Philadelphia photographer

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.  

Philadelphia Headshot Session - Sebastian

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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!  

Choosing Joy

If you haven't noticed, we got a little makeover the last few weeks and the results are exactly what I was hoping for.  While the point of the refresh was the update our home page with some of our new images, we also wanted to allow our lives to be reflected in the new look and feel of Swiger Photography.  A lot has changed for Jordan and I the last 2-3 months and more and more I felt like who I was as a business owner, photographer and writer begin to shift too.  I oddly feel older.  Ok, maybe not older, but a bit like I have more wisdom and and focus that I did several months ago.  My "why" for life has changed and with it, so did everything else.  

It wasn't that I was unhappy.  In fact the very opposite could be said.  The last year has been full of me putting myself out there, trying new things, creating a group of friends I adore and shooting some of the most amazing people on the planet.  I did feel a little stuck though.  In an industry obsessed with pretty and perfect, its hard to not focus on what others are doing, charging and photographing.  There is so much pressure that comes when you own your own business and that pressure is magnified when you start seeing what others are doing or have or are getting to do.  There is also the pressure from the world around you to do life the way they did.  Parents can push you to spend money or save it the way they did.  Siblings can push you to make the choices they did.  Friends can push you forgo responsibilities or make bad decisions.  So when you find yourself staring at a crossroads, wondering which way to go, suddenly, you aren't thinking about what you want, you are thinking about all of those other voices shouting at you which way to go.  And let's be honest, that is one of the most stressful feelings in the world.  

Amidst the start of the 2017 wedding season, Jordan and I also realized we'd need one, if not two, new cars which somehow sparked us looking at our lives in a totally new way.  I wish I could tell you what exactly it was...a book I read, a quote I heard, a conversation with a friend...but honestly, one morning I woke up and I wanted - no- I had to - change everything.  I moved my desk from the living room to our guest bedroom, began throwing away things that took up space and I began dreaming of what I wanted my next ten years to look like.  We bought a truck, decided to pursue buying a house and I booked a few weddings a cheaper price point simply because I adored the couple.  I stopped telling myself I was too busy or unworthy to dream and began dreaming not just for the right now, but for the rest of my life too.  I stopped telling myself it was my place to settle.  How I viewed everything from what to eat for dinner to decision making for my business to what I wanted my life to look like from here on out could be defined by one three letter word.  Joy.  

When I finally started articulating what was happening in my heart out loud, I remember saying to Jordan...."do I sound too churchy or crazy?"  After attending Bible college and experiencing first hand how cruel the church can be, it is safe to say that "churchy" isn't something I ever want to be.  Joy was a word that felt tied to that and yet it was the only word that encompassed this shift in my life.  Joy to me was different than happy....a lot of things make me happy.  But there are far fewer things that give me joy.  And when I choose those things, the things that give me joy, the fork in the road becomes easier.  The confusing signs get reduced to a quiet voice in my mind that asks, "which way feels more like choosing joy?"  

For me, choosing joy means giving myself freedom.  Choosing joy means giving of myself even when others say I shouldn't.  Choosing joy means saying no or saying yes and not feeling guilty either way.  Choosing joy means letting my wife have a giant new truck that I might never feel good driving simply because of how happy it makes her.  Choosing joy means working long hours, saving money, and taking on jobs that might not be as fun.  Choosing joy is late night conversations instead of sleep, dreaming of what life could be like.  Choosing joy means taking care of my clients like family.  Choosing joy is letting go of people, expectations and pressures, even when its really really hard.  Choosing joy means working toward having a life I love, even though the stakes feel really high and the tasks ahead feel impossible.  

I don't know where you are in life.  I don't know what you do or who you are or what brought you to my website, but if you find yourself looking toward the future with panic and worry in your heart, let me encourage you to choose joy.  Choose to make the tough decisions that lead you toward a life that is full of things and people and experiences that make you feel alive and worthy and joyful.  Stop holding on to things, stop looking at other peoples lives to measure how successful you are in yours, and stop believing you are to busy to dream.  Choose joy.  Choose to live a life defined by what gives you joy and watch what happens.  While life might not get any less challenging, the way you see it def changes and for me, that's made all the difference.  

Monet and Daniel - A Philadelphia Skybox Wedding

I remember when Monet reached out me and asked if I was available to do some family photos of her and her sisters.  I had been following her for a while on facebook and from the moment she showed up at that shoot, something with us just clicked!  From there, she asked if I was available to photographer her wedding the following year and I immediately agreed!  Ever since then I had been looking forward to her SkyBox Events wedding in Fishtown! 

Monet and Daniel are the kind of people you can tell are just madly in love.  And their ceremony was full of the kind of emotional vows that had me tearing up.  Their love for each other just shone through the day and it was so fun to see a bride be relaxed and present with their friends and family for the whole day.  And Monet was just a STUNNING bride.  Her bridal portraits are some of my all time favorites!  They spent their whole day laughing, drinking and dancing with the people who love them most and it was so much fun to photograph!  

So while their wedding was just a few days ago, I am happy to be sharing their wedding with all of you!  Monet and Daniel - thank you for allowing me to be apart of your day, for getting the honor of capturing your start of the next chapter of your lives and for being such a great couple to work with!   Enjoy some of my favorites!!!

A huge thank you to the lovely team of people I got to work with!  

Venue - Skybox Events

Wedding Dress - BHLDN

Bridesmaid Dresses - Weddington Way

DJ - DJ Stlyus

 

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!!

Stephanie and Joshua - An Old Mill Wedding Preview

As soon as we pulled up the Old Mill on Saturday afternoon, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to wait to blog this one.  The venue is one I have wanted to shoot at since I heard about it a little over a year ago and it did not disappoint!  Stephanie was a gorgeous bride, but more than that, she is the sweetest person.  Her first look with Josh was perfection, and their love was so evident all day long.  I loved all their blush and coral and lavender details and just you wait till you see their centerpieces!  So beautiful!  Fresh Florist did an amazing job! (Go check out more of their work HERE!)

Stephanie and Joshua, thank you for allowing us to be apart of your day.  I am so happy you loved your preview gallery and I can't wait to share the rest!  And thank you to the Old Mill for being SO amazing to work with!  To check out more info on all the amazing Vendors that were apart of this wedding see the vendor list at the bottom of the post!  

A special thanks to the amazing vendor team:

Photography - Swiger Photography

Wedding Dress - David's Bridal  (http://www.davidsbridal.com)

Bridesmaid Dresses - David's Bridal  (http://www.davidsbridal.com)

Groom's Suit - Men's Warehouse  (http://www.menswearhouse.com)

Groomsmen Suits - Men's Warehouse  (http://www.menswearhouse.com)

Cake - Sophisiticakes  (http://www.sophisticakespa.com)

Venue - The Old Mill Pa  (http://www.connercatering.com/oldmill/weddings)

Caterer - Conner Catering  (http://www.connercatering.com/oldmill/catering.htm)

Flowers - Fresh Designs Florist  (http://www.freshdesignsflorist.com/)

DJ - Brian Kania 

Baker Family | An In Home Newborn Family Session

For as long as I have been a photographer, I have always said photographing littles was not my thing.  The adorable photos of a newborn in a basket or that perfect first birthday cake smash - not something that I would ever do well!  But when I got contacted by Carly and she asked if I would capture some moments of their daughters first days in this world, I quickly said yes.  This sweet family spent the morning reading books, playing and snuggling sweet little Lua and I had so much fun capturing these moments for them.  Life rushes by us SO quickly and soon this sweet little baby will be a toddler and thats why I believe so strongly that taking a few moments to capture what her life started like is so beautiful.  

Thank you to the sweet Baker family for allowing me into your home and entrusting me to capture these images for you!  I can't wait to see how your family grows and to hopefully capture more of it along the way!