Afshin Shahidi was Prince‘s private photographer for 20 years, and he considered the late singer to be a good friend.
Now, over a year after Prince’s passing, the photographer, who is also the father of Yara Shahidi, is releasing never-before-seen images of Prince in a new book, “Prince: A Private View.”
“The album covers for me … are what I was most proud of,” Shahidi told ABC News. “I still, to this day, when I see the album cover, I think, ‘Wow … I took that picture.’ Makes me really happy.”
For example, Shahidi shared a picture of Prince watching his own performance on a monitor and explained that it was common to see the artist do things like that as he critiqued his own performance as well as that of the band.
“He was a perfectionist, and he expected it from everyone around him,” Shahidi recalled.
Shahidi also recalled how he had remained close with Prince even after he stopped working for him in 2011. He remembered that Prince had been incredibly supportive of Yara Shahidi when she became a child actress and especially when she landed her role on “Black-ish.”
“Two months before he passed, he had … sent her a private message just saying, ‘I, I love your show, ‘Black-ish,’ and your character’s one of my favorite characters on the show,’” Afshin Shahidi recalled. “And, ‘Say hi to your pops.’”
For that reason, Shahidi was hit hard by the news that Prince had died.
“After he passed … they went into Prince’s office and there’s a picture of Yara in his office still,” he said. “And if you go in there, you’ll see a … 8-by-10 picture of Yara, sitting on his desk.”
“It was incredible,” he said.