About Robin Finlay


Posts by Robin Finlay :

Tribeza Style Week Posters

Avalon McKenzie, a designer at Free People in Philadelphia, just a few months ago was the designer of Tribeza magazine here in Austin. Avalon came up with the idea of violating iconic accessories for Fashion Week’s promo images. Although she didn’t get the chance to oversee their execution, it was a pleasure to bring her idea to fruition.

For the execution of these images, I’d have loved to have spray-painted a Chanel bag, or sliced up a pair of Louboutin shoes. But Neiman Marcus wasn’t so into the idea. Instead we cut type into matching red leather and sprayed the stencil onto black paper. Then we put the pieces together and voila. Two images I like a lot.

Austin Distillers & the Tipsy Texan’s bar kit

Austin has gone from a town exploding with micro breweries to a town full of micro distilleries. And they are damn good too! So for Tribeza’s nightlife issue Robin and I pitched the idea of highlighting local booze distillers.

After the magazine went for the story I managed to convince them to let me do portraits. Anyone who is familiar with my work isn’t familiar with my portraiture, because there isn’t any! I do however have a passion for the classic styles of Yousuf Karsh and am a fan of contemporaries such as Nigel Perry. It’s something I hold in high regard.

For this project I wanted to create traditional portraits that would be flattering to these artisans and their brands, and then create a matching still life that flows in layout. The color, light, environment and mood should all match. Each still life features a cocktail, and I was concerned with the quality of the drinks, so I decided to make them myself. For weeks I diligently drank my fill and fine tuned these recipes. It was quite the sacrifice!

Also, this issue featured a ‘still life portrait’ of Austin drink aficionado David Alan, AKA The Tipsy Texan. There just isn’t enough of this in the world. Photos of people through objects. I love it. I want to see more of it!

Texas Monthly – Water & Drought

TJ Tucker, creative director at Texas Monthly, asked me to photograph a single drop of water refracting the Texas flag just as the droplet breaks free. The idea was to do this all in camera and emphasize the strange things that happen when light meets liquid in motion.

John Deere 175th Anniversary Poster

GSD&M was working on a poster for John Deere’s 175th Anniversary and they wanted a collection of logos from across the years with different degrees of age and wear. When they first called the idea was to try and get some merchandise from ebay and hopefully get enough to do the poster. Little did they know Adam’s father in law and his family have been farming central Texas land for over 100 years, and most of the time with John Deere gear. They asked if we could deliver at least 20 logos. In the end we came away with over 60 unique John Deer emblems spanning decades of farming.

It was a beautiful day to be out of the studio, roaming the fields with camera and lights in hand, searching for that little jumping deer.

American Photography 28 – WE’RE IN!!!!

Question: What’s the most exciting email the studio received this week? Answer: The one from Ernie Monteiro of Time Inc. custom publishing letting us know an image we created for Proto Magazine was chosen to be in American Photography 28 along side some really amazing work. All we can say is Woo-Hoooo!!!! Read the original blog post about the image and see construction pictures of the wire brain here.


Laura Sawicki’s Mixer

Austin’s own Laura Sawicki of La Condesa, was recently named to Food & Wine’s list of Best New Pastry Chefs 2012. To highlight this honor Tribeza magazine asked us to photograph Laura’s stand mixer for their May Cuisine Issue. We’re still finding flour on the floor…. And the ceiling. Yes, my 25 foot ceiling.

AARP Tennis Elbow

You know we love to set stuff on fire here at the studio, so when AARP asked for an image to illustrate the burning of tennis elbow, we were happy to oblige. Robin built the  structure out of tennis paraphernalia (rackets, balls, grip tape and racket strings), then Adam got to burn it down.

Esquire – Food & Drink Adam’s Way

Man oh man I love shooting for Esquire. Although I have to complain about having thirty egg mc muffins in my studio. They made the whole place smell like farts for days. Those things are seriously gross. But it worked out in the end, we got to wash them down with an old school ramos fizz. Which also smells a little odd. Oh well.

Below are the printed pages and some outtakes; a concept image on Stephen King, and an additional mc muffin option.

Runner’s World – Running on Empty

We had the pleasure of working with Runner’s World on an article about eating disorders and distance runners. Thank’s to Monty for naturally looking like he runs 10 miles a day.

I don’t know about you, but if I were to run 26 miles there better be a bucket of Lucy’s fried chicken waiting at the finish line.

Proto Magazine

Every visual metaphor for medical research has been done, but Proto, the magazine of Massachusetts General Hospital, pushed us to come up with a couple more. We were flattered to contribute art to this issue, which also included the work of many we admire like Bruce Peterson and Jamie Chung just to name two.  And before you ask, “how did you build that thing,” construction shots of the brain are at the end.