Unpublished archive images of Kate Moss, Amy Winehouse, OutKast and pals

Jake Chessum and James Dimmock, FACE photography legends, lift the lid on unpublished images of some of pop culture’s biggest stars – and back then, they didn’t even know just how big they’d get. Now you can get your hands on them.

Jake Chessum and James Dimmock are OG FACE photographers, cornerstones of the magazine in the 90s, and now both Englishmen in New York who’ve gone onto fancy careers in editorial, commercial and Hollywood photography. Jake has shot two Presidents, while James’ work is currently plastered all over Times Square, courtesy of his skyscraper-sized imagery advertising the comeback of Rick and Michonne to the Walking Dead franchise.

Getting their start on our print magazine back then, each worked their way up through the ranks. For a small story in the front section, James was dispatched to Sweden for less than 24 hours to shoot a 15-year-old TV soap actor he knew only as Rebecca”. A few years later, that teenage schoolgirl was going toe-to-toe and stunt-to-stunt with Tom Cruise in three Mission: Impossible films; she’s now known as Rebecca Ferguson.

In 1997, Jake was sent to Barcelona with me to shoot a pair of launch gigs for a British band’s album that we thought might do well – but, just in case, we hedged our bets and committed to a single page of coverage. That was Radiohead’s OK Computer. And the rest, as they say, was hysteria.

Graduating to features and cover stories for the mag, they also shot OutKast in Cannes, Beastie Boys in Los Angeles, Aaliyah, Aphex Twin and loads more. Increasingly in demand from other publications, advertisers, film studios and record companies, they went on to photograph Hollywood up and comers (Joaquin Phoenix), models du jour (Kate Moss) and future superstars (Amy Winehouse). Also captured at key points in their respective careers: Pharrell Williams, David Bowie and PJ Harvey.

Their next stop: jobs, lives and families on the other side of the pond.

Those commissions had a lot of pull for us and our careers,” they reflect. In fact, it would be fair to say we owe it all to THE FACE.”

For years, their brilliant individual archives of culture in the 90s, 00s and beyond remained largely just that: in their archives. But now they’ve set up an online gallery called Farringdon Print Shop – named after the East London neighbourhood, local to the original FACE office, that was home to the photography studios and developing labs they frequented – to highlight and, yes, sell their old prints.

At college we’d started reading THE FACE and dreamed about shooting for the magazine,” Jake and James say in a joint interview. That dream became a reality. But little did we know that our photos would outlive the issue they were published in, let alone have relevance years later. Admittedly half of the people we shot disappeared without trace. But the other half became legends – or close to it.

That was the beauty of THE FACE. Getting in on the ground floor with new talent was the mag’s speciality and there were, inevitably, some misses along with the hits. But when they were hits, they were home runs. Sorry – we’ve been living in America too long!”

Farringdon Print Shop is open for business now, showcasing both published and unpublished work. Each large-format image is printed on heavyweight archival paper by one of the top labs in NYC, is signed and titled, and comes with an accompanying testimonial from Jake or James about the particular circumstances of that shoot. So if you want to know exactly why Adam Yauch was holding that banana, or whether Andre 3000 mentioned his love of the flute, click through.

Our behind-the-scenes stories provide an insight into the difference between editorial shoots then and now,” they say. Being flown around the world to shoot, trying to make interesting photos and a living with no budget and shot on film, all with the dream of getting a big break… Some of them are quite funny, too.”


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