LGBTQ

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

AshleyandMelissaOldCityProposal-69.jpg

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!

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!

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! 

Amber and Natalie - Fells Point Baltimore LGBTQ Engagement Session

LGBTQ Baltimore Engagement Session with lesbian photographer Swiger Photography30.jpg

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!

J & E - Old City Philadelphia LGBT Proposal

J&E Philadelphia Proposal-26.jpg

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 Headshot Session - Sebastian

Sebastian Philly Studio Headshots-122.jpg

I have had the insane pleasure of knowing this sweet guy for over 3 years now.  We met at queer photoshoot I was hire doing and I instantly found his down to earth, well spoken, kind ways the most charming fresh breath of air.  Over the years, I have witnessed him blossom into a man that puts others first, is humble and funny, cares about our community immensely and has a laugh and smile that will put anyone at ease.  He booked me for a headshot session and I have been looking forward to sharing these photos ever since!  He wanted a mix of all the important things in his life...his job, his interest in modeling (and he is one handsome dude so obviously he should pursue that!) and some photos that showcased his impeccable fashion sense.  To me, the results are perfection and I love that so many of the photos he is laughing in!  

What's even more exciting is he is moving in the coming months to the other side of the country, so before he leaves we are doing one more session and I can not WAIT for Saturday!  Sebastian, thank you for always being so kind to me and Jordan, trusting me vision and for making me laugh endlessly.  We are going to fiercely miss you but are so excited for what the next chapter of your life holds!  Enjoy my favorites from this session and get ready to see this handsome guy here again really soon!  

Layla and Meg - A Philly Lesbian Engagement Session

Layla and Meg Philadelphia LGBTQ Engagement Shoot-153.jpg

These two are rockstars!  Their engagement session was rescheduled because of weather a few times and so when we finally met up, I was instantly so grateful they were so sweet because the weather was still not the greatest!  It was cold and SO windy but it was clear that their love for each other was keeping them warm!  That and their love for their adorable dog Mozzarella!  Cutest dog name ever, right? Layla and Meg choose one of my favorite spots for their engagement session, The Philadelphia Museum Art and Boat House Row, and we spent about an hour wandering around and talking about their wedding!  Which is why I love engagement sessions so much!  Its a chill way for us to get to know our couples and our couples to get to know us AND they get cute pics of themselves too!  A win win if you ask me!   

Layla and Meg, we cant wait for your Winter wedding and to get to hang out with ya'll again!  You are seriously the sweetest and we cant wait for you to married!!  Enjoy my favorites from your session!!