Bridal Boudoir Photos
with Swiger Photography
Boudoir-Style Photography has been growing in popularity over the past few years. Whether it’s for a bride, their spouse, or just because – being pampered and having photos taken is an amazing experience. We sat down for coffee with Amanda Swiger, owner of Swiger Photography, to discuss the ins and outs of boudoir photography.
Tell me about Swiger Photography!
Swiger Photography is an inclusivity-minded photography company located in the heart of Philadelphia that specializes in wedding and boudoir photography. We have been around for almost 9 years now, and have shot literally hundreds of weddings and portraits sessions in that time. I honestly feel like I have the best job in the world.
How and why did you end up focusing on boudoir sessions?
After focusing heavily on weddings for the first 7.5 years of my business, I knew I wanted to expand Swiger Photography and the most natural place was boudoir. Many of my brides and other clients were already asking for boudoir sessions, and empowering women (and feminine people as a whole) is something that I am very passionate about… So this felt like a great time to just take the leap and get a studio set up to offer boudoir photography! I knew that, first and foremost, I would be focusing on providing an experience that allows my clients and brides to do this for themselves, because I wholeheartedly believe that there is nothing sexier than loving yourself. Feeling sexy and beautiful changes drastically from person to person, so the style of the photo shoot really varies from client to client.
How often do your brides add on a boudoir session?
Pretty often actually – Currently 72% of my brides are adding on a boudoir session! I would say that most of them add it to have sexy, beautiful pictures for themselves that they can also gift their future spouse, versus making it bridal-specific. It is super fun when they want to incorporate details of their wedding day into their session though – especially veils! They make for some really sweet images!
Do you find that having a boudoir session for the bride ties into their wedding day photography at all?
I 100% believe that the more you and your photographer know each other and work together, the more smoothly things go! It also makes me feel more like an old friend, someone you trust and know has your back, rather than a stranger on your wedding day! I know that most of my clients are more nervous about doing a boudoir session than having pictures taken on their wedding day, and I am always letting them know that is normal! Getting in your underwear and having me tell you to do all kinds of silly-feeling things to get those sexy shots feels intimidating and nerve wracking… and I am always assuring my clients throughout their session that they look amazing, showing them shots on the back of my camera, and making them laugh with my corny jokes. Most women leave saying that it was a lot more fun than they thought, and that trust level with me definitely carries over to their wedding day!
Do you find that your bridal clients get the boudoir photos for themselves or for their future spouse?
My hope is that all of my clients are doing this for themselves first and foremost. When a client comes in and is ready to own their body and do this for themselves, magic happens! They often are less worried about loosing weight, hiding things that others have called flaws, and just want to be themselves for the session… just a sexier version than their every day! But I also know that many brides see this as a great gift for their partner, and I, of course, agree! I think that brides that do boudoir sessions for themselves, and are able to gift the images to someone they love, that is the greatest combination!
What is your advice to an upcoming bride that is debating getting boudoir photos taken?
First, as I said earlier, the nerves are normal. Every woman you see here and in my portfolio was nervous when they walked into my studio.
Second, don’t try to be someone you are not for your session! People tell me all the time that they don’t know how to be sexy, and I tell them every time how untrue that is, because everyone can be sexy. (And sexy can look a hundred different ways!) Love sweaters, high socks, and comfy underwear? Let’s do it, babe! Body suits, thigh highs, and lacy things more your speed? Bring it on! Into more of a implied nude vibe? Love it! Want to look super bridal and wear all white? Let’s go all the way with it! Are you more edgy and love blacks and fishnets and leather? Sounds amazing! It all looks equally awesome! Just be you.
Third, this is a GREAT time to do your hair and makeup trial! Your photos will look even more bridal, and you get an excuse to enjoy that pretty hair and makeup for a little longer!
Finally, give yourself enough time before the wedding to book your session and get your products back in time! The last thing you want to be doing the week of your wedding is worrying if your album or prints will get there in time.
Do you provide hair and make-up services for your clients?
I do! I offer it as an add on because, as I mentioned, a lot of my brides do their hair and makeup trial the day of their session. I have even had clients who would rather do their own! I always suggest adding it on if you aren’t doing your trial that day, because it truly is a great way to get pampered, feel relaxed before your session, and my team knows exactly what looks great in my space and on my clients! Ultimately, it’s totally up to you!
Where is your studio located?
Most of the images you see here were taken at my studio in Kensington. That being said, we are moving to a brand new space in Old City on October 1st! We wanted to offer a more high-end lifestyle vibe to our sessions, so we will have a full kitchen, spa-like bathroom, and even a private outdoor space! I also offer mini-sessions in different locations a few times a year – I just finished up a set of boudoir sessions at the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia that I cannot wait to share!
Any final thoughts?
Don’t wait to loose the weight. Don’t tell yourself that you won’t look good. Don’t think you are too old, too young, too big, too small, too anything. Your partner loves you just the way you are, and you deserve to have images that make you feel amazing about who you are- right now. You can also do a session more than once! To me, boudoir isn’t a once in a lifetime experience. It’s falling in love with yourself, and hopefully that is something you do over and over again. We price our sessions to encourage you to come back in a few years for a birthday or anniversary! Just believe that you deserve to see yourself as the sexy and beautiful person you are and come schedule a session right now!!
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