It was in 2012 that Gray Malin shot his first aerial photograph while hanging out the side of a helicopter. The image was of Miami Beach – and it put him on the map.
This fall — after years of crisscrossing the globe photographing locales from Greece to Antarctica — the Instagram-favorite artist launched his latest project featuring another illustrious South Florida site: The Breakers Palm Beach.
The 31-piece collection explores the infamous vistas of the iconic hotel property that has defined the Palm Beach landscape since 1896. Unlike Malin’s past works that feature unknowing subjects photographed from afar, these images are posed with models looking the part of chic, socialite snowbirds – an aesthetic he channeled from family snapshots.
“My grandparents were world travelers and lived a glamorous lifestyle,” recalls Malin. “My grandmother kept beautifully organized photo albums of their trips. It is incredible to imagine their lives and try to bring the era they lived in to life in my photography.”
We met with the photographer to chat about the playful series, which is now available on his website and at The Breakers News & Gourmet gift shop starting in late 2019.
What were you trying to capture in your photographs—the architecture, the lifestyle, all of the above?
The old-world glamour of Palm Beach and the historic grounds of The Breakers resort were my ultimate inspirations for this series. While shooting, I set out to capture the essence of the timeless properties that make Palm Beach an unparalleled exclusive destination and emulate the lifestyle that the community represents. I hoped that this series transports the viewer to a glamorous world of cocktail parties, poolside moments, and the retro luxury of the jet set lifestyle.
How does this resort differentiate from the other incredible hotels you’ve been to?
What makes the Breakers Palm Beach stand apart from other hotels is that is still family-owned and operated, which is incredibly rare and special for a hotel this old and of this magnitude.
There are so many photogenic angles at this property. How did you determine what to capture and, ultimately, what to print?
We really looked to photograph the most iconic locations on the property while also bringing to life the gorgeous golf course around the hotel.
Any favorite design elements that you captured here?
The 200-foot-long hotel lobby is a design gem, and I am so glad we were logistically able to photograph in that iconic space.
Why did you decide to include people in your photos?
People exemplify the lifestyle and add fashion, style and charm to the props and architecture.