Sunday, 9 January 2011
Don't knock Testino
With apologies for two whimsical posts in a row, it behoves me to share my Damascene conversion in the matter of Mario Testino and his photographic skill. Testino, you may recall, produces flattering if somewhat kitsch and saccharine photographic portraits of the great and good, most recently of Prince William and Miss Middleton. Until this morning, I've held his skill in rather snobbish disregard. But seeing, in one of the mass Sundays still available online, a studio portrait by another unnamed photographer of a winsome young countess who for reasons of delicacy will remain unidentified, I'm now a convert to the absolute need for Testino. The unnamed photographer has not only deprived the countess of even a hint of decolletage but has emphasised the premature fatty development of the upper arms popularly known as 'bingo wings'. Worst of all, pendulously hanging at the countess' pelvis from the end of her arms are a pair of massive, reddened scullery maid's hands, forming the hideous focus of the picture towards which one's eyes are inextricably drawn. It is perhaps the least flattering studio photograph I have ever seen. Bring on Testino.