Secret Behind Bizarre Kardashian Christmas Card: Kanye West Was In Control! His 'Vision' Stunted By Budget Constraints

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Dec. 19 2013, Published 6:37 a.m. ET

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The secret behind the Kardashian family's bizarre Christmas card was that Kanye West was in control, is exclusively reporting.

But the photo shoot didn't turn out the way Kim Kardashian's fiance expected, as the first two top photographers Kanye wanted for the card -- Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino -- turned it down, the source revealed.

And with budget constraints affecting Yeezus' exalted "vision," edgy shutterbug David LaChapelle ultimately got the high-profile gig.

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"It turns out that Kanye was the puppet master behind the photo shoot, as he provided art direction, sketches, and costume and makeup ideas," the source told

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As has previously reported, the Kardashians' 2013 Christmas card shocked fans by shunning holiday coziness in favor of a futuristic fantasy.

According to the Christmas TV special, LaChapelle decided to focus on the Kardashian women, with both Kanye and North West, the baby daughter he raises with Kim, left completely off the card.

Kim Kardashian

LaChapelle also didn't want Bruce Jenner to be on the card, but after the former decathlete had a meltdown, he was included.

The $250,000 bill for the card was paid by the Keeping Up with the Kardashians' production company -- because the story about the shoot became a major part of the family's Dec. 1 holiday special on E!

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According to the source, Leibovitz, who has admitted to being heavily in debt, wanted the job first.

"Annie tried to play hardball with Kanye over the money, but the production had to stick to their budget," the source said.

"Ultimately, Annie and Kanye fell out of negotiations."

Then Kanye approached Testino, who, the source said, "laughed it off as a total nightmare assignment. But that happens to be David LaChapelle's specialty, so he wound up with the gig.

"David was, at best, the third choice and one dictated more by budget than Kanye's much-vaunted 'vision,'" the source said.



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