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June 7, 2023

Shoot Your Shot - Arturo goes to the Met Gala (3 minute read)

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By Trish Arab

Back in May, when I saw via his Instagram account that Arturo Holmes was shooting live at the Met Gala, I was beyond excited. One of the first comments I made to him was, "Is this going to be on the pod?" this week, the episode I had been anxiously awaiting dropped, and it did not disappoint.

Can I start by saying what an enormous estimate of Arturo's talent and growing respect within the industry this invitation to the "inside" of the Met Gala is? For the past two years, he has been able to shoot in the "tunnel" just before the stairs get to the iconic steps, but this year he was given access to the other side of the rope. He mentions the exclusivity of it on the pod. Still, as an outsider looking in, we must give him major flowers on a tremendous career step before we dig into anything else. (Applause all around for you, my friend)

Early in this episode, Arturo talks about the energy in the room. Even though this wasn't the first Met Gala since Covid, it felt to him like it was "the first time all over again." I completely felt this in real-time as he was posting photos that night. Even now, when I look at some of the images still up on his page and the internet as I listened to the episode, you can feel that energy vibrating off each still. I'm not a photographer. It was a hobby I picked up before the first iPhone and never really got back into after, so I can't give you the specifics on what makes these pictures feel alive in a way that others don't (maybe we will get Peter or Will to do an in-depth analysis on that sometime.) However, I do know art, which honestly is what these images are.

Everything about the Met Gala is iconic. Its location is at the infamous Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (you don't have to be a fan of Gossip Girl to recognize those steps), and it is, in fact, a fundraiser for that museum's Costume Institute. The guest list is handpicked by the Queen of Fashion, Anna Wintour of Vogue Magazine (think Miranda Priestley in "The Devil Wear Prada," allegedly), who has been the lead chairperson of the event since 1995 and is the most famous and most photographed event in the fashion world. Each year it is determined what the theme of the event will be, and it is up to the guests and the designers who dress them to decide how they want to represent that theme. This year the theme Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty saw guests styled in vintage Lagerfeld, inspired looks and even in homage to the late designer's beloved cat Choupette.

So what sets Arturo's images apart from others? For an event that is a benefit of and hosted by one of the most famous art museums in the world, it may be surprising that most years, the photos that come from it tend to be quite basic. The onus is on the person and what they are wearing (not surprising since that is why people tune in to watch the red carpet and pour over social media to see first looks at who is invited and what they're wearing). Arturo's photos obviously did that, but in capturing each outfit perfectly placed on each celebrity's perfectly styled body, he also managed to capture the excitement, the nervous energy, and the heartbeat of the event. The venue wasn't just a place for people to be; it became a work of art in and of itself. One picture you can still see on Arturo's Instagram is a shot of Lala Anthony that I can't seem to take my eyes off. So perfectly did he capture this woman's essence and the Met's spirit.

Arturo speaks on his personal experience and process surrounding this night and his exclusive access. He gives behind-the-scenes stories on getting these shots and interacting with some of the biggest celebrities.

What are these people really like? How does Arturo make magic through his lens? What is his process? What does Arturo have in common with Barry White?

Tap into this episode of "Shoot Your Shot," to find out - you will not be disappointed.