Go behind the purple veil with Afshin Shahidi, Prince’s most enduring personal photographer

After working his way up from a humble photographer’s assistant to being Prince’s personal lens, you’d bet Afshin Shahidi would have a few stories to tell.

In his book Prince: A Private View, Shahidi narrowed down the thousands of images he captured during his time with Prince into around 250. Recently speaking to Noisey, he shared a few choice shots, and the stories behind them.

prince personal photographer
“He said he wanted one of the shots to convey the emotions of the song and asked me what I thought […] One of the ideas I had was waiting for a call that never comes. When we started shooting it felt so real.”

What was it like to be the lens to Prince, the purple-clad superstar? Afshin Shahidi details his time with the musical icon in a new photo book.

Check out some of the photos before, and what Shahidi had to say about each.

“I always liked photographing Prince in unexpected places […] We drove down a back ally to enter a nightclub in Chicago. Not sure what caught our eye behind the building, but I snapped these. When we went back to the club the next night, we took a few more pictures.”

“I saw him walking down the white curtain hallway and pulled my camera out and got a couple of shots before he got to the end and rounded the corner. Not sure that I had gotten anything, I asked if he wouldn’t mind walking down the hall again. He chuckled and said, ‘You know I don’t do anything twice!'”
“It always amused me to see Prince out in public, and then the second we were alone, he would show his goofy side.”
“Who looks this good at 4 AM?”

Read the full interview on Noisey.