Wedding Resources - Non-natural Light Images

We have curated this blog series "Wedding Resources" to help answer some of our most common questions from our couples and to help you in planning the most perfect wedding!  And one of the most common things we are asked about is how we tackle reception photos and those photos where natural or ambient light isn't enough to capture the moment, so today we are sharing of our favorite non-natural light images along with a few tips to help make your images pop!  

The major thing you will notice in the photos below is that most of them have a beautiful wash of color on the walls on the space.  This is called up lighting and it creates a MAJOR difference in how your images will look.  It gives an added pop to an otherwise boring wall and helps create dynamic images and colors.  And not only does it photograph well, it looks amazing in person too!  

We mostly use flash to allow for our images to look consistent in color and feel, both with natural light and without.  This means, that more often than not, we are trying to maintain the same vibrant, natural quality in our images regardless of how or where they are taken.  We do creative and dramatically lit shots as well, but we use those as fun additions, not the norm.  It is our goal the whole wedding day tells a beautiful visual story and we use flash to accomplish this when necessary!

Another thing I like to point out is that while we do use off camera flash on occasion, most of what you see here is us utilizing an on camera flash.  There are many photographers that set up multiple very tall light stands at the edge of the dance floor to achieve similar results, however we prefer to be as non-invasive as possible and to have control as we move about the room!  We also find it's less distracting to you and your guests!  And its also awesome to not see the stands in the background of photos as well!  

Finally, the biggest tip we give our couples who will be having ceremonies or receptions in darker spaces is to hire a videographer that works well with us.  Videographers use large LED video lights that total change how we shoot and our flash will affect how your video turns out as well.  Hiring a video and photo team that can work side by side in a seamless fashion allows you to have the best photo and video possible!  Want to know who we recommend?  Just ask!  

10 Things You Should Know About Hiring Swiger Photography For Your Wedding Day

You get engaged and before the excitement of this new season of your life has worn off, your mind starts spinning with all the details needed to plan the perfect wedding day.  Amongst choosing the venue, type of ceremony, officiant, florist and all the other vendors, you will probably hire a photographer to capture the day as well.  And if you have landed here, that probably means you are interested in having Jordan and I apart of your wedding day.  We have worked with hundreds of couples over almost a decade and in that time there are a few common questions we get asked and so we have compiled that list here with our most informative answers!  We want you to love who you hire to capture your day and this Q&A should help you decide if Swiger Photography is the right company for the two of you and the wedding day you are planning!  Got more questions?  No problem!  Contact us to set up a time for drinks on our roof deck to discuss all things wedding!

1.)  We are unashamedly pro couples saying I Do how they want to!

When it comes to clients, we don't have certain types of venues we prefer over others or a particular type of clientele we prefer.  To us, the two main things we look for to decide if we are compatible with an interested couple is A) that they are planning the kind of wedding that speaks to who they are and B) that they value the photography process and believe that photos are important.  Whether your wedding is taking place in a backyard, ballroom, farm or brewery is just the details that get us excited, its not how we decide whether or not we are a good fit.  We want authentic couples, dedicated to saying I Do in a way thats right for them.  

Neshaminy Creek Brewery Wedding
 

2.) We proudly believe that Love is Love

It probably goes without saying, but we believe in every couples right to marry the person of their dreams and to be treated with dignity, respect and given the same joy filled experience as anyone else.  We've worked with trans* folks, queer and non-binary couples, lesbian, bi-sexual, gay, straight, and anything in between and we proudly display their love stories on our blog, social media and portfolio.  

Asbury Park Wedding Photographer
 

3.) We are a wife and wife team and we think that's pretty cool

If you decide to choose a package with two photographers, we offer something rather unique!  Most photographer that offer two photographers rarely have a steady second shooter, unless they are a couple.  And if they are a couple, it is often two of the same style of shooting.  Jordan and I believe that our magic power is found in the fact that we approach weddings very differently from each other, which gives our couples a well rounded and unique version of their day.  I, Amanda, have been a photographer for almost 10 years now and I am the one who focuses on providing you with the type of images you would expect from your wedding photographer, all while keeping my posing fresh, fun and authentic to each couple.  Jordan on the other hand focuses on the candid, in between type moments which allows for you to also have a more photo journalism style to your day, portraits and album (should you add one!) as well.  

Philadelphia Wife and Wife Photography Team
 

4.) We believe in posing that is fun and authentic, not prom-ish or stiff!

The worst feeling is to get photos back of yourself and to look at them and not see the real you.  Or worse, have a photographer who has no idea how to direct you or what poses work best with who you are and how you look.  Its my job as a professional to capture your most authentic and in love self, all while understanding that most people have no idea what to do in front of the camera or have insecurities that come out as soon as my camera goes up.  I approach every session by getting a feel for each couple and who they are and then choosing poses or prompts that feel like them, all while allowing them to make it their own.  It's never a one size fits all and so every session ends up looking different and I love that about my job!  I'll guide you through what to do and then encourage natural interaction between the two of you (and maybe tell you a corny dad joke or two) and pretty soon you'll wonder why you were nervous in the first place.  

West Chester Farm Wedding Photographer
 

5.) Wanna know what's usually in our bag?  

We are Canon shooters with a side love affair with the Sigma Art series so we usually have a mix of both companies gear in our bag.  Amanda loves her primes, while Jordan favors zoom lens, which again makes us the perfect pair.  The specifics of what we carry?  

  • One 5D Markiii
  • One 7D Markii
  • Canon 50mm 1.4
  • Canon 85mm 1.4
  • Sigma Art 24mm 1.4
  • Sigma Art 35mm 1.4
  • Canon 24-70mm 2.8
  • Canon 70-200mm 2.8
  • Four Flashes and triggers
  • One Video Light
Philadelphia Foundry Gay Wedding
 

6.) We can handle almost any lighting scenario

One of the things that I am most proud of is that I have shot in all types of venues.  This allows me to know what I need in almost any given situation to create images that are consistent with the ones here on my website.  Dark church?  Big ballroom?  Cool industrial space with uplighting?  Really bright sunny day?  Raining?  We've got you covered and will give you options about what we think will work best!  

Eboni and Creig-478.jpg
 

7.) With that in mind though, we always favor natural light!

The images you see on our website are full of beautiful vibrant light and this makes the colors pop and our clients look natural and like themselves.  While we come prepared for any situation, we will always look for natural sources of light and work to use that first, especially when it comes to portraits.  Sometimes this means using a porch to shoot outdoors when its raining or rearranging a hotel room to have you get dressed closer to the window or watching the radar to predict when we can go outside for photos.  If you trust us to do what we do best, your images will look like the rest of our work even in some less that ideal circumstances 

Valley Forge Park Wedding Photos
 

8.) We believe in getting you images RIGHT AWAY

There are many photographers that give their clients less than 10 images as a preview and then nothing else until weeks or months later when they get their whole gallery.  Or worse, maybe no images at all.  Not with Swiger Photography.  We are so excited to look through your images and get them into your hands that all our wedding clients get a preview of their images in 48 hours and that preview is always at least 50 images.  We want you to have images to share with friends and family and to make you feel confident in the way we captured your day.  Your images are always high resolution, able to printed and shared by you and never ever water marked.  

Old City Philly Lesbian Wedding
 

9.) Engagement sessions are (almost) always included!

Engagement sessions are what make wedding images magic.  This is why I give all of my clients who book us more than 6 months out a free engagement session so we all can get to know each other better and I can walk you through some poses so that when you do them on your wedding day, you fall into these great positions more naturally.  And did we mention its a lot of fun too?  Getting married sooner than 6 months and still want an engagement shoot?  Let us know and we will see what we can make work!  

Cherry Hill New Jersey Engagement Session
 

10.) We believe in giving back to the people who hire us

Last thing you should know about Swiger Photography is once you join the family, you get discounts for LIFE.  We offer an awesome friends and family program that gets you discounted session fees and print discounts.  Wanna do a boudoir session?  Anniversary session?  Maternity or family session down the road?  You will never pay our normal prices (unless its for an already discounted session like our minis) AND we also give our clients additional freebies and discounts for referring their friends to us as well.  Its our way of saying thank you for choosing to hire us!  

Niki and Jen Wed Preview-7.jpg

 

Got more questions?  Click HERE to contact us now and to find a time where we can chat more!  

Wedding Resources - Make That Ring Sparkle!

Today's Wedding Wednesday post is a fun one because it is FULL of gorgeous ring shots, and lets be real, who doesn't love staring at some sparkle!  But how do all my couples have such sparkley rings in their photos?  Great question!  And today I am going over a few ways you can have your rings look their best for photos!

Ring Tip #1 - Get it cleaned!

This one may seem a little obvious, but a ring that's just been cleaned will ALWAYS look better than one that's been worn!  Sometimes we forget how much dirt and dust can build up around our ring, so even if its not for photos, its good to get that bad boy cleaned every so often!  If you can, it's best to take it to your jeweler as they will make sure your stones are looking good too but most chain stores like Kay's or Jared's will offer to clean your ring for free!  

Ring Tip #2 - Great Light

This tip is more for wedding day's but in general, great light is the most important part to getting those amazing ring shots.  On a wedding day, I will often ask my couples, if they mind if I step into another room or go outside with their details so I can find great light and a great background!  This is where trusting your photographer is key!  If they are an experienced photographer, they know how to set up a great shot, but it may mean taking that sparkley ring out of your site for a few minutes.  During a lot of our engagement sessions, we willl have our brides leave us their rings while they change into their second outfit.  BUT - always trust your gut!  If you don't feel comfortable giving your ring to them, that's ok too!  Offer to go with them or send a bridesmaid to keep tabs!  But again, if you trust your photographer, you know you and your rings are in good hands!

Ring Tip #3 - Get Your Nails Done!

You wouldn't believe how many of my couples show up with their nails looking a mess for their engagement photos because they assumed their hands wouldn't be in the shot!  And even for guys, while they don't need to have a manicure, having their nails trimmed and clean, def helps makes ring shots look better!  I love taking photos of the rings on my clients hands because hey, that's where they belong!  So treat yourself to manicure! :)  

Ring Tip #4 - Where You Focus Matters

This one is for all my photographers out there!  I recently figured out a little trick, especially when I am on a time crunch and shooting details with my 24mm or my 50mm!  Focus on the prong closest to the camera.  This may make the rest of the ring look a little soft BUT because that is the part closest to our eyes, the image will look more in focus.  I use to try and focus on the diamond or main stone itself and never loved the way it looked and then recently tried this and noticed the look of my ring shots were more sharp.  

And now because, why not show off more gorgeous rings, here are some of my favorite rings from the last SIX years of business!!!!!  Enjoy friends!  

Wedding Resources - How Long Should I Allow for Family Photos

Wedding Resources - where we are answering your questions about wedding planning!  If you are like most couples, you've never done this before, so it's totally understandable to have questions!  And we are here to help!  Today we are talking about how much time should you allow for family photos and we hope that this helps you plan a stress free wedding day timeline!  

Your wedding day is one of the few days of your life where you will have most of your friends and family around you, so of course, you will want pictures with them!  But how long should you plan for them?  When should you take them?  What if your venue or planner told you that 10 or 20 minutes is enough but your photographer tells you different?  Today we are going to unpack ALL of that and hopefully help you make the best decision for you!  

Regardless of what anyone tells you, family photos take time.  Depending on the timeline for your wedding you are either doing your photos right before or right after you say "I do" which means emotions and excitement are running high!  And you want it to be that way!  But that also means you don't want to be rushed or stressed too!  As part of what we do with our couples, we send out a survey before the wedding that asks our couples for any and all groupings they want in terms of family portraits.  Below is an example list we got from an actual couple!  

Bride with just her parents, bride and groom with her parents, bride with only her siblings, bride and groom with siblings and spouses, bride with grandma, bride mom and grandma, bride and groom and grandma, bride groom and aunts and uncles, bride and her aunt Shelly, Bride and groom and Aunt Shelly, Bride groom and all the cousins.  

That was only the bride's side, but that was 11 poses.  The groom's list was similar and had 10 shots on it and they also asked for 4 other group shots as well.  So that's 25 poses!  Which is actually quite a lot!  Even at a minute a piece (which is impossible!), right there is 25 minutes just for family photos!  

We typically tell our couples to allow 3 minutes per grouping and suggest that there is a total 10 groupings, so a half hour for family photos.  We typically can do it in less than 30 minutes but this is a great guideline!  And if your family/families are really large, we will often suggest doing just immediate family then and planning time during the reception for more family photos as well! 

Another option that a lot of our couples choose is to do a first look!  This allows you to see each other in a relaxed, personal experience prior to the ceremony AND allows for you to have a lot more options for photos!  With this kind of timeline, you can have a lot more time for photos before hand and even do a few bigger family shots right after the ceremony!  This also allows you to attend your cocktail hour!

If a first look isn't for you but you want a lot of family photos, another option is to do as many family photos with each of you before hand.  For example, photograph the brides family before hand and separately photograph the groom/other bride's family before hand as well!  This allows half of the poses to be done and cuts down time later!

So you have a lot of options!  No matter what you do, make sure you make a list of those must have family photos and give it to your photographer!  Family plays a huge role in your life and in your wedding day, but without knowing who is important to you, its hard for your photographer to make sure they capture the right people!  So make that list!  And then make sure you talk over what you want with your photographer too!  

And because who doesn't love a little inspiration, here are a few of our favorite family photos!

Wedding Resources - Why We Love Veils

Why we love wedding veils
Wedding Resources - where we are answering your questions about wedding planning!  If you are like most couples, you've never done this before, so it's totally understandable to have questions!  And we are here to help!  Today we are talking about how much time should you allow for family photos and we hope that this helps you plan a stress free wedding day timeline!  

One of my favorite parts of photographing weddings is the bridal details.  The sparkley rings, the perfect shoes, the bouquet, her dress and if she chooses to have one, her veil.  So much goes into choosing what she is wearing that day and having the honor to photograph it is always one of my favorite parts of the day.  Because I am often one of the first vendors a couple hires, I often get asked questions about where to go to buy a dress, what she should she look for and should she wear a veil.  As with everything else, there is never a right or wrong answer!  But I thought today I would talk about who choose to wear a traditional veil for a Wedding Wednesday post!

If you have ever watched even one episode of Say Yes to the Dress, than you have probably heard the phrase "jack her up."  While it sounds nothing like this, it means take the bride who likes the dress she has on and add on all the accessories so she can see what she might look like on her wedding day.  And one of the big things you will always hear brides say is "it wasn't real to they put the veil on."  It also is the one thing that tends to get the water works going!  But why? Well your wedding day is really the one day you can wear a veil so something about it has that "bridal feeling" attached to it.  So for many girls, they go from loving the dress, to loving the way they look as a bride once that veil goes on!  

But there are so many kinds of veils!  Birdcage, short, fingertip, chapel, cathedral...just to name a few!  And then what about a blusher?  With so many options, how do you choose?  Just like choosing your dress, once you put on the right one, you'll know.  For me, I have always dreamed of a long Cathedrial length veil!  For someone else, they might love the look of a shoulder length veil with a blusher!  Try on a few and see what makes you feel the best!  

As with your dress, always try to find what makes YOU shine the most.  There is no right or wrong way to do things, but at the end of the day,  you want to feel beautiful on your wedding day but you also want to feel like you!  So do what feels right to you, no matter what any one else tries to say!

I love shooting brides who choose to wear a veil because I love how they photograph!  From shooting them as details, to the bride by herself, to wrapping up my couple in them, they add such a wonderful element to photos!  Here are a few of my favorite veil photographs and I hope this post was helpful!!