Diana + Sam {wedding film coming soon}

You may remember Diana + Sam from their Philadelphia {us} Story where we got a sneak peek into the beautiful, fun, quirky and lovable union that is Sam and Diana! We were very lucky to have been chosen by them as the ones who got to shoot and film a day filled with one of a kind craziness, many heartfelt words and some dare I say interestingly amazing dance moves!!! We wish you two an incredible lifetime together doing the things that make you wiggle it, just a little bit each and every day =) xoxoxo

First Look: Filmed at Hotel Palomar
Portrait Session: Filmed in and around Philadelphia + Race Street Pier (with Permit)
Ceremony + Reception: The Old Mill, Rose Valley
Photography & Cinema Team: Cindy Guessford Studios + Be {loved} Cinema
Music: Licensed by The Music Bed

Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook to stay in touch

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Diana + Sam {us} story . philadelphia .

I’m some what neurotic, ha ha – completely at times! Before I post a new piece online I have to watch and re-watch it to make sure that I’m happy with what we are putting out there and that we portrayed our clients in a way that makes them happy with the work we have created for them. My father has always told me that I am too tender hearted, I can care too much about other peoples experiences and feelings and it is a very deep well that both my passions and my pitfalls draw from for fuel. This well has helped me to become incredibly tolerant yet can also spur a wrath that only a select few have ever had the pleasure of having lavished on them. It’s true but I have grown to love the tender hearted part of myself. I derive so much pleasure from making others happy and I generally in turn love to be around happy and positive people. I’ve even managed to gather some pretty amazingly tender hearted, happy and passionate people who I surround myself with as peers, clients, friends and everyone who has ever worked at or continues to work in Cindy Guessford Studios. It’s a prerequisite for working here. YOU MUST DRINK THE COOL-AID. Our work environment is built on one simple and lasting goal. I promised myself that if things ever took a wrong turn and became anything other than this one simple goal then it would be time to move on…

What’s the goal you ask. Here it is. I quit my full-time job years and years ago with the promise to myself to be an adventurer, to follow my passions wherever they may take me and to not live to work.

“My goal is to do something I love and to love doing it.”
~ Cindy Guessford

A very simple promise to myself. A promise that admittedly has become a struggle more and more to keep. I feel as if we are in the midst of a major virtual revolution. It’s expected behavior to communicate like this! Via a portal, social media, online, whatevs you wanna call it. This is our NORMALCY. I like and hate it. I will not ever believe that these portals will ever compare to the human experience of interacting face to face. I feel the influx of personalities born of an age of “we want more” mentalities as well as a market of diluted wedding professionals but that is another posting reserved for another day! This one is about getting back to simplicity and how that in it’s purest form, simplicity, is where all of this blahdy blah is leading to in the most round about kind of ways because I’m a rambler, sentence string along-er, get used it, embrace it, sometimes a story sneaks out and makes sense. You’ll only ever know if you make it to the end =)))

So, yes, even after the final review and export I watched this highlight, then re-watched it and the end result was the same. I knew it was safe to put online because it made me feel good hearing their story and while watching it, I couldn’t help but smile. Diana & Sam are two incredibly cute together, fun, driven, quirky, balanced and infectiously in love people. I can’t help but smile when I watch their actions and reactions towards each other. We are delighted to be shooting and filming their wedding this Saturday and my hope is that this little vignette adds to the excitement of these upcoming days leading up to the commitment that they make to each other =)

Their story is simple. They followed their passions, seized the moments and are together because they chose each other. They started this journey dancing in a room full of strangers and on Saturday they will dance in a room filled with the people who love them most in this world. How freaking simple is that!

Working with Diana and Sam has allowed myself, Josh & Walt to stay true to keeping our goals of doing something we love and to love doing it. Thank you both so much!

Also thanks to Sam for the footage from the actual proposal! Here is where you get to view the video, woohooooo!

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The Cleaver’s Family {we} story film

We recently released our most current {we} story of the Cleaver’s and we have had several requests to view their film. As a general rule our client’s trust and privacy is of the utmost of importance and we don’t post completed films (non sneak-highlight) without the request of the client. I’m honored that Kylene wants us to show her film. I love it and most of all I love what these beautiful souls represent. Josh and I enjoyed filming your family story, jumping on trampolines and let’s not forget tacos for dinner! It’s good to be an honorary Cleaver!!! Even if for only one day =) A big smootchies and thank you to Kristen Lober who did Kylene’s make-up for the interview. It’s always so nice to see your smiling face.

Here is a little quote from my treasure hunting page. I think it applies perfectly towards how I feel, so much so in this past few weeks. I’ve been thinking so much about family. Thinking so much about how I spend my time… Time both taken and lost… Time both given and found. Treasures…

“My hope is that one day you or someone who loves you will find what we have created for you. They will view it and in seeing the images and in hearing the audio it will either transport them back to those very same moments as if they were there or if perhaps the person who found these treasures didn’t know you at that time in your lives, maybe a child, grandchild or relative, that they will view it and get a glimpse into you.

My hope is that should you need to visit your memories in a time of need or of remembrance that you can watch your trailer, short film, feature or documentary film and be transported back to those moments.

My hope is that in making these films and building these relationships with you that we can leave beautiful little footprints on your hearts as well. We love that we get to be around happy people, celebrating life,seeing love, showing love, being loved. Of course it isn’t always rainbows and unicorns and glitter falling from the skies but it’s life and it happens whether we want it to or not and as a studio we do take these moments very seriously and treat them as our own. We want to tell your story through our images and our films. We want you to Invest in us the way that we will be investing in you.”

I hope you enjoy this teensy little glimpse into Kylene’s family!

 

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{The Cleaver’s} a Be Loved “we story”

When I think of family so many types of and descriptions of come to mind. It seems like the world around us wants to dictate what a family is or who can be a family but I can say for certain that it is not the what or the who that makes a family it is the bond that is forged through all of the experiences shared. Whether these moments are pure, good, happy, trying, anxious or even at times seemingly unbearable, it is in these moments that build and layer the multifaceted chambers of our minds and hold for us the only links to our past, present and future. It is in these moments that we create with those around us and it is in these moments that formulate for me what is Family.

Kylene, Dave and Matty are no strangers when it comes to being in front of or behind cameras. Kylene is a hugely successful boudoir photographer as well as the talent behind the lens & marketing guru of Leave it to me Photography. I love her Boudoir work and her distinctive style shows through in her portraits as well as the vibe of her wedding images. These are just the exterior footnotes, the “made for all audiences” version. What I love most about Kylene is her contagious laugh, her quirky wit and her ability to balance business, marriage, teaching workshops, being a mom, time with friends and most of all the sense of family that both her and Dave have instilled in Matty. His words to me the day of our shoot both amazed me and had me cracking up all within the same 5 second period.

The meaning of family means so many things to these three.  Obviously it’s not always rainbows with a pot of gold at the end of every day but that would be unrealistic. However, if you are lucky, on special days you may see Luigi from Mario Brothers wandering about the property looking for his next adventure or even catch a glimpse of some group booty shaking, card and game playing, dinner making, story telling, puppy and cat cuddling, good times.  We enjoyed filming a day in their lives!

I watched a movie called “The Way” last night.  If you haven’t already seen it, well, let’s just say I laughed and cried about 100 times and so many of the messages conveyed in this film are not to be missed.  In short it is about a non adventurous doctor/father who loses his adventurous, experience seeking estranged son unexpectedly and he must travel to Spain for the story and whereabouts of his sons remains. He uncovers that his son died while traveling the “El camino de Santiago,” at the first check point of the 400 mile walking pilgrimage.  Without giving too much away, the story continues with the father processing the visuals and the feelings associated with his son’s passing and I believe hinges on the most memorable quote of the movie revealed in flashback.  The father is reliving a moment with his son where they talk about life and he doesn’t understand why the son travels the world absorbing it’s wonders instead of returning back to his safe life.

The son says, “You don’t choose a life, dad. You live one.”

You will have to watch “The Way” to find out just how the father chooses to live the next several months of his life and how this journey impacts his path going forward.  As far as Kylene, Dave and Matty are concerned… well, they are on their own journey and I’m happy to report that they didn’t choose a life either, they are living one!

If you would like your own {we}story, give me a buzz.  I would love to document it!

 

 

The Cleaver’s ~ a be{loved} we story from Cindy Guessford on Vimeo.

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Aleah + Steve a Be{loved} us story

We filmed this {us} story with Aleah and Steve in Ocean City New Jersey. On that particular day there were a crazy amount of birds and gnats flying around everywhere. The way that the birds and gnats seemed to be everywhere, landing, flying, biting… Well, it was like some crazy scene out of Hitchcock film. Even though the distractions were everywhere around us, Aleah and Steve kept in good spirits and laughed it off about a million gnat bites later and what impressed me most was their ability to take these annoying conditions and focus on each other and the tasks at hand. Both Aleah and Steve powered through the photo session, interview and cinema portion of the session with the kind of love, patience and tolerance that would have sent many people running for the hills. I’ve seen this happen on many occasions. It’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s too dark, it’s too bright, I’m too hungry, I’m too tired, there’s too many bugs, you get the picture. We are respectful of these choices but that doesn’t mean that I don’t wish that we could have taken advantage of the moments in front of us with compliance, resilience and focus. It is after all not our memories but yours and if nothing else, one thing I am painfully aware of is that you can’t go back in time to do the things you should have, could have, wanted to.

I imagine that if Aleah and Steve can stave off thousands of biting gnats and crazy flying birds for several hours so that we could get through filming then they have the type of beautiful attitudes that will in turn take them very far in life and love =) I imagine that there is that kind of fortitude within each and every one of us that when needed allows us to push a little harder for the things that are most meaningful to us. Aleah and Steve reminded me of something very important on the day of their shoot. They reminded me to seize the moment, to go with my gut and to always pursue the things that are most important within that moment.

Sadly a few short weeks after this session was filmed much of this location was irreparably damaged due to Hurricane Sandy. The space where we filmed their interview is completely destroyed, leveled as if it never existed. The Dunes where the sunset and sky time lapses were filmed are no longer there… just a distant memory of a place that once was. Things, places & moments with the people we love can be so fragile in this world we live in and sometimes I feel that mother nature has a way of warning us and of reminding us to cherish and never take for granted what is right in front of our eyes.

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Emily+Vic=Lucas… a Be{loved} We Story Highlight

Driving to Baltimore and chatting with my crew about Emily and Vic and how this was a special session because Lucas had arrived. It was special because we would be venturing back to an area that I have become quite familiar with due to people who I had been so fortunate to have had our paths collide. There is no question at all as to why they are surrounded by the most amazing of friends as well as beautiful, supportive and nurturing families. They are truly the kind of people that anyone would be lucky to call as friends. I know that Lucas is blessed with having parents that will nurture, love and support him. His big brother Shady showers him with kisses and love too!

Take a peek at the highlight below. The full version is packaged with love and shipping out tomorrow. As a general rule I rarely if ever share the full versions online. You see, as a studio I value the friendships that I have made and I am keenly aware of the private moments and many heartfelt words that are spoken throughout the process of creating an Us – We – or Me Story. It is for those reasons and my respect for having some things remain sacred and private that I choose to make the feature films for home viewing only. The highlight below gives you a great sense of this beautiful family. Please watch it and enjoy =)

My hope is that one day Lucas will watch this and see how from the very start his Mom & Dad had the utmost of love and hope within them for him and that he will have this as a cherished memento

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2013 Sale Promo – Limited to the first 20 clients

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Once a year I run a promotion. This past year I have been so affected emotionally by so many events both personal as well as those that we see and read about. Some are such horrible tragedies that really tear at your heart strings like what occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary. I have been off for the last 3 weeks preparing for the new season of weddings and portraits. I have spent many hours contemplating on Why. Why do I do this, why this way, what do I want to accomplish, what is my message, what is my purpose. why…

Granted, I had a week with high fevers, flu and such so it is very possible that many ideas that came from the past 3 weeks are filled with a little bit of delirium tremors but for the most part I can start this season knowing where we are going and what we want to accomplish. So I am running a promotion unlike any other I have ever run. We are offering Beloved at a cost.

Yes, that’s right. You heard it. Now where’s the gimmick? Don’t look too hard, you won’t find one.

I am fully aware of budgets and splurges. Our normal cost for the still or cinema sessions/stories can sometimes be out of the budget for many people. I don’t want that to stop someone from booking something that has the potential to touch their heart or the hearts of those that they love. It is for that reason that I offer our Winter Special. We can only accept the first 20 clients due to the amount of work involved and the special personalized attention. If you know of anyone who would be a perfect candidate for this session please forward them this link or contact me =)

Visit www.BelovedCinema.com for more info or to view samples of our video work. If you have questions, give me abuzz or send me an email. Cindy@cindyguessford.comcgs-belovedalbum-102

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Arghhhh AYe Aye Matey: Time to go to work.

Frequently when I meet new people & they ask what I do for a living I respond with the answer that I’m a treasure hunter.  This either garners me a well deserved raised eyebrow or a “wow, that must be exciting!”.  I usually respond with a “yep, it’s true.  It is exciting, especially when you luck out and find some good ones.  Then comes the, “what kind of treasures do you hunt?” question.  That’s when the conversation gets interesting =)

You see, what we do over here is very hard to categorize.  If a potential client is looking at studios and comparing the quality of work, pricing, packages and the like then on the outside it appears as if what we do is not that much different than a typical portrait session or Wedding coverage.  Yet when they inspect a little closer there is a huge difference & the number one reason that when asked to a potential client, what drew you to the studio, the answer is that the images look REAL.  I usually ask what they mean by that and the reply is always the same.  The people  in the images look like they are experiencing the emotions that are being conveyed in the photo or video.  They look authentic, real not forced, comfortable and natural.  The number two reason that potential clients give us is that they feel our images are cool.  Great!!!  We make real cool images and video, that should be our next tag line ;)   Seriously though, I’m always excited when my message shines through to the types of people that want Real and Cool.  I have split personality when it comes to shooting and I do want to make emotionally authentic work that inspires me, I also want to make beautiful and cool images too. Ying and Yang, all day long!

So yes, initially that is what people see.  Then fast forward.  You are a client now.  You book your sessions and the day arrives for us to hang out.  You have no idea what you are in store for.  The Journey of your session is not what you thought a portrait session was all about.  You have fun, we engage through words, thoughts and actions.  Together we experience a trip down memory lane and also make new memories.  You leave the session saying that “it was one of the best experiences you have ever had as a couple or a parent or a sibling.”  Actual words spoken by those who have had the full experience.  You talk about the session to anyone that will listen.  They all think you have drank the crazy coolaid until…. They see the images, watch the videos and book their own session.

It’s true.  We have an exceptionally high percentage of referrals from existing clients to their families and friends.  It is something that I am very proud of and extremely thankful for because what we do, this treasure hunting thing, it’s very personal and not everyone wants to get all up and personal with people they just met but when a family member or true friend tells you – YOU HAVE TO DO THIS!!!  Well, it means they think you would be a good candidate and a great fit for our services.

So, treasure hunting, yes.  It can be an emotionally and physically exhausting task but in the end I feel rewarded by natural smiles, heartfelt words, love, laughter, tears and sometimes sadness, joy, pride and so many other treasures that we can not live without.  It is an important job, a meaningful one and one that I do because it makes me a better person every time I pick up my camera and every time I read a response from another unexpectedly amazed client.

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Here is a family portrait from my childhood.  I love it because it is my family but you can’t really gauge who we were at that moment in our lives.  It’s a static image.  Obviously I cherish it because I have so few images of us all together but what I wouldn’t give to go back and take more images & to film video so that I could see and hear and remember.  For now I will have to just use my imagination.  The cute little boys are thinking, hmmmm our sister is so amazing and smart.  The mom & dad are thinking – we have a beautiful family and don’t we look fashionable!  The little girl is clearly in the midst of saying something extremely profound… One can always imagine ;)

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Chasing Rainbows

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My dearest Hawaii,

How often can one fall in love in a lifetime? I ask myself this every time I fall. I hope it is limitless, I think to myself. How could one not want to feel repeatedly that exhilarating, liberating, inexplicable sensation experienced when you realize that you are head over heels in freakin love… You can experience this with people, interests and even places. I felt this way when I visited Oahu and Maui this past September. I felt at peace dear Hawaii, driving your windward coast, exploring the North Shore, traversing up your winding summit roads of Mt Haleakala, swimming your beautiful ocean amidst sea turtles and reef lovelies. Dear Hawaii, your breathtaking sunsets, majestic water falls and awe inspiring starry nights, your bountiful rainbows, your mountains that loom higher than the clouds… I found a space that helps me to rejuvenate myself. Dear Hawaii, thank you…

xoxoxo – until we meet again.

I wrote a poem one day while having my morning coffee. Glancing out the window towards the beach. The sun had already started it’s ascent upwards towards billowing clouds sailing across deep azure skies. That’s when I saw what I thought was the most beautiful and interesting place I had seen a rainbow. Connecting cloud to ocean and just beautiful. It was in fact the Second most amazing appearance of a rainbow. The first is the breathtaking shot above. I shot this while in a helicopter touring the island of Maui & the Big Island. I could see the end of it, landing onto the golden landscape of the valley where light meets shade. Maybe I’m a weirdo or just too much of a romantic or maybe it’s too late into the evening and I should know when to censor myself for fear of someone thinking I’m a weirdo. You know what, I’m kinda okay with people thinking I may be a little off kilter. The truth is that I have from the moment of my earliest memories, always have been a little socially awkward. I often tread the lines of being too serious and not serious enough. When one day I decided to chase my dream. I have had so much support on this journey and I have made incredible connections with people that will forever affect the person that I now am.

When I captured this rainbow and saw where it ended I immediately thought of Balance. She ends at the seam of light and dark. The proverbial pot of gold truly does exist. It exists when there is balance in your life. It exists when we see beauty, selflessness, hope & love. We are richer for having been privy to the things, places and people that enrich our lives. I felt rich, balanced and highly affected by mother nature and the serene landscape unfolding before me.

Sorry, sidetracked as per the usual ;-) Here is my attempt at poetry. Keep in mind that I don’t have my poetic License(hee, hee – bad joke)

CHASING RAINBOWS

Beautiful, inexplicable in existence

I can not pin point your location-as it changes with mine & the Sun’s

Yet you delight me as I chase you

Knowing that at any moment you may scamper away

disappearing as quickly as you have arrived

Rainbow, you are as precocious as a child

you run from me and giggle over your shoulder

I hope to never catch you.

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Our New Studio Promo Film

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