Mario Testino is a Peruvian fashion photographer. His work has been featured in magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. His career highpoint came when he was chosen by Princess Diana for her Vanity Fair photoshoot in 1997. Testino has been regularly employed by the British royal family ever since.
Aaron Hicklin of The Observer described him as "the world's most prolific magazine and fashion trade photographer". His persistence in shooting Gisele Bündchen is widely credited with elevating her to supermodel status.
Testino was born and grew up in Lima, the eldest son of a businessman. He was one of six children in a middle class family. When he was young he wanted to be a priest. Testino studied economics at Universidad del Pacífico.
In 1976 he went to London to study photography. Living in an unconverted floor of a hospital, without much money, he funded himself by working as a waiter. He had his hair dyed pink which helped him get noticed as a photographer.
He is one of six children born to an Italian father and an Irish mother. He attended the Catholic school Santa Maria Marianistas. Testino attended the Universidad del Pacifico, the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and the University of San Diego. In 1982 Testino moved permanently to London.
Testino has become one of the world's most well known and celebrated fashion photographers. His work has been featured across the globe in magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and V, and he has crafted and contributed to the imagery of leading fashion houses such as Burberry, Gucci, Versace, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Estee Lauder and Michael Kors, among others. As well as having published seven books of his work and edited one other dedicated to contemporary art and artists from his native Peru, Mario Testino has had many successful exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world.
In 2002, The National Portrait Gallery in London staged the landmark exhibition “Portraits” by Mario Testino that to date remains its second most successful exhibit. For ten years it had the highest attendance of any exhibition ever to be held there. Over the next four years the exhibition went on tour to Milan, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Tokyo, Mexico City, and Boston.
Testino has also received royal commissions, including The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Prince Harry, The Duchess of Cambridge, Diana Princess of Wales, The Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, Prince Willem-Alexander and Maxima of the Netherlands, Prince Haakon Magnus and Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan.
Mario Testino OBE 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 Dolce & Gabbana.
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. In 2007, at the request of his clients to provide full creative direction services, he formed MARIOTESTINO+ which today is a growing team of individuals who support Testino to realise the breadth of his creative output.