Today we are getting inspired by Philippines born and America raised Tristan Leyco, a photographer whose aesthetic has gathered worldwide recognition. Lifestyle, fashion and photography in general, now more than ever, are industries that put a lot of pressure on their “insiders”. In a world of glam where being fabulous and perfect is required by contract, having a balanced mindset and a strong set of values built on a safe-haven foundation is crucial. Today we will investigate how Tristan managed to make it in this business while keeping a positive and proactive mindset.
Now just a bit of his backstory. Tristan has been behind the lens since 2011 and has made a name for himself in the photography industry, amassing a following of over 150,000 social media followers. Since he was gifted his first camera with the intent of filming himself skateboarding to send to possible sponsors (he was even sponsored by Monster Energy at one point), he has perfected his skills in portraiture and implied nudity photography.
A scroll through his Instagram shows artistically shot models who look comfortable and confident in front of the camera. Leyco’s work stands out among the hordes of photographers aiming for similar shots in today’s age, and it’s clear he’s put energy into growing his skills and perfecting his craft. Read on to find about what Tristan Leyco does to stand out among the crowd and how he stays motivated.
You’ve come a long way since you began in the photography space, what would you say is your biggest lesson learned?
To invest in yourself. Things can go away at an instant but the gifts and knowledge you possess stay with you forever. There’s this Greek word, Meraki and it means to devote your entire fiber of your soul into something you love or into something you are passionate about. It’s not about this, that, him, her, or anything else going on in the world. And what I love about it is that you’re not being forced, driven, or are motivated by things happening in the outside world. It’s about YOU. What YOU love, what YOU care about and what truly makes YOU happy. Life’s too big to feel small. So, do what you can, while you can. Strive to do the things you love, the things you’re afraid of and go outside your comfort zone. Just live.
What would you say is your biggest piece of advice for young entrepreneurs?
Be selflessly selfish. At the end of the day, this is your life. Not everyone is made in the same cookie-cutter shape. We can’t control the world around us, circumstances, people, nature, our genetics, or the past. To try to control, or to worry about any of these things is pointless and only makes life more difficult. It’s in our constant attempt to try to control these things that we end up suffering. The only control we have are our thoughts and actions. Knowing this, you’re not entitled to be true to anyone else but you must be true to yourself. There are endless paths and roads in this life that’ll take you where you need to go.
What keeps you motivated every day?
I’m healthy, I’m breathing and I’m loved. As unfortunate as it is, not everyone is given those simplest of luxuries. I know that someone out there is working harder than me but I also know that someone out there is pushing through circumstances worse than I. As I see it, to not work my very hardest would be extremely ungrateful of me and a huge disservice to the beautiful fragility of life.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
As simple of an answer this is, happy. That is my goal and mantra. I know for a fact that we can all be happy, from within. What we possess, where we are, what we do are not as important as how we decide to feel from the inside out. It sounds counter-intuitive to most but reality is that happiness is a choice.
This is a great reminder Tristan shared with us. It’s been a pleasure talking to him and getting inspired by a successful fashion & photography insider who has to confront a huge amount of pressure everyday.