Before she was Lady Gaga, Stefani Germannotta was just a 19-year-old waitress in the West Village. And that’s where she met photographer Malgorzata Saniewska, who shot Gaga’s first real photo shoot as a performer.
Saniewska shared the images from the 2005 shoot, which have never been seen before this week, with CNN. She says she didn’t know Gaga very well — Saniewska was a bartender in the restaurant where the singer worked as a teenager — but that she remembers her being “the nicest girl ever.” So when she offered Gaga the opportunity to sit in front of her camera, they packed everything up and headed to her parents’ uptown home, where the singer put on high heels and draped herself over the family’s baby grand piano.
“The house was empty, it was just the two of us,” Saniewska said. “I knew she was a singer, so our focus was her and her very first piano. We just hung out in her parents’ living room, and the piano was right by the window”.