Cynthia August

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The portraits I take explore the place where our inspiration and determination meets our ultimate purpose. It doesn't matter if the photograph is for advertising or art. The person, the path and the passion are always the most important story, and the way into creating the best image. Add the wonder of nature, the catalyst of everyday magic, and some illumination - a transformative portrait is born.

I came to this calling later in life, after decades of storytelling for theatre and film, and that shows up again and again in my work - from choosing locations and clothing that is descriptive, to working with my subject on their motivation and engagement of the camera. There's drama even in everyday pursuits if your life lights you up. Getting to see other people's light is a tremendous gift. That's what keeps me tied to the camera on the daily.

The Privilege of Breath
The Descant
The Death of the Fall King

Lux et Umbra is the creative work of Cynthia August, an award-winning artist currently based in New England. Cynthia’s conceptual, magic realist style reveals moments of communion with the numinous: Nature in its majesty, or a Higher Power, or some epiphany within the Soul. Cynthia has her BFA from Syracuse University and her MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.


After a career as a theatrical designer, Cynthia began to explore new avenues when she left NYC shortly after 911. She started her photographic path in 2010, by picking up a camera to do a favor for a friend, and fell in love with the way photography blends cinematic reality with classical art composition. During her tenure as a commercial photographer, Cynthia found herself sneaking off to explore the conceptual and fine art sphere, using Old Master styles and allegorical themes to compose portraits in nature. Since then her magical images have been exhibited in the United States and Europe. She is currently represented by Paula Estey.  In 2019 Cynthia created Lux Et Umbra, adding portrait commissions and editorial projects to her fine art works. In the Fall of 2021, Cynthia began to offer workshops and retreats based on her portrait style and philosophy. Visit her work at

United States
New York City
United States
Las Vegas
United States
San Francisco Bay



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