It’s been almost five years since the death of Amy Winehouse. Now, a photographer who shot the five-time Grammy winner for her first album, FRANK, has launched a Kickstarter in order to self-publish a photography book in her remembrance.
“I really want people to laugh,” London-based photographer Charles Moriarty tells PEOPLE about Before FRANK, a photography book made up of a series of images of Winehouse – most of which, have never been seen – during shoots in New York and London for her album FRANK.
“I really want people to look at it and see the joyous youth that was embedded in those images,” adds Moriarty, who has raised about 18K of his $21,000 Kickstarter goal. “I still look at them now, and I smile. They hold so much beautiful power within them.”
He continues: “You’ve got to understand the time that those photos were taken, she was [about to release] her first album, everything’s happening and yet we’re still kids.”
Moriarty, who was 21 at the time, met a then 19-year-old Winehouse the day they shot the album cover in 2003 – and they eventually went on to spend “a couple of years being friends,” says Moriarty.
“We had the same friendship group,” explains Moriarty, 34. “We were mates in East London.”
As for why Moriarty has decided to release the images almost 13 years later?
“I think the reality of it was that I saw the Amy documentary and I came out of it very upset,” he shares. “I really felt that the thing that people left with was something of sadness. It was not a happy feeling.”
And he admits he “really wanted to change that.”
“I wanted people to remember Amy as the happy go-lucky girl that I remembered her as,” Moriarty explains. “The vivacious, interesting, very talented singer – and I think that’s why I decided it was time to bring this version of Amy that I knew, the memories that I had of Amy – out into the open.”
Although Moriarty and Winehouse eventually went “different ways,” he says his own lasting impression of the late singer is of someone “with immense talent and someone who made [him] laugh and had fun.”
“[She] was just really great to be around and made you feel great being around with her,” shares Moriarty, adding that Winehouse was a “wondrous person.”
“She was one of those people who, when you were in the room with, it was electrifying,” he says.
And now with his upcoming book, Moriarty ultimately hopes that people will look at the photographs and remember who Winehouse was “as a girl, who she was in real-life before any press was involved [and] before her music was a sensation,” he says.
“I want people to look at them and go, that’s who that person is,” he adds.
For more on the project, visit Moriarty’s Kickstarter campaign page.