Niki And Jen - Sage Farmhouse LGBT Wedding

I met Niki and Jen for the first time at a Philadelphia area Starbucks and for the jump, I adored this sweet lesbian couple.  Jen is sarcastic and kind, Niki is sweet and funny and they quickly became more than just clients, but friends.  Their wedding at The Sage Farmhouse just outside Philly was everything a wedding should be, a perfect reflection of them.  Niki wore the most STUNNING black wedding gown and Jen complimented her perfectly in a traditional white gown and even with a little rain and some vendor missteps, the day was perfect.  

The Sage Farmhouse in Media, Pennsylvania was the perfect aground for their LGBTQ Wedding.  They had their ceremony on the lawn the garden, dinner in the most charming of vintage dinning rooms and then danced the evening away in the garden.  Their wedding party was delightful, their love for each other was evident all day long.  My favorite part of their wedding day was watching them dance and laugh with each other, so lost in their own world of married bliss.  

I mentioned vendor missteps earlier and thats not normally something I would add to a couples blog post but I felt like it was important to note and something I know these brides would want other LGBTQ couples planning their weddings to think about.  The vendors you hire should be able to refer to you, the entire day, as MRS and MRS and BRIDE and BRIDE, without constantly defaulting to the heteronormative Mr and Mrs and Bride and Groom.  When you meet with any potential vendor, make sure that they are using inclusive language all of the time and that you know who will be showing up the day of your event.  And to other wedding professionals who might be reading this - make sure you are always using the right language, pronouns and titles for your clients! These are INCREDIBLY important, especially with LGBTQ couples!!

Niki and Jen, we adore ya'll more than I have words.  As I said last weekend, we are thrilled you love your photos and we are thrilled that you are now officially just our friends, not clients!  We wish you a lifetime of joy and happiness and all the adventure life can bring!  

Vendor List:

Photography - Swiger Photography

Officiant - Lindsay Cook

Venue - The Sage Farmhouse

Flowers - Blair's Florist

Jen's Wedding Gown - David's Bridal

Niki's Wedding Gown - Claire's Fashion

Wedding Party - David's Bridal

 

Jenna - Philadelphia Doula Branding Session

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Meet Jenna, an incredible queer doula located in Philadelphia and to be completely honest, one of the most down to earth humans I have ever met.  Owner of Love Over Fear Wellness, Jenna teaches Yoga, assists folxs with birth and educates a lot people along the way.  We wanted to create images that were both professional but also felt true to who Jenna is as a person, I personally loved the results.  Sessions like these get me so excited because they aren't about typical or traditional headshots, but about showcasing a clients personality, spirit and passion in images they can use across their social media and business.  Which, is honestly a whole lot of fun!    We shot around Jasper Studio (where our studio is located) and I love the images of Jenna talking about what they do because the passion Jenna has for their work is just obvious!   

I am incredibly excited to introduce all of you to Jenna and share some of my fav images from our session!  Should you be in need of a doula who is trauma informed, LGBTQ+ competent and sweet as can be, please reach out to Jenna and let her know I sent ya her way!  

Andi - Old City Philadelphia Headshot Session

Summer is in full effect here in Philadelphia (did you see the forecast for the next week?!?) and so I figured I'd kick off one hot weekend with one hot queer Philly headshot session!  If you have been around for a while you've already meet Andi (you can check out her previous session HERE) but if you're new, let me introduce to this Philadelphia massage therapist and all around badass burlesquer.  Andi and her adorable fiancé Siona are leaving the Philly area later this summer but before she leaves we took a few minutes to get her some new headshots that felt like her. 

One of the things I love most about my job is that I get to work with so many different folks I the Philly LGBTQ+ community and that I can help them create images that feel authentic to who they are.  Headshots are so often seen as stuffy, rigid and uptight, but I believe that professional photos should speak to who you are, what you do and allow potential clients, bosses, colleagues, etc to get an idea of who you are, all before officially meeting you in person.  And for my LGBTQ+ business owners and professionals, that often means working to create space where they feel free to be themselves, not someone else's idea of what looks "professional."

And I think we nailed that with Andi's headshot sessions.  She looks every bit the vibrant, sassy, professional queer that she is and I for one am so happy for her and Siona and there next adventure.  Enjoy a few of my favorites from our headshot mini session!

Want a headshot session of your own?  Let's do it!  You can click HERE to head to our contact page to get started to talking about how I can work with you too!  

J & E - Old City Philadelphia LGBT Proposal

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Ethiopia thought they were coming to Old City Philadelphia for an LGBT couples session, but little did she know that her girlfriend Jennifer and I had been scheming a big surprise for the last few months.  It was a rainy Saturday in May and the hours leading up the shoot, I was checking the radar obsessively.  Since February, Jennifer and I had been plotting to set up a photoshoot that would start normal, but would end in a proposal I wanted everything to go perfectly and I was crossing my fingers the rain would hold off for us.  

When they arrived in Old City, we took them up to our 18th floor roof deck over looking the Ben Franklin Bridge and I could tell Jennifer was nervous.  Despite the clouds moving in quickly the rain was holding off and the view from up there was still spectacular!  After a few photos, I asked Jennifer to do the most romantic thing she could think of and so she slipped to one knee and asked her beautiful girlfriend to be her wife.  The look on Ethiopia's face was priceless and she of course said yes and we then spent the next 45 minutes capturing some images of them with their newly engaged glow!  We even took a few minutes to celebrate their greek life as well since the rain decided to hold off for us!  

Proposals are something so special to me to be apart of because they signify the start of a new chapter and two people making the decision that they want to spend their lives together.  Being able to watch a couple go from dating to engaged to married to whatever life brings, its such an honor as a photographer and I am just so thrilled Jennifer trusted me to capture this moment for them!  Scroll on to see some of my favorite images of their proposal session and then leave these two incredible people some love for me!  

Philadelphia Boudoir Session - Alabaster

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The first thing I ever learned about Philadelphia Burlesque Performer Alabaster was that she was the queen of selfies.  The second was that she is currently studying to her Master's of Education in Human Sexuality Studies. So needless to say, I was immediately intrigued and super excited to have her come in for a photoshoot to our Philly studio!  And the whole session was just as magical as I expected.  

Alabaster recently finished her first semester of grad school and she gifted herself the most beautiful tattoo on her sternum, which we obviously worked to showcase in some of the images.  She chose "the full apparatus of the clitoris because a lot of people dont know it's more than just the little nub you see on the outside, and because it's only function is pleasure" which lets be honest, is badass as hell!  I love that sex positivity isn't just something she is studying, but is apart of who she is as a person.  And I love that her session was full of the full range of who she is, not just the sexy bombshell the Philly community has grown to love.  

Below are just a few of my favorite images because I am already making plans to have her back in my studio for a little something something I am working on and I wanna keep ya'll all excited for more!  But please be sure to scroll on through some of my favs and then leave her some love in the comments.  Alabaster - I can't wait to collaborate with you again soon!!!!

Hoops and Ian - A Philly Queer Pride Elopement

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"Marriage, marriage is what brings us together today" and that was how it began.  In the pouring rain, surrounded by chosen family, over looking the city they call home, Ian and Hoops eloped and I am so excited to be sharing it!  As apart of Pride month, I wanted to give two couples the chance to elope at our apartment build + give them images of that day for free because I believe so much in paying it forward to the communities I am apart of and these two were the first couple to say I do!  

What I loved about these two was that they wanted to make this day theirs and theirs alone.  No need for traditions that didnt fit or be anyone other than themselves.  From having the fabulous Brittany Lynn walk Ian down the aisle in their unicorn and rainbow leggings, to Hoops love of Peter Pan being incorporated in their day to having a ceremony that was every bit as sweet and silly as they are, this is what makes my heart burst as a photographer.  Its the people, not the pretty or the expensive or the glamorous...but the beautiful people who trust me to step into their lives and capture meaningful images of them being themselves.  And to never try and push an agenda on to them or make their wedding day look any way but how they want it to!  

This Pride month has been difficult for me.  I have struggled with the corporate-ness of Philadelphia Pride, I have gotten frustrated with the business I know jumping on the LGBTQ bandwagon to make themselves look good, and I have gotten all out angry over the fact that so many of the queer folks I know pushing agendas at couples about what and how a wedding should and look.  To that I raise Hoops and Ian, proof that a wedding is what you make it to be and the only thing required is to people who love each other.  Its can be flowers or a Bowie Unicorn, a large wedding party or 5 people who adore you, a wedding gown or suit or your favorite unicorn leggings.  Its not about the pretty.  Its about the people.  And to me, these two are some of the best.  

Please join me in congratulating this beautiful couple and wishing them a lifetime of silly laughter and adventures filled with love.  And to Ian and Hoops - may you ever be the kind of people who prove that truly does win after all 

**Ian uses they/them pronouns, so please be mindful of this when leaving comments of congratulations!**

Kelsey and Mike - Manayunk Philadelphia Offbeat Elopement

I walked up to where Kelsey and Mike's family were standing on the bridge and was overwhelmed by how perfectly simple the day was going to be.  Mike's mom was weaving tulle into the railing, Kelsey's brother was glancing over his notes for the ceremony and everyone was smiling.  Which maybe doesn't sound like that crazy of a thing, but I often walk into the chaos of a wedding day and Kelsey and Mikes Manayunk Elopement was anything but chaos.  It was full of deep breaths, walks holding hands, hugs from the ones they loved, clinking glasses at their favorite bar and just being together.  

Honestly?  That's why I love elopements and micro weddings.  The pace is much slower and everything is less about perfect details and more about the love between two people and those that love them.  Kelsey and Mike chose to say "I Do" on a beautiful bridge overlooking Main Street Manayunk with their families before walking to Bourbon Blue to celebrate with even more people they loved.  And I loved every damn minute of it.  Kelsey opted to wearing the most gorgeous black gown and everything about the day felt like them....not like what "a wedding is supposed to be" but what their wedding was supposed to be.  And I was honored that they asked me to photograph it for them.  

Kelsey and Mike, I don't have words for how I feel about the two of you.  I work with a lot of couples and while they are all awesome, there was something about the way you love each other and the way you just trusted me that has left an impact on this heart of mine.  Thank you for trusting me and for being so insanely awesome to work with!  I wish ya'll a lifetime of happiness and joy and love!  

Enjoy a few of my favorites!

Aly - A Body Postive Boudoir Session

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I have "known" Aly online for awhile but had never met her in person till she came into the studio for a session and what immediately struck me was how full of joy and laughter she was.  She was confident and funny from the jump, willing to do anything during her shoot and because of that, her session was magical.  She laughed at my painfully corny jokes and was effortless the entire session and its not because of what you may think.  She's not a model, she just allowed her true self to be present the entire session, laughing and smiling because she was just being her.  And that friends, is the best kind of session.  

Aly, I adore you.  Photographing another photographer is nerve wracking and a little intimidating but you were just so incredibly sweet that my nerves melted away within minutes.  Your smile and laugh are infectious and your are freaking stunning.  The confidence you have is what self love and body positive is all about and I could have photographed you all dang day.  

I love this whole session so much and let me tell you, narrowing down my favs to post was damn near impossible!  But scroll on below and see what just a **few** of my favorites are.