I'm not exactly a celebrity photographer. Not that I wouldn't want to photograph celebrities, but I just don't seem to get many calls for celebrity shoots. They say if you want to shoot celebrities you need to already have celebrities in your portfolio. Quite the catch-22. However, the few times I have received a call to photograph a celebrity it seemed to be the same story: "we can't pay much.... But hey, you're going to get to photograph <insert b-list celebrity here> and you'll get photo credit!"
I'm not sure why they think I would accept less money just because I'd be photographing a celebrity. I always want to ask, "would you do your job for 50% less pay just because Janeane Garofalo was in the cube next to you?" Probably not.
I'm always usually willing to work with clients to meet their budgets, but if it comes down to getting a good rate and photographing a nerd in Los Angeles (Seriously, I just did a shoot for Psychology Today... they called and told me they wanted me to photograph a nerd) or a low rate and photographing Brad Pitt, I'll take the nerd every time.