Sarah and Maria - LGBTQ Philly Wedding at the Maas Building

 Philly Maas Building LGBTQ Wedding

Philly Maas Building LGBTQ Wedding

There are some people you just click with, who you instantly feel like old friends with even though you barely know them. For me, Sarah and Maria are those kind of people. When I met them at their engagement shoot I was struck by how much like Jordan and I they are….they value family and tradition but also doing things in a way that speaks to them. They are committed and kind but also a ball of nerves. They are funny and also so incredibly real. And when you take that magic and you throw in the incredible Maas Building in Philadelphia, you get a lesbian wedding that is what dreams are made of. From their stunning BHLDN gowns, to the bright details, to opting to get dressed together, to the planning by Philly DIY, to the brides walking each other down the aisle, to cupcakes made by the brides, the entire day was full of love and joy.

As a queer business owner in Philly, working within my community is one of my favorite parts of this job but a close second is working with clients who really want me to be apart of their weddings. Sarah and Maria would have done anything to have me there and ya’ll….that makes me feel so good! They trusted all of my crazy ideas and were always down for one more photo and as a result, these two have TONS of stunning portraits together!

Sarah and Maria, you two are one of my favorite couples for a lot of reasons but the number one reason would be how you made your wedding day your own. You took traditions and made them work for you, threw out the ones that didn’t fit or made new ones altogether. Watching you both get lost staring at each other and repeating over and over how beautiful you thought the other was is what makes me so incredible honored that I was the one to not only capture that beautiful day but also witness the kind of love that brightens any darkness. May you two have a lifetime of happiness and giggles and joy together!

Enjoy some of my favorite highlights from their day!!

 
 
 

Bianca and Rosea Cambodian Wedding Blessing Ceremony

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Bianca and Rosea asked me to photograph their Philadelphia Cambodian Blessing Ceremony at Rosea’s moms house before they left for their destination wedding in the Dominican Republic a few days later and I was so honored to be apart of such an incredible day of celebrating and blessing their marriage. So many of their favorite people crowded into a South Philly row home and the energy was as vibrant as their beautiful traditional outfits. Following a beautiful ceremony, there was food and food and more delicious food, shots of Hennessy all around and I even had a chance to steal Rosea and Bianca away for a few moments and photograph some beautiful portraits of them to commemorate that day. My favorite part of the day was watching person after person come up to them to give a blessing, gift and tie a red chord around each of the couples wrist. For over a half hour love was just given to this couple and it was beautiful to be apart of and capture and I am so honored they chose me and Jordan to be the ones to capture it all for them!

Enjoy a few of my favorite images from their day!

Amanda and Joe - Old City Philadelphia Summer Maternity Session

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I have known Amanda since high school but can then I never would have thought she and I would grow up to have spouses who adore us, photography business that are thriving and now her having a sweet baby boy on the way. So much has changed since the days at Pennsbury High School, both in the world and large in and in our personal lives, but it was so nice to catch up with her and her husband Joe to document this exciting new chapter in their lives. We spent an hour in one of my favorite parts of the city, Old City Philadelphia, photographing the two of them and I just am in love with how this turned out! I can’t wait to meet their baby boy arriving any time now and to see the incredible person these two amazing parents raise.

Enjoy some of my favorites!

Nuriya and Jess - A Philadelphia Moshulu LGBTQ Wedding

I knew this wedding blog post was going to be a long one because Nuriya and Jess had the most spectacular LGBTQ wedding in Old City Philadelphia this past spring but I had no idea I was going to have this many favorite images!!!  I have wanted to shoot a wedding at the iconic Moshulu in Philly for years now and despite what ending up being a very rainy night, these two trusted us to take them around Old City Philly that afternoon for wedding portraits.  And they are some of my favorite photos from my entire career.  

This sweet lesbian couple hired us last summer and from the moment I met them, I knew they were going to be more than clients.  They are both so incredibly kind and look at each other in such a way that you can feel the love around them.  They both got ready at the same AirBnB in separate rooms before sharing the sweetest of first looks.  The photos show Nuriya's utter joy when she saw Jess for the first time and I tear up even now looking at them.  I also loved Jess's mom reaction to seeing Jess in her wedding suit!  So many parents struggle with seeing their children wear different than what has come to be expected of a bride or groom and seeing her mom’s face light up with joy and hear her gush over how incredible Jess looked, lets just say it was a really special moment.  We then drove over to Old City and I got to photograph them on the 18th floor of our apartment building BRIDGE over looking the Ben Franklin Bridge.  I loved how their outfits complemented both themselves and each other, Jess in a custom bespoke suit from Bindle and Keep, Nuriya in a gorgeous blush gown from Bhldn.  After some more photos in Old City, even stopping at our favorite coffee chop, United By Blue) we headed down to the Moshulu to do family photos and capture a few shots of their bridal party.  

As the guests gathered for the ceremony, the windows picked up and the dark clouds rolled in, forcing the ceremony into a different space than originally intended but I was struck by how calm Nuriya and Jess were.  Even when there were mishaps from the torrential down pour that lasted for several hours (the sound equipment got wet, water leaked all over the reception space, mics wouldn't work), these two faced it all with such calm and unaffected joy.  Jess had planned a surprise to sing to Nuriya and when the water caused the sound equipment not work, Jess grabbed a guitar and sang acousticly to her new wife.  And there were few dry eyes in the room after that! 

Thats what married life is about though.  Making it work.  Staying by each other when the figurative (and in their case!!) literally storms roll through.  Its making each other laugh, being present, finding joy and holding each others hand the whole way through.  And these two did that so so beautifully.  Listening to their friends and family give toasts about how strong, resilient, compassionate and kind these two are, confirmed what I already knew.  Nuriya and Jess are the kind of people who's love will not only last but inspire.  

And a HUGE shout out to their DJ and our friend DJ Jovi for working through all the craziness and being such an incredible DJ.  It is so fun to work with people we already love!  If you are looking for an LGBTQ friendly DJ and someone who knows how to keep your dance floor going all night long, Jovi is your girl!!!

It was my honor to not only photograph their wedding day, but to get to know these two incredible women on a personal level and I thrilled to now call them friends.  Jess and Nuriya, I hope you are enjoying every minute of this crazy thing called life and that you know just how honored I am that you chose Jordan and I to photograph your wedding day!  Enjoy my (many!!) favorites ya'll! 

Hotel Monaco Mini Session with Seraphina

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What happens when I combine a gorgeous hotel suite with the most beautiful bathrooms I have ever seen + one of my gorgeous friends?  Magic ya'll.  Magic.  Seraphina is....oh goodness.  Seraphina is laughter.  Sarcasm.  Edgy hair meets eyes the right person can get lost in.  Curves for days and a mind that will also take you on a journey.  She is gorgeous and funny.  And she is quickly becoming one of Jordan and my favorite people for a thousand reasons!  So when I decided to shoot promos for our upcoming marathon, I knew she was def going to be someone I asked to be apart.  I love how her mini session is a range of all things her and that, in her own words, she looks like a "harpy mermaid that will eat your heart out while looking stunning."  Which let's be honest, is accurate af.  Want your own mini session at this gorgeous location??  You can snag one for September 7th and 8th for $175, while they last by click HERE.  

But now back to Seraphina and how incredibly stunning she is.  Girl, you are the definition of a badass babe and I am so thrilled our world includes you in it.  I cant wait to do more crazy shoots with you and have amazing adventures with fancy cocktails, honest and you and Jordan.  May you never ever ever forget that you are one bad bitch and that you've got us in your corner <3

Hotel Monaco Glam Mini Session with Meg

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The first time I met Meg, I knew she was going to quickly become a muse for me.  From her gorgeous smile, to those long ass legs, to the easy way she takes direction, she is just a joy to photograph.  So when I wanted to shoot an example of what you could get if you booked back to back mini sessions during our marathon next month, I knew she was the perfect!  And ya’ll, she is NOT a professional model!  (Although I’ll admit that she is def a pro when it comes to makeup!  Her make up always looks so good!!) We shot 4 different looks in about an hour and the results are images that I think embody both a fun, playful side AND the sexy siren she is!  I love how we were able to incorporate her vintage glam vibes into her session and do things that felt modern too and I am just in love with this entire set, and I know you will be too!

If you look at these images and want to have a session like this of your own, for ONE WEEKEND ONLY we are offering mini sessions at this same location.  You can choose between one 30 minute timeslot, or (if available) you can choose two back to back slots for the ultimate experience!  Each timeslot is $175 and includes up to two looks, images in the gorgeous tub/shower (with or without water!) and around the suite!  You’ll receive 25 digital images or 75 if you book two slots!  Plus a little something special from me to take home with you!  You can see what time slots are available HERE and learn more!   I can’t wait to photograph you in this gorgeous location too!  

Hotel Monaco Spa Bath Mini Session with Fi

Oh ya'll, this is a good one!!!  The Hotel Monaco in Old City Philadelphia is the perfect background for this luxe spa inspired boudoir session and I am so excited to share just one of the sessions I did there a few weeks ago!  Meet Fi, a bombshell that I am obsessed with!  She was so willing to do just about anything for that perfect shot and boy did it pay off!  And you know what the crazy part is?  All of what you are going to see below was shot in just under 19 minutes!  Mini sessions are a fun way to do something totally different OR dip your toes into the boudoir world and I am so excited for our 2 day marathon at this location September 7th and 8th.  Sessions are $175 and include a 30 minute timeslot that as you can see with Fi, is plenty of time to shoot two looks!  While you certainly don't have to shoot in the tub with water in it, it certainly makes for some gorgeous images!  

If you would like more information on how to secure your own spa inspired session, click HERE!  Or scroll on through Fi's gorgeous images below!  I cant wait to make this kind of magic again!  

Boudoir Sessions - Mini Sessions vs Full Sessions

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I often get emails about what the difference between a full session and a mini session and since its a common question, I thought it would be the perfect topic for a blog post!  And the answer is surprisingly simple!  For Swiger Photography, almost all of our full sessions happen at our industrial, natural light studio in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.  Being a boudoir photographer in Philly, having a home base for sessions allows me flexibility to schedule sessions every day of the week and I love the organic, simple feel of that space.  The brick walls pop with the white linens, the 18ft by 12ft windows allow light to pour in and the space is accented by black leather, fur throws, bright pillows and original 1880 floors.  Its a gorgeous space!  

Full boudoir sessions at our Philadelphia Studio are $450 and include a 90 minute session, 4-5 outfits, boudoir guide to help you plan for your session and at least 100 lightly edited digital images delivered in an online gallery.  Unlike other photographers, we don't make you choose which images you'd like to keep and we have no order requirements or require you to come back in for a reveal session, making the $450 an all inclusive price!  We offer the option of adding on professional hair and/or makeup for $75 per service as well!  And we also offer a ton of beautiful products, should you be interested, but I never pressure clients to purchase anything beyond their session!  

Mini sessions on the other hand are something totally different than our typical studio sessions!  These sessions take place at a variety of locations, are significantly cheaper and shorter and are a way to either dip your toes into the water or come back for fresh boudoir pics!  These sessions also tend to be more glamorous in nature as they often take place at gorgeous hotels around the city.  Mini sessions range in price depending on location and whats included but typically are between $150-$250 for a 20-45 minute session and 1 or 2 looks.  Like our full sessions, these will also ALWAYS include digital images, just around 20-40 images instead!  

Interested in learning more about our next marathon of spa bath mini sessions at the GORGEOUS Hotel Monaco in Old City?  They will be September 7th and 8th and we have two different price points ($125 and $250!!) available for you to choose from and both include images in this gorgeous soaker tub/shower, plus a little gift from me!!  If you want all the info, click HERE and fill out the contact form and be sure to click the marathon option!  I can't wait to have you join us!  And check out some images from our last marathon at Hotel Monaco below!