The 24/7 nature of our working lives is the bane of many’s existence, and what some lovingly term as the ‘hustle’, simply means ‘work addiction’ to others. There are countless online blogs selling health substitutes and advice on how to keep your energy levels up – for someone like Mario, it’s all a matter of being obsessed by what you do. We talk with Mario about the energy that goes into his shoots, how he’s inspired to keep going, and what makes a Testino shot.
What keeps you going?
MT: I think some people might forget that, our work, our everyday work, is our life. So, it’s important to ask, ‘how do you want to live your life? Do you want to sleep through your life, or be completely awake?’ I want to live my life as awake as I can possibly be. So, maintaining energy is a very important part of my everyday work.
What are the challenges of this?
MT: I need to make pictures that differentiates them from everyone else’s. They have to be recognised as my pictures. I was told by one of my fashion editors, Paul Cavaco, some years ago, ‘when you shoot a Christy Turlington, a Kate Moss, a Naomi Campbell, a Claudia Schiffer or whoever, it’s their photograph – until you get them to do something, that only happens as a result of their reaction to you, and to your energy. Then it becomes a Testino photograph.’
What do you make of that advice?
MT: I’ve always kept that advice on my mind since then, and realised that in order to get an amazing photograph, I have to create a reaction, and that reaction only exists when I put my energy into it.