Chris Edwick Interview
In mid-1986, photographer Chris Edwick was called upon by Supreme Records to shoot the sleeve artwork for Mel & Kim's debut single Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend). Still pre-fame, and without the hats which would quickly provide them with such an instantly recognisable image, (prompting a hasty revision of the single sleeve) the sisters happily posed on the dunes at Camber Sands, in East Sussex England.
Here Chris discusses shooting two girls on the brink of stardom, and shares some special memories from that day.
Supreme Records asked me to take promotional shots of a newly signed girl duo Mel & Kim. I think it was their first photo shoot (and I was pretty inexperienced myself), but I came up with the idea of going to the beach. I thought it would be a nice simple open space where the girls could play in the sand and along the shore, and we’d do some very natural shots and I’d try to catch their natural beauty.
Mel and Kim were stunningly beautiful in the fullest possible sense. They were beautiful to look at, but they both had personalities that made them very attractive to be with. I remember that day was magical. Fascinatingly, although sisters, they had very different characters. Kim was modest and perhaps a little shy, but had extraordinary presence. Whereas, Mel was outrageously confident with a wickedly naughty sense of humour. Both had an overwhelming charisma. It was beyond doubt that they would be immensely successful.
Describe your image
Describe your image
We sat in the dunes and had a picnic, waiting for the sun to go down so I could catch the light directly on them in the late summer afternoon. It was moments like that which make being a photographer one of the most special things you can do.
They burned with life and enthusiasm all day, and even when we finally got back late at night they were preparing to go off to a party. Mel suggested I should go along with them but I couldn’t match them, in any way, for energy and was collapsed on a sofa... Now this proves how young and stupid I was. I passed up an opportunity to go to a party with Mel and Kim!! I’ve slapped myself for that one many times!!
Looking back, my only regret is that I was still very young and lacked the experience to capture them in all their beauty. It was a brief moment and a valuable experience for us all, but other photographers went on to capture their true beauty. For me, it was a moment of great privilege and one to always treasure.
CHRIS EDWICK September 2013.