The Iranian-born Shahidi grew up in Minneapolis and met Prince in 1993 when he got a call to come to work on a music video shoot as a film loader. Shahidi didn’t know how to load film. But, it was for Prince(!) so like a true fan, he jumped at the opportunity to bask in the royal purple glow, and decided to sort out the film loading stuff on the fly.
That was the start of a journey that led to Shahidi becoming Prince’s personal photographer, a story he recounts, among others, in his recently released book, Prince: A Private View.
“Over the course of those 10 years when I worked my way up from a crew member to a cinematographer, Prince gave me those opportunities. And I came through, so that gave him the confidence to say, ‘Huh, I don’t know if you’re a photographer, but let’s see if we can make you a photographer,’ ” Shahidi says. “He really opened up a lot of doors for me coming up as a creative, and opened up the door for me as well to become a photographer and to grow as a photographer.”
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & CULTURE | WASHINGTON, DC
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. (Website).