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Dream Job

While most of us are stuck inside offices typing away on our laptops on this slow summer Tuesday, photographer Gray Malin is cruising around on a helicopter snapping the world’s most beautiful beaches.

From Miami to Cape Town to the Italian Riviera, Malin has circled the globe capturing a range of exquisite landscapes. We were fortunate enough to kick off our new Dream Job feature by chatting with him about art, travel and how he made his dream into a reality.

Prepare to be inspired (and extremely envious).

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How did you first become introduced to photography?

I discovered the dark room in high school. It was a totally addicting experience watching my images slowly come to life in the developing trays — definitely love at first sight.

How do you decide which beaches to shoot?

I’m drawn to famous/popular beaches throughout the world. The more people and energy, the better! I love the geometric composition of octagonal umbrellas, rectangular loungers, and swirly colorful sunbathers dotting the crisp white sand — it’s my universal canvas.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration on a daily basis whether it’s a cloud in the sky or a great Pinterest board. One of the things I love about Instagram is searching through handles of locations I am interested in visiting and seeing how others see it on a daily basis.

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What is your favorite photograph of the work you’ve done so far, and why?

I am partial to Antarctica. It was such a difficult series to capture — given it’s one of the most treacherous places in the world! Each image is filled with compassion about the changing landscape of our earth, and the multiple near-death experiences that I faced make it a body of work I still have a hard time putting a price tag on.

What photographers have inspired you?

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the incredible guidance of my high school photography teacher, Janis Hefley and my post-college mentor and photographer friend, Aline Smithson.

Who are some of your favorite artists and why?

I love the underwater paintings of Samantha French because of the perspective and color. I also am a huge fan of famed Bolivian photographer, Gaston Uglade’s work. He mentored me during my shoot in the Salt Flats of Bolivia.

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How would you describe your aesthetic?

A mixture of classic, prep and beach — plus a twist of whimsy!

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled and why?

Absolutely impossible question to answer! For landscape, Antarctica was unreal. For city, Cape Town is the most stunning thing I have ever seen, and for beach, Rio de Janiero is just fabulous.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a professional photographer?

It’s all about the Internet — spread your wings and surf your heart out! Having a website and Instagram account is key — get your images and your name out there because you never know where the Internet will take you.

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What is the toughest obstacle you’ve faced in your career?

When you go from being a one-man show to needing a staff and an office, the waters can be very tricky to navigate. I feel extremely fortunate to have an incredible team in place now, but it didn’t happen overnight.

What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?

Travel! It sounds cliché, but as soon as I land in a new location, I’m immediately inspired. The sounds, smells, colors, and patterns ignite something inside of me and I can’t wait to pick up a camera to capture everything in sight. Just stepping outside of my everyday surroundings challenges me to look at the world from a different perspective. It’s truly the best remedy!

What do you do for fun when you’re not behind the camera?

I honestly love just hanging with my husband, Jeff and our little rescue lab, Stella. Whether it’s watching a movie at home, going to the beach or throwing the ball in park – I love it! Since I’m constantly on the go, it’s the simple things that I enjoy most. Also, I’m also big fan of throwing casual al fresco dinner parties for my friends — margaritas and guacamole are always a must in my household.

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Follow Gray Malin on Instagram