By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities photographer is giving Prince fans a more intimate look at the pop icon’s life.

Allen Beaulieu was Prince’s photographer and friend, beginning in the late 1970s.

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He is now coming out with a book that will feature part of his collection of favorite photos of “His Purple Majesty.”

“At that time [we met], he wasn’t ‘Prince’ Prince,” Beaulieu said.

He was an up-and-coming fashion photographer in Minneapolis, when he got a phone call that would change his life.

(credit: CBS)

“I was expecting, you know, a higher voice, but he goes, ‘Hi, Al, this is Prince [laughs]!’ I go, ‘OK!’”

Suddenly, at 29 years old, he was shooting a poster for Prince.

“It’s him against the stars. Well, to make the stars show up, first I had to take a picture of him, tell him to stay there, and then I had to go around back where stars where the stars are poked out in the background, a black background, and flash the strobe light 20 times, so he was very patient,” he said.

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Beaulieu would go on to shoot three of Prince’s album covers, and three tours. Now, two-and-a-half years after the musician’s death, he is sharing photograph’s capturing Prince’s career and life.

(credit: Allen Beaulieu)

“There’s probably hundreds and hundreds of photographs that nobody has seen before,” Beaulieu said.

The book is called “Prince: Before the Rain,” and is being published by the Minnesota Historical Society. Beaulieu’s relationship with Prince would change his career. He landed jobs with The Time, Vanity 6 and Rolling Stone Magazine.

Beaulieu says he hopes people will buy the book and sense Prince’s creativity through the images.

“He was just a kick to be around,” he said.

Beaulieu’s book will come out on Nov. 1, but it is already available for pre-order on Amazon.

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Kate Raddatz