The W in Philadelphia offers a different experience than most luxury hotels. We describe it as an eclectic space where Mad Hatter meets Mick Jagger. The hotel blends surrealist art with iconic musicians, fashionable socialites, and historical Philadelphians. Upon entering this chic environment, you’ll feel like you slipped into a new dimension that’s playful, energetic, and elegant.
W Philadelphia is a premier luxury hotel that breaks traditional norms. This contemporary venue loves to express itself. At every corner, there’s bold interior design that feels glamorous and photogenic. You’ll never run out of incredible backgrounds for capturing dramatic portrait photography. While the W feels like an eccentric play space, everything is luxurious and surreal at the same time. You need to experience it to believe it.
Whether you’re staying overnight or spending an afternoon at the bar, we recommend indulging in everything that the W offers. It is a show-stopper space for corporate events, fashion photoshoots, or dream weddings in downtown Philadelphia. This hotel combines accommodating, five-star service with avant-garde design. The W exists to defy typical conventions of hospitality and pay tribute to the artistic integrity of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is popular for its mural arts projects throughout its urban spaces. Many local Philadelphia artists decorate the city with inspiring murals that bring life to empty lots or building faces.
As soon as you enter the W in Philadelphia, an enormous abstract painting by Shira Walinsky towers above the front desk. The artwork is funky with bold, colorful brush strokes that make a powerful first impression. Art at the W is diverse, and much like the hotel, fearless and expressive.
The Shira Walinsky painting adds flair and bubbly fun to the portrait photo. It is the best photo location at W Philadelphia to help timid subjects break out of their shell. This is exactly the case for our portrait photography session inside the lobby.
The baggy green dress is the perfect spark of color against a pop art colors in the painting. She leans against the wall, looks off-camera, and casually holds reading glasses to create a nonchalant, professional business look. This portrait of a top plastic surgeon in Philadelphia radiates with personality just by posing her in front of this large painting by Shira Walinsky.
The W has an atmosphere that inspires people to relax and have fun, which makes it an ideal location for portrait photography.
On the ground floor of the W is the ultra-modern Living Room where guests can socialize on chic lounge chairs. There are two circular columns with white panels in the center of the Living Room. These chic columns reach the high ceiling, and their circular design opens the flow of the space.
As portrait photographers in Philadelphia, we capture many pictures of subject near white columns. The most popular style of columns in Philly are Greek Revival; however, these indoor white columns are a new approach. Their spiral, vase-shaped design provides a luxurious background at the W. Inside of the Living Room, they are properly separated to add a depth of field, which enhances a portrait photo.
Capturing portrait photography at W Philadelphia for the most influential women in the city does great justice to their importance. Our subject wears a sleek white dress and her smile embodies the lively social scene inside of the W’s Living Room. A proper portrait photography setting can help subjects express themselves because they become actors in that scene.
Portrait photography in the Living Room at the W is a perfect setting for modern interior designers. The ultra-modern room features great dimension that embodies creative spirit and high society. Among the wonderful social spaces at W in Philadelphia, the Living Room photographs well for sophisticated portrait photography.
If you happen to really explore the W, you may find yourself inside of The Steven’s Prophecy Secret Space. This turquoise lounge features a suave bubble couch with photographs of Grace Kelly, the Princess of Monaco, decorating the walls. You can find The Steven’s Prophecy Secret Space behind the Living Room bar at the W in Philadelphia.
The turquoise sets a cool tone in this luxury V.I.P. space. Enter this private blue-green room to drink some of Philly’s best cocktails and indulge in the hospitality at the W. Aside from a great conversational space, the Steven’s Prophecy Secret Space creates stunning portrait photography.
The right styling is necessary to fit with the all-turquoise theme. In this glamorous portrait photo of a top public relations specialist in Philadelphia, we choose a formal salmon dress. This salmon dress is the perfect shade of pink to add a pop of color against the turquoise lounge sofa. A salmon dress adds a fun contrast to this aqua room. The W in Philadelphia allows portrait photographers to experiment with various shades of colors that add personality to every picture.
The texture inside of The Steven’s Prophecy Secret Space makes this a bold portrait photograph. From the bubble couch to the decorative wall trim, viewers have a lot of eclectic designs to appreciate. Single color rooms are daring, but the W uses turquoise and gets it right! This V.I.P. hangout is a color palette playground for portrait photographers.
The W Philadelphia feels like a modern art gallery and the gold chandelier above the staircase. This gold chandelier is a magnificent work of art that slopes downward. Strands of gold jewels hang in clusters, which makes this chandelier a spectacular background for portrait photography.
Capturing portrait photography with the gold chandelier in the background is all about the glam and glitter. It is an appropriate setting to capture a portrait photo of a top beauty expert in Philadelphia. She wears a dazzling silver dress to contrast the gleaming gold chandelier at the W. Women that work in beauty and want to make an impactful statement through portrait photography can consider integrating this dazzling chandelier.
The chandelier is a luxurious centerpiece that guests experience while walking up the stairs to enter the main ballroom. We capture one its best angles from the staircase to show the full dimension of this creative light fixture. This is an elegant art piece that makes the subject feel like a superstar as she poses in front of it.
This is one of the most iconic locations for portrait photography at the hotel. The gold chandelier at the W in Philadelphia is a unique interior design element that adds a glamorous flair.
The W functions as an upscale wedding and corporate event venue.
Entering the grand ballroom at the W is a breathtaking experience. Large red doors open to into the grand ballroom, which can host up to 250 guests. You’ll walk down a mirrored hallway that feels like you’re traveling through a portal. The W loves to play with compelling shapes and bold colors that blend Philadelphia culture with high design.
Inside of the grand ballroom, a metal structure in front of the window. Its funky square patterns bend the light as it enters the ballroom. During the sunset, this interior design technique makes the ballroom floor glow with abstract patterns. At the W in Philadelphia, there is always a signature “wow” factor that aims to impress. This funky feature in the grand ballroom fulfills the niche.
There are few guests that get to see the grand ballroom during the morning hours. It is a prime location for portrait photography. We capture portrait photos for a top luxury real estate leader in Philadelphia inside of this ballroom. She pops against the geometric steel art in the background. It also fits her style: the glasses, rings, and cut-off shirt look natural in this funky photo setting.
The most appropriate location to photograph spa and salon co-owners is the WET deck at the W in Philadelphia. This lavish hangout area features private cabanas by the outdoor pool. It is a perfect space to relax above the urban hustle and bustle. The WET deck cabanas at the W are a luxurious place for a photoshoot, especially if relaxation is your trade.
These spa and salon co-owners dress in all-black dresses against the lime green couches. Earthy greens and browns are a fitting palette for this women-led team. The dark brown floor was sprayed with water from a hose to create a bolder look. Its natural light brown fails to make the best photo. However, the light brown is more appropriate for visitors seeking a luxury escape.
Spa owners in Philadelphia seeking a creative way to express their profession through portrait photography can find inspiration in this. Portrait photos of spa owners should feel warm and inviting. These experts value—much like the W hotel—the principals of hospitality, accommodation, and wellness. A professional portrait of luxury spa owners must embody these core values.
The W is one of the best portrait photography locations in Philadelphia for hospitality business leaders.
The cabanas on the WET deck overlook the swimming pool. This shallow pool is an ideal location to swim at the W or plan an elegant portrait photo session. The best angle to shoot is facing the private cabanas with the subject in the middle of the pool.
There are few people who can execute a dramatic portrait photo in the pool. A portrait in the pool calls for a special someone, but in this case, it is a woman salon owner. Her bold energy in the pool transforms this portrait session at the W into a fierce beauty photoshoot. She goes to epic lengths to demonstrate her professionalism with this iconic photo.
The hairstylist wears a sleek, all-black and dazzles with silver and gold jewelry as she emerges from the water. The elegant wardrobe and dramatic posing combine to make this a high-fashion portrait photo that goes beyond the norm. This portrait expresses perseverance and luxury beauty to distinguish her professionalism as hairstylist.
It is a photo that makes a splash—literally! Most portrait photographers will overlook the pool at the W as a viable location option. Finding a dynamic woman with the fitting talent to make it happen is step one of achieving this. As a photography studio, we’re grateful to see this vision to come life and push the boundaries.
The W in Philadelphia is most likely the only hotel in the city that has a Secret Garden. Though we’d hate to spoil its exact location (being a secret), it’s another extravagant spot to gather at the W. This Secret Garden contains tall potted plants that conceal the narrow space from the sight of other onlookers.
The Secret Garden at the W honors some of Philadelphia’s most famous residents. Sculptures of Benjamin Franklin illuminate at dusk and a showstopping mosaic of young William Penn overlooks the artificial greenspace. Much like the Steven’s Prophecy Secret Space, the Secret Garden is an outdoor version of it with eccentric, over-the-top art.
The W loves to transport its guests into imaginative spaces where art becomes larger than life. In the Secret Garden, we photograph a portrait for an artist in Philadelphia who matches the flowery aesthetic. The chosen attire includes a long formal black dress with a blue diamond emblem on front. Lime green heels peek from below the dress to match the foliage in the Secret Garden at the W.
Greenspaces at hotels are the best location for portrait photos of creative artists. The Secret Garden at the W inspires creative expression while surrounding visitors in Philadelphia culture.
Traverse the W on gleaming red elevators—or stop there for a portrait photography shoot!
The red and gold elevators act as portals that transport visitors through the eclectic space. Each elevator features a surrealist work of art to admire on the ceiling. In this elevator, the art depicts a headless woman with a bouquet of flowers sprouting from her dress collar. The bold elevators remind visitors that they’re in at a hotel where art and high design lead the way.
The elevators at the W are a prime location for a vertical shot because of its dimensions. In a single-page editorial photo, the elevator fits the requirements. Its glowing gold lights and sparkling red tiles create high-class portrait photography.
Our subject wears a bright yellow dress to contrast the red flair, while looking fierce. The pose accentuates the open elevator doors with the full outfit on display. It is a dynamic portrait photo that demonstrates power and determination.
Portrait photography at the W is so captivating that even the elevators are a lavish background for subjects to pose. It is one of last locations to consider for sophisticated portrait photos, but it works because of its color palette.
Ride the elevator at the W and enter their breathtaking penthouse on the top floor. This room typically doubles as a lavish room and wedding cocktail hours. Instead, our photo studio takes it over to capture portrait photography of a top Philadelphia event coordinator.
A fantastic angle in the penthouse suite is against the large hyper-realistic painting of a masked circus character. This masked character is a powerful art piece that overlooks the entire room. It creates an interesting background when out of focus, too.
The penthouse suite at the W is a perfect setting for glamorous portrait photography. Everything about the penthouse is eccentric and made purely for having fun. This space is creative and makes all who enter it feel like a rockstar. Capturing portrait photos here makes subjects feel like they’re experiencing the best features of the W in Philadelphia.
As a portrait photographer, finding a location that brings the most out of your subject is key. The penthouse suite at the W makes everyone feel like V.I.P. when they pose here for photos. There are spectacular views of the west Philadelphia skyline from the heart of Center City.
A portrait session in the penthouse suite brings out the glam in all of us!
The rooftop terrace at the W in Philadelphia offers extraordinary views of the urban skyline. Catch the iconic Liberty Place building from this rooftop in the clouds. It is a great portrait location to capture the best skyline photos in Philadelphia.
A portrait on a rooftop terrace features an epic skyline view of Center City. Against the glass wall, we photograph the managing director of a Philadelphia architect firm. Portrait photos on this roof are a creative way to demonstrate professionalism in your architectural industry. Every top designer in Philadelphia wants to capture a portrait of themselves with this iconic skyline.
The best approach to styling should coordinate with One Liberty Place in the background. The woman wears light blue with a dark brown geometric pattern to fit the color scheme of the high rise. This coordinated wardrobe blends the photo elements together to give viewers a consistent visual image.
Standing on the rooftop terrace feels like another dimension. This terrace is so high in the clouds that it separates you from the city life and social spaces at the W. It is a place of recluse where people take a yoga class or wedding couples retreat for intimate photographs.
For over 35 years, Phil Kramer has captured stunning portrait photography at the most iconic locations in Philadelphia.
View the full portrait gallery for more inspiration.