Two takes at a “heart with gears”, one for all our anatomical fans in the house.
Posts by Robin Finlay :
When EnviroMedia came to us to create type out of litter, our inner Oscar the Grouch sang a little tune (or maybe that was only our assistant Nicki Longoria, she likes to collect junk). There were 3 scenes we had to create: the side of a highway, a convenience store parking lot, and a street complete with tell-tale road stripes. Robin set to work creating the surfaces, while Nicki went out collecting mass amounts of items to use as litter, enlisting various members of her family to save their trash for her to pick up. Once everything was in the house, Robin and Nicki set to work creating the letters from various types of litter. And if anyone out there is jealous of us getting to eat so much candy, know that none of us are little kids, so it was only cool for the first 3 bites and then after that it was borderline gross. Fun fact: Lefty the dog did manage to sneak the first Sno-Ball snack cake off the set when we weren’t looking.
WooHoo! The Summer issue of Pop Sci is out and looks fantastic! Loving these conceptual issues. This one was the Life and Death issue, or more like The Cycle of Life issue. Once again we were honored to be able to collaborate with Thomas, Pete, Joe and the whole Pop Sci team to dream up this cover idea.
Also, we were asked to create section openers for the different life stages shown throughout the issue. Following a plant from seed to germination, growth, death, and then rebirth became our metaphor. Thank you to Adam’s kindergarten teacher who taught him to sprout seeds 30+ years ago. He still remembers the instructions and they work beautifully.
Lastly, we were able to create some fun images for a story on NASA and space farming. We were trying to replicate the exact greens that were grown on the space station. Most were easy but one kind proved to be pretty hard to locate.Thank goodness Nicki found Agua Dulce hydroponic farm in East Austin. They saved the day with their Mizuna mustard greens. That was a hard one to find!
Michael Goesele at Newsweek tapped us for creating this cover for their International edition and we were excited to take on the challenge!
The fun part about bears is that normally you can’t just rent a bear paw, you get to rent a whole bear. Then you get to drive across town with it in the back of a pickup truck and see numerous phones pointed at your truck getting their Instagram post of the day. Meanwhile, Robin got to work creating some killer claw marks, and Adam figured out the best way to shoot this mostly upside down setup. Lefty the dog was inspired by the brave pose of the bear to show off a bit on his own.
You know that game where there’s a glass jar full of marbles or whatever and you have to guess how many are in there? Now we know how many outdoor related items can feasibly fit into the back of a full size pickup truck if you do some careful arranging. We set the truck up in the back lot of our studio, and all the props took up all the tables we had inside. Bentley the Dog got to stay indoors until he was ready for his close up.
THANK YOU John Toolan and the rest of the F&S team for having us do this one! It was a beast of a job but super rewarding. Robin is deathly afraid of snakes, but Austin Reptile Service made it 100% bearable. Any if you want to make those amazeballs s’mores, you have to hit up Nicki Longoria to find out what voodoo she did to the bacon before it hit the set. And lastly, we can only pull off complex shots like this cover with the help of Nick Cabrera. Thank you Nick for always figuring out how to make it work, even if what we’re asking you to do is safely anchor a 20′ sail to c-stands in 15-20 mile per hour wind gusts.
Nothing says summer faster than a cold one. Huge thanks to Matt Love and Caroline Kilgore for having us do this one. There are never complaints about extra beer being around.
Top five things we learned on this shoot:
- We don’t know how to properly pack a car with gear.
- Parking tickets in San Francisco cost $30.
- 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.
- Taxidermy animals can have some great derp faces.
- 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).
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!
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.