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One of the most pleasant surprises about moving to Philly was discovering an incredibly vibrant art scene, unlike anywhere I’ve ever lived. We are fortunate to be surrounded by people that are bold enough to dedicate their lives to creating art, and that they allow us to use our medium to collaborate and create something unique.  So when burlesque performer/social activist/costume designer Annie A-bomb was looking for someone to photograph herself and Peek-A-Boo Revue Performer, Christa D’agger, I jumped at the chance.  We loved working with Anna in a dirty bike shoot that offended and delighted rush hour traffic, and Christa was a joy to shoot in this post apocalyptic, dirty city shoot.  Wendie Hetherington, who’s done makeup for us on several shoots over the years, jumped on board and gave Anna and Christa a grungy, sexy look that was just right for our”lost girls on the docks”.

I think professional photographers underestimate the importance of practicing.  On a monday afternoon, to be able to assemble a team to go scout a new location and play is invaluable to our professional work.  With every shoot, our posing skills get better, we find new locations to return to in the future, and we get to work with truly interesting people dedicated to creating new work.  So while Paul and I will continue to shoot beautiful weddings, engagements and boudoir shoots as often as possible, we will ALWAYS make time for a couple of burlesque beauties who feel like getting dirty and playing down by the dock.

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On a rainy afternoon in Philadelphia’s historic Society Hill, a Fire Dancer took over Headhouse Square to marry her love while her friends danced with fire on the wet cobblestone streets. For this perfect BWR wedding, Paul was joined by Ashlee Mintz, one of our favorite photographers to call when we need some extra help. Nicole is a dancer with Lux Arati, an all female bellydance and fire troupe based in Philadelphia. When she and her fiance Chris began to plan their wedding, fire and dance had to be included.  Occasions by Diana did a beautiful job with hair and makeup, before Nicole got ready in a steam punk inspired apartment filled with incredible details.  The couples stunning rings were custom made by Olivia Ewing, using twigs Chris found in Rittenhouse.  Their ceremony took place in the Shambles in Headhouse Square, a historic open air street market.  Nicole’s flaming bouquet was used to light torches surrounding their performance space and the ladies of Lux Arati danced in front of the beautiful backdrop of the historic neighborhood.  Society Hill Dance Academy was the perfect spot for a sophisticated, intimate dinner.  Infinity Caterers served an amazing vegan dinner, and their friend made a fruit cake that was just as lovely as it was guilt free.  Yes, as a matter of fact, we do have the coolest clients on the planet.

Photography by Paul Cofield and Ashlee Mintz, for Black, White and Raw Photography
Wedding Planner:  Natalie Diener