Published on November 7, 2012 | by Siss Anderson

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Spend the day with royalty

Princess Diana influenced Testino and his work [Photograph courtesy of National Portrait Gallery]

Rating: ★★★

When Mario Testino was asked whom his favorite person to ever have worked with, the world famous photographer responded Princess Diana.

Working with the Princess of Wales in 1997, took his career to another level.

Testino’s close relation with Diana, is said to be the main reason Prince William and Kate Middleton chose him as the photographer behind their official engagement photographs in 2010.

This particular piece is included in Testino’s Royal Family Portraits which are taken between 2003-2010 and are displayed at the National Portrait Gallery.

Out of the collection which consists of eight portraits three in my opinion stand out next to the already mentioned engagement photographs.

The first is a portrait of HRH The Prince of Wales, taken at Buckingham Palace in 2003. Prince Charles is standing away from the centre of the photograph; his gaze is directed away, looking out of a huge window.

The lights are dimmed and are in many ways a counterpoint to the grandiose surroundings. In this collection, this is the only portrait where Testino lets his background in fashion shine through.

The other portraits that immediately grabbed my attention, were both of the photographs taken of the two princes on their twenty-first birthdays. What Testino has brilliantly done, is to capture two opposite personalities.

Williams’s portrait shows a depiction of a man; mature and formally dressed reflecting his awareness of his many responsibilities that lie ahead of him. The photograph taken in black and white gives an air of sophistication. When Harry turned 21 two years later,  he was photographed while sitting on a bike, covered in dirt with a huge smile on his face.

This contrasts to his brothers smart image, portraying harry as having a fun and adventurous personality. With these portraits, the Peruvian artist shows his ability beyond fashion-photography and advertising campaigns. It is one not to be missed.

The National Portrait Gallery is open daily from 10am-6pm and opens late on Thursdays and Fridays until 9pm. Entry to the gallery is free, while an entry fee is charged for some exhibitions.

For more information visit: www.npg.orh.uk

The National Portrait Gallery, 2 St.Martin’s Place  London WC2H 0HE

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