Famed Texas Photographer Tells All on Dream Concerts, Pajamas and Queso Ahead of his Return Home

Preferential Treatment With Gray Malin

BY // 05.14.19

I vividly remember the first time I became acquainted with Gray Malin. This had to have been, oh, maybe eight-ish years ago, while I was browsing One Kings Lane.

I found two works of art and immediately fell in love: one was a grid of distorted Polaroids depicting Central Park; the other was a similar distorted-Polaroid grid, but this one depicted Marfa, Texas.

These two works symbolized the two places I considered home, Texas and New York (while not my place of birth, New York City is where I spent many happy childhood summers and, to this day, consider it my happy place), so I purchased them immediately.

When the package from One Kings Lane arrived with my two new pieces of art, I noticed the artist’s bio had been included. It was a young man by the name Gray Malin — and, as it turned out, he was born and raised in Dallas.

I quickly went into stalker mode. At the time, I was PaperCity‘s assistant editor. The thought of accidentally finding a new talent to profile — a young, little-known photographer who was making it big in Los Angeles — was thrilling. I don’t think Instagram was a thing at the time, so I scoured Facebook, eventually finding and sending a message to Gray Malin himself.

We exchanged a few emails and had a phone interview, and in the following issue of PaperCity we ran a story on Malin. I like to think I was the first editor to publish a story about the now-famous photographer in print. (He can fact-check me on that one.)

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Now on to today: Since our first exchange, Malin has hit the big time. People love his aerial photographs of glamorous destinations, from snowy Switzerland to beach-y Capri. He has collaborated with myriad brands (Splendid, Cloth + Co, the Parker Palm Springs Hotel, to name a few), which use his beautiful photographs as prints for products galore.

So, of course, I was delighted when a little note popped in my inbox recently, announcing that Malin was coming to Dallas for a visit. Come Wednesday, May 22 (from 5 to 7 pm), Malin will sign copies of his new book Italy at the new Serena + Lily boutique in Knox-Henderson.

In anticipation of his upcoming trip, I sent Malin PaperCity‘s Preferential Treatment questionnaire. His answers are, well, as charming as the photographer himself.

As for those two photographs I purchased nearly a decade ago? They still occupy prominent real estate in my living room.

Tell me about your work:

I’m a fine art photographer and CEO of my namesake lifestyle brand, Gray Malin.

We’re growing every day with new fine art photography shot around the globe, as well as luxury lifestyle products and collaborations, such as my latest with Cloth & Company, who I partnered with to design my first collection of nursery and children’s furniture. It’s such a joy doing what I do!

Where are you right at this moment:

My home in Los Angeles, packing my bags in preparation for my 15-city book tour kicking off this month!

The zip code you call home:

West Hollywood, 90069

Style of residence:

We live in a single-family house. The exterior is Southern Colonial but the interior is open and contemporary. If you want to take a look we’ve done quite a few reveals on our lifestyle blog at

Pajamas or in the buff:

Pajamas by Sant & Abel

Early or late riser:

Early! I try to get an energetic start to the day by making it to the gym by 6 am.

Coffee or tea:

Coffee with almond milk.

Morning grooming ritual:

Aesop shampoo, conditioner, and soap

Evening grooming ritual:

Dr. Lancer skin polish and Kate Sommerville peptide serum.

Go-to daytime ensemble:

Typically, I’m in white jeans, a button-down collared shirt, belt, and leather loafers.

However, I’ve recently been enjoying wearing pieces from my collaboration with Splendid. We recently launched a men’s and women’s spring and summer collection.

Ideal evening look:

Sweater over my shoulders, dress shirt, dark denim, belt, and Stubbs and Wooten sliders.

One thing you always keep in mind when getting dressed:

Being comfortable, yet polished.

Your happy place destination:

I am on the road a lot! So my favorite happy place is at home with my husband, our twins, and pup, Stella.

The hotel you call your home-away-from home:

The Parker Palm Springs or Montage Laguna Beach. While traveling in my beloved Italy, it’s always the Punta Tragara in Capri.

Travel bag:

The Away x Gray Malin bigger carry-on.

Last person you cocktail’ed with and what was your poison:

My interior designer, Kate Lester, for our newly renovated Lake Michigan home. We were there recently for the final install and may have drunk a bit too much rosé in celebration of its completion.

Dream concert:

Taylor Swift or Beyonce… front row… but with plenty of room to dance.

Store where you wish you had an unlimited charge account:

Serena & Lily

Items currently on your coffee table:

My collector’s edition of ITALY and fresh flowers in a Juliska vase.

Last movie you saw:

Little, which was hysterical.

If you weren’t in your current profession what would you be doing:

Interior Designer

Secret skill:

I’m originally from Dallas so I make a pretty mean queso!

Guilty pleasure:

Queso, chips, and a Mambo Taxi from Mi Cocina.

Curated Collection