Gray Malin might use a professional camera for his work, but he uses an iPhone like the rest of us on vacation.Gray Malin

Gray Malin made a name for himself in the photography world by shooting some of the world’s most iconic destinations like San Diego and Waikiki from the sky. And while those aerial photos adorn the walls of thousands of fans, the 32-year-old camera master has more recently turned his attention to another passion of his: hotels.

On October 15 he launched his new series, “Gray Malin at The Beverly Hills Hotel,” focusing on the retro glamour of the famous hotel. Though this comes after two other hotel-focused shoots—theParker Palm Springs and Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara—this one marks Malin’s largest and the first time the hotel allowed a professional fine art photographer to create a collection.

A shot from Malin’s latest series at the Beverly Hills Hotel.Gray Malin

In honor of this achievement and history-making moment, I decided to chat with Malin about his work, personal favorite destinations, and what vacation photos he has in his personal collection.

Q: How do you go about choosing the destinations you want to photograph?

A: In the beginning, I chose places where I have personal connections, such as Marfa, Texas where my family owns a ranch, and I was able to find local help to create my series, Prada Marfa. Gaining courage, I began finding inspiration in far-flung destinations such as Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, the world’s largest salt flat, where I shot my series Far Far Away. I even ventured to Antarctica to create a series about climate change. Needless to say, I have a huge case of never-ending wanderlust.

Q: Are those places the same as where you vacation or different?

A: Many of the locations are just for work. But, a few have left me yearning for more. In particular, I have grown very fond of Italy. I have spent several weeks each of my last few summers road tripping throughout the country to document the beloved landscapes and coastal scenery. In fact, I am happy to share that my next coffee table book is entitled ITALY and will be released in May of next year.

Gray shared this pic from his trip to Italy’s Lake Como.Gray Malin

Q: Where are your favorite places you’ve traveled to for fun and not work?

A: I absolutely love traveling to Cape Town, South Africa. From stunning beaches to unforgettable safari excursions to beautiful wine valleys; this destination is a must experience for any lover of travel.

Q: What’s still on your bucket list?

A: I just checked off a major one: Tokyo, Japan. It was one of the most interesting urban locations I have ever visited. As for what’s next, I’d love to see the rainforests of Brazil or Patagonia in Argentina.

Q:  What are some of your favorite hotels where you’ve vacationed?

A: Most recently, The Aman Hotel in Tokyo was an absolute dream. I also love the Parker Palm Springs, Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, and of course, The Beverly Hills Hotel.

Malin loved this hotel in South Africa.Gray Malin

Q:  How do you go about choosing where you’re going to stay?

A: I usually chose a hotel based on functional reasons such as location and amenities. But I also love staying at hotels that are rich in history. A great hotel should have a unique personality and offer you an exclusive experience that will stay with you long after check out.

Q:  How do your personal vacation photos differ from your professional ones?

A: I am in them, of course! Joking aside, I love taking photos of my friends and family when we travel together. But, overall, my personal vacation photographs are more documentary than my professional ones.

Q: Do you use an iPhone like the rest of us or still use a pro camera?

A: I absolutely use the iPhone camera. It’s perfect for quick snaps as well as capturing behind the scenes moments while working.

Even the famous photographer can’t pass up a classic tourist pic.Gray Malin

Q: What are some of your favorite personal vacation photos?

A: I have an incredible one that was taken a couple of years ago that was a total surprise. My entire family and I took a two-week vacation to South Africa which happened to be during my birthday. After a morning safari drive, we pulled up to wild sight: a table full of vintage clothing, props, and a large sofa and rug. My husband had arranged for a special vintage photograph to be taken of the family decked out in vintage safari clothing– it was hysterical. I have it framed and hanging in our dining room now, and it’s one of the best gifts I have ever received.

Q:  What’s your advice to the average person looking to capture a great personal vacation photo?

A: I always say to photograph something that makes you happy and will transport you back to that moment whenever you look at it. To get a great picture, you’ll want to make sure the lighting is ideal for what you’re trying to capture.  Also, remember to smile, if you’re in it!

“Gray Malin at The Beverly Hills Hotel” runs through October 26 at the property. Once the exhibit ends, one print will permanently remain in the hotel while the rest are available now on GrayMalin.com and the hotel’s shop.

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Gray Malin might use a professional camera for his work, but he uses an iPhone like the rest of us on vacation.Gray Malin

Gray Malin made a name for himself in the photography world by shooting some of the world’s most iconic destinations like San Diego and Waikiki from the sky. And while those aerial photos adorn the walls of thousands of fans, the 32-year-old camera master has more recently turned his attention to another passion of his: hotels.

On October 15 he launched his new series, “Gray Malin at The Beverly Hills Hotel,” focusing on the retro glamour of the famous hotel. Though this comes after two other hotel-focused shoots—theParker Palm Springs and Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara—this one marks Malin’s largest and the first time the hotel allowed a professional fine art photographer to create a collection.

A shot from Malin’s latest series at the Beverly Hills Hotel.Gray Malin

In honor of this achievement and history-making moment, I decided to chat with Malin about his work, personal favorite destinations, and what vacation photos he has in his personal collection.

Q: How do you go about choosing the destinations you want to photograph?

A: In the beginning, I chose places where I have personal connections, such as Marfa, Texas where my family owns a ranch, and I was able to find local help to create my series, Prada Marfa. Gaining courage, I began finding inspiration in far-flung destinations such as Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, the world’s largest salt flat, where I shot my series Far Far Away. I even ventured to Antarctica to create a series about climate change. Needless to say, I have a huge case of never-ending wanderlust.

Q: Are those places the same as where you vacation or different?

A: Many of the locations are just for work. But, a few have left me yearning for more. In particular, I have grown very fond of Italy. I have spent several weeks each of my last few summers road tripping throughout the country to document the beloved landscapes and coastal scenery. In fact, I am happy to share that my next coffee table book is entitled ITALY and will be released in May of next year.

Gray shared this pic from his trip to Italy’s Lake Como.Gray Malin

Q: Where are your favorite places you’ve traveled to for fun and not work?

A: I absolutely love traveling to Cape Town, South Africa. From stunning beaches to unforgettable safari excursions to beautiful wine valleys; this destination is a must experience for any lover of travel.

Q: What’s still on your bucket list?

A: I just checked off a major one: Tokyo, Japan. It was one of the most interesting urban locations I have ever visited. As for what’s next, I’d love to see the rainforests of Brazil or Patagonia in Argentina.

Q:  What are some of your favorite hotels where you’ve vacationed?

A: Most recently, The Aman Hotel in Tokyo was an absolute dream. I also love the Parker Palm Springs, Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, and of course, The Beverly Hills Hotel.

Malin loved this hotel in South Africa.Gray Malin

Q:  How do you go about choosing where you’re going to stay?

A: I usually chose a hotel based on functional reasons such as location and amenities. But I also love staying at hotels that are rich in history. A great hotel should have a unique personality and offer you an exclusive experience that will stay with you long after check out.

Q:  How do your personal vacation photos differ from your professional ones?

A: I am in them, of course! Joking aside, I love taking photos of my friends and family when we travel together. But, overall, my personal vacation photographs are more documentary than my professional ones.

Q: Do you use an iPhone like the rest of us or still use a pro camera?

A: I absolutely use the iPhone camera. It’s perfect for quick snaps as well as capturing behind the scenes moments while working.

Even the famous photographer can’t pass up a classic tourist pic.Gray Malin

Q: What are some of your favorite personal vacation photos?

A: I have an incredible one that was taken a couple of years ago that was a total surprise. My entire family and I took a two-week vacation to South Africa which happened to be during my birthday. After a morning safari drive, we pulled up to wild sight: a table full of vintage clothing, props, and a large sofa and rug. My husband had arranged for a special vintage photograph to be taken of the family decked out in vintage safari clothing– it was hysterical. I have it framed and hanging in our dining room now, and it’s one of the best gifts I have ever received.

Q:  What’s your advice to the average person looking to capture a great personal vacation photo?

A: I always say to photograph something that makes you happy and will transport you back to that moment whenever you look at it. To get a great picture, you’ll want to make sure the lighting is ideal for what you’re trying to capture.  Also, remember to smile, if you’re in it!

“Gray Malin at The Beverly Hills Hotel” runs through October 26 at the property. Once the exhibit ends, one print will permanently remain in the hotel while the rest are available now on GrayMalin.com and the hotel’s shop.