Brides on broad

Broad Street, Philadelphia.  The one location almost every Philly bride wants.  When we first started shooting weddings, I was determined not to do the expected shots.  And I definitely, did not want to shoot Broad Street Brides.  It was cliche. It was overdone.  I wanted no part of it.  But as it would happen, one of the first couples that booked us wanted the big Broad Street shot, at night, on New Year’s Eve.  It’s a tricky enough shot during the day, but on the biggest party night of year in the middle of Center City, it was definitely a baptism by fire.  We decided to take model Tesla Baretta for a spin around the area in a wedding dress at night for some practice.  I think practice in our business is widely disregarded as working “for free”.  These model shoots have been instrumental in the leaps our wedding photography has taken.  Our couples hire us because in the middle of traffic on the busiest night of the year, we know what works because we’ve practiced.  Because our off-time is spent learning new techniques, practicing them and being able to add them toolbox of skills to bring out quickly and effortlessly in the middle of timelines and guests and nervous energy.  We are not afraid of shooting it differently.  When everyone else straps on a 24-70mm and shoots with available light, blowing out City Hall in the afternoon, we know that Paul is more than likely going to put on a wide-angle or play with long exposures on a tripod to tell the story, and I’m going to a long lens for the lens compression to bring City Hall closer to our couple, and to turn traffic lights into bubbles of color.  We know where there is space for a light stand in the middle of the street without it being wiped out by traffic, and have gotten ridiculously good at setting one up from the back of a party bus.  We are unafraid to shoot it in the middle of the afternoon and underexpose that tricky noon day City Hall light with a pop of off camera flash.  We know from dressing model Lily Cheshire in a gown from Simply Bridal and playing around on Broad Street that a back light on a gorilla pod makes a beautiful rim light relatively safe from pedestrians and now that we have fallen in love with our new Mag Mods, we have a new way to shape our light that will take it even one step further.  I’ve got a new technique that I’m dying to try on Broad Street, so you might want to check out #bridesonbroad to keep up with our on-going journey documenting this fabulous Philly wedding tradition in new and better ways every single time we shoot it.

7 replies
  1. Amy Elizabeth
    Amy Elizabeth says:

    Can’t wait to check out #bridesonbroad now!! Black White and Raw Photography is doing a great job honing in on the photography skills it takes to shoot modern and unique wedding portraits in a city like Philly. There is nothing typical about your bridal portraits on Broad Street! I love it.

  2. Kelly Loeffler
    Kelly Loeffler says:

    Wow you have definitely taken broad street by storm. you not only figured out how to shoot there but you’ve rocked it. I love that you don’t just stick to the same shot but each bride gets her own unique picture. Looking forward to checking out #bridesonbroad

  3. Parker
    Parker says:

    I love how you’re not afraid to take on an “overshot location” like Broad Street and get creative with it! Philly brides are lucky to have such a deticated crew available to them!

  4. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    I love your photos taken on Broad st in Philadelphia! I like how you have take a new approach to photographing in a familiar location! You definitely took a new spin on this location.
    It is true that it is so important for photographers to practice what they do before a wedding day!

  5. Nathaniel
    Nathaniel says:

    I love these wedding photos! They’re deep and loving, and the urban landscape adds a little bit of grit that gives them a creative edge. Well done!

  6. Ailecia Ruscin
    Ailecia Ruscin says:

    You’ve definitely perfected the Brides on Broad shot — and at all different times of day! Can’t wait to see how this theme will evolve through time — that’s the fun of photography — pushing ourselves further and further to create magic for our clients. Love the inspiration! Philly wedding photographers Black, White and Raw Rocked This Shot!

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