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
May 7th Photography Workshop at Highlands Biological Station

Tips and Tricks for Photographing Nature with Cynthia Strain, Mill Creek Gallery & Framing $25

May 7, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Take a field trip with the “Highlands Photographer,” Cynthia Strain. Walk through the Biological Station gardens and trails to photograph spring ephemerals and scenery and learn how to use the settings on your digital camera to get better photos. Learn how to use flash, special lenses and filters as well. The 2-hour class will allow for personal attention for each participant. While not necessary, we recommend bringing a tripod plus any filters and lenses you have. It is also helpful to bring your camera manual.

Cynthia has been photographing the Highlands area for 35 years. She published the coffee table book, Highlands Through the Seasons in 2012, which she sells at her business, Mill Creek Gallery and Framing.


To sign up for the workshop go to their site:


Village Square Art and Craft Show

2018 shows

June 23 & 24

August 25 & 26

It wouldn’t be summer in Highlands without the Village Square Art & Craft festivals. Now in their 13th 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.

Of the nearly 80 artisans, many will be familiar to past shoppers: Vicki Ferguson, whose tent is filled with creative and whimsical animal art. 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. Jeweler Rhee Korff has developed a big following in Highlands due to her amazing creative pieces.

Others include Dean Epperson’s rustic tables; blacksmith Wesley Angel; Atlanta jeweler Mark Edge, and local jeweler Lee Byers; weaving by Cashiers resident Deb Bryant; colorful watercolor paintings and giclees by Dan Goad; Jim and Vicky Smith with their whimsical birdhouses of recycled pieces; photography by Jason Rizzo.

Look for new faces too, such as Henry Frye who makes natural wood mantles, some with beautiful sand-blasted designs; Peter Dietrich, who carves wood spirits; embroidered towels by Bob Taylor.

Just check out the picture gallery to see some of the exciting products you will find there. Also visit our facebook page for updates and photos.

The show features only local and regional artisans. The shows are sponsored by Rotary of Highlands Mountaintop. Proceeds go to their many important charitable causes.

The shows have moved 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.

Rotary Club will be selling taco lunches and drinks.

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, 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