Cindy Cagwin-Johnston

…Passion with Purpose exemplified in life…

by: Larry Wilson

IF one has spent any time with Cindy Cagwin-Johnston, it becomes apparent that she focuses on her passion through the lens of a camera. If one has spent any time with Cindy Cagwin-Johnston you know her “YOUR front foot back…just a tic”; “circle”; May as well take another circle”, and you also know her “Happy Dance” when she gets that perfect pose and is delighted with her quick review. Cindy works her cameras like she works her audience…with Passion and Purpose!

To many she is “the Picture Lady”, to others she is Cindy; and to the Illinois State Fair, she is our “official” Junior Beef Show Photographer! Cindy is sought out by many to capture preview shows, Winter Expos; along with NAILE; the National Western! Junior Nationals; picture pens; Graduation; Prom; Senior photos; not to leave out the candid’s that she catches with her eagle eye that cause some to laugh; some to cry; and even some to pledge “to get even”. Ha.

Cindy’s passion starts LONG before the show in making sure she has the RIGHT Backdrop that “Pops” in the photo without interfering with the subjects. The right backdrop that highlights the cattle and people in the photo.  The right backdrop that is neither too big, too small, or too overpowering.  Batteries are charged; photo storage is formatted and counted; Lens are cleaned and packed. In most cases Brook Cagwin is co-pilot and recorder; the “ear getter” is on board; her vehicle fueled.

It’s not possible to estimate the number of miles Cindy puts on each year as she travels across the nation making memories for families and friends. Working calmly and diligently with the “first timers” at the backdrop; to directing those experienced showmen and women, Cindy knows intuitively what will make the best photo, capturing that moment in time and forever.  WORD TO THE WISE… if Cindy ever invites you into a backdrop photo…there IS a reason….and you may as well jump in! You may never know the exact reason, however Cindy does!

Once the photos are captured, Cindy’s work is just starting as she spends countless hours organizing, sending proofs and delivering the highest quality photos and memories to exhibitors and event sponsors along with posting to facebook for all to enjoy, tag and share…all with a smile on her face and a lump of joy in her throat as people “oh and awe” over the finished product!! Cindy pours her all not only into her photography, but also into her friendships that she has created over the years at the backdrop; around the ring; and across the nation. It is her passion for livestock and people that actually create the persona that we know as Cindy. 

Don’t think this is possible? Try showing up to an event that Cindy has shot in the past but for whatever reason could not make it That day…some people just flat refuse to go to the backdrop, ”No, if Cindy is not here, we are not taking a picture.” That plain. That Simple. It’s just not official without “Cindy” on the photo!”