In 2001 Cyndi Shattuck started living in a hotel on Route 1 in South Brunswick. She was working in downtown Manhattan for WSJ.com (part of Dow Jones) as a creative director when their offices in the World Financial Center were partially destroyed on 9/11. Afterwards Dow Jones immediately moved most of the Manhattan staff into its corporate headquarters in South Brunswick and placed staff in hotels. And that’s how Cyndi first found herself back home again.
Cyndi graduated from the Peddie School in 1989 and then earned a BFA in photography at University of the Arts in Philadelphia before moving to Manhattan in 1995. While the events of 2001 brought her back close to her parents (the artisans behind Smith-Shattuck Bookbinding in Princeton), she was now far from the city she called home.
She started thinking about how very fortunate she was to have survived the attacks, but also what her future might look like. Was she still happy working in journalism? While figuring out what to do next, she started shooting weddings, events, and portraits for friends. Cyndi quickly realized that this was very different from the hard news coverage she worked on at WSJ.com. Event photography was a celebration of life. People were smiling and letting go of their worries, even if just for a few hours. Events were also fast moving, just like journalism, so it felt like a natural transition.
In 2004 Cyndi was back living in New York but left the news business and started shooting full-time. One bride, Emily Doskow, said, “Your photos are wonderful, but more than your talent, your personal ease and grace at the wedding helped foster the happy flow that got the shots we now love.” Creating such cherished memories for her clients makes the job worth it for Cyndi. Her studio also provides professional retouching and albums (even using old negatives or digital files from other photographers).
Twelve years later Cyndi is very happy with her career change. She still has trouble not crying at every wedding. For her there is nothing more fun than watching young adults dance away the night at a bar mitzvah, a special surprise birthday celebration, or the christening of a baby a little frightened by the sensation of cool water, then immediately comforted with kisses.
In December, 2013, Cyndi and her husband had twins, a boy and a girl. Shortly after they decided it was finally time to go back home again to Princeton. The kids could go to sleep listening to crickets instead of garbage trucks rolling by on 1st Avenue. Cyndi opened her new studio in Princeton and the best part of all, she now gets to share and celebrate her twins’ lives with her parents almost every day.
Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Her client list includes Booz & Co., Deloitte, GNYADA, The Harmonie Club, Teknion, UHY Advisors, and many event planners in the tri-state area.
Cyndi Shattuck Photography, Princeton. 917-612-2657. www.cyndishattuck.com.