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Chris Edwick Interview

Mel & Kim were still unknowns, and without a clear campaign image, when photographer Chris Edwick snapped them posing on the dunes at Camber Sands, for their debut single sleeve - and the images he created, although less polished than the hats and fashion choices that would quickly follow, possess a vibrant beauty that is utterly unique. Despite some enduring regrets, including a missed opportunity to party with the girls - “I’ve slapped myself for that one... many times since!!”, laughs Chris - he recalls both sisters with great affection, and their August '86 shoot together as a "magical" day and a "valuable experience" that he will “always treasure”.

I was asked by Supreme Records to take promotional shots of their newly signed girl-duo Mel & Kim. I think it was their first photo shoot, and I was pretty inexperienced myself, at that time (laughs)…


I decided that I wanted to do some very natural shots, so 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 I would try to catch their natural beauty. Mel and Kim were stunningly beautiful - in the fullest possible sense.  Of course, they were beautiful to look at, but they both also had personalities that made them very attractive to be with. I remember that day was magical! Fascinatingly, although they were sisters, they had very different characters. Kim was modest and, perhaps, a little shy, but she had extraordinary presence. Whereas, Mel was outrageously confident with a wickedly naughty sense of humour. Both girls had an overwhelming charisma, which left me beyond doubt that they would be immensely successful.


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 - and it's 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! 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 I was collapsed on a sofa...  Now that proves just how young and stupid I was (laughs).  I passed up an opportunity to go to a party with Mel and Kim!! I’ve slapped myself for that one - many times since!!


Looking back, my only regret is that I was still very young, and I lacked the experience to fully 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, that shoot was a moment of great privilege and one that I'll always treasure.



CHRIS EDWICK   September 2013.


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