updated 12/26/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/26/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

Leonello Bertolucci tracked down Brigitte Nielsen and her then brand-new beau, Mark Gastineau, on the hunch they'd be staying at Milan's Principe di Savoia hotel. Trailing them to a TV station, and unhampered by competing shutterbugs, he captured the couple's playful side. "Obviously, they were very happy," he says, "and very much in love."

Outside Sardi's, following the Tony Awards, Robin Platzer couldn't squeeze past the burly bodyguards around Jennifer Grey and Madonna. If her position failed her, her moxie did not. "I yelled, 'Madonna, could you turn around?' " says Platzer, "and I got this fun shot."

There's more to photography than meeting the subject's eyes. Lee Brooks staked out a river in Scotland near Balmoral Castle and discovered Prince Harry raising questions about Dad's kilt. Meanwhile, in Tidworth, Jayne Fincher caught the fastidious Princess Diana making an unusual, and probably unintentional, fashion statement. "I love the picture," says Fincher, "because you never see her looking dirty."

A resident of Queens, N. Y., photographer Judie Burstein hopped in her car when she heard Cyndi Lauper was getting an honorary degree from nearby Queens College. "Cyndi will pose for anything," says Burstein, appreciatively. "I said, 'Don't just stand there, do something cute!" She pulled up her gown and asked, Is this cute enough?' "

Brian Quigley accidentally encountered Jackie Onassis one morning while she waited for a Madison Avenue hair salon to open. "I came back 15 minutes later, and she was still there, talking and laughing with some other people who were waiting," says Quigley. Ted Leyson waited months to snap fume-foiling John Kennedy Jr. on his twice-weekly bike ride to New York University law school. "I staked out various places along Fifth Avenue," he says. "I like pictures that are hard to get."

In the trying-to-have-it-both-ways department, Barbra Streisand and Don Johnson sat in front-row seats at an L.A. Lakers game, then Barbra tried to hide from photogs by shielding her face with a piece of paper. "It was ridiculous," says lensman Andrew Bernstein. Nearly as funny was Sandra Bernhard, found nuzzling a stuffed Doberman at New York's M.K. nightclub by Albert Ferreira. Which was almost as funny as Don Rickles' and Jerry Lewis' noggin-to-noggin display. "They love the camera," says Ron Galella, who adds that his friendship with Lewis goes back to the night, years ago, when he shot Jerry with a woman who wasn't his wife—and gave the comic the negatives.

How much does J. D. Salinger want to be left alone? Enough to ram a shopping cart into Steve Connolly, who, with partner Paul Adao, tracked the reclusive author to a New Hampshire mall. Italy's Alessandro Foggia and Gianni Brucculeri didn't have that problem with Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa—perhaps because the couple didn't know anyone was watching. In contrast, thousands watched Michael Jackson flirt from a Paris window. "First, he held up a V for Victory," says Jean-Gabriel Barthélémy. "Then he wrapped his head in a curtain. Then he held up a phone. Then a paper with LOVE YOU." And then the Phantom of the Balcony disappeared, perchance to nap.

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