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Behind The Scenes With Fashion Photographer Mario Testino

Most guys are drawn to fashion photography for the over the top concepts and beautiful women. The issue is that most of these men will never truly gain an interest for fashion and sadly, shooting a pretty girl isn't really "fashion photography" at all.

Mario Testino is to many, the top fashion photographer in the world. Testino rarely allows cameras to roll while he shoots but in these three videos we can get a glimpse of what a true fashion photographer is.

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Golgo Thirteen's picture

This is truly a titan in fashion photography. He was already established before he took the shots of Princes Diana right before she died. He was also the man who took the engagement photos of Prince William and his soon to be wife. Mario Testino commands more power than any photographer in the fashion industry.

His productions can cost upwards of $4 million dollars, and thus he gets the best of the best. I truly admire this man's work and influence above all fashion photographers.

Nice post Lee

Lee Morris's picture

4 mil for a picture? Perhaps I should start getting interested in fashion

Anonymous's picture

Don't forget part 4.

Juan Kis's picture

Really funny!

Golgo Thirteen's picture

Well as he stated that $4million investment actually yields more for the client in the long run, or so they may think. We never truly will know as I'm sure Versace will not expose the marketing to profit margin but I can assure you its not in vain if they continue to hire him twice a year for such a long period. I think that many people can shoot the types of photos he shoots, but its not about that. Its about the types of people he can get to stand infront of his lens and why. Much of what I feel about this very closed industry is about respect and knowledge of the people you are appealing to. Don't expect to shoot for Vanity Fair if you don't even respect Vanity Fair enough to read their magazine.

It's what Anna Wintour said (head of Vogue Magazine America), Mario actually knows the IT dress, the it girl in films and fashion, many photographers are good at taking pictures, but Mario is GREAT because of his passion for that industry.

I encourage would be fashion photographers to really learn to love what you shoot. If you don't love fashion you will probably just be pretty good at shooting it, but I feel to be great you must have a deep passion for what is in front of your lens. If you love weddings, shoot them, if you love cars, shoot them, if you love fashion, shoot that, but to shoot just because it's a paycheck or because it gets you cool with the ladies does no one great good.

Herr Falch Svinar's picture

How does he set the focus? With the models moving and all?

Jeremias Santochi's picture

Easy, just focus on Kate (the main model for the campain) use f8 o higher and you got it! by moving what do you mean?

Joel Pino's picture

With a very high apperture (something like 22) every thing will be on focus.

Sean Shimmel's picture

Thanks once again.

Interesting how... uninteresting he is in interview. This is not in any way a mean criticism. But through simple observation, he seems more methodical and workaday in his approach. Analysis, collaboration and execution. That, in contrast to the playful flash and charisma of a Helmut Newton. As a compliment to him, I admire the sheer professionalism that goes into his approach. As for the behind the scenes peek, nothing really surprising or exciting. Maybe that's a great lesson for me of itself.

Caitlin Bellah-Trenzano's picture

 I was thinking pretty much the same thing. He's not necessarily very exciting. It's all very business like. But I also admire how much of a perfectionist he is and in the end the images are beautiful!

Tracy Nanthavongsa's picture

Great find. I LOVE and admire Mario Testino. Though his voice is kind of annoying and the way he hang his jacket over his shoulder all the time does make me want to rip it apart, but his industry know-hows surpasses any other fashion photographer I have heard of. Amongst the great we have Bruce Weber and also David LaChapelle.

Jeremias Santochi's picture

Finally! i saw this videos last year, y LOVE MARIO TESTINO WORKS, I would sell my soul to work with mario as an assistant, for those who doesn´t know mario y also a lawyer and International Relations, he lived in an abandoned hospital and charge 25cent per photography book! Tanks for sharing this great artist! he is the next helmut newton

M's picture

Very interesting insight into the fashion world; thanks for the post guys =).

William Jason Wallis's picture

Thanks so much for posting this! Behind the scenes is always such a mystery to us photographers because we are so secretive in general with our processes

Wicked Ying's picture

Interesting... Had a hard time playing the video though... Doing 365 myself! <3

Javier Zegarra's picture

What type of camera does mario use in the first video, when he's interviewing models?  He has two on top of the table.