Mario Testino was born in Lima. After completing his studies in Peru, he arrived in London in 1976 to pursue a career in photography.
Testino is now one of the world’s most celebrated photographers. His work has been featured across the globe in magazines from Vogue to Vanity Fair and he has crafted and contributed to the campaigns of many leading fashion houses from Burberry and Gucci to Dolce & Gabbana to Versace. As a portrait photographer Mario Testino has received many royal commissions including The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Prince Harry, Diana Princess of Wales, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, Prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima of the Netherlands, Prince Haakon Magnus and Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan.
Testino has had many exhibitions around the world. In 2002 The National Portrait Gallery in London staged the landmark exhibition Portraits which remains the museum’s most successful to date and which toured to Milan, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Tokyo and Mexico City and was most recently exhibited in Testino’s hometown at the Museo de Arte de Lima.
He has been presented with many awards and other recognitions of his achievements, including Doctor Emeritus from the University of the Arts, London, the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award, The Medalha Tiradentes from the city of Rio de Janerio, Brazil, the Order of Merit from the city of Lima, Peru and The Walpole Medal of Excellence. Testino has most recently been awarded the Peruvian Order of Merit for distinguished services in the Grado de Gran Cruz in Peru.
He has published 10 books including Any Objections?, Front Row-Back Stage, Alive, Mario Testino: Portraits, Kids, Diana, Princess of Wales, Lima, Peru (in collaboration with contemporary Peruvian artists), Let Me In!, MaRio de Janiero Testino and most recently Kate Moss by Mario Testino.
Testino has contributed to a number of charitable causes and organizations including the Elton John Aids Foundation, Aid for Aids, Life Ball, Sargent Cancer Care, the Naked Heart Foundation, amfAR and Women to Women among many others. In 2008 he was honoured for his charity work, receiving the Hero Award by the charity Aid for Aids and he became the first man to receive the Commitment Award from the charity Women Together in conjunction with the United Nations. His recent charity work included a trip in December 2008 to his native Peru with Save The Children to visit the completed El Salvador Clinic in the Pueblo Nuevo District in Chincha. The El Salvador clinic was entirely funded from the sale of a single print from Mario Testino’s iconic portraits of the late Princess Diana. Testino has recently created the Mario Testino Association to support cultural projects in his home country.