Tristan Leyco has made a name for himself in the New York photography scene in recent years, so we connected with him to find out his tips and tricks for staying on top of his game and one of the leading talents in the industry.
Leyco was born into a musically inclined family in Lucena City, Philippines. His family moved to Queens, New York, when he was just 3 and a half years old. At the early age of 8, he was encouraged to learn the piano, guitar, clarinet, play in the school band and sing in the church choir. He taught himself to produce, write, mix and master his own music, and hopes to pursue this again in the future.
So, what motivated him to pursue photography? Leyco names feeling like he was “like Jim Carey in the Truman Show” as one of his biggest motivators for deciding to switch up his life and follow his dreams. He felt as if he was following the same monotonous routine day in day out, expecting change to just happen, which I’m sure is a feeling we can all relate to. He knew that there was “something out there beyond his sights that he needed to pursue”, so he decided to switch things up and “make a life rather than a living”.
Passively Following to Actively Pursuing
This change in mindset from passively following a routine to actively making the choice to switch up his life and follow his ambition has done wonders for Leyco, who now boasts over 150,000 followers across social media channels and continually works with some of the most renowned models in the United States. In 2016 Leyco was introduced to the world of glamour, implied and nude photography, and has since been honing his skills and working on his personal brand, building a reputation for himself.
Put Something of Yourself into Everything You Do
When asked about his biggest lesson learned, Leyco mentions the Greek word, Meraki, which means to ‘put something of yourself’ into everything you do, and always do everything with soul and passion. He believes to “invest in yourself”, and that “things can go away in an instant but the gifts and knowledge you possess stay with you forever.” It seems that focus is at the core of Leyco’s beliefs, and that you really can achieve everything you want and more so long as you are entirely committed to your craft, lead with passion and always aim to create unique work and be the best version of yourself.
Life’s Too Big to Feel Small
Something interesting about Leyco’s beliefs are that he believes in the importance of tuning out what everyone else is doing, he states “It’s not about this, that, him, her, or anything else going on in the world. You’re not being forced, driven, or 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.”
One of Leyco’s biggest pieces of advice is to “be selflessly selfish” which is a great lesson for all entrepreneurs. Of course, networking and making connections is always important. But if the core of your focus is your own work, your own progress and staying authentically true to your passions, you are bound to grab peoples attention, and succeed.
Follow Tristan’s journey on his Instagram at @tristanleyco