For this round of A Conversation With, I talked to the stunning Kristin Gallegos about experimenting with Polaroids and using the power of social media to not only express yourself but to get your work out there too.
"My name is Kristin Gallegos. I am originally from Long Beach, California but have been in NYC for 12 years! I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER but I have also been a makeup artist the whole of my time here in NYC. I have only been shooting for about a year and a half. And I also DJ!
I feel like I've always been imaginative and creative. I am a lot younger than my sister so I spent a lot of time by myself creating a dream world in my room. I also did ballet for 8 years which was a huge creative outlet for me growing up. I always had Polaroid cameras around and when I was a teenager I was dating the most beautiful boy so I would take a million photos of him which I still have. I've always enjoyed taking photos for fun. But I really got inspired by my beautiful group of girlfriends -- not only are they stunning but they all do really interesting things. So I was looking for a hobby as I was becoming a bit bored. I bought a Contax T2 because I wanted to shoot film and not digital, and I started taking photos of all them when we were hanging out. I would post the photos to Instagram and that's how it all began.
I started to get submission requests from different brands to shoot for them. Really, it happened really randomly. I never thought of doing photo as a career. But so far it has been amazing. It's a great creative outlet for me because I do everything on my shoots. I do the beauty and the styling (unless it's nudes) and I art direct on top of shooting it. And I just work with friends and girls I know, which is really great.
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Stylistically, I am really influenced by the icons of the 60's and 70's. Those two decades have always been fascinating to me and the aesthetic is something that carries through in my own style and even my work as a makeup artist and DJ, in addition to my photos. I am also obsessed with Andy Warhol and what he did all around in art and pop culture. I like to have my hands in a lot of different things which is what he did. I don't like to be stuck in one box.
My favorite photographer is David Bailey, his portraits and editorials are incredible. I was lucky enough to have worked with him once doing makeup! I also love Sam Haskins, Avedon, and Maripol, and I take so much inspiration from music and film. And of course, the girls I shoot inspire me a lot.
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Kristin shot by Jimmy Fontaine.
It's just been a really incredible journey as a photographer so far. All of the brands and magazines I've shot for are amazing, and I'm just so proud of the work I've been doing in general. I'm really grateful that people have been enjoying my work. And I'm lucky I have a balance in my life with the various jobs that I do so I can be selective in the projects that I say yes to. Every project has been really fun to work on, but there are really busy times and really slow times -- that's the way the freelance life is! But you can't let that get you down, it all comes in waves. You have to keep it all in perspective and try and stay motivated and inspired.
I hope to continue shooting and building on what I've done thus far. I would really love to be in more photo shows as well. I'm looking forward to my future as a photographer!
For anyone interested in starting out in the world of photography, my advice would be to have your own specific aesthetic and voice that is personal to you. Don't be afraid to show your work and put it out there. If I hadn't put it on social media none of this would have happened! And I would also say that you really have to be a go getter. Nothing will just fall into your lap. You really have to hustle and work hard. That's my approach to everything I do in my life. Take risks! Don't dream it ... be it!"
View KRISTIN'S PORTFOLIO HERE.