. He sold his first picture, a shot of Bob Dylan, when he was only 16. He's now credited with "discovering" Blaine and Austin.

"We had a video guy who brought me a video tape last summer and it was of Ryan Seacrest," Elterman recalls. "And so I'm looking at the video tape and … what I see in the corner of the frame is I see these rather short paparazzis there. I did a double take, [thinking] 'Is this a joke or something?'"

Elterman quickly saw the boys' natural talent was no laughing matter.

"Austin took a magnificent photograph of Kim Kardashian. I mean, it just had everything going for it," he said. "And we got a phone call from the photo editor at TMZ, and … he said this is the most magnificent photograph he's ever seen of Kim Kardashian."

Grown-Up Goals

Tempted as Elterman was to sign Blaine and Austin for his agency, he ultimately decided against it. "At the end of the day, we passed. I still feel they're just too young to be doing this. … I didn't want to take that risk."

Blaine and Austin's age may have been a liability for BuzzFoto, but on the street their youth can give them a competitive edge. When a crowd of shouting paparazzi is vying for the attention of a celebrity, it's Austin and Blaine who often become the center of attention.

"I would say the paparazzi actually depend on me and Austin," Blaine said, "because the celebrity's gonna be looking at us and want to talk or want to know why we're doing this."

The intriguing freshness of their youth got them shots not only of Lindsay Lohan, but of other tabloid golden girls, such as Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. And now the boys are becoming celebrities of a sort themselves. There's a television reality show in the works, and Blaine's dad is completing a documentary.

While they're enjoying their current success, Blaine and Austin have goals that extend beyond the world of paparazzi photography. "I want to be the best photographer in L.A. That's my goal," Austin said. He also wants to "start my own studio and then do portraits."

Blaine's dreams are similarly ambitious. "I hope to be a great artist," he said, "and, you know, go to school for my photography. … So hopefully, I can start shooting artistic stuff for photography, and that will be pretty cool for me."

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