Jane Grybennikova, Paris.
Oratoire du Louvre
I spend a lot of time during Fashion Week photographing models as they prepare for the runway shows, and while you might think that all models are essentially the same girl, this couldn’t be further from the truth. This would be like saying that everyone at your job or school are exactly alike, possessing the same personalities, qualities and faults, and so on. For me, Jane Grybennikova stands out for being unique, but in the sense that she’s one of the few models who has a real aversion to being photographed before shows. I’ve probably shot a good fifteen shows in which she’s walked, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen her pony up for a staged picture for anyone. She turns just about everyone down indiscriminately, won’t smile, won’t pretend to smile if she senses a camera lens pointed her way. . . but at the same time she gets on well with the other models, makeup and hairstylists. Actually, Jane smiles just fine when cameras aren’t pointed at her. After perhaps the third or fourth show, I decided to change my shooting relationship with the young model. With Jane, there’s never any need add any level of discomfort (shows are fun for some girls, but really, the season is long, grueling and can be particularly stressful in a myriad of ways), it just meant that I had to be more patient and mindful of the way he moved. Instead of closing in for candids as I typically do with most models, with Jane I’m always keen to stay back and see how she synthesises with the room.