Mario Testino

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Mario Testino
Mario Testino

Iconic photographer Mario Testino has been unveiled as the fifth-ever The Macallan Master of Photography. 

For the very first time in its award-winning series, The Macallan brings to life its foundation stones, The Six Pillars, through the eyes of this prolific portrait and fashion photographer. The Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition sees him interpret The Six Pillars through the characterization of six individual personalities in his distinct, inimitable and luxurious style. The whisky brings together six different casks to showcase the ultimate complexity, each of which is the definitive representation of one of the Six Pillars.

Presenting the first ever Masters of Photography design collaboration, each of the 1,000 Mario Testino Editions for sale globally—of which there are four different variations, each featuring one of the four iconic shots taken by Mario— are presented in a beautiful, high gloss, black lacquered presentation box, designed together with Testino. Inspired by the subtle elegance and rich Asian cultural heritage of traditional lacquered boxes, each presentation box is individually numbered and features a secret hidden compartment.The photographs, shot in Beijing, in a former palace near the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square, showcase the vibrancy and luxury of The Macallan world, infused with subtle eclecticism and cultural allusions.

Each edition comprises a different Mario Testino print capturing The Six Pillars, an exclusive photo-archival booklet featuring a total of 20 images, shot by Testino during the process, one bottle of the single malt whisky and six miniatures from each of the selected six casks. The Macallan Masters of Photography: Mario Testino edition will be available worldwide from $3500.

“Whisky was the choice of drink in my country during the years I was growing up. When I was approached by The Macallan to take part in the Masters of Photography Series I decided to capture the moment when people get together to celebrate, in the atmosphere of a whisky environment – a whisky club!” says Testino.

Here, the world-famous snapper discusses his new—and very haute—collaboration.

The Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition
The Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition

What attracted you to The Macallan Masters of Photography?
The idea of celebrating whisky, which happens to be the drink of choice in my country, and with which, I have grown up. It has a sense of quality about it too, of course. I also really admire the way The Macallan do business, and work with charities. The Masters of Photography series is a great concept to get involved in for all these reasons.

How has this journey compared to other creative partnerships?
This project was a lot more intricate as it not only involved the concept development, casting and shooting but a deep consideration of the reasons behind the campaign – the values and codes of The Macallan. It also involved defining the packaging and bottle.

You are known for creating a unique connection with your sitters, be it celebrities or royalty. How have you translated your photographic style to this campaign?
By mixing all my skills together; most of the sitters for the shoot were professional models that often come to a shoot and can project a persona. However, I also had ‘personalities’ in the pictures too and in photographing them, it was important to keep their essence whilst directing the models to create new ones. There is a lot to manage in order to create the moment that makes for the pictures you want.

What would be your perfect Macallan moment? Who would you share it with?
For me, it would have to be like the moments we captured in the pictures: drinking with my best friends, in the company of a fabulous mix of people.

Were there any particular anecdotes or memories from shooting the’ Power of 6’ campaign that stood out for you and made it special?
We had this small dog in the pictures and that was a fun highlight. I guess the dog represents being ‘curiously small’. It is often thought that photographers should never work with animals or children because you cannot control them, but for me that adds to the fun of the unexpected and the moment we create on set. No-one knows what’s going to happen!

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