Sara Sampaio and Jarrod Scott interview Mariano Vivanco about his nude photographs
Lima-born Mariano Vivanco, who studied photography in Melbourne, has shot some of the world's most famous faces - and mostly, he's shot them stark naked. From Emily Ratajkowski to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Candice Swanepoel to Donatella Versace, Rihanna to Kiera Knightley, Miranda Kerr, Olivier Rousteing and pretty much everyone in between, believe us - he's seen it all.
Now, he's compiled some of his very best work - including portraits and the flower photographs he's taken since day one - into a beautiful book, simply titled Portraits Nudes Flowers (Damiani Publishing). With a foreword by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (yes, he's shot them too) and an introduction by Tim Blanks, it's the ultimate fashion tome. Better yet - all proceeds from the sale (you can order it here) go to Amantani, a British charity that raises funds for children living in the highlands of Vivanco's native Peru.
We asked two of Vivanco's favourite subjects, models Sara Sampaio (pictured above) and Jarrod Scott (pictured below), to interview the photographer on what it's like to shoot the world's biggest names below.
Sara Sampaio: Have you ever been star struck by working with someone?
Mariano Vivanco: I can't think of anyone I've been star struck by because I see eye to eye with everybody I shoot. I really do. You know, I've got a strong character and if I act star struck with anyone they won't know that I'm there to do the job. Having said that, I just met Madonna this last Sunday for the first time, and yeah I was a little star struck. You have to be!
SS: How did you come up with the theme of this book?
MV: Because I like to catalog my work. I want the book to document my career and my life. I think books are really important right now. I included nudes because they're a huge part of what I do. To me they feel very natural and - you know - when I find a model that I connect with, that gives me the freedom and the chance to express myself. I am very grateful for that. I thought it was interesting to do portraits and nudes together, and then I remembered that when I was a student I used to take photos of flowers a lot. Then I dug up those files and almost instinctively I had these urges to photograph flowers again. They were so strong. I like to think they are a document of my feelings and how I felt. Then I kind of found out... that bright flower looks really cool next to that portrait or that nude looks amazing next to a flower.
SS: Who is the model you've shot the most in your career?
MV: You're one of them Sara! Irina Shayk, David Gandy, Candice Swanepoel, Will Chalker, Jarrod Scott, and Justice Joslin.
SS: Do you remember what your first photo shoot was?
MV: I had a friend, a girl-friend, called Kate Applebee, and she was one year younger. She had short hair and she looked very gamine like Audrey Hepburn, and I said "hey, can I take photos of you?" and I put up a white cloth in the back wall of my house - I still have the photos actually - and that was my first photo shoot. I had a friend doing the reflectors. She did her own make up. Some of those shots are really cool. That was my first photo shoot.
SS: What's your favourite image from the book?
MV: There is one image I keep telling people it's my favourite image. It's a photo of Anna Dello Russo, the fashion editor. It's a photo we took nine years ago in Stromboli on a boat. We were all on a boat together, and she didn't like being photographed back then, which is the opposite of what she's like now, and the friends we were with literally had to hold her down, and then let her go. She is looking at me in such a beautiful, pure, intense, intelligent, sweet way, that every time I look at the photo it just kind of freezes me a little bit. She's got no make-up, nothing. She's stripped bare.
Jarrod Scott: What is it about flowers that's made you passionate about shooting them?
MV: Flowers are pure, and they don't talk back! In all seriousness, they've always been a subject I love to photograph ever since my photography school years in Melbourne. Flowers, I think, exemplify all that is beautiful in nature.
JS: Do you enjoy shooting models or celebrities more?
MV: I enjoy both really. As long they're polite and cool I'm going to have a good time.
JS: What is the worst thing that someone can do on set?
MV: To not be conscious of other people's feelings or be inconsiderate. It doesn't happen often. People on my shoots are usually lovely.
JS: How do you keep your inspiration flowing?
MV: By relaxing and doing things I love. Going to the movies, going to galleries, hanging out with the people I love.
JS: What has been your most memorable shoot?
MV: I'd like to think my last shoot is my best and most memorable shoot. If I had to pin one down, Rihanna in Angra, Brazil for Vogue Brazil is one of my fondest memories. I love working with her.
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