This is an interesting article written in History Today 1993.
The Candid Camera of the Edwardian Tabloids
Tabloid intrusion into the lives of the famous via the photo lens was a feature of Edwardian, as well as contemporary, Britain, as Nicholas Hiley here intriguingly reveals.
…..By 1899 the public demand for candid pictures had grown so great that the Penny Pictorial Magazine began a regular page of photographs headed ‘Taken Unawares: Snap shots of celebrated people.’….
….By 1895 photographs were spreading rapidly through the illustrated magazines, and the new ‘snapshot’ photographers dedicated themselves ‘to snap that which seems unsnappable, and which public exigencies often demand should not be snapped’. Freelance cameramen knew that candid images would always find a buyer,……….
…….The law courts were another valuable source of stolen pictures. Here the standard equipment was a Gaumont ‘Blocknote’ camera, which had a quiet shutter and could be concealed in a pocket when folded shut. The cameraman Arthur Barrett specialised in stealing court photographs with a ‘Blocknote’ installed in a top hat……read further here: HistoryToday.com