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Photographer Gray Malin Discusses the Joys of Creating and his Travel Inspirations

Carita Rizzo | September 27, 2019 | People National

“As long as I can keep going forward with these dream projects,” says Gray Malin, “that’s what really makes me happy.”

With its world-famous aerial images of sandy beaches and azure waters, Gray Malin’s work has become so instantly identifiable that he is more often referred to as a brand than a photographer. “It’s a funny feeling, but it’s great,” says the 33-year-old, whose booming career has progressed from selling fine art photography at a West Hollywood swap meet in 2009 into a thriving line of prints, books and lifestyle products. “We’ve just built out how photography can work off the wall,” he says. “Our motto is, ‘Make every day a getaway.’ There’s a million ways to go with that.” What becomes clear from talking to Malin is that nearly a decade after the playful Prada Marfa series launched his career, he still gets as much joy from his own work as those who lose themselves in the results. “I’m still thrilled to have people wake up in the morning and see a photo of mine that gives them energy for a good day,” he says. Malin’s most recent passion is a new perspective on private access, like his Aqua Glam series, featuring synchronized swimmers at the members-only Coral Casino in Montecito. While recently becoming a parent has required Malin to plan more, his future ambitions remain as unpredictable as his next aerial photo. “The best thing about being an entrepreneur is you have to be completely nimble and understand that something exciting, that we don’t even know yet, is coming,” he says. “That’s part of the fun.”

Malin’s Favorite...

“The Parker in Palm Springs, where all the magic began. The number of memories when I walk in the door…”

Holiday Destination
“The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii is a very vintage, 1960s establishment. You feel like you’re miles away, but you’re only one flight from L.A.”

“Connie & Ted’s is laid-back and has great fresh fish. I can eat healthy, but also have something very unhealthy.”

“One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever gone to is Grand Saline in St. Barts. It’s hard to get to the island, and there’s no development. When you’re there, it truly feels like paradise.”

Tags: celebrity

Photography by: gray malin