Cynthia is an on-location lifestyle photographer serving the Toledo, Ohio area. Her images often have a strong emotive quality and she has a penchant for storytelling images. Her work is dreamy, ethereal, and sentimental. Her children are her muse and often a subject of her photographs.
Cynthia also serves on the Board of Directors for The Gold Hope Project – a Non-Profit Organization that provides free portrait sessions to children who currently have, or have successfully survived, childhood cancer.
2 children holding hands and staring at the night sky with the moon and stars in the backround

What drew you to photography?

I feel like photography found me at a time when I needed it most. I started to dabble in it after I had my second baby. About a year and a half later, my other daughter, Ava, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Photography was a healing mechanism for me during that time. It also gave our family a wonderful gift...the memories of her last year with us.

I continue to photograph our family and clients now because it still remains a therapeutic release. Something about being able to create art has healed my heart in so many ways.

childs silhouette during sunset wearing super hero costume

Where do you look for inspiration?

I’m inspired by so many things. Light ALWAYS inspires me, and I like to challenge myself to use it in interesting ways. I also draw inspiration from art and music. My children often inspire me too!

girl in diving position on diving board with blue sky and clouds in background

What type of cameras and lenses do you use?

I currently shoot with a Nikon D750. My most used lenses are the Nikon 35 1.4, Nikon 50 1.4, and Sigma 85 1.4.

early morning sun rays with child leaning against fallen tree

Where was your favorite place to shoot and why?

I’m drawn to moody places. I love to shoot with one window against a darker wall in my home, but I also love to find pockets of golden light outdoors. I don’t know that I have a “favorite” place because as long as there is beautiful light, then any location will produce gorgeous images

golden light during a foggy day with silhouette of a child

What's your favorite image you've captured?

I feel like my favorite images are constantly changing, but right now it is this one. It was a foggy fall morning when my son and I ventured out to a pond by our house. Usually, when it’s foggy the sun isn’t shining so when I noticed the rays pouring in through the fog, everything around me felt so magical. It was truly an extraordinary moment.

close up of child with blonde hair with cancer ribbon in eye

Are there any projects you are especially proud of?

Yes! Each September, I organize an awareness campaign for childhood cancer on Instagram. The theme is gold or images that inspire hope. Each year gets more challenging to think of new and creative ideas but I shoot some of my favorite images during this time in honor of my daughter Ava.

girl laying in grass with harry potter book and flowers in her hair

What has been your biggest challenge in pursuing a career in Photography?

The biggest challenge for me is TIME! As a mom, who also homeschools two of my children, our days can go by fast. I only get a few hours, if I’m lucky, a day to dedicate to my business. That can mean getting up early or staying up late to work.

I know as my children get older that I will have more time to focus on the business aspect of photography so I’m trying to embrace the season I’m in now by practicing good time management skills.

More from Cynthia

Facebook: CynthiaDawsonPhotography

Website: cynthiadawson.com

Portfolio: cynthiadawson.com/portfolio

Instagram: cynthiadawsoncynthia_dawson_photography