The night I fell in love with Nicki Minaj.

If you’re from NYC, then you remember the shit-show that was Fashion’s Night Out. It was a cute concept that involved fashion brands throwing parties at their stores in hopes of getting press, attention, I honestly don’t know why… because whatever their goals were… they were not achieved. Basically big fashion brands created a “holiday” where they would book HUGE talent to do an appearance or performance in their store… driving mobs of people to gather inside and outside their stores… essentially destroying their stores.

Picture Black Friday crowds rummaging through $5,000 purses at the Gucci store while Drake sang 2 songs. It was a total disaster and after like 3 years they called it quits.

Anywhooooo… one of those nights I was asked to photograph Nicki Minaj at the YSL store. They told me she’s not going to perform, nor is she going to hang with the mob of people (for obvious reasons), but that she’ll go upstairs and take a few photos and make a quick appearance. For being a tiny woman, Nicki Minaj, carried herself like she was Shaq. She took over the room. I wasn’t super familiar with her music, but clearly was aware of her stardom. I prayed she wouldn’t be a pain to deal with on account that most female celebrities have a team that must inspect every photograph to make sure their client looks as good as they can… “photoshop this, tweak that…”

Nicki walked in and I asked her if she didn’t mind that I just photograph her as she explored the YSL store… (she knows that I’m there to photograph her, but I always asked for permission anyways to acknowledge that she’s not some zoo animal I’m here to document). Most celebrities I’ve encountered tend to ignore me… and for good reasons… they’re used to going about their day being photographed. Nicki though, played with me. We spent 30 minutes together running around the store goofing off and trying stuff on and I walked away with some amazing photographs that even though they were shot in a YSL store, still hold up as fun portraits.

I’m probably rambling now, but yeah… this is the day that Nicki Minaj was awesome in my book.