Born: Lima, Peru
“I waited a long time, an hour or two, to make that picture perfect. But I wasn’t totally satisfied. Then, when I’d finished the shoot, they were about to leave and they suddenly hugged in front of a radiator. I took my camera and that was the picture that ran everywhere – it was spontaneous emotion you could see they were completely in love. ”
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A fashion photographer from Peru, Mario Testino was born in October 1954. He grew up in Lima and was one of the six children, born in a middle-class family. From Universal del Pacifico, he studied economics. He then went to London in 1976 to learn photography and from there onwards his career sparked and since then he has been climbing up the ladder of success.
He photographed actresses such as Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts, Kim Basinger, Gwyneth Paltrow, Meg Ryan, Catherine Zeta Jones and Kristen Stewart; models like Elizabeth Hurley, Kate Moss, Gisele Bündchen and Claudia Schiffer; also performers such as Lady Gaga, Britney Spear, Madonna, Janet Jackson and Kylie Minogue.
He shot campaigns for Michael Kors, Estée Lauder, Valentino, Versace, Gucci and Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, and Calvin Klein, some eminent brands. The talented photographer, Testino, is world’s most admired and fêted fashion photographers. His work has been featured in V magazine, Vanity Fair and Vogue.
Mario Testino has had countless exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide. He has published seven books of his work. The National Portrait Gallery, held an exhibition by Mario Testino in London in 2002 which received highest attendance for ten years. In the next four years, the same exhibition, “Portraits”, was shown in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, Edinburgh and Milan.
He was also commissioned to photograph Diana, Princess of Wales and her children, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, Prince Nikolas of Greece, Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan, Prince Willem-Alexander and Maxima of the Netherlands and many more royalties. From just a fashion photographer, he gained immense credibility in portraying Princess Diana months before her death in 1997. In an occasion in 2010, he took photos of Catherine Middleton and Prince William on their engagement day. Mario Testino still photographs the British Royal Family.
He is one of the most preferred snappers, who is known for his exotic, polished and exquisite campaigns and projects. Testino is highly professional and good in nature and this is why he gets along with fashion editors, designers, models, actresses and other subject of his photography. He enhances the attractiveness of his subject with his camera and
sense of artistry and fashion. Testino is well versed with photography elements and techniques and he uses them wisely. He has photographed in color and in black and white as well. Most of his images are seductive, erotic and sensuous.
Testino has the ability to make someone look better than what they could hope for, according to Alexandra Shulman. He captures moments of liveliness and engagement. Fashion, glamour and beauty are three things that are always present since the forties till now and will be the highlight forever. Testino has the ability and smartness to enhance the features of his subjects, making them appear exceptionally distinctive.
Mario Testino’s project MATE (Asociación Mario Testino) is the single cultural centre in the world with a permanent display of the work of Testino. He wanted to exhibit his pieces in Lima, his hometown, in order to contribute to the cultural heritage of his country.