The loved

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

 

Kait and Kevin - An Eastern University Engagement Session

I remember sitting in Starbucks, anxiously waiting for Kait and Kevin for our first meeting to talk about their wedding.  We had gone back and forth after being introduced online and I could already tell that Kait was the kind of bride I loved working with.  As soon as the both showed up and began talking about their wedding and what they envisioned, I knew I was right!  And not only are they planning the kind of wedding I love shooting, they are the kind of couple who's love radiated to everyone around them.  The way they look at each other and finish each others thoughts and are committed to building a life together...their love is evident in all they do and are.  

So when it came time for their engagement session, I was beyond excited.  I met them at their University which is oddly enough where my sister graduated a few years before they did.  Being on that campus brought back some of my earliest days as a photographer and it was fun to revisit some of my favorite spots of Eastern University's gorgeous campus!  Kait and Kevin were, as expected, amazing to photograph!  Kevin is really funny but also the kind of guy who just clearly loves Kait, so even though he claimed he would awkward, he was amazing at posing!  And it got me so excited for their quickly approaching wedding next month!  So while this blog post is a little over due, I hope you enjoy getting to know my last 2016 couple and come back to see their wedding blog post next month!!

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 

Cindy and Scott - A Doylestown Mercer Museum Wedding

I remember meeting Cindy and Scott at a Starbucks in Doylestown last fall and talking about their spring wedding like it was yesterday.  Cindy was a bundle of nerves and excitement, Scott ever as much her calm and cool other half.  The way they leaned into each other and talked about their wedding plans had me so excited for their wedding, but what I didn't realize then was that these two really understand what true love looks like.  

At their ceremony, the priest talked about who they both were as people.  They are both older and on their second marriage and they both have kids from those previously relationships.  Each of them had a great respect for the other, for the family they had created.  And they both believed full heartedly that God had brought them to this place and they were honored to call each other theirs.  It was beautiful.  He described them as kind, full of life and love people, genuine and joyous.  And that couldn't be more true.  All day long, Scott seemed in awe of Cindy, that she was his to love.  And what better is there?  They have a love that is based on faith, and trust and pure joy in who the other is and it was magic to photograph! 

They had the most perfect spring wedding, surrounded by their families and friends.  We loved getting to shoot at one of our dream venues, The Mercer Museum!  It's so full of history and grandeur and made for the perfect location for their day.  Their sweet little grand kids stole the show and I teared up more than once thinking about how sweet it will be for them to one day have these photos to look back on when they get married! 

So congrats Scott and Cindy!  May your love always be as sweet as it was that day!  And enjoy a few of my favorites!

Confessions of Love and Worth and Wearing a Bikini

I have a confession to make.  And it might sound silly, but go with me for a moment.  

In my entire life, I never wore a bikini bathing suit.  The closest I got was a tankini in high school but even then, you'd most often find me in a one piece.  And usually there would be a cover up over top of it.  And some of that came from being raised in a conservative family, one where modesty was taught.  But even as an adult, one who has pushed back on a lot of the things I was taught, this one seemed to hold.  I shouldn't wear a bikini, and that was that.  

I bought the only bikini I've ever owned back in March for a photoshoot I did with The STRONG Philly.  The whole session can be viewed here but in short, I needed something to wear that people would be able to write words on me, calling to light the mean things I heard my whole life.  It was an emotional experience, being that bare in front of people I knew, people I barely knew and knowing that these images would be online.  I cried, A LOT, worried what people would think of me, if they would judge how I looked, forgetting to see the message behind the images.  But this message of no more bullying was one I felt so strongly about.  The day of the shoot, I was all nerves, but as I peeled off the layers of clothes, there was this strange sense of calm.  There I was, about as vulnerable as one can be in public, and it was terrifying.  But more than the terror. it was freeing.  

We got home though, and I buried that bathing suit away.  I was so proud of the shoot, but I figured if there was a time where I would need a swim suit, I'd go out and buy a modest one-piece, one that hid my belly better, one that covered as much of me as possible.  Because despite the freedom I felt for that shoot, I believed that it was a once in a life kind of moment.  That beyond then, this body, my body, should be hidden away.  

My whole life I have struggled with that - hiding - never knowing how much of me was wanted in any given context.  In high school I was this tiny 105lbs version of myself, that believed that my worth was found in how much I was involved in youth group, how many friends I had and where I would go beyond high school.  When I was younger, I believed my worth was found in light of the fact that I was adopted, figuring that if I could know who my birth parents were, maybe who I was would make sense.  In college, I was taught that my worth was found in God but being as I went to a Biblical University, I was also told over and over that the person I knew I was, a lesbian, was something that I should hide and run from.  I was also retaught the message that my body was for my one day husband and that if I wanted a good marriage, I should cover it up now, never understand it, as it wasn't mine in the first place.  

And then I got bigger.  After spending my whole life as someone who was small, but told all these messages, my world came crashing down when I looked in the mirror and saw I was another person bigger.  Clothes became what I hid inside, trying to draw attention away from my appearance.  Summer was the worst...when you are wondering how to understand your own worth and appearance, it's hard to not have a lot of it wrapped up in a little piece of brightly colored spandex.  I was depressed.  Anxious.  Scared that I was going to be alone for forever.  

And then I came out.  I remember sitting on my parents sunporch, Jordan (my at the time fiance) by my side telling my parents I was marrying her.  And while I remember very little of that conversation, 6 words have haunted me since.  "You use to be so pretty."  My mom said those words, reaching out and tucking a hair behind my ear.  I don't know what she meant by it, but I know what my heart heard.  

"You use to be attractive."  -  "You use to be so smart."  -  "You use to be worthy."  -  "You use to be apart of this family."  -  "You use to make me happy."  -  "You use to have value."  -  "You use to be worthy of love, worthy of my love."  

I bought my wedding dress out of my understanding of those 6 words.  I made decisions on how to handle decisions out of what I thought those words meant.  I wore the clothes I did for a year a half out of those words.  I heard what my wonderful wife said through the lenses of those words and I still to this day take compliments from strangers or friends out of those words...believing they are trying to find something nice to say to a person who is so unworthy of anything.  I use to have worth.  But now I didn't.  And this all came crashing together on Saturday when Jordan and I found ourselves headed to the pool.  

I put on that bathing suit.  The two piece, bikini top, high waisted bathing suit and quickly slipped my cover up over my head.  I'd be ok, I'd just keep that dress on and no one would see. Deep breaths, hiding would totally work.  We got to the pool, about 20 people were around and before Jordan had taken off her shoes,  this rush of emotions hit me.  I couldn't do it anymore.  I couldn't hide.  I couldn't listen to all the negative voices inside my heart.  I couldn't let these two pieces of spandex tell me how to live my life.  So off went the dress.  And with it the load I had been carrying for so long.  I spent two days in and out of that bathing suit, trying to wrap my head around the freedom I felt.  And while I am sporting some serious sunburn (#reallywhitegirlproblems), I came home realizing I had to share this as well.  

I am size 18.  I have bigger boobs and an ass.  My belly isn't flat and my thighs always rub together when I walk.  I have stretch marks and scars and pale skin and mascara smudges constantly under my eyes.  But this is me.  And I am worthy and loved and pretty.  My worth isn't found in a "good Christian husband" or in saying the right things or knowing my birth mom or making things right with my family or getting skinny again.  And neither is yours.  You don't have to hide, cover up, run away, disguise, fit in, or anything else to be worthy, loved, strong.  You are those things because your human.  You are beautiful and wanted and needed and have a place in this world.  And if you find yourself feeling stuck, believing the lie that you shouldn't wear a bikini or insert your personal you shouldn't/don't deserve _________ here, its a lie.  Its scary, but this is the hope I clung to, the hope you should cling to....that a life lived beyond fear, beyond hiding, is one where we can know and be known.  

This Monday, find that thing you are afraid of.  Sit with it for awhile.  Know why its such a big deal and what it would mean or feel like to try and conquer it.  And then, even if it takes you a while, go do it.  Be daring and bold and brave.  And then shout from the roof tops that you did that thing you didn't think you could.  Let people know you and in turn learn to know others as well.  Share your stories, confess those deep hidden lies you've told yourself for so long.  I'll be right here cheering you on, myself trying to find more fears conquer.  And writing more confession of love and worth as I do. 

In freedom, hope and sunshine,

Amanda

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!  

Sophia and Lisa - A Philadelphia City Hall Lesbian Elopement

When these two got married, I was knee deep in redoing my blog and website and I didn't want to post them to the old site.  So I have been waiting to share this wedding with all of you for quite some time!  Sophia is feisty, sweet and oh so gorgeous and Lisa is her hilarious, little bit bad ass and so kind other half.  I've known these two for a while and when they asked if i would be free to shoot their weekday City Hall wedding, the answer was an immediate yes!!!

These two are so in love.  The kind of love that you see on facebook and in real life and know that its not fake or temporary.  They embody the idea of being partners, supporting each other and loving each others families.  They also keep each other (and me!) laughing with their adorable bickering and commentary on everything!  It was a great day and I am so happy that these two have joined the #marriedlesbianclub and are loving life as Mrs and Mrs Crespo!  

Lisa and Sophia....thank you for being such sweet friends and for allowing me to be the one to capture the start of this exciting chapter in your lives.  I adore the two of you to pieces and can't wait to see where life takes you next.  Thank you for being patient for this blog post!  And now, a few of my favorites!  

Dana and Bob - A Knox Quarters Maternity Shoot

If you have followed us for a while you know this sweet family!  I met Dana and Bob several years ago and shot their daughters first birthday party and then 2 weeks later, shot their wedding.  Since then, they have become some of my most loyal clients and I always love getting to capture their family!  

In the weeks since their session, Dana gave birth to their beautiful daughter Sophia and while I haven't met her yet, facebook stalking proves that she is perfectly beautiful.  We got to spend about an hour at the Knox Quarters earlier in May shooting some maternity pictures and even though little Sophia is here now, I had to share my favs from their session!

Launch Day Giveaway!

Love.  Worth.  Strength.  These are things that I know I spent a good portion of my life trying to find.  And I know I am not the only one.  For so many people, chasing those three things becomes what defines who we are.  Who loves me?  Am I worth that person's time? Am I strong enough? Why do I feel unworthy? How can I love better? Where do I find my strength?  Will they love me forever?

Photos are more than images.  They capture who someone is.  Who someone was.  Who someone can be.  And the images I fall in love with time and time again are the ones where bodies relax because they are in the arms of the one they love, where a woman feels beautiful and worthy and she laughs without hesitation because hey, this is actually fun.  Where someone is told that they are strong and needed and they breathe deep, believing those words for maybe even the first time.  Because that is my purpose.  I was made to capture love, to show worth and photograph strong women.  But I didn't know till I was first loved, finally able to see my worth and believed that I was strong.  

This is the new Swiger Photography.  Simplified, bright, clean, and here to showcase the Loved, the Worthy and the Strong.  Its full of beautiful images, blog posts and sessions, advice and a client lounge.  You can even book your session online now!  And I am so proud of the way it looks!  And because no kick off is complete without a give away....

We are giving a way a FREE SESSION!!!!!  Want to win?  

Here are the rules!  

  • You must like Swiger Photography on Facebook!
  • Follow us on instagram (@swigerphotography)
  • Share the giveaway on facebook and tag us! (@Swiger Photography)
  • Comment below with why you'd like to win!  It's that easy!

For bonus entries...

  • Follow The STRONG on instagram
  • Follow The STRONG on Facebook
  • Comment on any other blog post (on entry per comment!)

That's it!  We are SO excited to see who wins this giveaway and to be launching the new look for Swiger Photography!  Winner will be announced next Friday!