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.