A few weeks ago I was sat in a my 9am Monday morning lecture expecting to not take anything in, when it was about fashion photography. For me fashion photography is my passion, it's something I really love & am leaning more and more towards career wise.
Surprisingly though I didn't actually know that many variations of fashion photographers before this lecture- I mean I have my few favourites but nothing major.
Mario Testino really stood out to me, so much so I manage to stay wide awake for the entire lecture!
Mario Testino is widely regarded as one of the most influential fashion and portrait photographers of our times. His photographs have been published internationally in magazines such as Vogue, V Magazine and Vanity Fair. He has contributed to the success of leading fashion and beauty houses, creating emblematic images for brands from Gucci, Burberry, Versace and Michael Kors to Chanel, Estée Lauder and Lancôme.
Alongside his 40-year practice as a photographer, Testino has realised a body of work as a creative director, guest editor, museum founder, art collector/collaborator and entrepreneur.
Testino transgresses genders, mixes masculinity and femininity and suggests sensuality rather than sexuality. Suzy Menkes, Vogue’s International Editor explains, “Testino’s skill is first and foremost to catch the moment and to bring out the humanity in his subjects.” Testino’s subjects appear confidently alive; he captures their energy by creating an openness and intimacy with them. Known for the extraordinary way in which he can capture the most private of moments, Testino’s spontaneous, intimate portraits offer the viewer new perspectives on famous faces, often establishing new fashion icons. He has documented subjects from A-list stars, muses, supermodels and artists, to subjects that he has encountered throughout his travels, from magnificent cities by night to mysterious landscapes.
One of Testino’s most memorable pieces to this day is his series with Diana, Princess of Wales. Commissioned for Vanity Fair in 1997, he said: “One of my greatest experiences in life was photographing Princess Diana. It’s not only that the experience itself was amazing, but she opened a door for me because I then started photographing the royal families of Europe extensively…this brings out my love for tradition, for a way of showing family and the longevity of people”. He has photographed many royals including The Prince of Wales, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the King and Queen of Jordan and King and Queen of the Netherlands, among others.
Testino’s work has been exhibited at museums around the world, among them the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (In Your Face, 2012), the Metropolitan Museum in Tokyo (Portraits, 2004) and Foam in Amsterdam (Portraits, 2003).
His growing personal collection of artworks ranging from painting to sculpture and photography has also been the subject of numerous shows. Testino’s relationship with fine art developed after frequent visits to galleries and artist’s studios. He said: “Just as photography is a vehicle for me to live a new moment, to go to a new place, meet a new person and so on, art is a process of encounter and discovery. The display of art for me is not just about seeing the work isolated in a white cube. It’s also about engaging with the art – and sometimes the artist – to make something new.”
This picture of Cara Delevingne is one of my favourites out of all Mario Testino's work, I just think it's truly stunning! I don't know why I like it, it just makes me stop and stare at it. Maybe it's the contrast between the blue and the beige I don't know, but Testino got this picture perfect! Cara looks almost doll like especially as the paint makes her look like she's made out of plastic. I like how very natural and untouched it looks, makes me think 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' kinda thing.
Alongside the picture of Cara, this is another favourite of mine. I just think it's a very haunting picture that makes you not want to look at it but and the same time you can't help yourself from looking at it. I also love the fact it's in tonal, black, white & grey- it adds more to the haunting effect. The angle of the model works really well too, like it's as if she's looking back at you. Testino definitely captured something beautiful here, it's all in the eyes.
If you haven't seen Mario Testino's work before then it's totally worth a look at, he's a very storytelling photographer. It's not just about the image alone but the story behind it.
What do you think of his work?
Take care & I'll see you all very soon.
All images are taken from Google.