About Robin Finlay


Posts by Robin Finlay :

Pacific Standard Magazine, “Awakening the Grizzly”

Top five things we learned on this shoot:

  1. We don’t know how to properly pack a car with gear.
  2. Parking tickets in San Francisco cost $30.
  3. There is a point where bear puns stop being funny, but you still make them anyway to get groans from the rest of the crew.
  4. Taxidermy animals can have some great derp faces.
  5. Grizzly bears are super cool, and not only when they’re kept in a giant refrigerated room.

Many thanks to Taylor Le and the rest of the team at Pacific Standard for sending us out to shoot a bear the only way we’d ever like to (with a camera).









The Atlantic: Fall of Washington

This spring we collaborated with Paul Spella at The Atlantic on a cover story about Paul Manaford and the swamp that is Washington politics. We shot a number of options for the story. At one point the headline was going to read American Hustle, so we took off on a shell game option with our politician lobbyist, pinky ring and all, running the game. There was also Washington decay with our take on what the Lincoln Memorial might look like in the Stranger Things “Upsidedown”. We even made plaster replicas of the capitol dome and smashed them to bits.

But in the end, the simple powerful graphic of an American flag lapel pin falling upside down on white was the winner. Strong and graphic, a statement in its starkness. Thanks Paul Spella for making something so simple look so good!

Newsweek: Medal of Honor cover

Flattered as always to take on another cover for Michael Goesele, Diane Rice and the fantastic team at Newsweek.

This time we had a whopping 2 days to create an image with an Air Force Medal of Honor. Unfortunately I found out really quickly it is illegal in the US to buy one, or even own one, if it was not given to you or a member of your family.

So our scrambled solution involved cobbling together a really close stand in from jewelry charms and a key ring from the craft store. The ribbon part itself was it’s own challenge. Thank goodness for the kindness and uber quick response from Jennifer at Etsy store TextileArtLace. She had a roll of the most perfect vintage moire sky blue silk ribbon she was willing to overnight to me the next day.

Finally, Nicki Longoria hit up the Army surplus in search of the one Navy dress uniform we could get on Adam’s arm. Yep, Adam was our hand model.

Super happy for how it all turned out. Thanks again Michael and Diane for letting us tackle another.



The Wall Street Journal, “The New Science of Psychedelics”

In early May we were asked to quickly turn around a cover image for the WSJ on a story about psychedelic drugs. BUT… No Tie Dye and No Lava Lamps. The solution? The beautiful hand of Jasmine Roussell holding a glowing swirling capsule.

Ultimately, the paper went with the safe version but we had to try just a little to make it more psychedelic with some colored gels. Oh well, we have that one for us.


PDN Winners!

Break out the champagne y’all, we are winners for the PDN Photo Annual 2018 and for Objects of Desire!

Our Paper & Shadow series won for Personal Work in the Photo Annual, you can check out our full gallery here.

Our sunglasses bouquet nabbed a win for Objects of Desire, peep the whole winners gallery here.

Cats & Dogs for Oprah Magazine

When we got asked to create the Oprah “O” out of cats and dogs interacting with each other, we quickly got all of our Ghostbusters quotes out of our system and came up with as many scenarios as we could using model cats and dogs. Some of the cats were less than stellar looking, so our stylist assistant Nicki Longoria got to work with some paint and brushes to bring them to life.