We caught up with multi-talented photographer, creative director, makeup artist, and New York based DJ, Kristin Gallegos. How's that for a gal of all traits?!
As a Long Beach native she started off as a classical ballet dancer. After 8 years of being a dancer, she decided to switch creative gears and pursue her love of beauty and fashion, which fueled her decision to move to New York in 2004 to become a makeup artist. Later in 2014, Kristen picked up photography as a hobby, which quickly developed into another career.
She not only shoots the subject, but also does the makeup, hair, styling and creative direction, usually with a 60's and 70's aesthetic. Her specialized nudes, portraits and fashion editorials can be seen in Playboy, Teen Vogue, Nylon Magazine, Galore Magazine and more.
As a DJ, Kristin specializes in vinyl, as she prefers to spin 60's-90's rock and roll, soul, disco, punk, post punk, french 60's pop, glam rock, brit pop and new wave and has played all over NYC at various hotels, regular gigs and venues.
Scroll down to read her interview and listen to her groovy playlist so made just for you guys. Also view the new editorial she shot for Valfré here!
Shop it: Jolie Dress (Yellow)
Describe your style in 3 words.
Dark, Glam, Retro
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from the 60’s and 70’s mostly and the icons from that time. Music and film really inspire my work a lot as well. I only shoot girls that are inspiring to me. Girls that are doing creative and interesting things. I never shoot people that I don’t know or know through friends. And I prefer to shoot non models to be honest!
What's your favorite part about being a photographer?
My favorite part about being a photographer is that I have full creative control! As you know my background is as a makeup artist and as a makeup artist you get the least amount of say on set I feel like. After a while I felt like I would get to a job and they would have a photo of exactly the makeup they wanted and they just wanted me to copy it. I was very creatively stifled. Now I do everything, I creative direct, shoot, cast, style, prop style, and do the beauty on the majority of my shoots. It's so much fun!
Where are your favorite places to hang out in NYC? Anywhere we can catch a DJ set?
My favorite places to hang out in NYC are places that I DJ at! I love this new spot in the Lower East Side called “et al.” where I actually shot the denim jumpsuit in! I have a really fun 70’s Disco, Soul, and Funk party called ‘Foxy’ there! And I also love Paul’s Casablanca, formerly Sway, and Rose Bar at The Gramercy Park Hotel to name a few. I DJ all over the city though!
Any advice for aspiring artists, musicians and creatives?
I would say to aspiring artists that in order to be successful as a creative I think you have to be willing to take risks. You need to stay true to yourself and figure out what makes you different from the rest. Focus on what you are doing and don’t compare yourself to others. You really have to hustle and go out and make things happen for yourself. Don’t dream it, be it!
We know that you are also a make-up artist! Any beauty tips for the summer or make-up trends you are into this season?
I would say for the summer, less is always more! Especially on the skin. Try a tinted moisturizer or BB cream instead of foundation so you don’t melt! I am loving what Glossier is doing makeup wise. Fresh faced and minimal. But I also love a strong cat eye. That is my signature look! I like to focus on one feature on the face as a rule.
What kind of camera do you shoot on?
I shoot on a couple of Contax T2 cameras and a bunch of old polaroid cameras. Some of which I have had since I was a teenager. I also started shooting on Super 8! I only shoot film, I am very old school. I don’t even own a digital. I probably should!
What were the top 3 albums you listened to when you were a teenager?
I guess I would say my top 3 albums as a teenager were probably The Beatles: Revolver, The Smiths: Louder Than Bombs, and The Strokes: Is This It.
What's next for you?
I have a bunch of fun shoots lined up and DJ gigs coming up. Aside from all of the parties I do in the city I will be DJing out at the Montauk Beach House all throughout the summer! I am planning on a much needed trip to LA in the next month or so as well. I can’t wait to shoot out there again!
Listen to her playlist here: