We arrived very early in the morning to a very remote village in the Mago River region of the Omo Valley in Ethiopia. A small part of the Mursi tribe who have chosen to live in the oldest traditions were just waking up. Their living conditions were extremely minimalist. I was expecting to see women with lip plates, but I was surprised to see a few young girls already cutting their earlobes and carving tattoos into their bodies. I ask this girl twice if I could photograph her but she refused.  Later while I was working with another woman, she tapped me on my shoulder and I turned to see her with these flowers in her hair, arms wrapped tightly in front of her and staring deeply into my eyes. She was making a statement and I appreciated her strength and beauty. She is part of a living history. Growing up in a confusing and demanding tribe so on the fringe of society must be extremely difficult for a teenager, but she is proud of her lifestyle. 1/250 second, F6.3, 2500iso, Nikkor 100-400 @100


Cyndy has been a photographer for most of her life. Her passion is photographing and working with people around the world. In 1995 she traveled to Kenya and was compelled to do more than photograph the desperate situations she found children surviving in. She has dedicated the past 28 years developing The Orbit Village Project in 3 locations around Kenya. The project helps orphaned and vulnerable children and families stay together and find stability through education, food support and emotional and spiritual welfare. The goal being to help families survive a broken generation with the focus on keeping siblings groups healthy and together.  

Still loving to photograph reality, she has been working on a collection of African portraits of people in their natural environments. Eye contact is very important to her when capturing an image of someone. That moment and connection is what drives Cyndy to share each individual’s strength and beauty. 

Spending time recently photographing tribes in the Omo Valley in Ethiopia was a great, and eye opening experience for Cyndy. 

She makes her home both in Sevierville, Tennessee where she was born and raised, and Nairobi, Kenya. You can see more of her work on her webpage: cyndybwaters.smugmug.com,  FB: cyndybwaters,  Instagram: @Cyndybwatersphotographer.You can learn about her project in Kenya at www.orbitvillage.org