Lady Gaga is one of the world biggest stars, who has won countless awards for her music and philanthropy.
But before she was Gaga she was Stefani Germanotta, a 19-year old, brunette waitress just trying to push her demo on who ever would listen to it.
If anyone knows this it is photographer Malgorzata Saniewska, who worked with Gaga in a New York restaurant.
Malgorzata, who goes by Maggie, was 24 at the time when she started working with Gaga.
“We were colleagues, we didn’t hang out really heavily, but she’s the nicest girl ever. She’s down-to-earth,” says Maggie. “At that time, she gave me a CD of her first single, and I listened to it and I was really impressed. And she’s a beautiful girl. Based on her looks and her personality I thought (a photo shoot) would be great fun… she said yes right away.”
Gaga suggested her parents’ place on the Upper East Side so the two women jmped on a train and were on their way.
Both women were inexperienced so they just the photo shoot unfold on its own.
“We had no plan,” said Maggie. “We basically walked into her house, she did hair and makeup, picked out the clothes and we started.”
When the photo shoot wrapped up and the photos had been chosen, Saniewska gave Gaga a CD of the images. Gaga later started using the photos as part of her promotional material.
Little did Maggie know, Stefani Germanotta would only 4 years later become one of the most famous musicians in the world. In fact, Saniewska didn’t even recognize Stefani when she saw her as Lady Gaga.
She would later have a run in with her old co-worker in 2010.
“I actually ran into her in the East Village, and she came up to me. She was already Lady Gaga, and we spoke a little, and she leaned on me, and she said in my ear, ‘Did you know that this was my first photo shoot?’ I had no idea,” says Saniewska. “She was really excited. From that moment on I figured I could do something about it. And she’s OK with it.”
According to Saniewska, Gaga is “still the same girl. She stood there for 15 minutes, just chatting. She remembered my name, she remembered who I was, and she had so much to say. She’s still the same person to me.”
Images: Malgorzata Saniewska
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