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When Rainstorms Happen to a Classic Philly Wedding

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As most of the models we work with will tell you when they ask what our plan is if it rains, our answer is always “bring a cute umbrella”.  I love rain.  I love rainstorms and lightning and wind that blows hair in every direction but the one you want it in.  So what happens when you’re shooting the perfectly classic Philly wedding with stops planned at all the big wedding spots…the Art Museum, Love Park, and Broad Street and a torrential downpour begins?  You grab an umbrella, brave the winds and make it work.

Following Trisha and Adam’s beautiful ceremony at St John the Baptist, our photo tour began.  Although the skies completely opened up while we were on the museum steps, we still managed to get some beautiful shots, and a nicely unique perspective on the standards.  Trisha was just about to call it quits on the wind and rain, when the sun burst through the clouds and gave us the opportunity for some beautiful Love Park and Broad Street shots.

For a couple of photogs who pride themselves on loving the alternative, unique, offbeat weddings we do…I gotta admit the more we dip our toes into the more traditional celebrations, the more I begin to adore them.  As long as there’s a really good rainstorm, a bride and groom totally in love, and lots of love and laughter, we’re good.

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Shooting a Bride and Groom Amidst the Mummers

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New Year’s Eve weddings.  We love them!  Although we don’t really go out and party on New Year’s Eve, we do celebrate as New Years Eve as it marks the anniversary of the very first wedding that we ever shot.  This year we had double treat.  Not only did we get to shoot a beautiful New Year’s Eve celebration at Philly’s gorgeous DoubleTree by Hilton in Center City, but the couple also booked us for the Mummer’s Day Parade on Broad Street the next day, one of our favorite Philly traditions to photograph.

The DoubleTree is a spectacular venue for wedding photography.  Large meeting rooms which can comfortably house a team of makeup artists for bridal parties, stunning views, and a wealth of amazing areas around the hotel to shoot in.  Wedding coordinator Lisa Delucca offers the kind of personal attention to detail which is truly a rarity in the hotel wedding industry, even indulging my request to meet me days before the event for a tour of the entire premises with 5 full floors teaming with photo ops at every turn.  We felt completely welcome at every stage of our two days spent with the cast and crew of the DoubleTree, and nothing makes it easier to get gorgeous photos…except of course, an awesome bride and groom.  Oh yeah, we got that.

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Subway Bride

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One of our primary challenges of photographing weddings is our unwavering determination to create beautiful images, while bending the rules of classic wedding photography to create fresh, modern coverage while staying true to our artistic sensibilities. We have an upcoming New Year’s Eve wedding, and they want the big Broad Street shot. You know the one, wedding couple, in the middle of the street, the big romantic dip, City Hall in the distance. It’s a tricky shot to make unique. Shoot it in the day, and City Hall is totally washed out and uninteresting. Shoot it at night, and the lights and headlights make it stunning, but not much different than every other wedding pose shot after dark on Broad Street. We wanted to play with it a little before we got on Broad Street with a real couple in the midst of New Year’s Eve insanity. I wanted to try it with no flash. We wanted to see if we could get away with shooting in the subway. We wanted to play without the pressure.

Enter model, dancer, burlesque performer, and costuming maven Meredith Kimberly.  She’s the ultimate definition of “let’s go play”. We first met Meredith Kimberly at the home of bulesque performer and seamstress extraordinaire Anna Frangiosa (aka Annie A-bomb) at her  fabulous Old Timey Photo Party: Pop Art Edition. Meredith was dressed in a cool green 1970’s jumpsuit complete with plunging neckline and  flowing bell bottoms.   I was smitten, in that girl crush photographer-who-needs-to-photograph-beautiful-women kind of way. She had a cool elegance, part Natalie Wood, part Audrey Hepburn, and our random unplanned photos of her, remain some of my absolute favorites. She can pull of classic beauty with a modern, quirky twist.

When I approached Meredith about going out to play in the street one night, she seemed interested. A few days later, she sent me a photo of her in a gorgeous vintage wedding dress. Rather than having to find her a groom, we decided to approach it as a non-traditional, edgy fashion shoot. Her hair and makeup gave her a bit of a “bride gone awry” look. As she frolicked in the middle of traffic, she easily transitioned, at one moment whimsical and playful, the next moment a runaway bride, followed by eerily other worldly and everything in between. We found ourselves quickly abandoning our wedding practice session, as our edgy bride hailed cabs, waited for buses, ducked into the subway, and fearlessly played on the floor of the underground. Absolute perfection

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