Interview: You’ve seen his work, now get to know Photographer Mariano Vivanco.


Mariano Vivanco, Photo by Charles Quiles

Mariano Vivanco started out shooting test Polaroids of young models that would turn out to be some of the biggest names in the industry. An auspicious start to a remarkable career, the native Peruvian now spends his time jetting between New York and London and has worked with the likes of Emma Watson, Miranda Kerr and Lady Gaga.

Mariano documented his early beginnings in fashion photography in his book Ninety Five Chapel Market and his hauntingly beautiful black and white portrait of Lily Coleis currently featured alongside two of his other works in London’s National Portrait Gallery. His uncanny ability to pierce past the surface and into the soul of his subjects has made Mariano a go-to photographer for Dolce & Gabbana, and he has been regularly shooting for magazines like GQ Italy, Allure, L’Uomo Vogue and Details.

The multi-talented Mariano has also delved into film, with his projects culminating in spots for Pull and Bear, Cesare Paciotti, and Dolce & Gabbana. Additionally, for the January 2011 Thierry Mugler menswear collection, Mariano created a video project featuring Rick Genest, aka “Zombie Boy.”

We present you with an exclusive interview with Mariano Vivanco in which he shares his views on the future of fashion photography, his take on what is iconic , and much more.

Daniel: Mariano! What a great honor to speak with you and host our interview at Bloginity. I am so excited, and am positive our readers must be thrilled to find out more about the man behind the picture.

Mariano: Hi Bloginity readers!

Daniel: Where shall we start? Let’s see. Let’s start by having you introduce yourself to Bloginity. Where are you from and where did all of this begin for you?

Mariano: I am from Peru, grew up there and in New Zealand. My passion for photography started when I was 16 years old, but my love of fashion and film started when I was 5 years old. I followed this passion to Melbourne, where I studied photography. I eventually ended up in London where my career began!

Daniel: In today’s world, when print magazines are hardly selling (as much as they used to), how do you think the online industry will be shaping the fashion photography world?

Mariano: Fashion photography will definitely be shaped by the online industry. Competition can always shape, encourage, and help build our future as individuals. One thing I thought would happen, that is happening, is that print magazines would transition from a monthly publication to something more biannual. The printed magazines may develop more of a “collectors item” feeling to them, while the online portion of these magazines will definitely expand.

A few slides from Vivanco’s Portfolio

Daniel: Do you think Vogue, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, and RUSSH will ever stop print and go 100% online?

Mariano: Absolutely not. That is like saying newspapers would go out of print when TV news happened, or people would stop going to the cinema when the VHS happened. Maybe newspapers, cinema and print magazines will not grow at the rate they should (proportionally to society) but in my opinion they will always be around.

Daniel: What do you think the print industry will look like in the next 5 years?

Mariano: Proportionally smaller, and as society grows and changes, so will the Internet and iPad industry.

Daniel: What are you working on at the moment?

Mariano: Going through the hundreds of emails I received while on holiday!

Daniel: Who or what do you think is iconic?

Mariano: Right now; Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Madonna, and Emma Watson!

Daniel: What gets you ready for a shoot?

Mariano: Listening to my music, relaxing, and plenty of inspiration. Oh, and a good night’s rest and having a mood or a vision for what I am about to photograph.

Daniel: What is your favorite quote?

Mariano: “Major”, “Major Bitches”, “Tranny”, “Gagging”, “Tranny-Gagging”, “PussyControl” – that’s my newest one.

Daniel: What are 5 things a photographer cannot leave home without?

Mariano: I know that I can’t leave home without my cell phone, charger, sunglasses, my cap, and music! In case you were wondering, I use the camera on my phone to record stuff.

Daniel: What camera, or cameras do you shoot with?

Mariano: Hasselblad, Nikon 3DX and my phone camera.

Daniel: Nice collection, tell me – what do you remember most from your childhood?

Mariano: He-Man & The Masters of the Universe, wrestling with my little sister, dancing to Donna Summer when I was 2, and my loving parents!

Daniel: What is Mariano’s favorite food?

Mariano: Ceviche and Watermelon (but not together!) and a Peruvian lamb dish called “Seco de Cordero.”

Daniel: What is your favorite restaurant back at home?

Mariano: Hakasan in London or Miss Lily’s in New York, to name a few. And of course, any Gaston Acurio restaurant!

Daniel: What is Mariano Vivanco’s nickname?

Mariano: Mari (sounds like Murray) – I got it in New Zealand.

Daniel: The best advice I was given was:

Mariano: “Don’t do tomorrow what you can do today!” My father taught me that one.

Daniel: Name one model you really want to work with in the near future.

Mariano: Lara Stone!

Daniel: Yeah, Lara… Tell me, if you could choose three things for free what would you choose?

Mariano: Food for the hungry, warmth for the cold, shelter for the homeless.

Daniel: Do you have a favorite designer?

Mariano: Too many to mention!

Daniel: Name a few stylists you love working with.

Mariano: Beth Fenton, Nicola Formichetti, Karl Templer, Charles Verenne, Olga Dounina and Ekaterina Mukhina, to name a few.

Daniel: Name a few makeup artists and hair stylists you love working with.

Mariano: Francele, Billy Brasfield, Shay Usual, Fernando Torrent, and Lucia Pica.

Daniel: Have you ever been star struck?

Mariano: I’m star struck by every famous person I shot!

Daniel: Where is your favorite place to go on holiday?

Mariano: Ibiza! I just got back and I love it there, very spiritual and calm. Nothing at all like people perceive it to be! I have also been going there for 10 years!

Daniel: Summer or Winter?

Mariano: Both!

Daniel: Which magazines do you love the most?

Mariano: All visually intelligent magazines! Interview, I-D, Dazed & Confused, Hercules and Muse, to name a few.

Mariano Vivanco’s portfolio, (which you can view here is full of inspiration for any photographer, stylist, makeup artist out there. From the hundreds of shoots Mariano has collected into his stunning portfolio through out the years, I’ve decided to pick one that is a bit closer to home than the rest, this one in particular – with Rico, a close friend of ours. Truth be told, Mariano was one of the first photographers to truly photograph Rick Genest within the fashion industry.

Full Credits:
Photographer: Mariano Vivanco
Photo Assistant: Pillip Gutman
Model: Rick “Rico” Genest
Retouching: Happy Finish in London