Black Philadelphia-Area Wedding Photographers and Videographers to Capture Your Big Day

Take a peek at some of the talents you need to know.


Philadelphia black photographers

Sheronda Seawright, one of the talents on this list of Black Philadelphia-area wedding photographers, captured this engagement photo shoot featuring Varney Vincent and Promise Vincent in 2018. MUA: Erica Nikole

There are numerous ways to show support for the Black community here in Philadelphia, and one of them is by intentionally investing in the vendors with whom you choose to work for your Big Day. This list of Black Philly-area photographers and videographers highlights a handful of the professionals who can help capture your wedding and all of the celebrations leading up to it. This is not a comprehensive list of all the experts, but it is one we will add to and grow. We have also created a list of Black-owned wedding planners, florists and decor pros; we will expand to feature professionals in hair and makeup, food, entertainment, fashion, paper goods, wellness and fitness, and more. (Please email suggestions to [email protected].)

Áfrik Armando

 

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Ask Manayunk photographer Áfrik Armando what his proudest moments in his career are, and he’ll humbly tell you that it is growing in the industry. “When I started my business four years ago, I never imagined we’d grow to this level.” Today, he works on creative weddings with some of the most talented vendors in the industry — his client list includes Lillie Rebecca McDonough, a rising composer of upcoming film Radium Girls, and he’s sought after by couples throughout the Philly region and beyond. (He still has a few 2021 dates open, too.) His work speaks for itself: It is playful and personal to the couple’s story, and alive with spirit. (Check out this recent moody and modern celebration here.) “I love taking portraits of my couples,” he says. “Even though I enjoy the aesthetics of most of the weddings I do, emotions and stories reign over everything. I want my couple or whomever I photograph to feel seen, to feel like they matter, because they really do. They’ve got a story worth telling, and my job is to create a space where they can feel free to express who they are.”

Allen House Studios

 

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CEO Kevin Allen has spent the past 10 years photographing “real things, real moments and real people,” he says. Among the folks he’s captured on cam: President Barack Obama, and these two grooms, who held a classic black-and-white bash. His Wilmington-based firm’s wedding division features engagement sessions, bridal showers, album design and creation, wedding photography and films, and printing and framing. (He calls his team “passionate media gurus dedicated to creating.”) He has a penchant for The Down Town Club in Philly (he says the high ceilings, natural window light and sleek design are dreamy), and his favorite moment comes during a wedding reception, when the couple enters the room for the first time as partners. “As soon as the DJ cranks up the music, the entire room is on their feet, and the amount of good energy and love … is mind-blowing,” he says. “Having the ability to capture all of the candid, in-between moments as friends and relatives … is an amazing feeling for me.”

Anthony Page Photography

 

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Talk about mutifaceted: West Philly-based fine-art wedding, lifestyle and portraiture photographer Anthony Page works in the gene therapy program for UPenn’s School of Medicine: He was part of the team who helped develop a cure for spinal muscular atrophy. It’s one of his greatest accomplishments. His other passion is wedding imagery, which he has been pursuing for three years. In that time, he has snapped more than 100 couples as they celebrate their love stories (at venues such as the American Swedish Historical Museum, along with Horticulture Center, Bok Bar, FAME, Power Plant Productions and The College of Physicians of Philadelphia). In recent weeks, he has teamed up with a group of local vendors to offer a micro-wedding package in the wake of the pandemic, so he can continue to share poignant moments for couples — like first looks. He says those intimate times seem to bring out some of the most beautiful emotions seen through his lens. “I’m inspired by my couples: I love their love,” he says.

BeauMonde Originals

 

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The Black veteran- and LGBTQ woman-owned company from Al Green (videography and photos) and business partner Cathie Berrey-Green has been operating for 14 years, showcasing people’s love in a way that truly reflects the couple. Located in East Falls, the studio has done everything from large soirees to small micro-weddings, and provides drone, engagement sessions and photo booths as well as commercial and lifestyle services. When it comes to the wedding, they enjoy when the couple spends the majority of the day together and portraying that interaction on camera — getting ready together and helping each other, or doing a first look so they can participate in the cocktail hour and have even more precious moments throughout the Big Day. Most importantly, BeauMonde Originals believes in standing up for what they believe in and always putting people over profits.

Fisher Visuals

 

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The self-taught Donte Fisher started his company in 2015 after picking up photography as a hobby as a new parent. He dedicated countless hours to watching photography lessons on YouTube and took classes on Lynda.com to boost his skills. But then he and business partner Jason Johnson, lead videographer, got to thinking about ways to become better, and decided that Fisher would focus on photos, while Johnson would handle film. Magic happened with their first wedding in 2016. “We bet on ourselves by promising customer satisfaction, or we would give a 100% refund,” says Fisher. “It was a gamble but it was something we were willing to do to break into the wedding world.” Photographing Eagles players and tremendous growth came next — from five weddings in the first year to 15 scheduled for the first half of 2020, until COVID hit. (The mission moving forward: 30 weddings by the end of the year and into next.) And the team here is dedicated to their couples, not only by providing beautiful memories of Big Days through their meaningful images and modern style, but also by getting to know you. “This business is so much more than photography,” says Fisher. “We’re here to make amazing suggestions, craft the perfect wedding photo plan, solve wardrobe malfunctions (expect the unexpected), and help you look and feel completely radiant.”

iExclusive Productions

 

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John Bynum has done a thing or two — he earned his master’s degree from The New School university in film and documentary studies, and counts filming with Wanyá from Boyz II Men and working with Grammy Award-winning producer DJ Camper on his promo video among his proudest moments. Not to mention going full time with his video and photo biz, and shooting upward of 15 weddings a year. (iExclusive Productions also offers photo-booth services.) He describes the Mount Laurel-based firm’s highlight films as nontraditional: “We create breathtaking intros that lead into the love and passion from your day,” says the talent, who counts Cescaphe’s venues as prime spots — though the best wedding he ever worked at was at the Free Library. His top wedding detail: “the sparkling lights usually let off at the reception,” he says. “I love shooting through the sparkles to create flares that are my visual representation of sparks flying.”

Kerasan R. LaMar

 

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The native Philadelphian, who is based in Old City, believes a photographer’s job is to find beauty in places where ordinary eyes don’t see it. He describes his style as 70% photojournalistic with natural light and 30% with bold, creative looks. One of the key moments, for him, is taking images of the bride as she is getting ready, “capturing facial expressions during the moments she’s interacting with family and friends.” As for his favorite venue? Cairnwood Estate.

Petronella Photography

 

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Creative Director Petronella Lugemwa and her award-winning studio might be based out of the greater New York area, but you can find her in Philly quite frequently. In fact, her sister lives in East Falls, and Lugemwa regularly assists, shoots for and works with Ashley Gerrity (whom Lugemwa also calls one of her closest business friends). Between 30 and 40% of her weddings are in Philly and South Jersey. Over the years, she’s photographed everywhere from The Lucy to The Curtis Atrium to Loews Philadelphia. Her specialty: helping multicultural, interracial or mixed couples celebrate their love in a modern way. Her website states, “We believe your cultural heritage is beautiful.” And don’t miss this video of some of her lovely Petronella couples. The team offers weddings, engagement sessions, surprise marriage proposals and portraits. And it is safe to say she’s looking forward to capturing even more beautiful Big Days moving forward: “2021 will be amazing.”

Ricky Codio

 

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This Haitian-American photographer has a style that blends photojournalism and fine-art photography with a sense of style, and inventive use of lighting. His inspiration stems from black-and-white processing and vintage photography, not to mention the couples with whom he works. He says he loves to bring his fashion aesthetic to his wedding images — he likes to get creative with the couples with whom he works, and capture the attire in a dramatic way. A scroll through his website presents exactly that: a bold range of eye-catching images to love.

SGW Photography

 

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Sabrina Guyton says her focus is memorializing milestones in life. “It was so hard trying to figure out what kind of photographer to call myself because there are those who specialize and others who participate in everything,” says Guyton, who has been snapping images for close to 20 years and working professionally for seven. “I find calling myself a milestone photographer is the best description because I love capturing life’s moments — and not just life, but genuine interactions and emotions.” She says the images of laughter, people talking and authenticity in front of the camera are what drive her. “Whether it is being intimate or just holding hands and laughing, my goal is to let people see how beautiful they are.” Her favorite wedding detail is the first look — particularly when the couple responds to one another, a bride grows teary-eyed or a groom’s eyes widen. “You want to see that face and that moment captured without any interruptions or people standing idly in the way.” She is booking weddings in August and beyond due to COVID-19-related reasons; she has a few dates in the fall (pending guidelines and restrictions), and her schedule is open for 2021 celebrations.

Sheronda Seawright Photography

 

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Sheronda Seawright and husband Derrick run this Philly-area photography studio. The couple (who has two children) loves building relationships with their clients (they ultimately become their friends) and helping them commemorate the Big Day. “Literally every moment of the wedding day is extremely special in its own way,” says Sheronda. The duo, who also runs InstaGlamour Photobooth, adore the details, like the jewelry and invitation suite. Another highlight is photographing couples at Philly venues such as City Hall or the Merchants’ Exchange Building for engagement sessions (and they also like The Down Town Club for the light that pours in during the day, and the elegant setting at night). But those poignant, sentimental and fleeting expressions are what drive them behind the camera. Says Sheronda: “The bride’s father seeing her for the first time or the look in the couple’s faces when they lay eyes on one another during the ceremony … it is these moments that we love.”

Tonjanika Smith

 

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The East Falls-based photographer is passionate about multicultural celebrations — so much so that she has made them her primary focus. Tonjanika Smith welcomes all cultures, faiths and love stories. “I know there isn’t just one way to celebrate our truths and our personal narratives, especially weddings,” says the expert. “There is no one way to honor love that is better than another, even though the media and industry try to tell us otherwise.” She likes to capture what she calls the authentic joy and celebratory mood of events, including traditional ceremonies, showers, engagement sessions and multiday celebrations. Her mission: to empower and celebrate the “truths” of love stories while giving back to the community; she invests in youth development and education programs. “I take great care in educating my students to use their voice in different ways as well as using photography as a medium to amplify the voice of my clients and couples.” And she loves participating in the rituals of weddings — and building relationships with her clients. “There’s no greater joy than getting a plate of jollof at African traditional ceremonies. Home-cooked meals from and conversations with my clients and their families are the best part of this job.” And, yes, she has been known to get in on the fun, too: “What I love most is the reception and capturing the fun on the dance floor, especially the little children and older generations. I will for sure ‘Cupid Shuffle,’ ‘Wobble’ and ‘Cha-Cha Slide’ while photographing the party.”

UBara Weddings

 

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Tiana UBara is a wedding producer and creative director — a photographer, videographer and vendor connector. She also serves as a link between her clients, wedding vendors and international gown designers. She seems to do it all. Based out of Southwest Philly, UBara says she is “very proud of her work with the underrepresented but very glamorous and active community of West Africans and their wedding traditions in the tri-state area.” She has photographed upward of 50 in these communities and calls them “the gift that keeps on giving.” She also has about 20 destination weddings in her roster, mostly in the Caribbean. And she has a passion not only for photography (she loves snapping the getting-ready portion) but also for the details and the vendors who create them, like friend Lynn Ehumadu of LilyVevents. “I am breathless with excitement and awe every time I see her come up with trendsetting designs,” says UBara. “I steal away most times just to shoot the decor.”

Zamani Feelings

 

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While you might often find East Falls-based Zamani Feelings taking images of the Temple University Owls with his cam (he’s the team’s athletics photographer), he also is an avid wedding photographer, with 10 years of experience (and 20-plus celebrations a year) to give him even more credit. Not to mention that time when John Legend made a surprise appearance at one of the unions at which he has worked. He likes to ensure his duos have a scenic environment for a backdrop, and he believes the candid glances, smiles and exchanges throughout the Big Day tell the story of their bond. His approach is natural and organic, to let the love do the talking.

 

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