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I was texting with my daughter Kristin yesterday while I was loading the files from a {me} session with a certain darling little peanut.  Kristin and I were planning our next get together.  Now that she no longer lives at home we try to connect in person as often as possible, usually once a week or so and many , many times since she flew the coop 2 years ago I have fallen in love with the person that she is and is becoming.  For me, it is about happiness and that translates differently to different people.  I can say that as I’ve gotten older it takes a lot less to make me happy.  It’s not that I have lowered my expectations at all.  You see, my level of happiness and what gets me there is to simply enjoy the things we can.  To breathe in those little moments, savor the big ones and discard the shit as quickly as possible.  The last thing that Kristin wrote in her text to me is “you’re heaven sent.”  My reply was “No, YOU are.”

We do our best to raise our children with good decision making skills, to be a loving person, to be kind and to live this one and only life that we are given as best as they can so that they can be happy.  I don’t think there is a limit to how many times you can and do fall in love with your child.  I know the first time for me was when I found out she was coming.  Then many times as I carried her and protected her from the world, sustaining her within my body, then again the first moment I heard her cry as she entered this world and again when I touched her and held her, again when her father kissed her and smiled saying she was perfect.  Countless more times since that day and I am sure countless more times to come.

It is hard to describe this overwhelming feeling of love.  I know I see it.  I feel it and I can see it and feel it in others.  I chatted with Brandon on the phone the day before our scheduled session to see if Alexis had developed a sleep schedule yet and to try and determine when would be the best time to arrive for our session.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the last several years with Becca and Brandon and their family documenting Engagements and Weddings and was very honored to see them again to meet their newest little addition.  It was so cute to hear the excitement in his voice as we talked about his new baby daughter.  In that moment I realized that we could also Hear Love.  Before we hung up I remember saying to him you’ve completely fallen in love with her and he replied Oh Yes.

Welcome to the world little miss Alexis.  You made me very happy to see you yesterday.  You are but a few days old but I can see the wonder and contemplation in your eyes already.  You are beautiful and loved and I know that your Mom & Dad have already fallen in love countless times with you  and will countless more!

Here are a few sneaks from our session.  To view more like and visit our PAGE.

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Weddings can be stressful if you let them be. Jenna and Bob did not. That in and of itself is a wonderful thing. I learned something that day about patience and kindness, composure and forgiveness. I saw all of these beautiful qualities in a human being that day and I am grateful beyond measure for having been witness to these emotions and more. Even when their first look was disrupted, impeded upon and used as an opportunity for a sales pitch by a hotel sales manager and I quote, “is this the first time you are seeing each other, well great, let me take this opportunity to…” they laughed it off because in the end the little BS things just don’t matter now do they, what matters is when ultimately you are marrying that person who is your compass, your balance your love. I wish you both so much more happy little nuggets of life – you deserve it! (not the invasive ones of course).

Little life lessons present themselves to us in what I think are impromptu clues and vignettes.  Today’s life lesson for me was a reminder of days past and occurred when I witnessed a series of events, and I won’t get into it because it doesn’t matter who – what matters is how it was handled, that could have and would have made some brides freak out and justifiably so.  Jenna didn’t freak out.  Instead of being a problem identifier – which we are all exceptionally good at, she instead was a problem solver.  Seeing this brought me back to my days of being a District Manager for Ritz Camera.  A position I left many many many years ago but one that helped to formulate in my mind how I did and did not want to run a business.  I used to tell my managers not to call me with their problems.  Ha, ha.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to help them fix their problems.  I absolutely wanted resolution but if I was their band aid then how would they ever learn to manage properly.  I would say to them, ” don’t bring me your problems, bring me your solutions.  I need to see how you wrap your head around conflict so that I can help you find the balance you need to make the best decision”.  This approach yielded many a successful manager and one of the most profitable districts in the country.

I use this same philosophy with my staff here at the studio.  One by one each employee has flown off to find their own path and follow their own journeys but I know deep down inside that my voice is ingrained in their minds and balance is key.

Saying No to Stress on your wedding day is easier said than done but I promise you that if you hold onto the good and find solutions for the bad you will have the framework to be in a space that allows you to remember the beautiful moments, the amazing family you have, the support of your friends and these far outweigh those fleeting bouts of hardship.

Here are a few sneaks from Jenna & Bob’s day.  To see all of the sneaks click the link below and spread the love by liking or sharing =)

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Scroll through to the end of this post to view the Coming Soon Trailer for their video

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Earlier this morning I was at the gym and in an effort to trick myself and my wandering mind into staying on that elliptical just a wee bit longer I started to read the sub titles displayed  on the TV.  The program that was playing was called The Millionaire Matchmaker.  For those that have never seen the show it’s about a matchmaker named Patti Stranger who matches single wealthy people with closely compatible dates.  When I glanced up at the TV the employees were chatting about a Groom who PAID to have his Best Man write his vows!!!  Yes, I said PAID and Yes the Groom did not write his own vows.  There were two men and woman engaging in this conversation and the men seemed to think that it was perfectly alright for the Groom to have paid his Best Man to write the Groom’s marital vows.  The woman disagreed and in walks Patti.  They ask her opinion and she says two things.  One, why does the Best Man need to be Paid, he is after all the Best Man but more importantly, if you are going to write your own vows, they should come from the HEART.

I can’t agree more…  Why bother writing your own vows and getting married to anyone if you are so void of emotion that you can’t communicate how you feel?  I understand that some people aren’t able to properly say all that they may want when on the spot BUT we are talking about weddings here, ya know, something that you most likely planned for months.  Guys and Gals, get your shizz together!  If you are so inclined to write your own vows then for the love of who you are marrying tap into that heart of yours, you know, the thing that pumps all your blood and swells when it’s filled.  You do your Bride or Groom an injustice by not allowing yourself the vulnerability required to really dig deep and answer those hard questions.  Why do you love them, what is it about them that you love, why are you making a commitment?  Why are you showing up?  What do you promise?

The sad reality is that the person you have chosen and who has chosen you is standing before you waiting to hear these things because they are the one who has filled your heart and it’s unforgivable if you don’t do your job that day to fill theirs.  How can you expect to make a “lifetime” out of being “the one” if you can’t speak from your heart, just this once.

There is still hope, don’t elect write your own vows in the case if you are one of those types that has something preventing you from tapping into your emotions.  Utilize any number of published biblical quotes or otherwise and simply say I do.

This topic gets me all riled up and as I’m watching and reading the sub titles I can feel my heart rate rise and my legs are burning, sweat pouring down my brow.  I don’t even notice when the cool down timer starts so mission distraction accomplished!  I started to think about the workload for next week and smile.

Ahhhhhhhh back to my happy place.  We will be shooting and filming the Wedding of Elyse and Brett this weekend.  It makes me feel so incredibly happy and grateful to be doing so because these two know how to communicate to each other.  I found this out when we filmed their {us} story.  There are no questions as to their why and I am looking forward to experiencing and documenting these moments for them!

Thank you as always to our many clients who open up their minds and speak from their hearts!

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That final consultation, discussing Time Lines, planning out Photo and Cinema locations, checking the weather patterns, printing out the portrait lists, team prep meetings, cue the {us} story and ready set go, go, go!!!

Whenever I have that pre-Wedding final Time Line chat with one of our upcoming brides, there is always that sense of WOW, I can’t believe the day is already here!  It seems as if forever ago we started on this journey and now, the day is right up on us!  Where does all of the time go?

One little tidbit always comes up and it is the most important bit of advice for all of you soon to be Brides and Grooms that I have to offer.  It’s so simple but has been my most sage bit of wisdom that I can impart upon you because having experienced hundreds of wedding days I feel very confident that this piece of advice is 100% INFALLIBLE.  I swear by it and it is with the utmost of sincerity that I dole out this little nugget.

Here it is:

“You have done all of the hard work asked of you, you’ve researched, compared and chosen your Team for the day.  From the venue to every single little detail.  Now, TRUST that you did the best job EVAH & let go.  Just let go.  TRUST that.  You have a new job now and it is to be present, enjoy, live and breathe in the moments, embrace these moments and the people in them, NO MATTER what happens on your wedding day it will only be as perfect as your PERSPECTIVE.”

                                                                    ~ Cindy Guessford

The countdown has begun for Jenna & Bob’s Philadelphia Wedding at Tendenza.  5 days and counting =)  I am very excited about the forecast for the day, Excited and Warm Hearts with a chance of Happy Tears and generous sprinkles of Love throughout the day.  Bring it on!

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2014 sale and contest_cgstudios

Once a year we like to run a sale.  I love sales.  Especially when I love something and it’s on sale, I buy extra =)  I’ve gotten several calls within the last few weeks because last year we ran our sale in January and January is ovahhhhh but February sales are good too so here it is!  Woohoo!  Please feel free to contact me at cindy@cindyguessford.com for more information regarding the portrait or cinema experience sales offering.  We can only offer the first 10 commissions at these rates so contact me via email to set up your consultation or share this special with a friend.

Now onto something that makes me really really really Happy!

Last year was quite the amazing year for us in terms of connecting with some wonderful and inexplicably giving of themselves souls.  We spent many, many, many hours pouring through footage and audio and still images in order to make something that mattered to us, that mattered to you, that celebrated your moments as they were, making something tangible, making something that lives on to tell your story, making something that makes TIMELESS your UNIQUENESS.

Last year we cried with many of you during those sad moments.  Last year we laughed with many of you when you were laughing at each other or me =) Last year we were there to celebrate weddings, births, birthdays and reunions and the love stories, man oh man, I love the stories.  Young love, new love, old love, true love, lost love, found love, loving each other, loving ourselves.  So many that have touched us in ways that I can not do justice by words alone to express the depths of our thankfulness.

Last year I also experienced great losses in the passing of my Mother in law and my Grandmother.  I wholeheartedly appreciate the outpouring of love that I received from our friends, clients and colleagues during those times.  I have a tendency to pour myself into my work when I am escaping reality so I thank all of you who were my muses during those times.  Your support and smiling faces kept me positive and those were wells that were much needed of being filled.

So much in this world to be thankful for but for me I am most thankful for the moments with the people that I love.  When someone carves out time for you in this busy and disposable world that we share, that is something that means something to me, especially when I can revisit some of these moments whenever I want to.  These visits come in the form of our memories, dreams, printed images, digital images and films.

I have always felt very fortunate to be able to do something that I love that is rewarding and I am passionate about using my resources to pay it forward and give something back.  This year YOU are going to help us connect with SOMEONE who deserves a day like THIS!

What’s the prize you ask?  What is “a day like this”?  Well, since you asked, “a day like this” is a day reserved for the winning NOMINEE that will include a pre-shoot day story boarding meeting, Hair Stylist & Make Up Artist, lovingly prepared lunch and beverages then our exclusive Be {loved} Photo and Cinema Session that celebrates either their {us}, {me} or {we} story.  We will deliver to them our collection of artist selected favorite still images and their finished film plus some secret surprises.

Who can be NOMINATED?  We want to know if you know someone who you feel deserves a day of pampering and the experience as well as the finished product of our Be {loved} line of sessions and stories.  Does someone inspire you?  Do you know someone who could use a pick me up?  Do you know someone that has overcome obstacles or odds or illness that could inspire others with their story?  If the answer is yes then feel free to nominate them.

How do you nominate someone? To nominate someone for this prize simply send an email to Cindy@CindyGuessford.com with this information:

  1. type “I know someone who deserves a day like this” in the subject line
  2. write me a little letter about who you are nominating and why you think they should be chosen or make us a video and attach it.
  3. make sure to leave your name and the best way to contact you if your entry is chosen.

When does this contest end? We must have all submissions by 11:59 pm EST on March 16, 2014.

When will the winner be announced? Our panel of industry pros and partners will be placing their votes and selecting the letter or video that inspired us most and will announce the winner on march 23rd 2014 via our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CindyGuessfordStudios. 

We will also make updates on that page so follow us to keep posted.

Also, there are no costs associated with entering this contest or redeeming the prize =)

So ready, set and goooooooooooooo.  We want to here about who has inspired you and why they should win “a day like this”!!!!

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