Robin Blair Riley’s passion for photography began when she was given a Kodak Instamatic for her 12th birthday. Despite the limitations of that first camera, she set to work shooting scenes around her local pond and woods - imagining she was Ansel Adams with an 8x10 View Camera.
Robin went on to study photography at Cincinnati’s prestigious College of Design, Art, Architecture and, upon earning her MFA, she moved to New York City to pursue a professional career. She quickly climbed the ranks, assisting on shoots that often turned out to be wonderfully adventurous and diverse - from loading Hasselblad film backs while riding shotgun on speeding snowmobiles, to digging into pies destined to grace the cover of Bon Appetit.
Robin has been fortunate enough to have worked with many of New York City's top commercial photographers, and with a wide range of public figures - ranging from Mick Jagger and Judge Judy to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
While working as a photo assistant, Robin continued shooting her own fine art, processing the film in her Hell’s Kitchen bathtub. The resulting portfolio led to assignments shooting travel essays, food and gardens. Over the next decade, Robin shot in 30+ countries and saw her work on magazine covers and in other media sources around the world, including Travel & Leisure and the Wall Street Journal.
Favoring medium format film, Robin has found inspiration in the work of (among others) Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose 'decisive moment' technique involved waiting for the perfect shot before pressing the shutter. She has found that completely immersing herself into a scene that inspires her, and then waiting patiently for the right light, the right movement, the right moment, has allowed her to create an image that draws the viewer in, tells a story and captures a mood.
In addition to traditional black and white imagery, Robin developed a bespoke mixed media technique that involves layering ink onto negatives to create a surreal, painterly appearance. This work is inspired by her love of the Impressionists.
Robin no longer shoots for corporate clients, preferring to travel without assistants or excessive equipment. She roams the world at her own pace, creating magic wherever she happens to be. Her work is in corporate, celebrity and private collections as well as in the United States Library of Congress. If you’d like information about when and where any particular images are from, please reach out.
Select Clients include: Canon USA, New York Public Library, Apartment Therapy, Time Out New York, Martha Stewart, Sundance Film Festival, Travel Holiday, Travel and Leisure, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, Proctor and Gamble, Garden Design Magazine, Booking.com, Food Arts Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Continental Airlines, Aerosoles, Reebok, Sherman's Travel, Qantas Airlines, Intercontinental Hotels, Sam Adams Boston Brewery, The City of New York and Elle Decor
A percentage of each purchase is donated to The Humane Society International.
Any unauthorized reproduction or licensing of these photographs is in violation of U.S. and international copyright law.