Pin It
Photography Juergen Teller via System
Photography Juergen Teller via System

Juergen Teller speaks out about that Kim and Kanye shoot

The photographer reveals all about working in the wild with the pop culture power couple

In what was arguably one of the most bizarre pop culture moments of 2015, Juergen Teller, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West teamed up to create a photobook with the appropriate but perhaps slightly prosaic title of Kanye, Juergen & Kim. The images were taken in the grounds at the Château d’Ambleville in France, and as you may remember, up against a large pile of rubble lying within in it. Up until now, Teller’s account of the shoot hasn’t been heard, but in a new interview with Tim Blanks for Business of Fashion the photographer tells all.

Apparently Teller had photographed West before (for the New York Times) and found the experience so enthralling that he suggesting working together again, but with Kardashian too. “I said, ‘What about doing something with your wife?’” he recalls, regaling the conversation he had with West. “And he said, ‘I’ll style her’. Stupid me, I thought I’m just going to go over there for half an hour to photograph her in their hotel room. But that wasn’t fun for them at all. Kanye ordered in all the clothes, and the hair and makeup and suddenly it was a big production. Then I realised what I’d got myself into.”

Upon arriving at the French Renaissance style château, Teller discovered that the location wasn’t quite right for the shoot – despite its beauty. “But when we got there I suddenly thought this beautiful French garden looked too much like their wedding in Italy. It didn’t feel quite right,” he says. “And I’m seeing all this countryside around and I’m thinking, ‘I just want to do it there.’” That, in case you were wondering, was why Kardashian posed against that pile of rubble.

As for why the pop culture power couple conceded to the shoot, Teller explains that it’s because people – no matter how rich or influential – bare their souls for him; something that marks the photographer’s work. “They only do it because they see it in me,” he says. “It’s very difficult to explain, but it makes complete sense. I want adventure in my life. I want to do things I haven’t done before. These Hollywood people are so careful of their image and looking right, but there’s a wildness when I come into the photographs. I just want to wade through rivers, climb mountains. And I prevail.”

While it was Kardashian’s first time posing for the photographer, Teller did something new too: handing over control of re-touching, something he’s never done prior to this moment. 

Head here to read the full interview.