Cynthia Greig was born in Detroit, Michigan. She studied printmaking at Washington University and attended graduate programs at the University of Iowa and the University of Michigan where she received her MA and MFA in 1988 and 1995 respectively. She is the recipient of several major awards including the Light Work Artist Residency (2001), the Houston Center for Photography Fellowship (2003), and the Santa Fe Center for Photography Singular Image Award (2004). In 2015, Greig received a Visual Artist Fellowship from the Kresge Foundation.
Her photographs and videos have been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums, and are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, International Museum of Photography and Film at George Eastman House, Museum of Fine Art Houston, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Light Work Collection, Smith College Museum of Art, as well as corporate and private collections. An avid collector of 19th-century photographs, Greig also co-authored the book, Women in Pants: Manly Maidens, Cowgirls and Other Renegades (2003). Greig lives and works in metropolitan Detroit.