Montana, USA – 2021

I had a few ideas as to how we would photograph Paris. The camera likes her, but therein lay the problem, she is one of the world’s most photographed people. The bedrock of creative art is authenticity and I was slightly running on empty as to how to raise the bar and be different. I was understandably conscious of the fact that Paris has been photographed by many of my peers, most famously perhaps by David LaChapelle in Paris for the front cover of Vanity Fair, when she was proclaimed New York’s leading “It Girl”.

The juxtaposition created by photographing her next to tough outlaws from the Wild West made conceptual sense, but I needed a narrative strong enough to make the portrait work. I felt there had to be a reason why this immaculately turned out and glossy celebrity would be hanging with a bunch of trouble makers in a dodgy saloon. It was important not just to play with contrasts, but to offer a reason as to why? If Reese Witherspoon’s character from Legally Blond had entered a dive bar in Boston’s South End to be confronted by some wise guys, the script would have legitimised why this union of contrasting stereotypes had occurred. I needed a “why”, not a “what” and that can be challenging to convey in a single still image.

I met with Paris and Carter a couple of days before the shoot and we talked around concepts. As we pondered over a few narratives, Carter, who has a private equity fund and is blessed with a razor smart mind, threw in the suggestion of Paris playing to a DJ role; after all it’s her comfort zone. The 100-year-old saloon I had chosen for the shoot offered a rather different vibe to a club in Ibiza, but that was the whole point. I immediately loved the idea – as did Paris – and we went to work.

Our Wild West anthology is now well developed and to incorporate her into this tapestry of composed close ups playing to the lore of the American West seemed to offer opportunity. It is our own comfort zone and we would simply give this story a contemporary twist by throwing in a DJ deck and one of the highest paid and well-known DJs in the world.

We decided to make Paris bling and her famous diamond headphones were a vital accessory. There was also just enough space to incorporate her pet chihuahua who arrived in his own little Louis Vuitton jumpsuit. My simple instructive to her was to play her music, enjoy herself and the rest would hopefully look after itself.

I think Paris did enjoy herself and the extras most certainly did. The end result works because she looks like she is in total control and embracing the venue. It was all very natural.

I don’t think the locals are going to forget that day in a hurry. As for us, well I guess we got our authenticity.


LARGE - Edition of 12:
  • Image: 56” x 75" (143 cm x 191 cm)
  • Framed: 67” x 86" (171 cm x 219 cm)
STANDARD - Edition of 12:
  • Image: 37” x 50” (94 cm x 127 cm)
  • Framed: 48” x 61” (122 cm x 155 cm)

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