Mario Testino on Madonna’s RAY OF LIGHT cover


Madonna, Photographed by Mario Testino

Madonna, Photographed by Mario Testino

Famed photographer Mario Testino got physical to create the iconic image of Madonna on her Ray Of Light record cover – he kicked her into position.

The celebrity snapper worked with the Material Girl star to come up with an image for her now famous 1998 album cover sleeve.

But the photo shoot wasn’t an easy one – with Testino having to physically tackle the notoriously tough singer to convince her to keep posing.

He says, ‘At 2pm she (Madonna) said, ‘OK, I’m tired. We’re done.’ And I said, ‘But I don’t have the pictures yet.’ She said, ‘You’re working for me and I say we’re done.’ I said, ‘No, we carry on.’

‘The picture she used on the cover came after that. She didn’t intimidate me, you see. I thought, I have to push my luck here, so I started kicking her like this, with my foot. She was like, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ And I was, like, move here, move here,’ and suddenly this created an intimacy. When these people come across someone who treats them as an equal, it puts them at ease.’

I’ve always thought that and from personal experience it’s the best way to work with someone! It’s scary standing up to a celebrity/high-profile client and standing up for what you believe in, but it’s worth it and they will respect you more…IF you do it respectfully. If they cannot respect someone standing up for what is right, what they believe in, or for getting the perfect image then you are better off ending the shoot and not working with them. Trrrrrrrrust me.

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