Photo by Cynthia Staples
Authors : Cynthia Staples

Words & Images

Cynthesizing Beauty: Photo Essays by Cynthia Staples

Cynthia Staples is a Boston-based freelance writer and photographer. Her writings can be found in online and print publications including African Voices, Creativity Portal, Flashquake, Seattle Times, and For over ten years she has worked with education nonprofits and with organizations exploring concepts of culture, community and sustainability.

Today, she enjoys writing about these organizations and the services they offer. She also enjoys writing about how nature and geography influence human behavior and perceptions. She finds inspiration in the natural world, through traveling and in her southern African American roots. In 2007, she received a Writer's Room of Boston creative nonfiction fellowship. Visit Cynthia's blog at and view her photography at

Winter Window MagicCynthia Staples Interview
Cynthia answers questions about her personal creative journey and how her love of nature and travel informs her work as a writer and photographer.

Featured Word & Images

What glorious scenes would people view by raising their heads or peering for just a moment at the shadows cast by trees in the growing light?

NasturtiumPracticing Patience
I was at home, hungry, walking toward my last pot of nasturtium. I planned to pick all of the dark green leaves for a final salad.

BirdA Cast of Shadows
These are the fanciful thoughts that come to me now as I sort through images from my recent walk amidst trees.

BranchesFinding Beauty (in a Broken World)
Finding Beauty in a Broken World by Terry Tempest Williams is a meditation on both seeking and seeing beauty in the harsh realities around us.

BranchesBranching Thoughts
Next year I think that I will produce a book of branches.

Finding Inspiration in the DarkFinding Inspiration in the Dark
Is it possible to appreciate light without experiencing the dark?

Winter Window MagicWinter Window Magic
Each season holds unique opportunities for visual inspiration.

The Long WalkThe Long Walk
(or What Happens When a Little Girl Named Emma Asks You to Make Up a Story About the Origin of the Green Stone She Sees in Your Rock Collection)

Exploring New WorldsBeneath the Sun, Moon and Stars: Exploring New Worlds with Paper
I looked around me and found sheets of paper and a pair of scissors. I began to cut. I kept cutting for a week.

Ephemeral BeautyEphemeral Beauty, Enduring Inspiration
With a single touch to shells, rocks, and shards of glass strewn about my desk I can be transported back in time. For a little while.

DefineTo Define or Not to Define: That is the Question
I realized that "people" were not limiting my creativity. I was.

Look UpLook Up! To Spring's Inspiration
When winter has given way to spring, I simply say, look up to find some inspiration.

The FrogThe Frog, The Flower and The Rock
Finding inspiration through collaboration. During a recent excursion to a frozen pond, I squatted by the water's edge.

ButterflyIn the Butterfly House: A Place of Unexpected Inspiration
Drawing from a place of childhood whimsy and flights of flowery imagination.

Butterfly MuseSharing a Mother's Gift: My Butterfly Muse
Each expression of the butterfly reminds me of my mother who first pointed out their beauty to me in her garden.

ColorNeed a Creative Spark? Take the Color Challenge
What would it be like to focus on a single color from a photographic standpoint? What color might you choose?

StrawberryStrawberry Pictures
When I look at my strawberry pictures, I am reminded to live in the moment and to experience the opportunities available in that moment as fully as possible.

LightLight on a Leaf
Outside my bedroom is an oak tree. Its russet leaves become pumpkin in the afternoon light.

ShadowsFind Inspiration in the Shadows
I love to take pictures after the rain. The droplets that cling to leaves catch the light. Everything sparkles in a magical way.

SunlightFind a Patch of Sunlight
With sunlight as my guide, I am more open to creative epiphanies that may be right in front of my face.

Cloud ChasingEmbark on a Cloud Chasing Expedition
I challenge you to create your own Cloud Chasing Kit. Better yet, just stop in the course of your day to look up into the sky.

Feeding Imagination
As a writer, when I am starved for words and ideas, I open a picture book or go online and click into an artist's website.

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