“No photography was permitted” during Madonna’s surprise appearance at Ladyland 2024’s Vogue House Ball in Brooklyn. That is, unless your name was Ricardo Gomes, the Queen of Pop’s go-to photographer and all-around creative confidant.

The Portuguese director has been capturing Madonna, whom he refers to simply as “M,” for several years now — sometimes officially, like for her single artwork, magazine editorials or music videos, and other times more candidly, like at parties or backstage with all her famous friends.

Full interview at Papermag