My name is Cindy Kavanagh, I’m a photographer from New Zealand. My husband Richard (Kavanagh) and I arrived into Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs from New Zealand, 11 years ago, with a then 5 (now 16) and 3 (now 14) year old, to broaden our wings on an adventure we thought was a stepping stone to NYC, but we couldn’t leave!

After a career in fashion, film and the arts, I’ve turned my camera onto everyday women and teen girls with The Modern Muse. I now create empowering portraits for everyday women and girls. 

Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east?

We arrived from NZ in 2011 straight to Bondi Beach for 5 years, then to Rose Bay, and now Paddington.

Three words that describe what it’s like to live in the eastern suburbs?

Sunshine (well not so much recently!), Beach, Beautiful

How many children?

3 human, 2 animal – my stepdaughter India (30), my son Banjo (16), and daughter Iris (14) + Auggie our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and George our Kitten (hypoallergenic Devon Rex)

Favourite Park:

It’s all about the dog now, so Rushcutters Bay, but sometimes we drive to our dog’s favourite park Rodney Reserve in Dover Heights… we call it ‘dog park’ because that’s (according to us) our dog’s favourite park!

Favourite Beach: 

Bondi Beach, iconic and famous, love everything about it and McIver Ladies Baths (not technically a beach, but equally iconic)

Favourite kid friendly cafe: 

Love a coffee to go (and walk) from Rushcutters Bay Kiosk … that’s the bribe to get the teens out for a dog walk on the weekends : )

Favourite Coffee Spot:

Our home… I love a short black with a splash of cream these days, so I can get it just how I like it. Otherwise sitting outside in the sun at Omeio in Paddington.

Favourite date night place: 

Taquiza in Bondi, we love the tacos and Rich loves the margaritas.

Where in the east have you yet to explore and would like to ?

I’d like to spend more time at Camp Cove, also check out all the rock pools in the East, and the beaches south of Maroubra.

What would you like to see improve in the eastern suburbs?

I wonder if it’s possible to advertise stuff up for grabs from the inorganic rubbish, as I see some fabulous things going into the compactor which hurts my heart.

Favourite Local Shop:

How do I pick just one?! I love Orchard St, (the fresh juices, loco love chocolates, hot drinks with Elixirs…) Love Duck – (Ainslie is divine), Bess Florist, Axel Bazaar, 

Favourite wet weather location:

Sauna at Slow House in Bondi, a movie, my bed (!)

Favourite Local family Weekend Activity?

Aside from the beach (which never gets old), we love an Escape Room!

Work or SAHM?

After years as a fashion photographer, and producer of TVC’s, I completed my Master of Art (2020) at UNSW, which was a life-long dream. My new offering The Modern Muse creates empowering portraits of everyday women and teen girls. I consider it a resource for those women who want a stunning modern portrait, with personal meaning, and therefore a creative and meaningful experience. For me beauty is who we are on the inside, and my goal is to create portraits that capture that true, soulful, road-worn beauty from within.



Instagram: @themodernmuseportrait