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Fri Apr 29, 2016, 02:33 PM

On Tour with Prince: A Photo Story and Remembrance

June 21, 2011. “You want to shoot Prince’s European Tour? Need to know ASAP.”


10,000 frames later, the Paris show ended very late. Curfew laws meant that the stage lights in the stadium went out at 11pm, to prevent the concert from continuing. Prince, though, simply continued to play in the dark. They eventually turned the lights back on, and he finished with an amazing rendition of “Purple Rain.” Afterwards, he played an un-announced after party in Paris which lasted till 4AM.

Prince didn’t have time to review my photos from Paris until the next show, in Gdynia, Poland. I was nervous, but I had my edit ready. Before the show, Prince walks into the production office and says, “Hi, I’m Prince. You have something to show me?”

Normally, when showing an edit, I have things in chronological order, but for some reason, 20 seconds before he walked in, I re-arranged the 200 picture edit to bring my favorite five frames to the beginning. I said, “Yep!” and clicked to the first frame, the shot which I thought encompassed all of what Prince is about—an epic wide shot from behind the stage, Prince facing me, the audience at the Stade de France sprawling out behind him, Prince with his Hohner guitar caught by a spotlight seemingly a mile away. My finest moment. I thought. Kiran, Prince’s manager at the time, said, “Wow.”

Prince stared at the picture for 15 seconds, then stood up, and walked out of the room.

I turned to Kiran and said, “What does that mean?” She said, “I don’t know, he’s never done that before.” We waited for about two or three minutes in silence, then Prince walked back in, with the entire band trailing behind him. He pointed at the screen, smiled, and stood back. The band broke into multiple “Ooohhh’s” and “Ahhhs” and “WOWs!” Prince turned to Kiran and asked, “Where did you find this guy?” I said, “Queens.” Prince laughed out loud, and from then on, we seemed to have a great understanding of each other.


My days and nights went like this typically: Wake up at noon, eat, relax for an hour by going for a walk in whatever country we were in, then start gathering and inspecting my gear. I was at the venue around 4PM for a 9PM show, often reviewing last night’s pictures for ideas on how to shoot differently. Unlike other performers I have photographed, with Prince, there is no “set” show. Everything is different every single night. The band has to know 300+ songs, ready to go at the drop of a hat. And let’s talk about those band members. The absolute best, the cream of the crop. Maceo Parker needs no introduction, but the other members were the best musicians I have ever seen, night after night. You have to be, if you are working with Prince.

More from behind the scenes here...http://petapixel.com/2016/04/28/shooting-prince-photo-story/

See some of Ach's photos of Prince on his site.

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Reply On Tour with Prince: A Photo Story and Remembrance (Original post)
progressoid Apr 2016 OP
polly7 Apr 2016 #1
2naSalit Apr 2016 #2

Response to progressoid (Original post)

Fri Apr 29, 2016, 02:45 PM

1. What a great story .. and gorgeous photos. nt.

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Response to progressoid (Original post)

Fri Apr 29, 2016, 04:13 PM

2. Bookmarking for later.

Thank you!

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