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Captured : The Six Pillars

Whisky was the choice of drink in my country during the years I was growing up. When I was approached by The Macallan to take part in The Masters of Photography Series I decided to capture the moment when people get together to celebrate, in the atmosphere of a whisky environment – a whisky club!

Mario Testino


Renowned for his mastery of composition and for creating a reflective and intense connection with his subjects, be it celebrities or royalty, Mario Testino has made a lasting impact on the world of photography. In 2014, he directed his lens towards The Macallan in the fifth chapter of The Masters of Photography.

As one of the world’s most prolific portrait and fashion photographers, Testino brought the foundation stones of The Macallan to life; personified and characterised in Testino’s inimitable and luxurious style.

The setting for the shoot was The China Club in Beijing, in a former palace near the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square. Made up of a series of intriguing courtyards surrounded by Qing Dynasty pavilions, this tranquil space combined birds dancing in trees with the heady glamour of the past.

Testino's vision, inspired by this location, shone through every detail of the setting, casting and atmosphere. By bringing together a group of distinct characters, including the traditional Chinese crested dog, Testino captured the spirit of the ultimate party. Every character was cast on the basis of their visual qualities, each echoing one of The Macallan’s Six Pillars.

Testino’s signature style, and renowned ability to create an atmosphere and capture the quintessential moment, was celebrated in this fifth chapter of the Masters of Photography Series. The photographs showcase the vibrancy and luxury of The Macallan world, infused with subtle eclecticism and cultural allusions.

Behind The Scenes

I like to take whatever I do to the highest possible level, so I always oversee the entire process. I don’t think you can get the results you want without this attitude.

Mario Testino

The Whisky

The Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition brought together six different casks to showcase the ultimate complexity of The Macallan. Each of these six perfect whiskies is the definitive representation of one of The Six Pillars. They each have their own character, flavour and aroma which when brought together create the perfect single malt with unparalleled depth, darkness and diversity.

Bob Dalgarno, the Master Whisky Maker, personally selected six unique casks from over 200,000 maturing at The Macallan distillery to craft this limited-edition expression. He achieved this through adding layer upon layer of character and flavour, reflecting the approach taken to the photography itself.

Each of the 1,000 editions comprised a different Mario Testino print capturing The Six Pillars, an exclusive photo-archival booklet featuring a total of 20 images shot by Testino during the process, one bottle of the single malt whisky and six miniatures from each of the selected six casks.

This project was a lot more intricate as it not only involved the concept development, casting and shooting but a deep consideration of the reasons behind the campaign – the values and codes of The Macallan. It also involved defining the packaging and bottle.

Mario Testino

Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese