Tristan Leyco was born in Lucena City in the Philippines. His family moved to Queens, New York when he was only 3 years old, and since then his love for all things creative has grown exponentially.
It’s arguable that Leyco has the job everyone wants. A quick scroll through his Instagram shows incredible shots of some of the most beautiful women in the world. He’s led with passion throughout his career which shines through in his work, and has nothing but the utmost respect for the models he works with.
He has co-founded two companies, digital lifestyle publication ModelGrams and Implied Skateboards, a Woman Empowerment Skateboard brand, of which 1% of profits goes to support a non-profit charitable women’s foundation. In December 2013, Leyco garnered attention after winning a social media contest hosted by Dan Bilzerian, which he used to set in motion his creative endeavours. Read on to find out how Leyco got his start, and how he makes sure his work stands out from the crowd.
When did you start in this business, and how has your focus shifted since then?
I began my creative journey in this business 9 years ago. In my early years, I focused on the cityscape, landscape and adventure niche before transitioning to full-on portraiture. To be honest, it was quite an unfathomable lifestyle for someone in their early 20s, but I knew I worked hard to get to that point so I proudly reaped all the benefits. People would ask me what I do full-time for a living and I’d say in verbatim, “I go on adventures, and I shoot hot models.” because it was simply the honest truth. By day, I’d go whitewater rafting in the rapids of the Poconos to be then chauffeured back into the city, to shoot and hang out with stunning scantily clad models.
What separates you or your products/services from your competition?
Nowadays, models are more-so advertised solely as eye candy. To me, tackling this line of work with that standardized concept in mind lacks depth, substance and meaning behind it. My work is meticulously and diligently crafted with each and every piece of content showcasing women in a different light. On and off camera, I hold myself accountable that my models without exception are comfortable and having a blast. A true gentleman at heart has always been my intrinsic nature. I was raised in a female dominant household where I was taught to treat women with the utmost respect. On top of that, I’ve always distanced myself from toxic masculinity and the fragile male ego. I’m heavily in tune with my emotions, I’m not afraid to say how I feel which is why it’s easier for me to connect and form meaningful bonds with women than I do with men. I assume that’s why models gravitate to working with me. At the end of it all, the fact that I’m able to empower women through my craft is straight-up awesome.
What’s your biggest success?
I’ve had a great deal of successes throughout my career namely working with notable brands, companies, models and celebrities such as Victoria Justice. Yet, my biggest success is that every day I wake up knowing that I get to do what I love.
We’re sure we’ll be seeing much more of Tristan in years to come.
Follow him on Instagram @tristanleyco to keep up with his journey.