Photographer Mary Ellen Matthews

Ever wonder who does those guest portraits on SNL when they cut in/out of commercial? Well it’s actually by the talented Mary Ellen Matthews.

Originally from the New York area, Mary Ellen Matthews started her career working in film production and music publicity. In the early 1990s, she transitioned into entertainment photography when she joined the staff of Saturday Night Live.

For the past decade and a half, Mary Ellen has been a top entertainment portrait photographer, creating colorful, iconic images of every well-known personality of the age. Her work documents the uber-famous in myriad fields, from pop stars (Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson) to politicians (Al Gore, George Bush, John McCain), sports legends (Tom Brady, Derek Jeter) to rock gods (Mick Jagger, U2, Neil Young). Her experience includes film and television stills and publicity, advertising campaigns, celebrity weddings, and rock tours.

Since 1999, she has been the photographer for Saturday Night Live, where she has been responsible for creating (and recreating each season) the distinctive look of the show’s still images. Through creative and playful styling and a demeanor that puts her subjects at ease-as well as intense post-production work-she produces unique and recognizable portraits under the manic deadlines of live television.

Mary Ellen lives and works in New York City and East Hampton.

Meanwhile, here are some photos that I’m diggin’ from her portfolio ((You may check out more of her SNL photos by clicking here.)):

Post inspired by Amy Dunn’s SNL self-portrait post on Flickr.