The FLAIR Q&A





Cynthia DelConte







Tell me about your business or specialty.

I am a photographer. I have had a varied career and I shoot everything from headshots and family portraits, to weddings, décor, architectural work, and commercial and advertising assignments. My first employment was as a traffic manager for a major photo lab in NYC. I was the person who communicated with art directors and account executives to be sure the work was done as needed. I saw the best photography being created for Vanity Fair and Vogue Magazine - and every big ad agency.


How'd you get to where you are now?

When I stated as a freelance assistant in New York, there was a prejudice against women working as assistants. There were so few of us then. An artist’s rep told me to take large duffel bags with me to interviews so I would look strong…I did that and it worked. I finally was hired! That one job led to many, many more. When I decided to take the leap and go pro as a photographer, I started at the very bottom, sweeping floors, running errands, being the Go-for (every studio in NY needs a person to run around getting props, picking up lunch, cleaning, and other mundane but necessary tasks). I was so lucky to get to participate in fabulous photo shoots with top city artists. The education was priceless. Eventually, I was elevated to studio manager and there I met my husband. We owned a studio on Fifth Avenue and our clients included American Ballet Theatre, New York city Ballet, Tiffany’s, Seagrams, Estee Lauder and many more.


What surprises you in your work?

I have been concentrating on weddings and dancers for a number of years. I started out shooting all film and transitioned to digital. The early digital work was pretty awful. We have come a long, long way. The trend to better and better cameras has seen a huge increase in new photographers shooting weddings. There are so many in the Hudson Valley now, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. This is the hardest thing for me today. Standing out with excellent work is always the challenge and now even more important is web presence and referrals from lots of venues and brides. The work is constant and if I drop the ball I feel it.


Who inspires you? (it can be anybody you know, or don't know)

There are so many amazing humans doing good work out in the world. Honestly, that inspires me more then another photographer although there are plenty of photographers who enthuse me, too. If I think about it, in the world at large, I guess Ruth Bader Ginsburg is number one inspiration. She was a trailblazer when women in law were scoffed at. I was there in the early 70’s fighting for equal rights for women. It’s hard to believe it was not that long ago. You're a trailblazer - what are some highlights? This year I photographed a state dinner décor at the White House. It blew my mind to be there. I also shot a wedding at the Hearst Castle in California. I am always shocked that I land in places that are iconic and incredible. I often think the person who hired me must have made a mistake!


Words of wisdom or advice...final thoughts?

My advice to anyone starting out is be persistent. Don’t quit when the going gets tough. Be kind. Never forget we are all in this together. My dearest friends who share the wedding photo world with me give me motivation and strength.

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Based in the Hudson Valley with a studio in Rhinebeck New York, CYNTHIA DELCONTE travels to destinations within the tri-state area and locations far and wide. Her areas of expertise include commercial photography, portraiture, interior design and decor photography for event designers. She has had a long career as a wedding and event photographer having shot over 1200 events, from a White House state dinner for the President of Australia to a wedding at the Hearst Castle in Cambria, California – just to name a few. Cynthia has photographed events at private estates in the Hamptons, large assignments for hospitals in Washington DC and Virginia, parties at the iconic Rainbow Room in New York, as well as premier charity balls. Corporate accounts include: Gig Marketing, J/Connelly, David Monn, Long Island American Heart Association, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Food and Wine Inc, Beringer Wine, The Omega Institute, Arlington Hospital, Marriott Corp, JWR advertising, Harcourt Brace, New York Times Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine and many others.


She is pictured above at The White House.

dayfornightproductions.com

@delcontephotography