Robin Galiegue

A Shy Talent Who Became a Name—the Story of Robin Galiegue

Show Notes


French photographer Robin Galiegue has carved a distinctive niche in the world of contemporary photography, captivating audiences with a refreshing vision of beauty, style, and attitude. Galiegue's early experimentation with makeup, styling, and photography laid the foundation for a career marked by raw energy and a timeless aesthetic. Seamlessly blending fashion, portraiture, and reportage, his notable projects include a recently published book and work with directional publications like Vogue Italia, Self Service, and Harper’s Bazaar France, and collaborations with brands such as Saint Laurent, Isabel Marant, Tom Ford, and Hermès. In a world where he sees people molding into different personas online, Galiegue believes what is contemporary now is being oneself, in work and in life.

Episode Highlights
  • Early ambitions: Born and raised in Lille, France, to artistic-minded parents, Robin Galiegue always had ambitions to move to a bigger city and first felt drawn to images and fashion at 14 in directing a photo shoot with his sister.
  • The big move: Dropping out of school at 16, Galiegue attended photography school in Paris, deciding over the course of five days.
  • Without reference: Coming to school with zero cultural exposure to photography, Galiegue gained technical expertise and was driven to work, though he knew little English and was not assisting.
  • Nerves: Even as a big name in the industry today, Galiegue is nervous about approaching collaborations, such as with legendary model Linda Evangelista.
  • Hard to sit still: Being in Paris—or in large, bustling cities—incites Galiegue’s desire to work rather than relax; he sees them as villages that offer bursts of energy.
  • “Shooting has to be fun”: Known in the industry as a kind presence, Galiegue has an intuitive understanding of when to be firm and when to prioritize kindness.
  • Merging visions: Galiegue enjoys working with brands, stylists, and collaborators with strong voices to make something exciting and new.
  • Finding inspiration and peace: Traveling, meeting new people, having friends not in the fashion industry, and discovering new cultures keep Galiegue engaged in his creative work after hours.
  • What’s contemporary now: Galiegue sees so many people playing roles on social media, so what’s contemporary or necessary now is being yourself.
  • Fear of AI: Galiegue is not interested in AI and is more scared of its potential to replace collaborators and artists.

Notable Quotes:

  • “I was so curious to learn things on my own and experiment with different light.” —Robin Galiegue
  • “I just wanted to work. I wanted to learn by myself. I knew what I wanted to do. And I wanted to work as a fashion photographer or [do] documentary photography.” —Robin Galiegue
  • “If you want to be a commercial artist [in] this day, you have to have a deep understanding of how the industry works, who you’re working with, understanding like the client DNA and what they want, what they’re trying to express in the project.”—Robin Galiegue
  • “I think I’ve become a lot more confident in the past couple of years, but I have to say, every time I work with new collaborators, I feel some nerves.”—Robin Galiegue
  • “It’s very hard for me to sit still. I like to be busy, to keep pushing the creativity. And I think it’s important to have a balance of different types of jobs in working with a range of creatives who can keep challenging you and to push to work in a different path.” —Robin Galiegue
  • “We’re all working in such a small industry and very privileged as well. We just have to realize sometimes that we’re not saving lives. Just step back a minute, and shooting must be fun.” —Robin Galiegue
  • “I have to deal with so much pressure. But you have to learn your way to beat your path through to make yourself felt. And sometimes, you have to be firm, you have to be strong about your opinion and what you believe in. But there’s always a nice way, elegant and professional way, to do it.” —Robin Galiegue
  • “I need them—I need models, stylists, clients, to bring something new to my work.” —Robin Galiegue
  • “Surrounding myself with all the collaborators really helps me to become better and to bring something new all the time, especially when the stylist has a very strong point of view; it’s a fusion, and so it makes my job so interesting.” —Robin Galiegue
  • “It’s just a collaboration between everyone, and everyone has ideas and we’re building something from scratch to make at the end a beautiful picture. So that’s the goal of everyone on set.” —Robin Galiegue
  • “Honestly, I would say just being yourself [is what’s contemporary now]. That’s the most important thing. Living in a world where so many people like playing roles, especially in social media—it’s just like, being yourself.” —Robin Galiegue
  • “I’m pretty low-key, so I just want to show my work, and that’s it. Nothing else. This is how I use social media: just to show my work. If not, I wouldn’t have Instagram or social media.” —Robin Galiegue
  • “I just feel I’m scared for the industry and to replace makeup, to replace hairdressers, even photographers. You can do whatever you want with the AI. That makes me a little bit scared, I have to say.” —Robin Galiegue
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