Cvatik (Святослав Гиндлер/Steven Gindler) is a full-time photographer hailing from the woods of northern New Jersey.

He was born in Lipitsk, Russia, and immigrated to the United States in 1994. He grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and moved to New Jersey during his teenage years.

In 2013, he experienced his first panic attack followed by a sudden chronic anxiety disorder. He explored many different tactics to combat a brain that was seemingly betraying him. After juggling various creative outlets, he found photography.

Photography was an outlet that allowed him to experience the kind of control and detachment necessary to pacify social and physical anxiety for long enough to satisfy his need for adventure and creativity.

Mesmerizing, surreal portraits.
— Photographize

He is best known for his moody portraiture in an instantly recognizable style all his own. Created using a digital camera equipped with adapted vintage film lenses, he marries the charm of film with all the benefits of modern imaging technology to create a truly unique aesthetic.

Most of his gear (sparing his camera body) was purchased at garage sales and Goodwill. His most used lens is a vintage 50mm that he purchased for $10 in 2016.

His body of work includes subjects in sometimes uncomfortable or puzzling scenarios, with the entirety of a photograph’s interpretation left up to the viewer. Nothing is ever explained. This creates an atmosphere of different opinions and ideas about what the imagery conveys to the individual.

“Looking through the viewfinder of my camera helps me feel like a fly on the wall, just observing. It’s like I’m not really in that abandoned old mansion in the middle of nowhere. I’m just observing.”
— Steven Gindler
Digital and analog ethereal portraits against wild, untamed landscapes and derelict structures
— Adorama

Having amassed over 300,000 followers from all over the world on social media, Cvatik has become an influence in the modern photographic community, inspiring many.

He released his first Lightroom presets in 2017, receiving a lot of praise from his followers, and has followed up with annual preset packs ever since. He received some backlash from other photographers who view offering presets as a money-grab and/or believe that it will give an unfair advantage to new photographers.

Cvatik is of the firm belief that those who don’t believe in offering educational tools are not confident enough in their own body of work. He also believes that nobody owns concepts or ideas, that we are all a big beautiful ball of all of our influences. Humans (typically) only have the 4 limbs that they do, and there are only a finite number of ways to present and pose them.

He has not yet held a gallery or showcase of his work, but does offer a photobook (almost sold out) of some his best/unreleased work.