I just love Mario Testino’s photography and as Mr B has recently taken up a bit of picture taking it seemed like a good session to go to at this years Vogue Festival. This relaxed session found Mario in conversation with his long time friend and Vogue colleague Lucinda Chambers for about an hour chatting about his work and life in general.
Mario Testino in conversation with Lucinda Chambers
Mario proved to be a very interesting character and I wish he had been on stage for longer as he had so much to say and came across as such a fun, very intelligent guy. Mario first discovered his love of fashion when he was at school in his native Peru. His school uniform at 14 wasn’t a standard off the shelf number, it was properly tailored, even though his parents came from modest means. He wore platform shoes and was instantly attracted to anything or one that stood out or looked differently ‘the weridos of Lima’ is how he described them.
At school he was very good at maths and algebra; he studied Economics but dropped out, he then studied Law for 2 years, even dabbled International Relationships in California. He then came to London to study but … he ‘had to be a photographer as its what I enjoy‘. There was such a drive and passion for what he does there was no way he was going to do anything else, even though I am sure he could do just about anything if he put his mind to it. He lived in London in what he described as a ‘£10 a week doss house‘ to follow his photography passion. At this point I found him so interesting and engaging I stopped taking detailed notes!
On Princess Di
‘she asked for a young photographer, I was younger at the time’ Those pictures opened a whole new photography world of portraits to Mario and of course our Royal Family who he has taken photographs of since.
Film vs Digital
‘film comes with a limit, humans love limit – digital gives you the freedom and you can do anything‘
On new comers and assistants
‘people lack training‘ this was somthing I notice about newcomers, they just expect to be given everything but normally lack the training and basics to get the job done. He also feels bad if he has female assistants as ‘the equipment is so heavy‘
‘I hate flats’ don’t all men?!
On Kate Moss
He never gets bored of taking her picture, he loves her totally – her ‘energy, beauty, her style’ but he does wish she was ‘a bit taller‘ (oi, Mario she’s the same height as me!)
‘I only stay in one place for 4 days, if on holiday its 10 days‘ he loves to fly as he can ‘just think’
‘If it can’t hang on a wall it’s not that great’
SJ spelling out Selina to Mario
After his talk Mario spent 10 minutes doing a meet and greet signing. I so wish I had taken my prized ‘Kate Moss by Testino‘ book now but he did sign the ‘Mario De Janerio Testino‘ book I got Mr B to buy while I waited in line. He had to ask how to spell my name which I found amusing but how cool to have a signed book!
If only Mr B could make me look as good as Mario makes everyone he takes pictures of! Check back later as I finally make the cover of Vogue 😉