Sarah and Bryan - A Manayunk Brewery Winter Wedding

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When I saw the forecast for Sarah and Bryan’s day, I won’t lie, this girl squealed! It was in the mid 50’s and for a wedding that was on the last weekend of 2018, thats practically unheard of! And it was going to be sunny!! I started of their day at the Hilton on City Line Ave for getting ready photos and they both had such gorgeous spaces and light! Which is a photographers dream! Sarah decided to forgo the traditional white gown and had this stunning gold sequin dress custom made for her and it was gorgeous! And Bryan wore the most incredible Burgundy suit! Both of their looks were perfectly complimented by my girl Lauren’s florals (owner of Bloomsbury Floral Design) and those stunning, rich colors added that extra bit of glam every winter wedding needs!

Sarah and Bryan had their first look right outside their venue, the gorgeous Manayunk Brewery. Watching Sarah come around the corner, it was so sweet to see Bryan’s whole face light up! These two so clearly love each other and they couldn’t stop smiling and sneaking kisses all day long! We wandered around Manayunk for some portraits with their wedding party before it was time to make these two officially husband and wife. Sarah’s dad sang a beautiful song that was apart of his wedding with Sarah’s late mother and there were tears all around. There was so much obvious emotion for Sarah in that moment and watching her and her dad walk down the aisle was easily my favorite part of their day.

And then it was party time! The Manayunk Brewery provided incredible cocktails and food, the couple danced, speeches were given and the friends and family danced the night away. Right before we left though, I captured one of my favorite images ever of Sarah and Bryan dancing through the window while I blocked traffic on Main Street in Manayunk. Anything for that perfect shot though and it was the perfect way to end a perfect day!

Oh, and can I just say how much I loved getting to work with this venue? Their coordinator Paris did such an incredible job and was so easy to work with, which as a photographer, is a dream! The venue recently underwent a renovation and its safe to say, its just an incredibly stunning space now! And I really hope some more couples bring me back there soon!

Enjoy some of my favorites from my second to last wedding of 2018! And a massive thank you to Sarah and Bryan for allowing us to be apart of your day!

Florist - Bloomsbury Floral Design

Venue and Catering - Manayunk Brewing Company

Day of Coordinator - Paris Rose, Manayunk Brewing Company

Hotel - Hilton City Line Ave

Penny Praline - A Queer Philadelphia Plus Size Boudoir Session

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Tattoos + a badass queer babe + a gorgeous penthouse = you better believe some serious magic! Penny was such a delight to work with during her shoot and she was game for anything! Her gorgeous tattoos and outfit choices really shined in her session and this Fishtown Philadelphia penthouse was the most ahhhmazing backdrop! We had all the fun laughing and rolling around and getting wet, but more than that, Penny is the kind of person you just wanna hang out with because she is so down to earth and sweet and funny. And she is a photographers DREAM to shoot! I also love that she didn’t wanna hide her body and was all about loving all of it! Not every client who walks through my door is down for this and thats ok, but when I get to work with a babe thats like nah, all of me is amazing, its awesome!

A huge thank you to Penny for hiring me for this shoot and allowing me to share some favs with all of you! Wanna schedule your own shoot? Click here to learn all the details and send us a message!

2018 Best of Swiger Photography

Sitting down to write this post feels like taking a deep breath…that exhale that comes after holding your breath for so long. This year has been a busy one, so many beautiful Philadelphia area weddings and even some shoots/weddings in Ohio, Baltimore, New York, New Jersey and Delaware! I have been so lucky to be apart of such different weddings this year and to work with so many different folks on a wide variety of projects and shoots and it feels so incredible to scroll through all of these images. You are all so incredible!!!

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I started a new tradition with my best of boudoir post (click here if you’d like to check that out!!) of selecting a photo of the year and I think I am going to carry that over to here as well. Picking just one image to call my 2018 favorite is SO HARD. The top favs for portraits include so many people I adore and images I am so proud of but this image speaks to me for a lot of reasons but I’ll to share a few. The first is that this year was a year of loving and hating light. My studio had too much of it, most of my wedding days had not enough of it and as someone who always ran from shadows, learning to embrace them and see the beauty they bring to images was a battle. I also love the quiet way this image draws you in, the confident calmness that Taylor has in it and the way the shadows perfectly frame her face. And to be honest, I also just love the memory of this day, walking around my new neighborhood in Philly with some incredible babes.

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For my favorite wedding image….Oh ya’ll this was a HARD! There were so many moments, so many images that just spoke to me and were favorites, but I decided to go with an image that seemed to be a favorite in almost every category. Nuriya and Jess had one of my all time favorite wedding days and it was a day that I really pushed myself to do more, try new things and be present with my couple in new ways. And it paid off. This image is from their first look, right before they opened their eyes for the first time to see the woman that in a few short hours would be their wife. I remember telling them that and having them take a few deep breaths and the joy and excitement, but also the peace, was something you could feel. I remember vividly the tears I had in that moment and the ones that followed! This quickly became my favorite way to do first looks because I loved how intimate and how much emotion they tend to have, but theirs was the first and now we refer to this type of first look between Jordan and I as “the Nuriya and Jess.”

And on a more me note, I also chose this image because shooting backlit is something I often struggle with and yet I knew this was the only spot that made sense for their first look. I was so nervous to get this perfect and pushed myself out of my comfort zone and it paid off big time! And I am so proud of how these turned out!

Well get ready to scroll friends because below is the narrowed down favorites from 2018 and I am so excited to share my personal favorite images from this year! And a HUGE thank you to every single one of you here for allowing me to be apart of your lives and days and to photograph you! I adore you all so much!

2018 - Best of Boudoir Post

The end of every year brings reflection, but this particular year has been such a whirlwind that its hard to remember what life felt like back in December of 2017. I had just moved into my very own studio, I was facing a busy January full of weddings and my busiest calendar to date. And my oh my, was this year a busy one! Pulling my favorite boudoir images for this year was a DAUNTING task ya’ll. My original list was 5x what this post contains because I have been so lucky to work with so many amazing people and for that, I am grateful! And while I will be sharing my favorite wedding and portrait images in the beginning of 2019 (I still have two weddings left this year and I have to include those!!), I am so excited to share my favorite boudoir images of 2018 first!

Before I get to those images though, I wanted to take a minute and tell you a little about how seeing all of these images feels for me. I never set out to be a boudoir photographer but shooting this type of work brings out the best in me. Boudoir is intrinsically personal and to me, every single babe that has allowed me to get to know them and create beautiful images that show their authentic selves is something I am so incredibly grateful for. But I think what moves me to tears though is how diverse this group of babes is! I believe wholeheartedly that sexuality and beauty is found in every single person but often society tried to limit those words to certain folks, so to have been able to create images of so many different folks of different expressions and backgrounds and body sizes and skin colors and sexualities….I feel humbled and honored. You all inspire me so much and I can’t wait to continue the work of creating safe spaces fo you to embrace and be your badass, authentically sexy and stunning selves.

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Oh and one more thing! I wanted to also share my FAVORITE boudoir image of the whole year with ya’ll! While I love all of my clients and shoots, this particular image speaks so much to me as a person and an artist and to be able to create it with someone as incredible as our dear friend Tiel, well it means the world to me. This whole shoot is my fav from this year but this image speaks to me most of all because of the strength it takes to find laughter and joy amidst tears and pain and heartbreak. This shot is in between some incredibly powerful images of Tiel crying in the shower and I am just so grateful for this woman’s support and friendship and that she allowed me into a hard space in her life to create this series and that we were both able to find moments of laughter in that. Here is to hoping 2019 is full of these kinds of powerful images and incredible babes!

So without further ado, here are my 2018 favorite boudoir images in no particular order!

3 Ways to Have The Queer Wedding Of Your Dreams

I recently was chatting with a friend who is getting married and they asked me what my top three tips would be for them as a queer couple as they are planning. It took me a moment to respond because there are so many things I would say to a queer couples but I quickly narrowed it down to what I think are the three biggest tips and I thought it would be helpful to share them here too! While I don’t think this is an exhaustive list or the only ways to have the queer wedding of your dream, I hope it gives any couples out there feeling a bit overwhelmed a place to start!

1.) Do things your own way

Planning a wedding can feel like having to do a whole of traditions that don’t feel anything like the couple you are, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Your wedding should be about the two of you, the things you like and traditions that matter to you, but there will be people that tell you that you have to do this or that thing.  You have to wait to see each other till the ceremony. You have to have a wedding party. You have to wear a dress. Or a suit. You have wear white. It has to be formal. Or cheap.  Don’t listen to them.  If doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.  Which leads us to number 2…

2.) Plan this thing together

Some of my favorite weddings have been the ones where the couple has brought together all the things and people they love for an epic party party celebrating who they are and how much they love each other.  And that’s what a wedding should be about right? The two of you. So plan this together and pull inspiration and ideas from the things that are you.  Love science and robotics? Have a robot ring bearer! Into craft beer?  Design your whole cocktail hour around craft beer! Was your first date at an art museum?  Maybe plan your wedding at an art gallery! Does your partner have a deep love of 90’s music?  Maybe have your whole dinner playlist be their favorite 90’s songs! Whatever it is you love, whatever things are the two of you, plan your wedding around that and its going to be a day that not only feels like the two of you, but planning it together will be a lot more fun.  


3.) Hire Vendors That Hella Queer

This last one might seem like a duh to some of you, but I hear from a lot of couples that they didn’t think it matter if their DJ/florist/photographer was LGBTQ and how much they wish they would have hired someone from within the community.  Its one thing to be LGBTQ friendly, its a totally different thing to actually be queer as fuck and the later means you are getting to work with people who already get it, not ones you have to explain why neither one of you is “the man in the relationship” or why you are deciding to forgo traditions to do your own thing.  They already get it and it means they are even more ready to help you have the wedding of your dreams, not the wedding that is expected of you.  And this goes for all part of your day. Outfits to DJ’s to caterers to jewelers to planners to florists to photographers to venues.


Are you a queer couple who has gotten married that has some tips of your own? I’d love to hear them! Leave me a comment with what you think are some of the top tips for LGBTQ+ couples tying the knot!

Lillian and Kate - Philly City Hall Elopement

What happens when combine beautiful florals by Bllomsbury Floral Design, custom suits by Bindle and Keep, a love of Giovanni’s Room Bookstore and the cutest lesbian couple eloping at Philadelphia City Hall? Well you get one hella cute queer elopement that’s what! Lillian and Kate were not only so incredible sweet but the whole day I was overwhelmed with the feeling that these two not only have so much love for each other, but also have so much love from their families too! Before their Philly City Hall Elopement, we wandered around Center City taking some portraits of them and then met up with three of their closest family members! These two had such huge smiles while they became Mrs and Mrs and it was just a joy to document!

Afterward we headed to a very special spot for them, Giovanni’s Room Bookstore by Philly Aid’s Thrift Store and they graciously allowed us to take some portraits there as well! I love how Lillian and Kate wanted to incorporate their love of queer books into their day and I really loved the way their suits and florals just popped in that space! We ended the afternoon by wandering through Washington Square Park and Old City and from top to bottom, this was my favorite elopement this year! And when you scroll through this photo’s you’ll see why! I can’t wait to work with these two again next year for their reception but for now enjoy my many favorites from their wedding day!

Jenn - Philadelphia Boudoir Session

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Oh ya’ll. This is a GOOD one!!!! Jenn is someone I have know for over 6 years and this gorgeous babe is not only one of the sweetest people but Lord is she one hottie too! She came to play with me at a gorgeous suite in Philadelphia in November and it was just one of those sessions that had me going yes yes yaaasss! I love the way her blue eyes pop in the images and let’s be real, any curvy woman who brings me a body stocking, corset and stripper heels is going to create some magic and oh my did we! From sweet to ultra sexy, this session has it all and I am SO EXCITED to be sharing my dear friend with all of you! Please enjoy just a few of my favorites!

Kim and Jeff - A Beautiful Summer Flourtown Country Club

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From my very first email with Kimberly, I instantly felt like she was going to be one of those brides that not only had incredible wedding day but also became a friend. Oh heavens was I right! And Jeff is a guy cut from the same kind of rare cloth that Kimberly is; sweet, kind, full of smiles and madly in love, so its no wonder that they were seriously one of the best couples to work with. From their bright teal and peach colors and travel theme to their families to the gorgeous property for photos, I just am in love with these two and the way their images came out! And as a bonus, my sister Brittany assisted me for this wedding and its so fun to get to share my family with my couples!

Kimberly and Jeff, thank you both for not only being an incredible couple to work with but easily turning into friends! I can’t WAIT to get to see you two again at your son’s wedding in 2020 and to have ya’lls support for years to come! We all adore you here at Swiger Photography and I am so glad the internet lead you my way! Enjoy my favorites!

Jenne and Julian - A University of Penn Intimate Queer Wedding

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Jenne and Julian had one of the most unique weddings I have ever been apart of and to be honest, I loved it! We didn’t do a big first look, there was amazing vegan food, square-dancing that was taught by an instructor during the reception and a ton of time for portraits through out the day. The University of Penn was the most incredible background for their intimate wedding and they were also just so sweet to be around. Jenne wore the most lovely short lace dress that looked incredible on them with beautiful handmade flowers by another one of their partners! Both Jenne and Julian had their other partners support layered in through out the day and it was beautiful to witness and photograph! The couple also went to great efforts to ensure that their guests could enjoy the food, even getting. cake that catered to a few of their friends dietary needs and it was so so beautiful to see this sense of community and love through all of it. Oh! And Julian even made a Ring Bot to deliver their rings during their ceremony! How fun is that?? And while I had a hard time narrowing it down, here are just some of my favorite images of the two of them as I wanted to share this wedding without infringing on the privacy of their guests! Enjoy!!

Amber and Natalie - Fells Point Baltimore LGBTQ Engagement Session

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On the first snow of the year, it felt appropriate to blog this summer engagement session that was full of sunshine, warm weather and the cutest of couples! Amber and Natalie hired us for their lesbian Baltimore wedding next year and ya’ll let me tell you, from even just the first five minutes with them, I knew they were going to be a favorite of next year. For their engagement session, we wandered around the beautiful Fells Point neighborhood Baltimore and we found so many cute spots for photos. Amber and Natalie brought along their sweet puppy and one of their mom’s and they just were so easy going and sweet. These are the kind of sessions I live for, the ones where a couple just is themselves and laughter abounds and they just fall into poses so easily because they just genuinely love being around each other. And their photos show that!

Get excited to see these two again next year and for now, enjoy just a few of my favorites from their engagement session!