Bryan Adams Talks About Photographing Elton John & Amy Winehouse
Bryan Adams’ latest project nearly killed him.
When the singer, who has been moonlighting as a photographer for the last twelve years, decided to put together a retrospective of his camera work he didn’t realize how much time it would take.
The project of finding his photos for Exposed, out October 31, which he told CBS Local were not archived in any particular order, took over two years.
Adams said because he sort of just fell into photography he never really bothered to catalogue his work.
“I didn’t think of photography as a job,” he said. “I was just playing with images in the ’90s and doing my own album covers, photographing friends and then one thing led to the next [and] some of my photographs got published.”
Soon publications like Marie Claire, Vanity Fair, Interview and Esquire were asking Adams to shoot for them.
The book also includes a photo of Elton John, who wrote the book’s foreword.
“I asked Elton John do the forward because I wanted to have a colleague of mine do it,” he explained. “He very kindly said yes. He’s a big photography collector so it was nice to have someone who juggles both worlds.”
While many of the photos were posed, Adams says Elton’s photo was a candid shot he took of him in a restaurant somewhere.
“I never sat down and did a formal thing with him. I don’t think he likes getting his picture taken,” Adams joked.
Another singer featured in the book is Winehouse, who Adams got a chance to work with many times over her career.
Adams first worked with her in 2007, after the release of her album, Back To Black, and many people questioned if she would even show up to the shoot.
“It was interesting, at the time it was when a lot of publicity was coming out about her and saying she was into drugs,” Adams said. “So when it was going to happen everyone was saying… it’s not going to happen, she’s not going to show up. But she showed up right on time and we had a lot of fun and it was because of that early session that I worked with her a number of times after that.”
Adams says the two had a good working relationship because he often pushed her to try new things. The best example of that, he says, was the last fashion spread they did together in 2010 for Harper’s Bazaar.
“She had a very definitive style and so when we were doing stuff that had more of a fashion side to it, she wasn’t really open to trying a lot of things,” he said. “But she liked what we ended up getting.”
- Shannon Carlin, CBS Local