Amy Winehouse by Jake Chessum
We are delighted to be working with British-born New York-based photographer Jake Chessum.
Jake’s archive includes some lovely intimate early Amy Winehouse images, and also includes David Bowie, Coldplay, Robbie Williams, Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, The Beastie Boys, Beck and more.
We asked Jake to share his memories of the shoot with Amy. Here’s what he told us: “I travelled from NYC to London in February 2004 to do a press shoot with Amy Winehouse. It was a classic February day: cold, wet, foggy and dark by about 4pm. We met at her flat and went to a few of her local haunts: a cafe, a launderette, Primrose Hill. The record company were very hands off and didn’t pressure us to do any particular set ups. We just went with the flow. She was really entertaining: funny, smart and cooly indiscreet. I am a huge jazz fan and I remember we talked about music, London and New York.
Her album, Frank and two singles had been released by this point and she was a little nervous about photo-shoots. At the cafe where I photographed her with the ketchup and sugar containers on an otherwise empty table, she talked about how she was hesitant about “dressing up” for photos and wearing much more make up than she normally would. I tried to reassure her that she looked really natural and that photo-shoots were really about marketing and not necessarily about who she really was. She really was all about the music.
In retrospect it’s easy to create a narrative or appear to have insight into somebody, but there’s a quiet and reflective quality to these images. I feel I was fortunate to have been commissioned to work with her at this early stage in her career and to have captured moments that preceded her worldwide fame. I only met her once, but to possess the images and to rediscover them every time I make a print is bizarrely significant, especially in light of what happened a few years later.”
Please take a look at Jake’s collection at the link below. Signed limited editions are available to purchase in a range of sizes.