Brian Finke, ‘Wenyi and Kate, Tiger Airways’, 2006, ClampArt

Flying the friendly skies, Brian Finke spent the two years photographing flight attendants on carriers in the United States and abroad. The result of Finke’s wanderlust is his series “Flight Attendants,” a vibrant collection of photographs documenting the lives of those adventurous souls who choose to work at 40,000 feet. Shot before, during and after flights, the photographs capture the allure of the high-flying profession alongside the more quiet moments of the attendant’s daily lives. As with his previous series of photpgraphs, “2-4-6-8: Photographs of Cheerleaders and Football Players,” Finke is drawn to the distinctive dynamics of team formation, focusing on uniformed individuals executing practiced actions. With an eye for the iconic as well as the absurd, Finke seamlessly blends the glamorous with the casual, offering a memorable look at the people of the air travel industry.

The work was published by Powerhouse Books in 2008.

Series: Flight Attendants

Signature: Signed, dated, and numbered, verso

About Brian Finke

In search of the essence of team ritual and identity, photographer Brian Finke turns his lens on groups of people, embedding himself in such varied worlds as the circles of bodybuilders, flight attendants, high school cheerleaders, and frat boys. Inspired early on by the work of photojournalist W. Eugene Smith, Finke takes a documentary approach, often spending years following his subjects, immersing himself in their lives in order to capture carefully framed yet candid moments that comment upon contemporary culture. He uses a medium-format Hasselblad with flash in order to, as he describes, “create images that heighten the everyday, to create a reality that is larger than life.”

American, b. 1976