2019 – 2020 bookings are now open!

I am currently booking for the 2019-2020 wedding season! To hear more about my approach to photographing weddings or to inquire for information about a family or couples session, contact me at gina@ginabrockerphotoraphy.com…!

Wedding Tips: Getting the Most from your Hair Trial

I am happy to share some more great tips from the amazing Lena Hartford of Hair That Moves about getting the most from your hair trial. If you missed Lena’s last guest post on Choosing your Hair Stylist be sure to check it out!

“So you are looking for the right hair stylist or have hired your stylist and are looking to create the best look for your wedding day. To make sure you get exactly what you are hoping for, following these tips below…Romantic photographs of a bride and groom on their wedding day

PHOTOS, LOTS OF PHOTOS: Make sure you show the front, back and sides of the style you are looking for. This may be the front of one style and the back or side of others. Tell your stylist what you like about each photo… do you like that it is high, low or to the side? That is it smooth or textured? Share styles you really don’t like as well! The stylist can then pick these ideas apart and create the perfect customized look for you.

YOUR EVERYDAY LOOK: Let your stylist know what your hair looks like on a typical day. Then let them know if you want to stay close to this or if you want something dramatically different!

YOUR WEDDING STYLE: Does your dream hairstyle fit the feel of the wedding? Decide what style best fits your wedding (vintage, rustic, formal, casual) and make sure your hairstyle is in sync.

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CONSIDER YOUR DRESS: Think of what features of the dress you want to show off. It could be a dramatic neckline, the back, details on the shoulders or sleeves. Either way, let your stylist know so your hair can compliment this.

CONSIDER YOUR FACE SHAPE: Find a style that will be most flattering for your face shape. If you are unsure, ask your stylist for advice and let her know what features you would like to highlight.

ARE YOU WEARING A HAIR PIECE OR VIEL? If you are not sure, choose a hairstyle first and then consider how you could incorporate one with your stylist.

DO YOU WANT YOUR HAIR TO CONVERT? Would you like one hair style for the ceremony and one for the reception? If so, think about what styles could work together and who can help you make the change during the wedding day.A romantic and natural portrait of a bride and groom at their nantucket wedding in westmoor clubCONSIDER YOUR HAIR TEXTURE AND THICKNESS: Consider your hair texture and thickness when choosing photographs for inspiration. It is possible to add hair but choosing a style that suits your hair type is a great starting point.

CONSIDER YOUR HAIR COLOR: Different hair colors change a hairstyle dramatically. When you have found photographs you love, ask yourself if the color of the model’s hair is creating the excitement and interest? If so, is it similar to your own? Finding photographs of hairstyles that match your color can help you achieve the look you are really after. Also, make sure to have your hair color done before the trial and wedding so that you can get an idea of what adds to the look. For example, fresh highlights will give you more volume and lift instead of 2″ roots that cause a style to look flat and limp.

HOW WILL THE WEDDING PARTY BE WEARING THEIR HAIR? After taking personality, symmetry and photos into consideration, think about how you would like your wedding party to wear their hair. This is another opportunity to carry on the theme of your wedding and have fun.

ARRIVING TO YOUR TRIAL: Some stylists will request that your hair is clean and dry and others will ask that you not wash it for 24 hours before the trial. Check in with your stylist beforehand to see what they prefer and if they have any other requests.

DOCUMENT THE TRIAL: Take photos of your hair during and following the trial. This will help you communicate what you liked or would like changed on the wedding day.

FOLLOW UP: It is really helpful to let the stylist know how your hair held up after the trial. Let the stylist know if the style lasted all day, if the curls were tight enough or if it became frizzy. These are things that can be fixed once the stylist is aware.”

– Lena Hartford, Hair That Moves

Wedding Tips: Bridal Makeup

The lovely Amanda McCarthy of Amanda McCarthy Beauty is sharing some wonderful tips to make your bridal makeup perfect for your special day. Enjoy!

“Three helpful bridal makeup tips for the blushing bride…

1. After you say “yes!” and pick your date and venue, I recommend booking a trial for makeup and hair; the earlier, the better. When you find a makeup artist that suits your needs and budget, book that trial. You do not want to be left one month before your wedding having to find a new makeup artist if you are not satisfied with the results.A candid photograph of a bride getting her bridal makeup done on the morning of her wedding

2. Once you’ve had your makeup trial and are thrilled with the look, be sure to take steps to take care of your skin. If you do not own a Clarisonic Skin Mia 2 cleansing system, I highly recommend getting one. The Clarisonic gently removes the impurities traditional cleansing methods leave behind. One of my favorite at home gentle exfoliators to use is the gentle Peter Thomas Roth Firmx Peeling Gel available at Sephora and Ulta. This gel sweeps away dead skin cells leaving your skin smooth for your bridal makeup application. Make sure your pout is picture perfect by wearing an excellent lip balm before bed leading up to the big day. Two of my favorite lip products to use are Fresh Sugar Lip Polish and Sugar Lip Treatment, available at Sephora.

3. Don’t forget your sunblock! Makeup does not lie well on skin exposed to too much sun. If you have a fair to medium complexion and want a little glow for your wedding, I recommend a natural looking spray tan. Do your research… I highly recommend doing a spray tan trial before the wedding. Remind your gorgeous bridal party, if they are out in the sun, to remember the style of their bridesmaid dress. If they have a strapless dress, make sure they are wearing a bandeau style bathing suit to avoid awkward tan lines.”

Wedding Tip: A Bride’s Guide to Modern Wedding Cinematography

This week, I am very happy to share some incredibly helpful wedding tips from Christian of Brighter Lights Media! His ‘Bride’s Guide to Modern Wedding Cinematography’ will be sure to help you find the perfect cinematographer for your special day and answer any questions you may have. Enjoy!

” If you’ve spent any fair amount of time researching vendors for your upcoming wedding event, by now you’re sure to have noticed the rise in popularity of hiring a wedding cinematographer for your wedding. Certainly the pool of photographers has gotten quite large, with a growing number of filmmakers not far behind. Hopefully the following pointers will get you on the fast track to finding the perfect studio for your needs.

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What kind of a film are you looking for?

Wedding films come in all sorts of flavors, the two primary styles dominating the market are the short-form and long-form wedding (documentary style) film. Short-form wedding films generally range anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes, depending on who you talk to. A long-form wedding is usually anything longer than 30 minutes.

The main differentiating factor between the two aside from the runtime, is the editing style.

Short-form wedding films are the more popular choice these days, due to the higher production quality and storytelling involved. These kinds of videos may or may not be sequenced in chronological order, but instead are edited in such a way that you really obtain a strong sense of who the couple is, primarily from the underlying audio bites heard throughout.

Toasts, blessings, a card reading, and especially vows really create a strong backbone for the story behind a short-form wedding film.

A bride and groom laugh while they read their vows during their outdoor wedding in Boston, Massachusetts

How much should you budget?

Let’s address the elephant in the room and talk about budgeting.

Around the New England area you can find wedding videographers ranging anywhere from as low as $995, and well into $10,000 and up. Like most things in life, and this is especially true when it comes to hiring a photographer and a videographer, you get what you pay for.

If you’re looking for a good, high-quality film that will last you years and years, realistically you should budget $6,000 or more to invest. This might sound like a lot, but look at it from this perspective…

… your photos and film are the only thing from your wedding that increase in value as time goes on.

For this very reason by definition, everything else you spend money on is an expense of some kind. Photo and video should be looked at as an investment. The cake, flowers, music, dinner, make-up… it’s all gone very shortly after you’ve said “I do.”

$6,000 is no joke, that’s a lot of money to spend. This is why I encourage newly engaged couples to figure out early on what’s high on your list of “must haves.” By prioritizing certain vendor categories, you’ll have a much easier time getting through the planning process knowing where you have the flexibility to splurge, and where you need to be diligent.

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Research

Wedding videography can be pretty technical, hopefully whoever it is you’re looking at booking is able to clearly explain a couple key things about their business that should be of high value to you.

Coverage. This one’s basic, how much time do you need them there? Everyone’s style is different so I can’t speak for everyone, but usually 8 hours should be enough time to capture everything you’ll need. One thing to keep in mind with more modern wedding films is that you don’t need as much dancing as you think. Two cameras rolling simultaneously for 20-25 minutes will be plenty. Plus, the later we stay the sloppier that dance floor becomes.

Low-key. I won’t lie, some videographers can really get in the way. This is an important topic to ask about because at the end of the day, it is a wedding. I think most brides will agree they’re not hiring us to produce an actual movie, and the sanctity of marriage should still be respected. My advice is to ask to see recent reviews from past clients, or even just type the “studio name + reviews” on Google.

Personality. This is a big one… your videographer is going to spend a majority of the day by your side, you should make sure that he or she is someone that you get along great with, and that you trust. I encourage you to meet them in person or the very least organize a Skype session.

Audio. I saved the most important topic for last. Audio is so huge when it comes to your wedding film, that above all else, this should be the first thing you pay attention to the first time you click “play” on a prospect’s website. Sound is the primary differentiator between us and your photographer. Photos can’t capture sound, so what good is spending money on a videographer if they’re not going to be able to capture your vows & toasts properly? Any professional knows to have AT LEAST one backup audio source running during key moments. We usually have three.

A bride's guide to wedding cinematography

Where to start looking?

If you’re on the hunt for a really great wedding cinematographer, then one of your best bets is to simply ask your photographer for recommendations! Chances are they have a handful of favorite people to work with that do a great job and that they’d feel comfortable referring you to.

Most successful wedding film studios have built up a strong word-of-mouth referral network, and we don’t rely on advertising spending, so you won’t necessarily find us on WeddingWire or The Knot’s paid listing service. Reputation is everything, and so the best way to start looking is by asking around, asking other industry professionals, because they’re the ones who are really plugged into the local market that can help you the most.

You may also consider polling your friends on Facebook. It’s very easy for people to comment or share links to either their personal film, or the cinematographer’s Facebook page. Plus, you know you’re seeing their most current work.”

Wedding Tip: Color Trend for 2015

Today’s wedding tip comes from the exceptional Wedding Planner, Elizabeth, of Elegant Aura. Elizabeth will be sharing the wedding color trend for 2015 and how you can incorporate it into your special day. Enjoy!

Every year there is a new wedding trend – it may be inspired by a movie, television series, fashion magazines or fun ideas like colorful candy buffets, mason jars or cupcake stands. As planners, we want to incorporate any trend a couple wants into something that is unique and special to them. Every wedding should be personalized, even if the style components are the same.

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According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute, Pantone Marsala 18-1438, “enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth.” Doesn’t that evoke the way you would want to feel on your wedding day?

When first announced, I wasn’t sure how I felt about 2015’s Color of the Year, Pantone Marsala. But the more I researched and realized how versatile it is, the more I fell in love with it. A rich, earthy and sophisticated color like Marsala, translates easily into weddings of all seasons. For spring and summer weddings, pair it with warm colors like yellow, gold, and ivory or cool colors like pink, blue and lavender. In fall and winter, jeweled colors like blue, teal, green and red create a rich, velvety look. Now I can’t get enough of it! To see some of my favorite Marsala-inspired wedding images, visit my Pinterest board.

Wedding Tips: Getting The Most Out Of Your Floral Experience

I am delighted to share some more wedding tips that will help all of you during this exciting and crazy wedding planning journey. Today the extremely talented Dawn Kelly, of Soiree Floral shares some great advice on getting the most out of your floral experience. Enjoy!

a detail photograph of a beautiful nautical inspired wedding bouquet from a nantucket wedding

“When I meet with clients it’s usually after they have booked the venue, hired the band, found the ceremony location – and they are starting to see stars.  Planning a wedding can be quite overwhelming when you dive in to the details.  So I always tell our clients the flowers/decor are the fun part.  We help ‘make the pretty’.  With so much imagery online brides can get caught up on that idea that they have to do what’s trendy, what the latest pantone color is, to have the scene set exactly like the pages of an Anthropologie catalog.  The best advise I can give a bride is to stay true to you and your style.  How do you decorate your personal space?  Is it clean and modern, do you like ecclectic items and have layers upon layers, are you more of a traditionalist?  Take note of how you surround yourself.  That is a good stepping stone for creating your wedding look.

When we meet with a client there’s the initial meet and greet and scouring through imagery to get a sense of the client’s style.  It’s always helpful to have color swatches of the bridesmaid’s dress along with photos.  Believe it or not, the ‘maids dresses play a big role in the overall tone and color scheme for your big day.  More often than not we have clients start out in one direction and after dress shopping they take a completely different turn – and that happens quite often.

A casual and sweet group photograph of a bride with her bridesmaids wearing nautical inspired dresses

A floor plan is essential.  Your floral designer can’t put a design/estimate together without knowing if you are using round, square, or rectangular tables.  Are you using wooden farm tables, colored linens?  Will there be a charger on the table and how formal is the place setting?  Knowing how much real estate there is on the table plays a big role in your floral designer creating pieces and tablescapes that fit the space (you don’t want flowers overflowing in to your guest’s glassware).

Imagery – Pinterest has really changed how we do business.  So many of our weddings are destination weddings so imagery is a great way for us to quickly get on the same page.  Often times, the client may not see any rhyme or reason to photos they are pinning, but as professionals, we can see a common thread throughout and can use that as a building block for the proposal.

You don’t have to know what flowers you like – there are so many and there are new varieties all the time.  But your floral designer can’t just create something out of nothing (well, they can, but it most likely won’t be what you want).  Spend some time before you meet your floral designer to gather images so you can sit and talk about designs composition and color.  What about the container the arrangement is held in?  Do you like glass, mercury glass, wood, pottery, fabric covered containers?  There are a million options so spend a little time getting to know your taste.

A beautiful garden inspired wedding cake from a nantucket wedding at the westmoor club

Candles and ribbons – believe it or not, every client seems to be quite opinionated on these two topics.  Not every client likes floating candles, some people think pillar candles are too chunky.  Lighting is such an important element and most floral designers will have an inventory of different lighting accents for the tables so take some time to be thoughtful with those little details.

Ribbons – the trend in bouquets has been more of an organic, oversized look with an abundance of trailing ribbons in various textures, colors and mediums (silk, lace, vintage ribbons, hand dyed ribbons, burlap – the list goes on and on).  Get to know your style – again, these are the little details that get caught on camera and show up in all your detail shots.  Be sure you have taken the time to think through them with your floral designer so when you look back at your album, you’re smiling for many many years to come!”

– Dawn Kelly of Soiree Floral