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Dispatch from the first Monday in May, where “camp” was alive and well for this year’s Met Gala.

Metropolitan Museum of Art:

After being asked by (and, in turn asking) every photographer I know scurrying around the press area at the Met what position they have on the carpet — then expressing excitement or dismay to be near each other (or not so much) — the figurative gates open and we’re off to the races. Well, actually, we walk to the tent. But the first time I shot the Met Gala five years ago, we literally ran. 

Lady Gaga is second to arrive (after Anna Wintour, of course) and p.r. asks us if we’re ready. And then they (sort of) alert us (via illegible baseball signals and unclear miming) that she will be performing. As Gaga morphs from a statuesque pink billow of fabric into a crawling sphinx clad in shimmering black lingerie, with a full-on song and dance between each layer, I realize there will be no actual song or dance.

Lily-Rose Depp is always my vote for best dressed: I unapologetically love Chanel. Carey Mulligan looks great. And, especially when standing next to one another in orange and purple, Kendall and Kylie are truly glamping on theme.

J.Lo gives the people what they want. I take photos of Madonna until I realize it’s Gwen Stefani. And it’s unclear if Ezra Miller is making eye contact with anyone. 

Nicki Minaj makes her way to the top of the steps and suddenly no one is left. Rose petals tumbleweed across the carpet and in my head, an old Western tune. I look around and everyone seems to be frozen in time: cameras at the ready, without words or movement, unwilling to accept that Beyoncé isn’t coming. 

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