Last night a private reception was held at the John Varvatos 315 Bowery boutique to unveil the photography exhibit of Saturday Night Live’s ...

Last night a private reception was held at the John Varvatos 315 Bowery boutique to unveil the photography exhibit of Saturday Night Live’s photographer Mary Ellen Matthews. This reception marked the first time in the history of Saturday Night Live that Mary Ellen’s iconic portraits of the show’s hosts and musical guests have been exhibited to the public.

Above: Mary Ellen Matthews' legendary work is displayed at the John Varvatos 315 Bowery Store in New York City.

Originally from New York, Mary Ellen has been photographing the uber famous Saturday Night Live hosts and musical guests for over a decade. Since 2000 she has been responsible for creating the distinctive look of the show’s still images. Mary Ellen’s iconic images have documented well-known personalities in various fields from political figures such as John McCain and Al Gore, to rock legends Mick Jagger and U2, to successful athletes Peyton Manning and LeBron James, to some of pop cultures biggest phenomenons like the Olsen Twins, Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz and more!

Above: Scarlett Johansson as photographed by Mary Ellen Matthews.

The night was a truly special night for me because like so many other comedy lovers, SNL has always had a special place in my heart. I have been captivated by Mary Ellen Matthews' SNL photos the entire decade that she has done them and have always imagined myself in one of them as host of SNL.

I had the chance to meet Mary Ellen and I told her about my dream and that her work was amazing. She then told me that I looked amazing and that she could totally see my being in one of her photos. That meant so much to me! She has shot the biggest of the big. To have a legend tell you that they like your look is beyond epic!

Above: Mary Ellen Matthews and Jonathan Valdez

SNL Cast members Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis, Jenny Slate, Kenan Thompson, Kristen Wiig, and Nasim Pedrad, were on hand to support Mary Ellen as she unveiled her illustrious works to the public. I had the chance to meet and tell Kenan Thompson and Jason Sudeikis how much I love their work on the show. They were very grateful and extremly nice.

The best part of the night had to have been when I met one of my favorite new cast members Jenny Slate. She plays the hilarious custom doorbell slash car horn creator Tina-Tina Chaneuse. DING DONG, HEllO, WHAA?!

Above: Jonathan Valdez and Jenny Slate

Jenny was one of the nicest people that I have ever met. She took time out to really speak with me about her work on SNL and how amazing it was to work with Betty White and all of the former SNL ladies. She even did the Tina Tina Chaneuse impression and I literally almost lost it when she said "OH MY GAHHHHHH!" Thank you so much Jenny for being a doll and making my night slash dream come true of meeting Tina Tina!

The John Varvatos store was the perfect place to host this event because it is the space that formerly housed the legendary underground music club CBGB’s. The space and SNL are two huge NYC institutions that have seen the city go through extreme changes. I have to give props to John Varvatos for keeping the feel and vibe of the club alive.

Above: Old posters from CBGB's remain in the John Varvatos store helping those who shop there remember the legendary space.

The New York City exhibit will run from May 10th through August 3rd. Congratulations Mary Ellen on a decade of amazing photos! Maybe one day we will work together!
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