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The basic formula for the “money shot” (in paparazzi terms, anyway — sorry, Jenna Jameson) is beaches, bikinis and babies. And the little tikes are gaining steam.

Consider the astonishing $4 million People reportedly shelled out for the first exclusive pictures of Shiloh, the pouty newborn of superstar couple Brangelina.

And while no one has secured shots of Suri Cruise, that hasn’t stopped celebrity snappers from camping outside TomKat’s house in hopes of snagging a shot.

Stormi Webster Speaks!!!

NOTE: T.H. Gossip staff members prefer flying over the Cruise mansion in a helicopter over hiding in their bushes personally.

Regardless of methods, the frenzy surrounding celebrity babies is off the hook these days. You can’t escape it. The kids of stars are all over the grocery stores and news stands and Internets (you’re welcome)!

“The market is different now. There are so many tabloids and so many photographers that there’s no money in just taking a celebrity photo,” Frank Rohmer, president of photo agency X17, said in an interview with MSNBC.

Some fetch bigger prices than others, of course. Photographers say there isn’t much of a market for some stars’ and their children, like Hugh Jackman and son Oscar Maximillian. He’s a good actor, sure, but hardly a tabloid draw. We’re surprised that there’s even a category about him on our site, to be perfectly honest with you.

Other celebrity babies who elicit big yawns from the masses include Coco Arquette and Henry Chance (son of Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz, not that you would be expected to know that).

And while royals like Prince Harry are among the most coveted paparazzi scores thanks to their global recognition, they’re the exception, not the rule. Only the really big fish mean big bucks.

First snaps of an A-list celeb and her newborn — Gwyneth Paltrow and daughter Apple (who names their kid Apple?), for example — can fetch upwards of $100,000.

But before you fire off angry emails to T.H. Gossip for exploiting these people, consider the fact that many celebs get in on the action, cutting their own deals for first photos.

Like Brangelina. Sure they gave the money away, but they love the publicity dammit! Whether candid or posed, first photos always generate the most cash.

Last year, People magazine reportedly paid Britney Spears $500,000 for the rights to her son Sean Preston‘s first photo shoot. One can only expect them to do it again October 31, when she’s supposedly going to be cranking out another kid.

Earlier this year, People outbid Star and US Weekly for the first exclusive shots of Donald Trump’s fifth child, Barron. Those were some lame pics, but rest assured that the Donald got big bucks. He’s rich!
If recent rumors that Nicole Kidman is pregnant prove correct, the Oscar winner will carry the world’s next most valuable money shot, according to industry watchers.

That is, of course, unless Suri Cruise debuts.

“That is,” Rohmer says, “If she even exists.”