Book Review – Prince: A Private View by Afshin Shahidi
I love photography and capturing moments no one else sees. I love studying other’s works and seeing how they’re able to describe a moment, using a single frame.
When I first saw, photographer, Afshin Shahidi’s post on Instagram, about his upcoming book on Prince, I was so excited. Not only because he is an excellent photography, but because it was about PRINCE. Prince is one person I wanted to photograph, just for my personal collection. His presence, alone, told more than words ever could. Whether on tv, magazines, or concerts, Prince had an energy about him no one could touch, and I longed to capture a moment in his life.
When I first opened the package, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew the photos would be great, but I was not expecting the reaction I had. As I flipped through the pages, my body went through a roller coaster of emotions. From laughing, at some of the silly pictures, to total awe, at the photos of him performing, and feeling my heart clutch with pain, as I saw the pain and loneliness in Prince’s eyes, in reflective moments, Shahidi’s images touched me to the very core. Shahidi’s photos take us into the world of two people, who were not only business men, but dear friends. Some of the pictures feel so personal, as if I am listening to a conversation I shouldn’t be hearing. While others, such as the concert pictures, made me feel like I was there in the crowd, singing and dancing to hit after hit. Then, there are the candid shots. The one’s where he’s up close and personal, and you’re staring into Prince’s eyes, and you can feel him in the room with you. His eyes put you in a trance, much like his guitar solos, and all you can do is surrender and embrace the journey, as you transport to a Universe where time didn’t exist.
Not only are the pictures captivating, but so are Shahidi’s words. You can feel the fondness and love he has for his friend, in his writings. As he shares his memories, you can feel the admiration for Prince’s work ethic and dedication to his craft, fans, and band family. You can also feel the emptiness and void left from Prince’s passing. As he takes us back in time, to tell of the escapades and personal conversations, I felt like I listening to an uncle telling stories of how he and his friend met and him reminiscing about the good old days.
To me, this book is more than beautifully taken pictures. It’s more than a glimpse into Prince’s life; it’s a memory book of a special friendship, which went beyond a camera lens.
*All photos belong to Afshin Shahidi