Vision In Focus »

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  • Cynthia August is a Portrait Photographer in Boston.

Sometimes, when you take a picture, you just know you got something special. The shutter clicks, and even before you blink, you think “oh, yes. THAT was one.”

Just a simple note today to share some lovely news – a photo of mine was selected to appear in ‘Feast’, a photography exhibit at The Darkroom Gallery . If it seems familiar to you, it should be – it was the star of a previous mailer located here .

I was especially pleased because I have a high opinion of the judge, Matt Armendariz, whose food photography I follow and enjoy tremendously. (Check out Matt Bites, his blog, for some drool-worthy visuals, and adorable dogs.) Even though I discovered Matt’s high-profile work through a personal connection, the judging was blind, which made being chosen with honorable mention even sweeter.

Feast runs from November 14th-December 8th.

Peace, Cynthia

  • Ann Armour - Beautifully captured by a most talented photographer! Congrats, Cynthia!ReplyCancel

  • On Display at Darkroom Gallery » Vision In Focus - […] I’m pleased to say that one of my portraits has been selected to appear in a juried exhibit on environmental portraiture at Darkroom Gallery in Vermont. This is not the first time I’ve been honored to show at their space; a few years ago a photograph from my piece on farm-to-table was selected for an exhibit on food. Check that picture – with its impossibly blue sky – here. […]ReplyCancel

Okay, he was here, but he ate and left…

A dear friend of mine, Chris DeStefano, owner of Christopher’s Table here in Ipswich, dropped me a secret little note on Facebook as I was lying in bed suffering from that DREADED cold that everyone seems to be getting. It was a heads-up we’d both been waiting for.

We knew the Phantom Gourmet, a local restaurant review show, had already visited incognito and was planning to return with a film crew, but had been unsure about when. Suddenly, it was in the book! As we had hoped, I was allowed to come and shoot stills as they spent the day putting together the segment, which will most likely air in April.

It was cool to be a, well, I suppose it is bad form to use the term ‘fly on the wall’ when you are speaking about a fabulous eating establishment, so let’s just say a ‘glass on the shelf’. The interview with Chris was great,  the atmosphere shots were fun to watch, and I thoroughly enjoyed the filming of the food. Let’s just say the cameraman was using some darned clever but very simple ideas. Totally entertaining.

And then I got to do my job. Shooting in a crowded restaurant is tough, and folks eating are never too thrilled to have a camera pointed at them, but the happy and excited energy of the PG visit made it a lot easier to get some fun shots. Here are a few:


I think a lot about taking pictures of people. You’d hope that I do, huh?

She’s thinking too.

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 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.




Dancers in the Grand Ballroom, 2011
Dancers in the Grand Ballroom, 2011

Its the first few weeks of the new year; the first gentle blanket of snow falls and the air finally turns cold.

Winter is a well-deserved break for the earth, a time to rest and recharge, reflect on the months past and prepare for what lies ahead.

I usually take some time during January to review the previous year’s work and set new goals. It is a lot of fun to go back over all the images and look at them with a little distance. I often notice new details or see a picture in a completely different way. The picture above is a good example. We worked hard to get all the elements in place for this deliberately soft shot, and I was happy with it then, but now, I love it.

I wish you all a fresh new perspective or two in the coming weeks.