Best Quotes from Mario Testino

By | September 26, 2017

My pictures are my eyes. I photograph what I see – and what I want to see.

Mario Testino

My favourite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities.

Mario Testino

My original idea was to photograph Princess Diana in her tiara. But then I thought, am I interested in seeing another picture of her as a royal person, or would I rather see what she is actually about? And that’s why I decided to do her without jewels, without shoes, without trimmings.

Mario Testino

Some people strive for perfection, but I often find perfection boring.

Mario Testino

The year has 365 days, and I want each and every one of them to be exciting.

Mario Testino

I think my sense of color I have got from my upbringing in Peru.

Mario Testino

It’s a choice – there are two different sorts of photographer: those obsessed with the technicalities and those obsessed by the subject.

Mario Testino

There’s a particular style that is very Peru that you don’t see anywhere else; it’s got so many different imprints. When you mix Incan minimalism with the heavy, ornate Spanish Baroque, it is very interesting.

Mario Testino

Some things happen by accident – embrace them.

Mario Testino

I’ve always had an affinity with women. It probably started with my mother when I was young, but it was intensified by my sister, Elena, who is one year older than me. I used to hang out with her all the time, and whenever I travelled, I used to buy her clothes and style her.

Mario Testino

I have become aware on my travels that when a country loses the connection between its history and its traditional dress, something truly precious is lost.

Mario Testino

Being Peruvian means to come from the farthest place possible to get to Europe. Peru is the land of the Incas. It was the capital of South America; it was where the Spanish founded their empire and took over the Inca Empire and made it into a colony of Spain.

Mario Testino

At the beginning of my career, as a boy from Peru in London, suddenly discovering British culture and society, I looked so much at the work of the photographers Cecil Beaton and Norman Parkinson, which seemed to represent a wonderful vanished grandeur of my new country.

Mario Testino

I am obsessed with people and how to make them look their best.

Mario Testino

To me, the magic of photography, per se, is that you can capture an instant of a second that couldn’t exist before and couldn’t exist after. It’s almost like a cowboy that draws his gun. You draw a second before or after, you miss and you’re dead – not them. To me, photography’s always like that.

Mario Testino

I started being a photographer because I liked fashion. I liked the idea of dressing up and changing my look. I got earrings, dyed my hair. I would dress like a fashion photo.

Mario Testino

When I see Kate Moss out and about, I think she looks more beautiful than when her hairdresser and make-up artist try and make her look like something else. And I remember when Madonna first asked Versace to book me to shoot a campaign with her, she came to see me wearing hardly any make-up, and she looked incredible.

Mario Testino

You have to be you. You can’t be anybody else. If you speak loudly, and people tell you to speak quietly, you can do it for a little bit, but loud people are loud, and people who are not, are not.

Mario Testino

South America was not really that open – you had to fit in, and I didn’t fit in. I was different – my tastes, my point of view – were a bit weird, and I found in Britain a sense of calm, that I could just be.

Mario Testino

Grunge came from a group of English photographers, and they were documenting their own reality… I’m South American – we celebrate life.

Mario Testino

In the South America of the forties and fifties, everyone was into beauty and glamour and fashion.

Mario Testino

I said to my mother, ‘When you see my name in ‘Vogue,’ I will have arrived.’

Mario Testino

My favourite subjects at school were algebra and logic: making a big problem into something small.

Mario Testino

I do a lot of decision making before each shoot. It’s a luxury to be able to choose what you do.

Mario Testino

When you’re nice, people like you and will want to work with you. But it can mean that they take you for granted.

Mario Testino

Ultimately, I made my range wider because I wanted to suit each publication that I worked for. Talk about reinvention – I’m like the Madonna of photography.

Mario Testino

Ultimately, I made my range wider because I wanted to suit each publication that I worked for. Talk about reinvention – I’m like the Madonna of photography.

Mario Testino

A lot of photographers like models to be blank canvases – but bland girls don’t influence me. I don’t like playing with dolls; I like playing with people.

Mario Testino

I’ve been criticised for pretty, smiley photographs, but at least someone is happy! In my mind, I am always giving the image to the sitter.

Mario Testino

Oh my God, the graduate shows in London are so important! I still remember going to see John Galliano’s graduate collection – that was an event I’ll never forget.

Mario Testino

Many people when I started didn’t believe I was a good fashion photographer, and probably they still think that.

Mario Testino

A lot of fashion photographers will do the same sort of image for many years; it’s easier to be successful if you do that.

Mario Testino

I don’t like a tormented photograph. Something attracts you in them, but the attraction isn’t because she has a pot on her head or tonnes of make-up and weird clothes and weird everything.

Mario Testino

England gave me a chance. It’s a very individual country where people have a personal style; they don’t all follow a trend. The subtlety and wit of England is incredible, and they are very creative.

Mario Testino

I never notice a difference between photographing a man and a woman; for me, it’s just somebody.

Mario Testino

There are never any absolutes in the fashion business: one day you may like black, and the next day you like colour. I think it’s a good lesson that we should never believe too much in any one thing – because the next day it’s out, and if we’re stuck to it, we’re out, too.

Mario Testino

Fine artists reflect, and then they act. Fashion photographers – we act, and then we reflect.

Mario Testino

I have no real training in the history of fine art or furniture; my eye just works by proportions. I react intuitively. In London, it’s all about color because the weather is so gray, and in that cold light they look beautiful.

Mario Testino

I’m really in no one city more than two months during the year. I’m constantly having to readapt my eye to new locations.

Mario Testino

A photograph can make you feel so many different things. When you look at war photographs of Vietnam, or something similar, it makes you feel anguish and sadness and pain. Then in other moments, when you look at Jackie Kennedy walking down Fifth Avenue, that makes you feel glory and richness.

Mario Testino

I am very much about promoting Lima because I think Peru and the mountains and the Incas, everybody is aware of those, but Lima is something that people should discover – especially our food.

Mario Testino

Some of my friends say that I only talk about myself. But it is funny: my house is covered in art but with nothing of my own, and when I’m working, I’m only thinking about what the client wants. So I don’t see it that way, but maybe it’s true. I mean, they are my friends.

Mario Testino

I find that my entire life has come to me, and things happened without me planning them. You know, I never asked to photograph Princess Diana, and that made me more famous than I wanted. I never asked to photograph Madonna, and that pushed me to another level. There are things that just take you into the limelight.

Mario Testino

At the end of the ’90s, I was very bored with the usual models, so I discovered a new generation that impressed me with their fresh look. I still keep working with models like Gisele Bundchen and Kate Moss, and I am still looking for new, interesting faces. Life is about discovery, and you should never stop searching.

Mario Testino

I am trying to capture the women I photograph at their happiest. That is when they look their most beautiful. But I do understand that you have to make somebody feel completely comfortable in order to bring that out.

Mario Testino

I am obsessed by people. Usually I try to get the girl out of the model instead of the model out of the girl.

Mario Testino

I adore being able to go to the Oscars and know every single person at the party afterwards.

Mario Testino

Charm, I think, is education, really, no? I was educated to be nice to everybody. If you want to be rude and mean, I’m sure your life isn’t that nice.

Mario Testino

A fashion photographer is nothing without clothes and hair and makeup. And when I speak to other photographers, a lot of them can’t reference a picture by the designer. Me, I say, ‘The Balenciaga.’ And I go to the shows. I feel like it’s my business.

Mario Testino

I studied law, economy, international relations, communications, in order to find what I would do. It’s the hardest thing, being 17 and trying to find what to do in life. You’ve explored so little. I’m lucky: My parents let me explore.

Mario Testino

England is the country where I learned my profession. They are the ones that trained me, they are the ones that believed in me.

Mario Testino

When I had photographed Prince William’s mother, I brought along a CD of Dalida, a French singer, that we played on set all day to relax everyone. I decided to do the same thing for Catherine and William. The contrast of the contemporary informal music playing in the beautiful rooms with so much history caused a lot of laughter.

Mario Testino

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