Vision In Focus »

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  • Cynthia August is a Portrait Photographer in Boston.

I think a lot about taking pictures of people. Makes sense, huh?


Anyway, the interesting thing about that, or at least the thing that I wanted to share with you – is that I while do spend time thinking about the technical aspects of the shot (where, how, with what lights and clothes and stuff), I also spend a lot of time thinking about the person. Actually, I spend more time on that than any other part of the process.

Which may sound weird, but hear me out in the form of a question: What is the one thing that is unique in a portrait? Is it all the technical aspects? Well, honestly, no, not really. There are certain portrait photography techniques that really work well, and most great photographers use them in some way. Is it the clothes someone wears or how their hair is styled? That can help with expressing individuality, but the ingredients listed above are nothing without the binding substance – the one truly unique thing that can never be recreated or replaced – the person, present in the moment the image is made.

So really, everything else is just window dressing. The person I’m going to see truthfully as we shoot – that magical, complex ball of carbon, soul and spirit – is the most important thing to consider, respect and celebrate.

After the appropriate considerations are made, the rest falls into place.

Every time.



I am a complete sucker for a great brochure. If it is nicely designed, and printed well, and of course the pictures need to be wonderful, but oh, if it is great, I am completely in.

That’s why I love creating photo libraries for clients who are not only creating a web presence, but also have plans to head to the land of ink and paper. The end project is too exciting to resist.

Recently I had the pleasure of working with a medical group near Boston to produce a series of photographs for both web and print. The portfolio was comprised of individual and group portraits, candid working shots, architectural images, and little details that give a sense of the calm, healing atmosphere of the practice. Some of my favorite shots are below, and you can see them in use in the final three pictures of the brochure. Cool!WellLifeCollage-2WellLifeCollage-1




WellLifeFrontBroc WellLifeMidBrocWellLifeBackBroc

You know the saying. One over the other.

But why not both?

Yes, you should only choose the very best to represent yourself (your business). But do you strive to make everything the best it can be?

I think that’s the deeper meaning of this saying. Taking the time to make something right makes all the difference. You may end up with a smaller quantity, but what you have is of exceptional quality.


0102SundayMorning_CMAugustImages2014Creativity stems from living authentically, by making the choices that are right for you and your vision of your life, and being able to discern your vision from someone else’s idea of what your vision is – or should be.

That’s great, but what do you do when your job consists of understanding other people’s visions and then responding to them in a creative way? How do you let their ink flow through your pen to write their story with empathy and expression?

I believe that the closer you are to your own creativity, the more at ease you are with it, and the better you are at articulating it. It clamors less when it is allowed voice, and it becomes a generous force – one that you can release to others to use, often with magical results.

For me, personal work allows that inner fire a chance to burn without limit. A three-hour pre-dawn hike can allow for a nice creative inferno that ignores limits, is satisfying and illuminating, and gives me the gift of wonderful new ideas to share with my clients.