The Woman Behind the Portraits

Whenever a new episode of Saturday Night Live is coming up, I always look forward to the stunning photos of their guest celebrities.  Each photo is artistically done and you see portraits of celebrities like you’ve never seen them before.  From a pool of photos, you can easily tell which ones are from SNL–striking colored plain background and artistic shots of celebrities.  The person responsible for taking such beautiful portraits is Mary Ellen Matthews,  a New York-based photographer.  She’s been the official photographer of SNL’s guest portraits since 1999.  For more than a decade, Mary Ellen Matthews had been taking portraits of famous celebrities every week–from famous hollywood stars and music legends, to influencial political leaders.

Justin Timberlake

Scarlett Johansson

Lindsay Lohan

Tom Hanks

Michael Phelps

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Jude Law

Emma Stone

Ellen Page

Anne Hathaway

    • haha no problem! i’ll share more things like these soon 🙂

  1. I always wondered who took the beautiful portraits for SNL! She really manages to capture the “essence” of the hosts. Great post!

    • thank you! now you know who she is 🙂

  2. eva626 said:

    neat post!!! congrats on being fp’ed!

  3. the mind of women is very difficult to understand but i can nearly understand.

  4. elisajoy said:

    I have always loved the photos as well!! it’s one of my favorite parts of the show. Very good information. Thanks!

  5. what a talented photographer – I’ve always enjoyed the SNL photos as well. thanks for introducing her to us!

    • no problem! Mary Ellen Matthews is indeed a great photographer 🙂

  6. Fun post, thank you for putting up this gallery, I enjoy Matthew’s photos.

    Congratulations on your being Freshly Pressed.

    • thank you! i enjoyed her photos as well 🙂

  7. The best photos are when she finds a celebrity willing to make themselves look a little bit ridiculous. Timberlake, Emma Stone, and Tom Hanks are perfect examples of this. It captures the feel of the show perfectly, while at the same time establishing themselves as the star of that particular show.

    • thank you for sharing your insights! i very much agree with you 🙂

  8. Those are great! Funny, and colorful, and make me want to see the show they were connected to! 😀

  9. Those pictures are always amazing and they are so much fun to see. I love SNL and I love the pictures. Thank you for writing about this. It is very interesting!

    • thank you! i’m also a fan of her (Matthews) works 🙂

  10. Ivana said:

    I would love to have Mary Ellen’s job for a year… or 10.

  11. halleluna21 said:

    I always love those photos

  12. mademoisellelayla said:

    Absolutely mesmerizing, beautiful photos…

  13. Alessandro Paiva said:

    I really love those pictures! Like you’ve said, we can easily tell that those are SNL pictures.

  14. Groovy! I’ve always loved the celebrity shots and look forward to that part of SNL, too. There very creative and inspiring.

  15. rp71 said:

    Stunning. Amazing. Eye catching. Unique!!!

  16. SWK said:

    These pictures are pretty creative!

    • great photos from one great photographer 🙂

  17. Wow, these photos are so amazing. The effect on how they are edited is so distinct;boom its SNL.!

  18. cathyray said:

    cool! and congrats on freshly pressed,

      • ty said:

        how can he do that!!!!

  19. Cat said:

    I’ve been watching SNL for a few years. I always thought the pictures between commercial breaks were awesome. I should probably pay more attention to them. Thanks. 😀

  20. Katie Gou said:

    I live in the UK, so I’ve never seen SNL. These pictures are cool though and very artistic. They capture the personalities perfectly. I’d love to have my picture taken!

    • I agree! I also want to have my portrait taken by Mary Ellen Matthews!

  21. Optimus the Ninja said:

    Stunning pictures, stunning post. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  22. Pictures is so Fascinating

    thank you for sharing good post

  23. Very cool!! I’ve always admired all the portrait shots when it goes in & out of commercial breaks!

  24. I love these creative photos as well, I hope one day they make a book of them. Great post and I think I’m ‘freshly presssed’ for your blog!

    • thank you very much! i agree with your suggestion…it would be really great to have a compilation of all the portraits in a book 🙂

  25. Mehul Sharma said:

    Love this

  26. I love the photos. I have’t watched Saturday Night Live but I agree, the photos are great. Love Anne Hathaway 🙂

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