Photography by Cynthia Strain

Welcome! Thirty five years’ worth of photographs are gathered here for your enjoyment or purchase. Most are from the Highlands area (western N.C.), where I have lived since 1982. Additionally, there are images from the American Southwest, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Florida, Kenya, Mexico and Guatemala. While I am basically a nature photographer, my subject matter covers the waterfront, with landscapes, wildlife, birds, flowers, portraits, and abstract subject matter.  

Prints are available on standard photographic paper, rag paper, watercolor paper or canvas. Giclee prints are of the highest quality with archival inks and acid-free paper. At Mill Creek Gallery & Framing we offer all framing options, including gallery wrap for canvas photos (or paintings), so please inquire. These images will look different on every computer monitor. Be assured that all prints are made with attention to color, saturation and light so that no matter how they may appear on your monitor, they will look beautiful on your wall.

Stock photography is also available for advertising, print or web usage. I have far more photos than can be placed on this web site, so if you have a specific need, please contact me.

Wedding, family and individual portraiture in a natural setting is available (in the Highlands/Cashiers area only). Please contact me for more information and pricing. Packages start at $350 and go up to $1500.

Aerial photography services in the Highlands-Cashiers area are provided as well--shoots generally cost $450 to $600, including prints.

My latest book, "Highlands Through the Seasons,"  is a 192-page coffee table book that celebrates the beauty of Highlands. It is priced at $49.50 and will be available at Mill Creek Gallery & Framing as well as select retail outlets in Highlands and vicinity. Click on the link to see a preview of images.

I hope that the passion and wonder that I felt when making these photos translates to something that moves your heart and stirs your soul.

- Cynthia Strain

Photography by Cynthia Strain
Village Square Art & Craft Shows

2017 shows

June 24 & 25

August 26 & 27

It wouldn’t be summer in Highlands without the Village Square Art & Craft festivals. Now in their 12th year, they are well known for regionally made fine art, crafts and rustic furniture. High standards mean shoppers will find good quality products to enhance their homes and lives or to share as gifts.

Many of the 75+ artisans will be familiar to past shoppers. Marcus Thomas is a brilliant painter in spite of (and because of) being a quadriplegic. Vicki Ferguson (of Highlands) is a fine artist whose tent filled with creative and whimsical animal art is always busy. Robin Anne Cooper creates colorful, whimsical collages of dogs. Steve Joslyn gained a following last year with his beautifully designed and crafted metal home fixtures and accessories.

Others include Dean Epperson’s rustic tables; Roy Owenby’s folksy books about mountain culture; painter Sue Gouse; blacksmith Wesley Angel; Cashiers leather worker Diane Brady; and local jeweler Lee Byers.

Look for new faces too, such as Chile Today-Hot Tamale chili sauces and gift boxes by the Battens of Madison, GA; remarkable jewelry by Megan Austin of Canton, GA; Just check out the picture gallery to see some of the exciting products you will find there.

The show features only local and regional artisans. The shows are now sponsored by Rotary of Highlands Mountaintop. Part of the proceeds will go toward improvements and upkeep of the park.

Beginning this year the shows will move back to Kelsey-Hutchinson "Founders" Park at Pine and N. 5th Streets. This beautifully designed and landscaped park has public restrooms and a large pavilion. The kids will have a plast playing in the interactive water fountain. Bring a picnic and eat at one of the shady picnic tables, or grab some really good food at Fressers Eatery in the Village Square next door.

The music on Saturday is provided by singer-songwriter Jim Lord ( on his acoustic guitar.

Festival hours are Saturday and Sunday 10a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is FREE. Children (and dogs) are welcome. 

For more information contact show coordinator Cynthia Strain at Mill Creek Gallery & Framing (828) 787-2021, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Check out our facebook page (Highlands Village Square Art & Craft show) too.


Decorative License Plates

Decorative License Plates

Decorative license plates are available for Highlands, Cashiers and Franklin. Each 6 x 12 inch plate is made from high quality recyclable aluminum and with a protective UV coating. Note: click image to see the full selection.

    Price: $16.95

    Shipping: $4.50