Taylor Hill Stars in a Three-Ring Circus for V106

Taylor Hill Stars in a Three-Ring Circus for V106

The model opens up about shooting with Bruce Weber and Amanda Harlech for our March issue, previewed below. Pre-order V106 here for the full story.

The model opens up about shooting with Bruce Weber and Amanda Harlech for our March issue, previewed below. Pre-order V106 here for the full story.

Photography: Bruce Weber

Styling: Amanda Harlech

Text: William Defebaugh

I understand this was your first editorial shoot with Bruce Weber, is that right?

Yeah! He shot me when I was 14 for Abercrombie and Fitch, but that was forever ago.

What was it like working with him on set?

He is so chill. He shoots all on film, so when you shoot an editorial with him, it’s heaven because it’s this creative freedom with the film since you don’t get to see the image before it’s developed. You don’t really know what you’re going to get. I mean, I am sure he does because he’s been doing it for so long, but as a model, it’s more fun to try and picture what he’s seeing, since you can’t see the image. He really is great at directing you.

What were you looking forward to most about working with him for the shoot?

I think just the fact that it was Bruce Weber for V Magazine. It felt like a huge milestone in my career because he’s an iconic photographer and he has the best images out there. All of his photos are amazing, and he's shot all the greats, so it feels really cool to be a part of that.

And how does this shoot, and kind of the experience of the shoot, differ from other ones that you’ve done in the past?

I think the way he shot everything, it was so unplanned and you can see all his clothes and colors and how he sets things up. And he just goes with what he sees in that moment. You walk into it with having concepts, and you do fittings and stuff, but on the actual day of the shoot, everything just kind of goes out the window because he just does his thing and it’s really fun to watch.

Was it your first time working with Amanda [Harlech] as well?

We’ve worked together for Fendi, and she does Chanel and all of the show seasons, but it was the first time working with her on an editorial.

And how was that?

It was awesome! She’s really creative as well. She was really good with working with Bruce on the fly; she did the fittings and everything, but she was really accepting of the fact that he wanted to change things up. They’re really good at working together.

What was the atmosphere like on set?

It was very exciting. There was a lot of people there; it was a circus. But, it was also really calm at the same time. It wasn’t stressful, there was no screaming. I can’t even really explain it; it was just normal. It’s strange all at the same time because it just felt like just another day.

How did you get into character?

Well, I used to be a gymnast, so I channeled a lot of that with backbends and stuff. And it was circus-themed where everyone was a weirdo, and I am a weirdo so…

So the "contortionist" character was based on your own past. Does your real life ever feel like a circus?

Yes, it does.

When you’re doing a shoot like this, what’s the one thing that helps you get most comfortable? What’s the one thing you can’t do without onset?

FOOD! I think that’s the most important part: having good meals, which is why Bruce Weber shoots are great. It was in his house in Aventura and he had his chef make food in his kitchen, so it felt like being at home.

Were you expecting such a big cast, or was it a surprise?

I was told about a few of the models, but when I got there, there was like kids and families, so that part I wasn’t really expecting, but I knew it would be big because they were telling me that it would be circus-themed so I was like wow, I am sure that they would put quite the extravaganza together, but I there was just a lot more people than I thought.

Do you have any specific anecdotes from the shoot that you want to share? 

Bruce is really cool because he’s the kind of person who, when he sees talent, he comes up to them right away and asks about them and tries to get to know them. When he asked me, “What did you do before you were modeling?” I was like, “Oh I am a gymnast, I did gymnastics for nine years,” I could just see the spark light up in his eyes. He was like, “Oh! Can you still do some stuff?” So, that’s how those backbend photos came about—because he wanted to know who I am. I think that that’s so genius of a photographer, to get to know who your talent is, because then you can base poses off of what they like to do.

Do you still practice gymnastics?

No, not really, just yoga to keep the flexibility and stretching going. A lot of it is just muscle memory, too. There are a lot of things that I did for so long that I just can’t forget.

Is that what you wanted to do before you got into modeling?

No, I kind of just did it for fun. I started growing really tall and it got really difficult so then I quit. Then I grew, like, four inches, and that’s when I got scouted, so it was perfect timing.

Do you have any other hobbies that people might not know about you?

I’ve been snowboarding since I was eight! And I played the saxophone in the marching band.

What did you learn working on this shoot that will help you in your career moving forward?

It was just cool to watch because people just took everything as it came. You have to remember that. You have to take life as it comes because it’s too crazy to try and control everything and have a set plan.

Amen to that.

BRUCE WEBER AND AMANDA HARLECH FOR V106
Credits: MAKEUP GUCCI WESTMAN (ITB WORLDWIDE) HAIR THOM PRIANO (GARREN NEW YORK) FOR R+CO HAIRCARE MODELS TAYLOR HILL (IMG), ESTELLA BOERSMA (DNA MODELS), ALEX JUNE, MAIA RIVERO, HELENA (FRONT), BRIAN TERRILL, RED WINTERS, BREANNA, SUNNY, JUAN, MARSHALL JR. JONES, MACK JONES SET DESIGN DIMITRI LEVAS PRODUCTION LITTLE BEAR INC PRODUCTION COORDINATOR DAWN TOMASSONE DIGITAL TECHNICIAN DENIS VLASOV LIGHTING TECHNICIAN YUSUKE NAITO PHOTO ASSISTANTS CHRIS DOMURAT, JEFF TAUTRIM, SUNNY FACER, DAVID WEINER, ROBERTO PATELLA STYLIST ASSISTANTS FIONA HICKS AND TALLULAH HARLECH PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS BORIS MCNERTNEY, RON GIBBS, DAVE BEGLEY, MIGUEL QUINTERO SET DESIGN ASSISTANT RED WINTERS LOCATION GOLDEN BEACH STUDIOS TEXT THROUGHOUT FROM ONE CIRCUS, 3 RINGS, FOREVER AND EVER, HOORAY! BY JOSEPH PINTAURO © 1969 BY JOSEPH PINTAURO. NEW YORK: HARPER AND ROW. REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR.

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