Single mom and Midlothian photographer on a mission to celebrate women of all ages
Cyndi Dawn is a Midlothian single mom that has turned a life of lemons into perfectly sweet lemonade. But it certainly was not an easy path to get to where she is today.
This goal-oriented woman has lived in the city of Midlothian for almost seven years now, but thankfully, her parents and her brother and his family reside there, too. Dawn says, “It is certainly more comfortable being a single mom if you have support from family, and I am blessed in that area of my life. I have four kids from my previous marriage. My
oldest son, Halen, is 23. He graduated from college in December, and is already out in the workforce, so I am very proud of him.
"My daughter, Savannah, is 17, and she will be a senior at Midlothian High in the fall. She is my free spirit and is an amazing artist. She likes to fly below the radar, as she is a
little shy. Jasper is 13, and plays every sport there is. His select baseball team, The Hooks, are soon heading out to Florida to compete in the Little League World Series. Jaxon is Jasper's twin brother. He is also into sports, but his heart lies in World War II history. The twins are age 13.”
Some tried and true single mom pointers
“I am definitely not an expert in perfectly balancing my career or my family life”, says Dawn, “but the best advice I can give other single moms is to stay strong. Just focus on what you do have, rather than what you don't. Try to find your inner peace. Your kids will learn more by watching you move around in the world, than they ever will from anything you just tell them. Don't react to things emotionally. Always step out of the room when you find yourself angry. Remember that kids may not remember exactly what you said, or what the situation was ... but they will remember how you made them feel."
"Do your best to be friends with your ex husband (their father). Don't blame every little thing that goes wrong on your ex. If he does that to you, be the bigger person. Your kids will see the difference in behavior, and once they get older, they will appreciate that you gave them a safe place to land with no drama or making them feel guilty. If you are happy, your kids are happy — it’s that simple," she adds.
Dawn says she and her kids consider themselves a team, each doing their part to help each other out and keep the household moving along, as well as her family's support.
A true photographer – at last
Dawn started her career as a full-time photographer about four years ago. She says that she would be lying if she said this has been an easy road — rather, it has been an extreme amount of hard work, with the need to constantly get her name out there in an over-saturated market.
"I have cried a lot of tears over struggling to make it financially and to hang on to my dream. I am just now at a point where I feel I can breathe a little ... and that is a huge victory! ... Through my love of photography, I have learned to love myself. There is no way I will ever walk away from that!
Dawn shoots with a Sony camera as is self taught via YouTube. "I am constantly furthering my skill set by learning new techniques and networking with other more seasoned photographers. That keeps me current with all the latest trends.”
She continues, “I love helping people feel good about themselves and their lives. I’ve been blessed with the gift of making people look their absolute best. I believe you can learn a lot about a person through their eyes ... and if you look at my photography art, you will see that. I want my photos to tell a story because I feel that people connect on a more personal level with the photo that they are engaging with.
"I am also very passionate about landscape photography, as the world is such a beautiful place. I feel this need to capture nature images because I want to share that with everyone around me. In a world full of negativity, we all need reminders that there is a lot of good out there, too. Connecting with nature is a great escape for me.”
Her photographic specialties are:
(1) boudoir shots (women);
(2) lifestyle (which includes senior pics); and
(3) sports (action and still shots).
Dawn remarks, “As ladies in 2021, women wear so many hats ... mom, daughter, wife,
friend, sister, coach, teacher, etc. The majority of women spend their time caring for everyone around us. So, I think it’s okay to step away from all of that for a day, and just focus on ourselves. That’s why my women’s platform is becoming my favorite genre.”
Her current info and projects
Dawn is building on a new official website she will announce on her social media platforms. She is currently reorganizing her work and has three separate Instagrams:
instagram.com/cynthiadawnphotos This is her main page. "I am the ambassador for the State of Texas, for the Chuck Taylor Tuesday movement. My page has grown 100% organically ... this will mainly be my different portrait and lifestyle images. However, I will slide some landscape in from time to time, too."
instagram.com/houseofcyndidawn is her boudoir page, classy and edited in a conservative manner. "This branch of my photography is quite artistic and I love it
very much. It is my pride and joy."
instagram.com/cyndidawnsports "I love sports and action photography so much! It’s a lot of fun! I shoot all ages and pretty much every sport."
Cyndi concludes, “I am very excited because I recently filmed a pilot that's to be pitched to Netflix about boudoir photography art. It is intended to be a documentary series. The premier was shown at Galaxy Theatre in The Colony, Texas in May. I am thrilled about it, as the project was my very own brain child. ‘1307 Productions’ filmed it, and we had some pretty high profile guests modeling for us. I’ll be posting about this on my social media platforms soon.”
Caring and sharing with others
Dawn relayed her family’s experience during the big freeze in February.
With poor insulation in an older house, one morning, they woke up and realized there was ice on the windows – inside. With no power, they left their house. Luckily, Dawn's brother never lost power, so she and the kids had a place to go to stay warm.
She did, however, start to notice her Facebook feed filling up with stories of people who had nowhere to go and were freezing. Wood was sold out, and roads were icy. Dawn explains, “I drive a really old Jeep, and it has 4-wheel drive. I was in a position to help anyone I could, so I felt it was my responsibility to do so. I hopped on Facebook and made a simple post telling anyone that needed help, to please reach out to me.”
She relays a Midlothian woman named Margo Whitley saw her post and reached out about her elderly friends who needed firewood. After creating a "wood drive" online, Dawn said the community's response was so amazing, they got so much wood they had to decline some of donation offers. After picking up the donations and carefully driving to the house, "We stacked the wood up for them on their porch and chatted for a bit, and the couple gave us a little gift package of hot chocolate. We also gave them some homemade chicken noodle soup that my mom had made. It was a really simple act of kindness, but it was very rewarding for us."
She says she has a heart to volunteer. "I work with some different groups several times a year, feeding the homeless. This type of volunteerism just fills my cup all the way up.”