MY DAY WITH AMY WINE­HOUSE

In 2004, pho­tog­ra­pher Diane Pa­trice vis­ited a flat in Cam­den to doc­u­ment ‘a day in the life’ of the singer-song­writer who died seven years ago, on July 23. Jennifer Sanin on the story be­hind the never-be­fore-seen photos of the artist.

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In 2004, pho­tog­ra­pher Diane Pa­trice vis­ited a flat in Cam­den to doc­u­ment ‘a day in the life’ of the singer-song­writer who died seven years ago, on July 23. Jennifer Sanin on the story be­hind the never-be­fore-seen photos of the artist.

It was a crisp Fe­bru­ary day in 2004 when bud­ding young pho­tog­ra­pher Diane Pa­trice of Derby went out on one of her first big com­mis­sions.

Pa­trice had been booked to im­mor­talise a promis­ing tal­ent for a teen mag­a­zine. Armed with a vin­tage 1973 Has­sel­blad, a 35mm Nikon and a Soft­box light, she set off to the Cam­den flat to cap­ture “a day in the life” of a then-21-year-old Amy Wine­house.

She was greeted at the door by a mem­ber of Wine­house’s en­tourage and taken up­stairs to wait around with four other peo­ple, while her model pre­pared for the first series of photos.

It was a homely place, a “bit like a stu­dent flat, or a squat”, Pa­trice re­mem­bers. Vin­tage

Vogue posters adorned the walls over the man­tel­piece clothes and records were ca­su­ally strewn across the room. The singer was seem­ingly in­fat­u­ated with shoes, of which she had around 40 pairs in bas­kets, in her closet, on the floor. There was a gap­ing, un­apolo­getic hole in the ceil­ing.

“Her voice, her face and her fea­tures didn’t match. She sounded like a 20-stone check­out girl, she sounded huge. It was a lived-in voice. The whole pack­age was very en­dear­ing ... a con­tra­dic­tion in her­self,” Pa­trice says.

The young singer took her to the very unas­sum­ing lit­tle kitchen to make her a cup of tea: “I don’t nor­mally wear my hair like this,” she said. She seemed to like hav­ing it that way.

They started the shoot on­site. Wine­house took Pa­trice to an ad­ja­cent room, where she was plan­ning to set up a home mu­sic stu­dio. In­side the photos, with sun­light pour­ing in through a large win­dow, bathe the leop­ard-print clad mu­si­cian in a cosy pink glow. A stack of vinyls un­der the sofa and a hefty pile of shoes draw the viewer into the in­ti­macy of her home life.

The PR and makeup crew then whisked them away in “a lit­tle peo­ple­car­rier”, to the se­cond venue. All the lo­ca­tions and outfits were cho­sen by the singer her­self, who did not, or would not, ad­here to stylists’ guide­lines.

They ar­rived at the lo­cal pool hall. Wine­house was an avid pool player. This was where she would in­dulge in her care­free years. The very same lo­ca­tion ap­peared in her mu­sic video for the song Stronger Than Me.

“A lot of her later pic­tures were

A stack of vinyls un­der the sofa and a hefty pile of shoes draw the viewer into the in­ti­macy of Amy Wine­house’s home life.

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