Capturing a Story and the Real You

Posted On: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

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Lets face it, everyone has had those photo’s taken where either your eyes were closed, your fake smile was unconvincing or the “go to” pose of the hand on the hip  just made it look like you were trying a little too hard.  It’s tough to get the whole natural looking but stunningly beauty thing down, especially when you’re being photographed. And while it’s easy to detag those fugly photo’s from Facebook and forget they even existed, it’s impossible to recreate your special day.

Everyone wants to look effortlessly beautiful and relaxed in their wedding photographs. You want your pictures to tell a story, not just show a sequence of events. It’s important that the photographer capture the emotions you feel, from the walk down the aisle to the first dance. Every couple’s personality is different and have a different vision of how they want their story told but the most important means of achieving this story starts with picking the right photographer.

I decided I needed to go straight to the source to find out how the pro’s get their couples relaxed so they get the best shots possible. Here at cHill Weddings we have had had the opportunity to work with many great photographers and one of our favorites is Cindy Guessford from Cindy Guessford Photography. Cindy really prides herself on having her couples be involved in each stage of the creative process so that the end result is truly a unique and customized wedding album. Here is some of her amazing work and what she had to say to some of my questions:

How do you make your couples look and feel relaxed on the big day?

“I can’t stress enough how much I love engagement or beloved sessions. They are the single best way to establish comfort and trust long before the wedding day. In order for our studio to capture or make images that are authentic, fun, beautiful or just plain cool we need to have our clients trust in our vision and the best way to do that is for them to book a session and experience all that there is. At the session we will explore the boundaries of what works and doesn’t work and in doing so we can gauge without a doubt what connects our clients to each other. Once they have seen the images from the session we can pretty much ask them to do anything on the wedding day.”

Are there certain poses that work better than others?

“Absolutely! Every nuance of every couple is different from the last couple and to the next. We come in all shapes, sizes, styles, taste and levels of comfort. Reading body language, asking questions, placing people in the best possible light for the vision of the image all tie in to creating the finished product. If they don’t love the way the images make them feel then they won’t love the image or your work.”

Do you use any fun props?

“Sometimes although props really aren’t our thing. At my studio the connection that our clients have with each other are usually all the props that we need. The way he smiles at her when he thinks she’s not looking, the way she may brush aside a tear because the moment overtook her and even the sass and sparkle in their eyes when we are creating more editiorial style images. Those are our props =)

How do you make a shoot original? How important is location?

“Here’s where the magic happens! It’s a simple recipe. We talk to our clients, we discuss their likes, dislikes and overall vibe of what they expect in a shoot. Do they like city, nature, urban, texture, color etc…Based on these answers we plan a shoot during a time of day that will work well with the vision. I typically scout locations and plan a route that encompass the things that they love with a STRESS on the fact that this shoot is not about location but about the connection that they have with eachother. They bring the love, I find the light and together we make the images that are artistic, passionate and fun. Whether it’s a tender moment or a cool posed shot, it’s all about making the kind of art for those that it matters too.”

As Cindy touched on in her responses, your wedding photo’s should be a reflection of your own personal style. You have to be able to trust that your photographer is going to capture the story you envisioned and have confidence that they will put you in the best possible poses, light and locations to do so.  And in the end, the truly most important component is simply showing off the amazing connection that you have with your partner.