them in the everyday, at home, in the store,
picking up their kid after school,” Finke told
the Los Angeles Times in 2012.
The project resulted in gallery exhibitions
and his second monograph, Flight Attendants,
in 2008. Less than two years later, Air New
Zealand hired Finke to shoot its “Forget
Everything You Know About Flying” campaign,
and, a few years after that, Delta Air Lines and
ad agency Wieden+Kennedy tapped him to
shoot the airline's new global campaign, “Keep
Climbing,” which traded years of Delta ad work
shot in black and white for Finke’s signature
bold and colorful style. The “Flight Attendants”
project was key to landing both campaigns,
said Finke, who added that Delta went for his
pitch to shoot funky, offbeat images because
they knew he could deliver.
Finke’s focus on personal projects has also
given him a robust second career showing
his work at dozens of galleries and museums,
including a near two-decade-long relationship
with New York’s ClampArt gallery. The shows,
says Finke, aside from providing a “fulfilling”
outlet to display and discuss his work, have
become another way to generate interest in his
work and make connections. It all comes back
to a central philosophy he adopted as a young
photographer: put yourself and your work out
there in as many ways, as often as possible.
“That’s what builds a career,” said Finke.
Even now, the interplay between Finke’s
personal work and his professional career has
continued to drive him forward.
Since moving to Brooklyn in 2009, Finke
has taken up grilling and shares photos of
his hobby on Instagram. It was this personal
interest that caught the eye of former
National Geographic director of photography
Todd James in 2014, as he looked for a
THIS SPREAD: Tiger Airways flight attendants
at work and AirAsia flight attendants after
hours (opposite); chowing down at Franklin
Barbecue in Austin, Texas, shot for
National Geographic (below).