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Cindy Behnke

Cindy Behnke owns Behnke Fine Portraiture, along with her husband Bert, a studio established in 1956 by Bert’s parents. Cindy has won numerous awards in salon print competitions as well as serving her professional associations. She is a past-president of the Associated Professional Photographers of Illinois and currently serves as a PPA Councilor and is a past director of PPA Charities.

From Cindy:
I started in photography as a teenager doing odd jobs in my hometown of Carlyle, Illinois. As my passion for photography grew I began to photograph children, seniors, weddings and just about anything I could. I opened my own studio in 1986 then moved north to join my future husband in his family photography business in 1991.

I try to create portraits that are artistic, personal and technically sound. My personal favorites are working with women, especially with my maternity clients. I find this type of portraiture both challenging and fulfilling. Nothing fills my heart more than seeing my clients when they view these special images, the love, the emotion, the excitement that goes along with the expectations of their new baby.

How did you get started in the business? Who helped/guided/mentored you?
My early mentors were the legendary teachers in the beginning, but I tended to follow Joyce Wilson in both style and artistry. Later, I became a huge fan of Joyce Tenneson’s work, I feel that my work is greatly influenced by the two Joyces.

How many After Dark Events have you attended and what’s your favorite moment?
This will be my first AfterDark, I have heard so much about it from my husband and friends and can’t wait for the AD experience. I’ll be doing photography sessions with expectant mothers as well as discussing our studio techniques for projection sales. Sales are the most critical part of running a good business and our methods have served us well. I will be using ProSelect to show how this powerful tool can create bigger and better sales including frames, collections and wall portraits.

Awards & Honors
Cindy holds the degrees of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from the Professional Photographers of America. She has also earned Photographer of the Year awards from both PPA and APP of Illinois. In 2001, she received the prestigious Legacy Award from PPA Charities and has earned the National Award from Illinois. Her photographs have earned numerous Kodak Gallery and Fuji Masterpiece awards.

Cindy has given programs on portraiture to many state, local, national and international associations. She is also a PPA Affiliated Judge.

Contact Info:

Fun Facts:

  • Canon for sure!
  • I love salvaging old things from antique stores and bringing them back to life.
  • My current favorite TV shows are Justified, Good Wife and anything I can watch with my daughter.
  • Still waiting for my husband to take me to Ireland.
  • Won a jitterbug contest with the legendary Frank Cricchio at my state convention

Majority of Business:

  • Fine Portraiture


  • I love working with window light and soft studio lighting. I do prefer to work alone with my subjects and enjoy the intimacy and freedom it allows in my style of work.