That Time I Crashed The Met Gala

It’s been a model minute since I photographed the Met Gala, ok it’s been about 10 years. I did a quick search and found some photos in my archives from 2008, the 2nd time I shot the Met Gala’s ‘Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy’ Costume Institute Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Met Gala is always held the first Monday in May at the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan. I never had a chance to officially shoot it on the red carpet, as I wasn’t a full time professional photographer. I was still doing this hobby on the side, and working as a paralegal at a law firm in Philly, where I lived and traveling up to NYC as much as I could to pursue my new passion – photographing celebrities. When you’re not credentialed to shoot a red carpet event, you are a paparazzo and basically have to crash the event to get salable shots.

Back then, in the early years before social media changed everything and attracted three times as many people than you see in this photo, it wasn’t very hard to get the shots I needed. I waited patiently after the event ended to meander across the street to get my shots, before the fans got up the courage to try their luck. If you dressed the part, ie like a photographer in all black, and were respectful, you could blend in back then as there wasn’t a lot of security or organization for the departure.

As celebrities exited The Met Gala like Actress Kate Mara and designer Zac Posen (Kate is best known for playing reporter Zoe Barnes in the Netflix political drama House of Cards. She’s the one who gets pushed in front of the subway. What a way to go, it was memorable.)

Barbara Walters. Always glamorous, kind with a smile.
For her first-ever Met Gala in 2008, Beyoncé stepped out in a strapless blush-toned Armani Privé gown.
A pregnant Christy Turlington glowed alongside husband Edward Burns (missing from this photo) in 2008
Kimora Lee Simmons and Djimon Hounsou. She ended up on a lot of worse dressed lists, but I kinda like this fancy free colorful outfit.
Someone whose outfit everyone loved was Naomi Watts wearing Dior. She was described as channeling Marilyn Monroe with this look.
Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen (The Olsen Twins) whispering as they depart the MET Gala

Ashley wearing a Keyhole Satin Evening Prom Gown, while her sister counterpart, Mary Kate glammed it up with her floor length gold pieced dress. I believe both of these outfits were from their fashion line The Row.

The show stopper entrance of the night was definitely André Leon Talley, who wore a signature cape. When he got to the middle of the stairs he opened his cape to reveal tennis great Venus Williams. A very calculated move, and noted in all the press the next day. Recently Andre wrote a book on his former boss, Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief and artistic director of publisher Condé Nast — as well as the name behind the Met’s Anna Wintour Costume Center . Last week, an excerpt from former Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley’s memoir, “Chiffon Trenches,” revealed that he has been left with “huge emotional and psychological scars” from his relationship with his longtime friend Wintour, whom he’s fallen out with in recent years. The book will be released September 8, during New York Fashion Week NYFW, another event where Anna Wintour reigns over. Touche André Leon Talley!!