By Rita Kokshanian
Updated Sep 14, 2014 @ 10:30 am
The ROW NYC Hotel
Credit: Sarah Balch for

I love a good photo just as much as the next person, but the idea of having someone follow me around with a camera is a bit daunting, to say the least. I'm not camera shy; I'm just not camera-obsessed. But when I heard about the Paparazzi Package at the Row NYC Hotel, I was intrigued. The package includes a one-night stay in a two-bedroom penthouse suite, hair and makeup by celebrity stylist Lionel Renard, and a Getty photographer to document the process. I've always wondered what celebs must feel like when they have the paparazzi following them around, so I decided to give it a shot.

After checking in, I headed up to the penthouse suite, which is named after legendary photographer Ron Galella. Galella is largely regarded as the original paparazzo and has taken snaps of Jackie Kennedy, Mick Jagger, Sophia Loren and Michael Jackson. The suite was decorated with his photos (some of them previously unseen) and stocked with his coffee table books. Aside from the pics, the room's décor is retro-inspired, mostly monochrome and with luxe details like marble tabletops, Missoni pillows and a snakeskin couch. And the breathtaking view of the Hudson River wasn't too bad either.

Hair and Makeup
Credit: Rommel Demano/Getty Images for Row NYC

So here's how it went down: Photographer Rommel Demano snapped away as Selda Cortes, a stylist from Lionel Renard's studio, gave me bouncy curls and a smokey eye. Maybe it's because they're used to dealing with celebrities and not normal people who are frazzled after a day of work, but Rommel and Selda put my mind at ease and had me laughing for the camera (of course, the bottle of Champagne the hotel sent up to the room didn't hurt, either). After getting glammed up, we took a few more photos around the hotel room then headed downstairs.

When you get the Paparazzi Package, the photographer will follow you anywhere in the city you want, but since the sun had begun to set we decided to take a few shots in front of the hotel. Demano expertly instructed me on where to look, where to stand, and what to do. And although I was worried that the lighting wouldn't be right, it turned out just fine.

Candid Shot
Credit: Rommel Demano/Getty Images for Row NYC

Do I look graceful like Jackie Kennedy or glam like Jerry Hall in my pics? I'd say no, but my coworker did compare the photo of me hailing a cab to Carrie Bradshaw, and that is a compliment that I will take. Plus, I have a new appreciation for models (or Taylor Swift and her dazzling streets style poses for that matter)—as cliché as that sounds. If you're visiting New York City with your girlfriends or even looking for a stay-cation with a twist, the Row NYC's Paparazzi Package is definitely an experience you won't forget, and not just because you'll have the pictures forever. Scroll down for more shots of the gorgeous suite, plus head over to for more information.

living room
Credit: Sarah Balch for
Credit: Sarah Balch for
Ron Galella Books
Credit: Sarah Balch for