[Edit – This blog post was written before the allegations that have since come out against Mario Testino, and since these allegations I no longer support Mario Testino or any of his work in any way]
When one of my lecturers told everyone on my course we should all have a favourite fashion photographer Mario Testino was the first person who came to mind. Not because he was my favourite, because he’s the only one I’d ever heard of. After spending hours wondering if maybe I knew nothing about fashion, I decided to get it together and research some others. I can now proudly say Testino isn’t the only fashion photographer in my repertoire anymore, but he is quickly becoming one of my faves.
Mario Testino is a Peruvian fashion photographer, born in 1954. In 1976 he moved to London, and this is where he became interested in the exciting world of photography. Nowadays he’s known world wide for his use of narrative and stories within his work. He often focuses on the ‘allure of celebrity’, as celebrity icons are usually the main focus of his work.
Whilst researching Testino I scoured his website for any images that really inspired me. It wasn’t until I happened upon his personal projects that I was really interested – specifically the photos under the catagory ‘Parties’.
These are some of my favourite images from the section, that capture the things that happen at celeb parties we don’t always get to see. With Instagram and Snapchat often showing us forced smiles, and set up situations, Testino has captured peoples real emotions, making us feel connected with the stars in the images (and also making me wish I could have partied with Beyonce and Bowie).
I was still obsessing over Testino’s work when we were given a new assignment last week – to carry out a photo shoot inspired by one that has previously been featured in Vogue. My group were given the shoot ‘Sasha’ which was printed in Vogue December 2007, taken by none other than Testino himself.
Above are a few of the pages from the photo shoot we were given. The shoot made me think of imaginary tea parties as a child, as that is the reality, model Sasha Pivovarova, appears to be living. A whimsical forest, beautiful ball gowns and weird characters that appear straight from your imagination; Testino captures what I daydreamed of as a kid. We were asked to pick five words that described this shoot and we went with: tribal, fairy tale, British eclecticism, bohemian, and privileged – these are words that will help us to shape our own photo shoot.
I’m not sure how our shoot’s going to turn out (to be honest I think we’ve set ourselves quite a hard task), but with Mario as the master, I’ll be happy if we create something as even half as beautiful as he does.
Until next time,
Images sourced from Mario Testino’s twitter (@mariotestino), mariotestino.com and British Vogue