We’re Together. Just Not in Pictures.

Barry Keoghan was the scheming heart of one of last year’s most talked-about movies and played a major role in stirring up a general thirst for Irish actors. Sabrina Carpenter, fresh off her opener duties on what may go down as the most profitable music tour in history, has a top 10 Billboard hit and the TikTok song du jour.

So when Ms. Carpenter and Mr. Keoghan, a buzzy young couple, walked the red carpet separately at this year’s Met Gala, posing for their own pictures, fans took notice.

Ms. Carpenter arrived wearing a custom bustier gown with a light blue bouffant skirt by Oscar de la Renta. Mr. Keoghan appeared in a velvety brown Burberry suit and a black top hat. They individually posed for photos in the center of the carpet before heading into the museum for the cocktail hour.

Admirers of Ms. Carpenter’s latest single, “Espresso,” or Mr. Keoghan’s turn as a prep-school arriviste in “Saltburn” might have been expecting to see more images of them together on one of the most obsessed-over red carpets of the year. But sometimes you just need some pictures of yourself, alone, and the reasons may vary.

It’s unclear what strategy — if any — is informing the pair’s decisions as to when they want to be spotted together. But in a moment when many people use their cellphones as their only camera, the professional shots taken at major events like weddings and graduations can take on outsize importance. For image-conscious celebrities, the Met Gala may be the superstar equivalent.

The significance of couples taking photos together at special events is well established. It’s evident in those moments when you have to ask a girlfriend or boyfriend to step aside to take a few wedding pictures of “just the family,” reserving the spot for couples who have some real skin in the game.

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