Mario Testino teaches Glamour Photography via Xpert

Learn FromMario Testino

About Mario Testino

Mario Eduardo Testino Silva, a Peruvian fashion and portrait photographer. His work has featured internationally in magazines such as Vogue, V Magazine, Vanity Fair and GQ.

Connect with Mario Testino's life

  • Mario Testino, you have spent the last few days in Lima, Peru, but don’t you usually live in London?
  • Above all nationalities, do you feel you are mainly Peruvian?
  • Where is your studio?
  • Is your work mainly connected to the U.S. Edition of Vogue and to Vanity Fair?
  • You are famous for your portraits. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
  • Your photographs of Lady Diana are famous worldwide. Tell us more.
  • What was Princess Diana like?
  • What about Princess Diana’s children? What were they like?
  • What about Her Majesty the Queen? What was she like?
  • Among all the personalities you photographed, who were the most significant ones for you?
  • Have you ever ‘discovered’ someone?
  • What camera do you usually work with?
  • Who were your mentors?
  • What are your pictures really about?
  • Your photography is quite different from Helmut Newton’s, isn’t it?
  • Who are the great photographers for you?
  • Can photography be considered as art?
  • Do you miss taking photographs on film?
  • Can you tell us about your attitude towards digital photography?
  • Has the world of fashion changed, in your opinion?
  • Do you have a favourite fashion designer?
  • What is the difference between a Princess like Lady Diana and a rock star like Madonna?
  • Who were the people you worked with that interested you most?
  • What about men? Anyone interested you the most?
  • What is elegance for you?
  • What is sexy for you?
  • Do you think that artists have the responsibility to inspire. educate, or elevate their audience?
  • Do you consider yourself a very spiritual person?
  • What do you look for in a subject?
  • Do you approach taking photos differently if you’re taking them for a museum show or for Vogue?
  • What’s the first thing you notice about a subject when you first meet him or her?
  • Tell us about the last person you have photographed.
  • How have your photos changed in the last five years?
  • What is the power of photography?
  • According to you, what kind of emotion does one go through by looking at photographs?
  • How do you build a relationship with the subjects you are photographing?
  • Talk us through the shoot with Diana, Princess of Wales. What tactics did you use to make her relax?
  • Talking more about both Gianni Versace and Diana, how did you react to both of their deaths? Many people around the world reacted to Diana’s death, particularly, and they’d never met her. You had, so what was your reaction?
  • Describe the conflict to do with commercial versus artistic fashion photography.
  • What are your views on digitally enhanced photos?
  • What does it mean to you to be from Lima?
  • How does being Peruvian reflect in your work?
  • Tell us about the last time you have been star struck.
  • Tell us about the last time you met a hero.
  • Tell us about the last film you saw at the cinema.
  • How did you come to you collaborate with Prism Gallery for your new exhibition? How did you choose your work for this exhibit?
  • When did you first realize that you wanted to become a photographer? Was there a certain situation that comes to your mind?
  • Were there other photographers you admired at a young age already? And how did they inspire you? Do you collect works of your colleagues?
  • You travel a lot and on your journeys you collect stories. Is there one story, people or tradition you remember that inspired you so much, that you translated it directly into your work?
  • Nudity and sexuality play a major role in your work. What do you love about women? I guess there stands a whole philosophy for you coming from Peru, with all your tradition and culture behind it.
  • Could you tell us a little bit about your own project MATE, which you founded in 2012 in Peru, supporting young artists.
  • Mario, is this your first time in India?
  • So far, how have you managed to capture Indian culture?
  • People transform differently under each lens. From the time you started to now, how have you evolved as a photographer?
  • I read that you wanted to become a priest. And now your photography is known for its incredible sexuality. How did you go from there to there?
  • The in-between phase reminds me of the time you had pink hair and wore lilac terrycloth jumpsuits. What happened to that man?
  • Do you define yourself as a fashion photographer today?
  • Which came first for you, clothes or photography?
  • Did you always know you’d be in fashion?
  • How do you think you’d fare as a diplomat?
  • Do you think that museums see things in your work that the fashion world doesn’t?
  • Do you ever worry about having too many references swimming around? That by absorbing too much, one loses one’s faith in originality?
  • Do you see anything in the young stars of today that you didn’t when you started?
  • You recently launched M.A.T.E., a foundation to promote Peruvian art. What was the idea behind that?
  • Are you close to many others in the fashion world who have origins far away from what we might call the centre?
  • You’ve got a much more comprehensive website than a lot of your peers. Why is that?
  • It might make life easier for many other photographers of your stature, to say nothing of those who want to research their work. Any thoughts on why they haven’t done it?
  • You haven’t fully embraced the internet and social media. Why?
  • Do you feel a sense of competition—healthy or unhealthy—with other photographers?
  • The technology of photography is easier now. Do you ever think the field is getting too crowded?
  • Speaking of fashion and accessibility, you were part of some of the on-screen drama in The September Issue. What did you think of the movie?
  • Not long ago, Kate Winslet said of you, speaking perhaps on behalf of all A-listers, “We know that he will talk us into doing absolutely anything for him.” How do you do it? Is it about establishing a certain trust—that the end result won’t embarrass or diminish a photo subject? Or is it about charm?
  • Any kind of charm is involved when you take pictures or when you persuade the stars to do something?

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