Amber and Natalie - Fells Point Baltimore LGBTQ Engagement Session

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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!

Ala and Roy - Old City Philadelphia Engagement Shoot

Old City Philadelphia Engagement Session with Ala and Roy

I have shot engagement sessions in Old City Philadelphia so many times but Ala and Roy brought such a new perceptive to one of my favorite places! These two are historians, 18th century historians to be exact, and so it felt appropriate that we shot their engagement session in one of Philly’s neighborhoods that is rich with history and to start their sessions in the historic 18th Century Gardens! Roy is one of the most easy guys I have ever gotten to work with. He has such a sweet demeanor and was totally down to love on his beautiful fiancé for their session, something that some guys aren’t so into. It was darling the way he would pull her in for snuggles and kisses and because of that, their session was just perfection! As we walked around, I learned tidbits of history, both theirs and Old City and it got me so excited to work with them again next year at one of my favorite Philadelphia wedding venues, The Maas Building. I just know that their day will be every bit as vibrant as their engagement session and that to me is what I love about this job - madly in love couples, celebrating love! Enjoy some of my favorites!

Marianna and Josh - Old City Philadelphia Engagement Session

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Old City Philadelphia has quickly become my favorite location for portrait sessions and elopements! And not only because its the part of the city I call home but also because there are SO many different vibes and colors and unique spots within just a few blocks of each other. I love that this place I call home also allows my clients so much variety in their engagement sessions and Marianna and Josh’s Philly engagement session is no different. The rich colors and history, the stunning views of the Ben Franklin Bridge from atop Bridge on Race, and these two getting lost in each others eyes…well ya’ll, it was perfection.

I am so happy that more and more unique, unashamedly themselves couples are finding their way to me. From tattooed to queer couples, non-traditional weddings to offbeat elopements, one common thread remains and that is how much love my clients have for each other and the trust they have in all my crazy ideas! And it makes me love my job even more!!!

Josh and Marianna, thank you for asking me to be apart of this incredible season of your life and I am already excited to spend your wedding day with you next year. Jordan and I had SO MUCH FUN hanging out with ya’ll and your momma and sister and I hope that these images are exactly what you hoped for! Enjoy my favorites (or many favorites in this case!!!) and get excited to see these two on here again next fall!

Layla and Meg - A Philly Lesbian Engagement Session

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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!!

Alissa and Kim - Philadelphia Magic Garden Engagement Session

Alissa and Kim - Philadelphia Magic Garden Engagement Session

We started the shoot by walked around the area where Magic Gardens is, taking in South Streets cute side streets and cool murals before heading into the gardens!  Alissa and Kim are hilarious and so sweet, making it fun to photograph them together!  We shot between the other people also visiting the gardens but despite there being tons of people there, their images look like it was just them

Nuriya and Jess - Philadelphia Museum of Art LGBTQ Engagement Session

Nuriya and Jess - Philadelphia Museum of Art LGBTQ Engagement Session

These two showed up for their engagement session at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Boat House Row and I was immediately jumping up and down because they are just so incredibly cute!!!  They both look at each other with such love and devotion and its really obvious how much they love each other from spending even 5 minutes with them.  And for a photographer, that kind of love is a dream to shoot!

Niki and Jen Fall Engagement Shoot at Ridley Creek State Park

Niki and Jen Fall Engagement Shoot at Ridley Creek State Park

There are some locations I will never tire of shooting at and Ridley Creek State Park is certainly one of them!  Niki and Jen choose this location for their engagement shoot and they showed up SO nervous for our session!  I get it though!  Having your photo taken is nerve wracking and a little scary especially as an LGBTQ couple but ten minutes in of showing them back of the camera previews and ooo-ing over how freakin cute they are, had these two relaxed and laughing.

Meg and Kevin - A Classic Old City Philadelphia Engagement Session

Meg and Kevin - A Classic Old City Philadelphia Engagement Session

These two sweeties hired us to shoot their January 2018 wedding and we finally got to meet them on Saturday evening and Kevin was so down to do whatever to make his bride to be (and me!) happy!  I am in love with these photos and it was awesome to shoot in a location I haven't been to in awhile!  Old City Philadelphia did not disappoint and I got spoiled with allll the gorgeous glowy light! 

Meg and Tim - A Manayunk Philadelphia Summer Engagement Session

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It's funny how some locations I never shoot in and then all at once I'll have 3-4 sessions in the same location within a few weeks!  This summer that has been the case with Manayunk Philadelphia!  I shot around main street Manayunk several times and so when Meg and Tim wanted to do their shoot there as well, I knew I had to find new favorite spots to shoot these two in.  And oohhhh did we! 

Meg and Tim brought their cute little pups for a few photos and then we wandered around side streets, the riverwalk and these two stole sweet little kisses along the way.  I LOVE the way Tim looks at Meg, and how easy going these two are.  They were so fun and easy to photograph and I loved getting to hear more about their wedding plans as we walked around.  These two tie the knot next fall and I just know it will be a beautiful day because of the love they have for each other.  And for me, that's my favorite to capture of all. 

Meg and Tim, thank you for choosing me to be the one to photograph your wedding day and this season of your lives.  I love so many of these images and I can't wait till next year for you two to finally be husband and wife! 

Bethany and Jason - Philadelphia Spring Engagement Session

Things have been a little busy around here with the launch of our new business, Tantamount Love.  If you haven't heard about what that's all about, we launched a brand new business dedicated to doing more than paying lip service to the idea that #loveislove and the first 2 weeks have been amazing!  But now that things are starting to calm down, I have SO many sessions from the last few months that I want to share with all of you!  And up first is Bethany and Jason!

These two are seriously not only super cute together but really freaking funny!  They had me and Jordan laughing their entire session at The Philadelphia Museum of Art and were just the kind of couples we love working with.  They wanted a mix of sweet photos with a little bit of corny, funny photos and we loved the results.  They even brought their favorite comic books and books for a few shots!  These two tie the knot in January ans we are so so so excited to be apart of the barn wedding!  For now, though enjoy a few of our favorites from their spring e-shoot! 

Alice and Brendan - A Newtown PA Engagement Session

I loved getting to photograph Alice and Brendan in Downtown Newtown Pa this winter!  These two are getting married this spring at an amazing brewery so we decided to spend their engagement session where they love to grab a beer and hang out!  Newtown is always gorgeous but we had so much fun finding little hidden alleys, cafe tables and hanging out around their favorite bar, Isaac Newtons!  I am SO excited for their May wedding and can't wait to see their unique, fun wedding day come to life!  Enjoy a few of my favorites!  

Emily and TJ - A Classic Philadelphia Engagement Session

It is crazy to think that I have known Emily for TEN years but it's true!  We met at college and I still remember my first impression of her was that I was jealous of her hair.  So silly right?  She rocked these awesome red and blonde highlights and always had the best style.  While her hair color has changed (like 100x times) since then, her style and sassy spirit have not.  I was SO excited when she reached out to see if I was available for her wedding and even more excited after I met TJ.  These two are so perfect together!  We spent the morning wandering around center city Philadelphia which made for the perfect background for their engagement session and we even were able to get their two cats to cooperate for a shot too!  I loved all the little spots we found, a few of which are now new favorites of mine!  

I can't wait for these two to tie the knot in just a few weeks so get ready to see them again really soon!  Emily is going to be such a gorgeous bride!!!!  For now, enjoy a few of my favs from their Philly engagement session!  

Crystal and Marissa - A Center City Philadelphia Lesbian Engagement Session

It's been a while since we've blogged but that doesn't mean we've been taking time off!  The last few weeks have been full of sweet engagement sessions, weddings and some of our favorite people!  And I am so excited to be sharing one of those sessions today!  Over the weekend, we had the chance to hang out with some friends, Crystal and Marissa and since our camera was with us, we managed to get these two to let us take a few engagement photos of them.  These two ya'll, are the perfect picture of love and we can't wait for them to tie the knot this summer.  Even with all that is going on in politics and in the news, these two lesbians are just so madly in love that its easy to forget all the chaos when looking at them!  

Crystal and Marissa, thanks for giving me 5 minutes to capture some images of the two of you on the streets around your apartment, even though it was cold and the sun was setting.  Jordan and I are SO grateful for your friendship, that you waltzed into our lives and ever since things are just so much happier.  We adore ya'll and are so happy for you and can't wait for your big day come August!  Enjoy a few of my favorites!  

Ashley and Stephanie - A Rittenhouse Square Lesbian Engagement Session

Have you ever met someone and immediately felt like you were kindred spirits?  That is EXACTLY how I would describe how I felt when I met Ashley and Stephanie for their engagement session.  Ashley and I often attend the same events and parties and have a lot of friends in common but we had never actually met till I showed up the day of their session, but in just hour, I felt like I knew these two so well!  They are sweet, silly and sarcastic - things that I would say make for great friends!  We started their session out at Rittenhouse square, somewhere that has a lot of meaning to them before heading over to the new Carlos Bakery.  They got cupcakes and we talked about our mutual love of cake!  We ended things by The Art Institute where they both went to culinary school and met each other.  It was a perfect session!

Ashley, thank you so much for following my work and reaching out to have me photograph your engagement photos!  You and Stephanie are delightful and I am so so happy we have finally met!  I hope you loved your final gallery and I can't wait to photograph you two again!  Enjoy a few of my favs!!!

Shannon and Julie - A Philadelphia Lesbian Engagement Session

A few weeks ago another photographer I adore Ashley Gerrity mentioned this incredible location with beautiful views of center city Philadelphia in a photography group I am in and as soon as I googled it - I knew I HAD to shoot there soon!  Soon after, Julie proposed to Shannon and I was lucky enough to get to spend the afternoon with these two gorgeous ladies at the amazing Cira Green.  It was FREEZING but these two not only killed it, they have a love for each other that was so so fun to photograph.  They literally couldn't stop staring at each other and as a photographer, let me tell you, that kind of love is a dream to photograph.  Their outfits were on point, Julies hair blew perfectly in the wind and I am so excited to finally share a few of my favs from last weekend!  I can't wait to see what kind of wedding these two plan!  

Trista and Erin - A Northern Ohio Lesbian Engagement Session

Its no secret that we love all our of clients.  But sometimes we get really lucky and get clients who feel more like friends than anything else.  That is exactly how I would describe Trista and Erin!  Their engagement session felt more like getting to hang out with two old friends rather than strangers and it got me so excited for their wedding next summer in Michigan!  

But how did we end up in Ohio?  And why are we shooting a wedding in MI?  Great questions!  Jordan went to Eastern Michigan University her first year of college and there she met Erin!  They became friends and kept up with each other even 8 years later and so when Jordan saw that Erin was engaged to Trista, she reached out and congratulated her.  Through a few fb conversations and some luck on my side, these two decided they wanted to bring me alllllll the way from Philly to Ann Arbor to shoot their wedding!  And honestly, I am SO excited!  

For their engagement session, we decided to meet in Ohio near Jordan's family over Labor Day weekend!  They even brought their sweet dog and tons of Harry Potter stuff, which added the personal touch I love to see in engagement sessions!  More than all the props and a cute dog though, these two have a love for each other that is obvious and genuine.  They make each other laugh, something I have always said you need for a marriage to last.  And they are so dang cute!!!!!  You just wait and scroll through these!  I dare you not to think the same!  

Trista and Erin - thank you.  Thank you for trusting this wife of a girl you use to know in college to capture one of the happiest days of your life.  Thank you for being so down to earth and funny and kind.  And thank you for quickly becoming my friends!  I can not WAIT for next summer and your wedding day, but for now, enjoy a few of my favorites from your engagement session!!!!

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!!

Wedding Wednesday - Choosing a Location For Your Engagement Session

We are back it again today with our Wedding Wednesday series and today we are talking about something that all of my couples ask me about - where they should do their engagement session!  Very rarely does a couple come to me knowing exactly where they want to do their engagement session, so this post is for all the couples out there that don't know what to do!  To make it easy, I am going to give you a few "rules" to follow when coming up with your engagement location and share some of my all time favorite places we've done engagement shoots along the way!

Rule 1 - Consider your wedding

 Are you having an outdoor barn wedding and looking to use your engagement photos for save the dates?  Are you planning a ballroom wedding and love a classic city style?  Is your wedding in the spring but you really love the look of fall photos?  Do you want your engagement photos to "match" your wedding look and theme or are you hoping for something totally different?  Depending how you answer those questions, you can get going in a great direction for your engagement session!  If you are looking for your engagement photos to go along with the look and feel of your wedding, one great idea is to see if you can photograph your engagement photos at that location!  Want something more classic to go well with your downtown wedding?  Maybe photographing around the city would work best!  Consider how you want your wedding to impact your engagement photos (all the way, as inspiration, or not at all) and then talk to your photographer about any ideas that they might have!

These two are having a family centered wedding this winter and so for their engagement session they wanted to do their photos at their family home!  And their hunting vibe matches their wedding perfectly!  

These two are having a family centered wedding this winter and so for their engagement session they wanted to do their photos at their family home!  And their hunting vibe matches their wedding perfectly!  

These two got married at a beautiful estate that had a lake, so for their engagement photos they picked a park that looked a lot like their wedding venue and the results was perfection!  

These two got married at a beautiful estate that had a lake, so for their engagement photos they picked a park that looked a lot like their wedding venue and the results was perfection!  

Monet has planned a industrial, classic Philadelphia wedding for later this month and so her home and roof deck was the perfect location for their engagement session!  

Monet has planned a industrial, classic Philadelphia wedding for later this month and so her home and roof deck was the perfect location for their engagement session!  

Stephanie and Dan had a gorgeous fall wedding and so for their engagement session, she wanted to capture all the gorgeous fall colors in the sunset!  

Stephanie and Dan had a gorgeous fall wedding and so for their engagement session, she wanted to capture all the gorgeous fall colors in the sunset!  

Rule 2 - Think about the time of day and year

We often get asked to do center city Philadelphia engagement session and one of the things our couples often forget is that the city is busy!  There is this iconic engagement photo in front of the "Love" sign that everyone always sends me from pinterest and they always say how they love that no one is in the background!  To get that look, you've got to be willing to do your engagement session really early in the morning and for some, that's not something they would be interested in!  Time of year also plays into this as some locations will be more or less busy depending.  If you can, checking out the location around the time of day you want to photograph and seeing how busy it is, what is typically going, ect can be really helpful.  

Along with that, think about the time of day too!  If I am shooting your engagement session, chances are you love the glowy light that you see in almost all of my engagement sessions!  In order to achieve this look, we have to shoot around 2 hours before sunset!  We photographers call that golden hour and it is how you achieve that glowy, golden look!  If you are looking to shoot earlier in the day, shade is something we will definitely be looking for!  So wide open fields, beaches, and the like aren't great locations for that time of day.  

For Angela and Rita's engagement session we shot at Villanova University and avoided crowds by shooting on a Sunday evening and a cloudy day!

For Angela and Rita's engagement session we shot at Villanova University and avoided crowds by shooting on a Sunday evening and a cloudy day!

For Mary and Arielle's engagement session, we walked around some of their favorite parts of center city, but we avoided the crowds by finding little side streets!  

For Mary and Arielle's engagement session, we walked around some of their favorite parts of center city, but we avoided the crowds by finding little side streets!  

These two lucked out and got all the glow and sunset prettiness at their engagement session!  

These two lucked out and got all the glow and sunset prettiness at their engagement session!  

We got both glow and less people by shooting at Eastern University during the summer in the evening for this engagement session!  

We got both glow and less people by shooting at Eastern University during the summer in the evening for this engagement session!  

Rule 3 - Think about places that are special to the two of you

Have a favorite park?  The place he proposed?  Where she always takes you when your having a bad day?  Those sentimental locations make for GREAT engagement session locations because they mean something to you!  Some couples will even plan a date and have their photographer follow them around capture their engagement photos in a more lifestlye manner at places they love!  

This park on the river was really special to these two so it was an easy choice to do their engagement session there!!

This park on the river was really special to these two so it was an easy choice to do their engagement session there!!

Peddler's Village was one of their favorite date night spots and so when we did their engagement session, Stephanie asked if we could do their session there and of course - we said yes!  

Peddler's Village was one of their favorite date night spots and so when we did their engagement session, Stephanie asked if we could do their session there and of course - we said yes!  

Cindy and Scott choose to do not only their engagement session but their wedding at one of their favorite places - Mercer Museum!

Cindy and Scott choose to do not only their engagement session but their wedding at one of their favorite places - Mercer Museum!

Rule 4 - If stuck, ask the professional

One of the worst things you can do is just pick a place at random and tell your photographer you want to shoot there!  Often couples will feel stressed that they don't have any idea where they want to do their engagement photos so they will pick somewhere someone else did theirs or a random place that looked pretty online.  And that can equal disaster.  Instead, if you haven't been able to come up with a location, ask your photographer if they have any favorite places.  For me, I have 2 places in Center City I love, 2 locations near me, a park in Jersey and vineyard in Bucks County I love.  If a couple is stuck, I will recommend one of those places based off of where they live and what I think would match who they are.  Those places are ones I know, love shooting in and can show past work from, so clients feel confident going into their session!  So if you find yourself stuck...ASK FOR HELP!  Its what we are here to do!  

Ebony and Creig had no idea where to do their engagement session but they knew they wanted bright, winter photos!  I suggested Tyler Park and they LOVED the results!  

Ebony and Creig had no idea where to do their engagement session but they knew they wanted bright, winter photos!  I suggested Tyler Park and they LOVED the results!  

Heather and Simon had no idea where they wanted to do their engagement session and this sweet park I suggest was the perfect background for their style!  

Heather and Simon had no idea where they wanted to do their engagement session and this sweet park I suggest was the perfect background for their style!  

Brooke loved the look of fields, flowers and nature but didn't know where would work best for their engagement session!  I suggested my favorite park and it was exactly what they were looking for!  

Brooke loved the look of fields, flowers and nature but didn't know where would work best for their engagement session!  I suggested my favorite park and it was exactly what they were looking for!  

I hope that helps!  While those rules aren't the end all of how to choose an engagement session location, they definitely will get you going in the right direction!  Do you have a wedding question you want answered?  Drop us a line in our contact form and we will be sure to answer it an upcoming #weddingwednesday post!  

Alyssa and Timmi - A Pastorius Park Engagement Session

Sometimes the weather just refuses to cooperate.  You make plans for an engagement session for one date and then it rains.  You reschedule and it rains again.  You reschedule again and this time clouds are rolling in but you decide to go for it anyway!  That was how it went for Alyssa and Timmi's engagement session but despite everything, these two and their sweet little one were amazing!  

We spent our time together at a new spot for me, Pastorius Park, but it was perfect!  The outdoor theater, the beautiful lake, their love for each other, all came together for a great engagement session!  And photographing Alyssa?  Oh my it got me so excited to photographer her as a bride!!!  She's a gorgeous girl with such a sweet personality and Timmi clearly loves her so much!  He even made the little letter signs the day of their engagement shoot!  Not every guy would do that!  

I can't wait for next fall when these two tie the knot but for now enjoy a few favorites from their session!  

Kris and Mu - An Urban Reading Viaduct Engagement Session

This engagement session is a different one for us!  While most of our clients opt for a park or downtown Philadelphia for their engagement shoot, Kris and Mu asked if we could take their engagement photos at a totally unique location!  We explored the Reading Viaduct - a former railway that has since then been abandoned.  It's urban feel, overgrown fields, graffiti and gorgeous views of center city made it the perfect location!  And there was even a sweet little swing!  So while this isn't our normal vibe here at Swiger Photography, we are so happy with the results!  

Check out a few of our favorites from their session and get ready to see these two again really soon as their wedding date is fast approaching!