Umph. This is hard to look at. Previously unpublished photos of Amy, OUR AMY, on the cusp of fame, looking healthy, happy, and devastatingly gorgeous. The photographer is Charles Moriarty, who first shot Amy for the cover of her 2003 album Frank.
“[The photos] are an important part of her life where she’s transforming from a young girl to a recording artist,” Moriarty told The Huffington Post. “She’s just about to release her first album. She’s experiencing brand new things for the first time. This small photographic moment captures that. I think it’s important. I think everyone should see it. I think everyone should be able to smile and remember Amy the way that I do.”
When Winehouse passed away in 2011, Moriarty wasn’t sure what to do with the photos, many of which had never been published.
“When Amy died I was approached by people to do various things, but to be honest it was a little too close to the bone and I was pretty upset at the time,” he recalled. “I really didn’t want them to be used commercially. It felt like an invasion of a private moment we’d had when we were younger, all of the sudden being brought out into the open just because this awful thing had happened. I didn’t want them to come to light that way so I held onto them.”
Now he’s compiled them into a book, Before Frank, which he hopes to self-publish with the help of Kickstarter.
“I would like people to see the book, and experience my own memories of Amy,” Moriarty concluded, “to see the young girl, just before things really started to lift off the ground for her. I think the work is special because it captures that moment of youth, raw talent on the edge of stardom, and I also think the book promotes such a great image of Amy, healthy and happy. Too many people are only familiar with her latter years.”