Joy And Francesco's Glam Summer Time Joseph Ambler In Wedding

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I remember meeting Joy for the first time the summer of 2009. She and my sister had both been accepted into Eastern University’s Honor Program and would be roommates. Little did I know that this sweet missionary kid would change the course of my sister’s life and in that, change mine as well. Joy is the kind of person who thinks deeply and constantly pushes people toward a more wholehearted understanding of love and faith and friendship. I saw this first hand in her friendship with my sister and I have loved watching the two of them walk through seasons of life that were full of decisions and change and growing up because they brought out the best in each other and challenged what they saw as areas of growth. I see that same spirit in her relationship with Francesco. They both push each other, lean on each other and ever evolve their relationship to be one that isn’t “what it’s supposed to be” but one that allows them to be their whole selves with each other. And photographing that kind of love? Best thing ever ya’ll.

Joy’s wedding day style was one of my favorite’s to date. I am obsessed with her giant, garden style bouquet by the one and only Bloomsbury Floral Design and her stunning lace dress with cape train by Maggie Sottero. That style train is my new favorite trend and she looked so glamorous and regal! Elegance Artistry helped make her hair and makeup look timeless as well as making a few of her favorite girls look stunning as well! Francesco was so handsome too and their little fur baby Daisy was even apart of their day! Just wait till you see the portraits of the three of them!!! Joseph Ambler Inn is my favorite Bucks County venue and it didn’t disappoint! From their sweet ceremony on the lawn, to the ballroom reception filled with so much joy and dancing, it really was the perfect day celebrating a beautiful, wonderful couple!

Joy, thank you for who you are in my sister’s life. Thank you for allowing me the honor and privileged of photographing such a joy filled day, but more so for allowing me into your lives far beyond your wedding. You are such a sweet soul and I adore you and Francesco so much and wish you both a life time filled with the kind of happiness and love you bring to so many people. Enjoy a few of my favorites!

A special thank you to…

Venue - Joseph Ambler Inn

Florals - Bloomsbury Floral Design

Planning - Bloomsbury Floral Design

Dress Designer - Maggie Sottero

Purchased at - Ashley’s Bridal

Hair and Makeup - Elegance Artistry

Video - Vacad Films

Photography - Swiger Photography



Gracie and Alex - An LGBTQ Proposal In Lancaster

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Proposal inquiries are always exciting. But they are even more exciting when its a friend! When Gracie contacted me about coming to a beautiful farm in Lancaster to photographer her proposing to her partner Alex, I was ecstatic! I love these two and I knew Alex would be so so surprised, but even I wasn’t quite prepared for their reaction! There was just so much joy and love in that moment and the time we spent together afterward and I am so honored that Gracie would have me be apart!

After Alex said yes, we took some newly engaged photos of them around the gorgeous Hopeland Farm with their two cute puppies and the glowing setting sun. I LOVE how these two look at each other and the way they love and support each other. I could have photographed them for hours! And narrowing this down to a few images to share here was damn near impossible. I just loved them all! So enjoy probably wayyy too many favorites from Gracie and Alex’s proposal!!

G & G - New Home LGBTQ Philadelphia Engagement Session

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You know what’s better than buying a new house? Buying a new house with your partner and using it empty for the background to your engagement photos! And that’s exactly what this gorgeous queer couple decided to do with their brand new west Philly home! I adore these two and if you have been around the Philadelphia Burlesque scene before, you probably know them better as Kyla Ren and Genome Kelly. These two are so sweet and so in love and we were able to shoot these images the day they closed on their new house together and I just love how this session turned out! We shot around their new place and I love how the shoot is both glam and cozy and honestly, oh so them. I would love to see these kind of shoot becoming a trend! Photography should capture big moments and to me, buying a house is one of those big moments and celebrating a new engagement along with that? Perfection! So scroll on check out this magical, new home engagement session and then leave these two cuties some love!

Ala and Roy - A Laid Back Maas Building Philadelphia Wedding

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For some clients, wedding days are productions. But for others like Ala and Roy, its about a more casual gathering with the people they love most and to be honest, those can be some of my favorite days to be apart of because the focus is on them as a couple, not on all the stuff of a wedding. These two cuties got married at one of my favorite Philly venues, Maas Building, and they had a beautiful day! One of my favorite moments, which is often my favorite part of a wedding day, was their first look. These two had so much joy and nerves and excitement and it had me tearing up because of how in love these two are. And honestly, thats what a wedding is really about. Hearing Roy tell Ala over and over again how beautiful she was, was the sweetest thing ever too!

Philly DIY Planning helped make all the details perfect, Ala’s momma made her beautiful bouquet and my favorite food truck Dos Hermanos made delicious tacos for everyone to enjoy! After some heartfelt speeches and a lot of laughter, Little Baby’s Ice cream and Dotties Donuts should up and let me tell you, that is one awesome end to a wedding!!!

Ala and Roy, thank you for being such an incredible couple to work with from start to finish. You have the kind of love that excites me and keeps me wanting to photograph weddings because the way you feel about each other radiates from you and anyone around you can feel it. Thank you for allowing me the insane honor of photographing your wedding day!

Enjoy some of my favorites ya’ll!

Silverman Family - Saturday Morning Session

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So you want photos of your family, but you want the whole process to feel like a casual Saturday morning at home where you get to play with your kids, snuggle with your partner and the whole thing process is more about giggles than perfect poses. Well then Saturday Morning Sessions are just what you are looking for!!! While these sessions don’t have to take place on a Saturday, the idea behind them is to capture your family in a laid back, casual way so that the images feel like you!

I got to work with the Silverman Family for a Saturday Morning Session at a beautiful studio space in Fishtown Philadelphia and I just LOVE how these turned out! From their two cute kiddos, to the snuggles and giggles on the bed, to the images of Nicolette breastfeeding her little guy…the session was perfection! These two parents love their kids so much and these images show that love!

Wanna book your own session? These are the perfect gift for Mother’s Day/Father’s Day and we’d love to work with your family too! Click here to contact us and make sure to mention you are looking for a Saturday Morning Session!

E&M - Glam Old City Philadelphia Engagement Session

Glam Old City Philadelphia Engagement Session

As soon as Erica rounded the corner and I caught glimpse of her red gown, I knew that this session was going to be amazing. Erica and Matt were in the Philly area for a conference and travel down to Old City Philadelphia for a fun, glam engagement session! Erica is also a photographer and its so nice to get to work with people who get it and know the importance of a slow kiss or the right angle! And Matt? A dream ya’ll. This guy was so patient and romantic and has the best GQ face! I had WAY to many favorites from this session but I tried to narrow it down! Scroll on to check those out and a huge thank you to Erica and Matt for trusting me to capture these portraits!

Ashley and Melissa - An Old City Philadelphia LGBTQ Proposal and Engagement Session

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I always have a little bit of nerves before a session but when a session is actually a proposal? Oh ya’ll, that is a whole different level. We met up with Ashley and Melissa for a Old City Philly LGBTQ couples shoot back in February and Ashley was counting on me to give her the cue to propose all while keeping her then girlfriend in the dark as to the real motive behind the shoot. And I am happy to say, it all went down perfectly! I could tell Ashley was nervous but as soon as she dropped to one knee on that chilly day and Melissa started giggling and bouncing up and down, it was like the nerves for everyone melted to joy. Melissa was so excited ya’ll. I wish sometimes that photos could convey movement because the entire session, she just bounced up and down and kept checking out the new ring on her hand and smiling over at her new fiancée. It was ADORABLE.

After she said yes, we wandered around Old City to capture some engagement photos and while it was definitely cold, I think these two barely felt it. Their joy and happiness and excited was keeping them warm and they were just so easy to photograph. We snuck down little alleys and wandered down my favorite streets and by the time we parted ways, I too couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. And thats what I love about my job…getting to be apart of such exciting, life changing moments that just fill your whole soul up with goodness and getting to be around people who are just so happy and in love.

I am super excited to say these two will be making some more appearances on the blog as they have asked me to be their wedding photographer and I am SO EXCITED to get to work with them again next year. I already know their day will be filled with the same kind of happiness and joy that their proposal day was and Ic can’t wait to capture it all! So look for these two again and enjoy some of my favorites!

24 Philadelphia Photographers That Should Have Made Philly In Love's List

Yesterday was a long day friends. If you follow me on instagram or facebook, you have probably by now read all about the madness that occurred between myself and the local wedding blog, Philly In Love. In case though you have no idea what I am talking about, let me give you the really short version! (If you’d like the whole story, you can read it on my fb page by clicking here). Yesterday Philly In Love posted 18 photographers that they called their list of “favorites” on their instagram and shared only images of white, straight, thin couples. On the list, it appears that 17 of the 18 photographers are also white. So after hearing that PIL was deleting any comments about asking for why there wasn’t more diversity on a blog in one of the countries most diverse cities, I took to instagram stories and the whole thing went down from there. From being blocked, to watching countless of my friends’ comments deleted and then them blocked from their social media, to the owner threatening me on my account and telling my friend to “pound sand” if she didn’t like it, to PIL posting on their page that they are for ALL love with a handful of tokenized POC and LGBTQ couples, to the final straw of the owner calling all of these calls for inclusion to be bigotry, hatred and racist. It was a hot dang mess ya’ll. And I have allllllll the receipts but that’s not what this post is about.

Last night as I sat trying to process all that happened, I kept having the words of some of my local vendors swirl through my head. This is not the first time I have called someone out for fake allyship and it won’t be the last and it is always met with people saying this stuff doesn’t really matter and that talking about it is just for drama. And yet they will want to shoot an LGBTQ wedding because it makes them feel cool or because “I mean money is money man even if I think they will all probably go to hell.” Yes, a local photog did say that to me while second shooting for me once. And that makes me so angry ya’ll. And this happens well beyond the queer community. People say they are about equality but don’t show black and brown bodies. They say that all bodies are beautiful and only share thin ones. They say all love is equal and that they value every wedding they are apart of yet only showcase thin, white, barbie looking couples.

Of the 18 photographers they mentioned, only 3 of them had an image in their top images that featured black, brown or queer bodies. 5 of them had more if you scrolled a little further but the representation was not great. And many of them commented on Philly in Love’s post, patting them on the back for even showing any diversity at all. And that’s when it hit me, this isn’t about inclusion for almost anyone. This about money and knowing that showing a few POC or LGBTQ or bigger bodies or not able bodied folks makes them look good. They don’t actually care about creating space, just about what makes them look good and that’s not just Philly In Love, its so many vendors as well. They will be queer-friendly or be all about those curves or showing off a gorgeous ethnic couples when it serves them and that isn’t allyship friends.

In putting this blog post together I looked at well over 220 local photographers websites and I sat here at one point with tears rolling down my cheeks. I could only come up with 24 photographers across all genres and styles that I felt consistently showed diversity, advocated for the rights of others and who didn’t just pay lip service to the idea that love is love and all love stories matter. Philly deserves better from us ya’ll. And while maybe not all of these 24 photographers are the best allies to marginalized communities, they seem to be going in the right direction. And I am sure I missed a few too. But what is so heartbreaking is HOW MANY SITES didn’t have a single LGBTQ couples, a single person of color, a single interracial couple, or any plus size/larger bodies. And if they did, it was buried at the bottom of a portfolio or randomly sprinkled in because they only had one.

Here’s the deal. You can’t call yourself a Philly area photographer and not have diversity. This is a majority minority city and if you aren’t attracting not white, not thin, not heterosexual couples….that is your fault. It is because you do styled shoots that feature only one kind of couple. It is because you make your contest winners the ones who are thin, white and straight. It is because you showcase families that are like your own. How can you change that? Get involved in communities that are different from you. Donate money, help causes that support the rights of all people. Shoot for free if it means getting to work with folks who you don’t have in your portfolio. Put in the time and effort to learn and shut up when someone from a minority group tells you how something makes them feel. Stop choosing the images that showcase one kind of client and make sure that when anyone views your work they have the opportunity to feel seen and welcome. Support the work and effort of folks who are putting their name and business on the line to call attention to a lack of diversity. And be willing to pay for others to help you learn, grow and become a better ally.

This list isn’t perfect, but it is my way of saying both to Philly in Love and to my community at large that we can do better. We MUST do better. If you are a photographer reading this, you can do better. You can show more diversity, be more involved in pushing for equality for everyone and use your portfolio as a way to fight back that the perfect wedding, shoot, boudoir session etc isn’t only with a thin, white, able bodied, or heterosexual couple. We all can do more, especially me. I don’t say all of this thinking that my work is done. There is always new ways I can fight racism, homophobia, ableism, sizeism, zenophobia, etc. Join me in that journey. Go update your portfolio, post a model a call, reach out to a queer couple who has kids, volunteer for a social justice organization, call out racism, donate to causes that fight for equality. Just go do something. And encourage your friends and family and networks to do the same.

**Presented in no particular order**

1.) Amber Marlow, Photographer

NYC Wedding photographer and photo editor of Catalyst Wedding Co

 

2.) Deerwood Empowerment + Boudoir

Body Positive boudoir in Jackson NJ

 

3.) Lucy Baber

Lifestyle family, newborn and child photographer and art activist

 

4.) Celeste Jones Photography

Delaware Wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer

 

5.) Charmi Peña

Nikon Ambassador and world wide published photographer

 

6.) Brittney Raine Photography

Modern, laid back photography for non-traditional weddings and couples in love

 

7.) Alysha Yoder Photography

Lifestyle Photographer in York, PA

 

8.) Justin Heyes Photography

SLR Lounge writer and accomplished photographer in Delaware County, PA

 

9.) Rose Glass Photography

Queer and POC photographer that proudly supports the LGBTQ+ and polyamorous communities

 

10.) Samantha Marie Photography

Creating and honoring connections wherever we go, Philly Wedding and Empowerment Photographer

 

11.) Serena Star Photography

One of the top 10 up and coming photographers by Professional Photographers Magazine

 

12.) Ann Blake Photography

Philadelphia Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

 

13.) Unforgettable Expressions

Unique and timeless wedding photography from a husband and wife duo

 

14.) Contigo Photo and Film

Nerdy, Quirky, Passionate Philadelphians specializing in Event, Family, Wedding, Lifestyle, and pretty much People photography and videography with a journalistic and cinematic style. 

 

15.) Cheyenne Gil

Body Positive Boudoir Photography in Philadelphia, PA

 

16.) Abhi Sarkar

Lifestyle wedding photographer in Philadelphia

 

17.) Shannon Collins

Wedding photographer for my fellow awkward and shy people, located in Philadelphia, PA

 

18.) Tara Beth Photography

LGBTQ+ photographer for the adventurous couple in love (and also our wedding photographer!!)

 

19.) Boswick Photography

Personal photography experiences for New Jersey Couples in Love

 

20.) Inspire Photos

Lifestyle Photography and films out of Galloway, NJ

 

21.) Peach Plum Pear

Modern Organic Wedding Photography in Philadelphia, PA

 

22.) SGW Photography

Philadelphia Area Lifestyle Photographer

 

23.) Pombo Photography

New Jersey and NYC Metro Wedding and Portrait Photographer

 

24.) Samantha Jean Photography

Natural and genuine wedding and portrait photographer based out of Hanover PA

Layla and Meg - An Old City Philadelphia Lesbian Wedding

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I usually can get the vibe of a wedding day from the moment I walk into the getting ready rooms of my couples and let me tell ya - I knew from the second I saw these two, their wedding day was going to be a PARTY! And it sure was! Layla and Meg had a beautiful winter wedding in Philly on the last weekend of 2018 in historic Old City Philadelphia at the Renaissance Hotel and they were surrounded by such much love and laughter! I adore Meg’s goofy self, the way she makes every thing feel like a party and I love that Layla is the perfect match for her. Layla is caring, down to earth and oh so sweet, evening feeding me snacks before their ceremony started because she know about my blood sugar issues.

These two decided to have a marathon of a wedding day by renting a party bus to go all over the city for portraits and it was SO MUCH FUN! I rarely get to ride in the bus with my clients and they blasted music, dancing and drinking champagne and it set such a tone for the fun to come! They had the most laughter filled ceremony I have ever been apart of and you know what they say! A Couple who laughs together, stays together and if that’s true….well Layla and Megan are going to be together forever.

I got to work with the incredible team over at KMT Event Group and I made an instant bff in owner Kia. Her team made the day flow perfectly, the details look just right and kept me laughing all day long. It so nice to get to work with vendors who love their jobs and couples as much as I do and it was obvious that they do!

Layla and Meg, thank you for allowing the honor of being apart of your beautiful and joy filled day! I had such a hard time narrowing this down to a few favorites because I loved it all! I wish you both a lifetime of the kind of laughter you shared on this day!