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Mario Testino: The Picture of Humility, Integrity

>> As a well-established fashion photographer, Mario Testino apparently has no qualms about implying certain, less-than-flattering things about his competitors . . . and even his clients, on the record.

In a three week-long diary documenting his work from late May to mid-June, Mario professes to be obsessed with British models, but also Toni Garrn:

She's 16 and may be the new Claudia Schiffer. She was also picked up by Calvin Klein, but when I saw their campaign I thought it looked . . . I thought you didn't really get her. A lot of campaigns transform the girl into what the designer wants. But when I met her I was so taken with her I was, like, 'Oh my God, Toni!' . . . I want . . . the girls to have a starring role. It was about them, not the designer.

The Spring 2008 Calvin Klein campaign he's referring to was photographed by Fabien Baron, who Mario clearly doesn't see eye-to-eye with; don't expect for any Testino-Interview collaborations anytime soon.

Mario also knows how to subtly bite the hand that feeds him:

Most of my work is for American Vogue. I shoot for it almost every issue. This is a magazine that sells 1.2m copies and is probably read by 3m. Its reach is so wide you have to be quite easily understood. Whereas British Vogue's aesthetics are different. You can't give them work that's too bland. It's got to have a certain humour; a certain fun.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but did he just call Vogue "bland"? You don't say . . .

Finally, just to reiterate what a wonderful, dedicated, and original photographer he is, Mario goes over how he comes up with his ideas:

The moment you accept a job, the responsibility is on you; if the photograph is not delivered, the only name that lingers is yours. That has its pros and cons. Pros in the sense that you can be at a shoot and an idea can come from the secretary or manicurist and you can benefit from it: when people remember the image, they don't know the manicurist gave you the idea.

Ah, the integrity.

*image: source

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