Exclusive: Kendall Jenner steps behind the camera at New York Fashion Week

Friday, February 9 2018

Exclusive: Kendall Jenner steps behind the camera at New York Fashion Week

Image: Kendall Jenner
On Thursday, the first day of New York Fashion Week , Kendall Jenner was hard at work. But this time she wasn’t posing for the cameras. Instead, she was behind one, capturing models posturing, swinging and sometimes dancing in designer Daniëlle Cathari’s debut capsule collection for Adidas Originals—a ’90s and early-aughts-referential take on the brand’s classic tracksuits and iconic triple-striping.
Jenner and the Amsterdam-based designer first met at the last round of New York shows in September. Jenner, an Adidas brand ambassador, was so taken with Cathari’s work that she put her forward for a collaboration, later serving as muse and campaign model for the collection—and then photographer for the preview. “We both shared a love of the brand and we both like to style Adidas in unique ways,” Cathari explains.
Thursday’s presentation wasn’t the first time Jenner had taken a step behind the camera in a professional capacity. Her image-making abilities have long been apparent—she was behind 2015’s most-liked Instagram post , lest we forget—but she’s taken her interest analogue of late. The 22-year-old made her professional photographic debut in for Katie Grand’s Love magazine in July 2016 with a 10-page spread, returning in February 2017 with a 72-page portfolio and handful of covers. As well as capturing fellow models Kaia Gerber and Hari Nef, Jenner has photographed Sienna Miller and, most recently, her sister Kylie for the fashion title.
When shooting, Jenner prefers a 35mm film camera—a decidedly retro choice. “I like how it shoots and I like how it looks,” she explains. Jenner actually took a photography course in high school, but didn’t really immerse herself in the craft until a few years ago. After observing one of her best friends, who’s an avid photographer and likewise a fan of classic equipment, she felt compelled to learn more. “I bought a camera and he took an entire week in LA and we went around and I explored and learned about [photography],” she recalls. “Ever since then I just always have [camera] with me.”
It’s refreshing to see a young woman behind the lens—a rarity among fashion photographers. And her extensive experience modelling gives her a leg up when connecting with a model as a photographer, she says: “It’s interesting because learning about both sides of it, you have a feel for the person on the other side and you can relate. So I could be like, ‘Wait—oh that looks good’ or ‘I know that feels good.’ Or, ‘If that hurts, I’m sorry! Just hold on for a second, it looks really good.’ Also being a model, I learn things about photographers that I sometimes like and sometimes don’t like, and hopefully I’ll be the photographer that people like.”
While Jenner is adding this Adidas Originals project to her quickly growing portfolio, she’s not stressing about the next steps in this segment of her career. “I see it more as like an enjoyable thing right now,” she explains. “I kind of just do it for fun and when things like this come up, it’s obviously really fun to shoot. I usually just shoot my friends and my family, so I haven’t really gotten too too serious about it. Occasionally I like to throw it out there.”
Of course, Jenner’s family—maybe you’ve heard of them?—are very used to having their photos taken and could certainly provide some training opportunities during the model’s off-hours. (Like baby photo shoots, perhaps?) “I feel like I’m teaching them more than they’re teaching me,” laughs Jenner. “They’re just good muses. They’re beautiful so it’s easy to shoot them.” See all the images from Kendall Jenner’s lens below: 1 /17