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…!

Couple Session Tips…

Who should have a couple session?

A couple session is perfect if you’re planning a proposal, recently engaged, newly wed, married with kids, celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary or just in love and wanting some beautiful photographs of the two of you.

Why should you have a couple session

Couple sessions allow you to escape for a few hours and focus completely on one another. They are fun, romantic and centered around who you both are. After the session is complete, you will be left a collection of photographs that you can cherish forever.

I include an engagement session with each wedding as it is such a great way for you to get to know me. Also, it helps you relax in front of the camera and feel even more comfortable with me on your wedding day.

couple cuddle in a canoe during their couple session on the charles river in boston

When should you have your couple session? 

Spring and Fall are the most popular seasons for couple sessions but a snowy backdrop and a summers evening can be amazing too. The best time of year is different for each couple as each season offers its own look, feel and possibilities. The best time of day for couple sessions is the first two hours after sunrise or the first two hours after sunset. This time of day gives the most flattering light and is known as the golden hour. For more on this, check out my previous blogpost –  the best time of day for portrait sessions.

What should you do during your couple session?

You should do whatever you two love doing together! This could be cooking a meal, walking the dog or having coffee at your favorite cafe – it is completely up to you. This will help your photographer capture your unique relationship and create photographs that tell your story.

couple lay on a blanket during their rustic picnic couple session in boston common

Where should you go during your couple session?

I always encourage couples to find a location that is special for them and makes them feel comfortable. Often a secluded location is best as it offers privacy and helps a couple be relaxed. Outdoor locations are ideal for natural light but an inside location with adequate windows can be beautiful. Let your photographer know where you would like to go so they get to know the location and prepare for various lighting conditions. You may also need permission to photograph in some locations and your photographer can help with this as well.

I hope you found these couple session tips helpful and wish you all the best with yours!


Wedding Tip: Best Time of Day for Wedding Portraits

Lighting in a photograph is as important as the setting. The weather, location and time of day all play a part. As we can not control the weather, I thought I would share the best times and locations for beautifully lit wedding portraits.

The best time of day for wedding portraits is an hour or two before sunset. This glorious time is known as the golden hour. During this time the light is soft, flattering and free of harsh shadows. The exact time of the golden hour depends on the time of year and the location. A beach location will have this golden light for a longer period time than a location in the city. As the sun begins to set in the city the buildings will start to create pockets of shade. On a beach the sun will be visible until it passes the horizon. During the winter months the sun sets a bit faster so the ideal time for wedding portraits is two hours before sunset. In the summer months, one hour before sunset is fine. As this can get a little confusing, it is a great idea to talk with your wedding photographer before finalising the time of your wedding portrait session.

best time of day of wedding portraitsIf you are finding it difficult to fit a pre-sunset portrait session into your timeline, don’t fear, you can still get beautiful light for your wedding photographs. The secret, is shade. During the midday, the light is strong and creates harsh shadows, lots of squinting and shiny skin which is not very flattering. Shade will allow your photographer to use a soft light despite the time of day. Clouds will also act as a giant diffuser from the midday sun but we can make them appear on demand so having a shady spot nearby is important.

For more planning advice check out my wedding timeline tips.

Wedding Tips: Your Wedding Timeline

Wedding timelines usually don’t make anyone very excited. They can seem fussy, rigid and go against your ‘go with the flow’ nature. But they are so important and by giving them some thought, your big day will be more relaxed and enjoyable.

Before you begin creating a wedding timeline with your wedding coordinator or photographer, sit down with you fiance and decide what is most important to you both. It may be talking with guests, enjoying your meal or dancing your heart out. Whatever you choose, make sure it is the priority and plan your timeline around that.

It is also really important to include buffer time. Weddings never run to the minute and that’s okay! Spend an extra few moments with your dad before walking up the aisle or take some time alone with your new spouse. With extra time throughout the day, you are free from stress and able to focus on the important things. If you are ahead of schedule, no worries, you’ll get extra time with your guests at cocktail hour which is always nice. A good tip for increasing your buffer time is to generously round up. Your ceremony may only be 20 minutes but by giving it 30 minutes you allow for delays or a last minute decision to have a reception line.bride plays with the band during the cocktail hour at a fun and relaxed garden weddingIf you are up for a ‘first look’ and some formal photographs before the ceremony, this wedding timeline will allow you to spend lots of time with your guests throughout the day. Additionally, there is lots of buffer time (especially before the ceremony) to allow for morning delays and give you as much time as you’d like during your special ‘first look’. If there are a few tears, you will also have plenty of time for touch-ups before you walk down the aisle. I have also included a pre-sunset wedding portrait session just before the guests are seated for dinner. This can be a great addition as it allows you both to sneak away for fifteen minutes and take it all in as a married couple! The amazing light at this time will help make your relaxed photographs really beautiful.  To make extra time for dancing, I have included the toast during the meal. If you prefer to wait till everyone has finished enjoying their food, you can of course move the toast a bit later and adjust the time accordingly. Another option is to have dessert served following the meal and have the toasts at this time. This pushes back the first dance a bit but as the dancing is uninterrupted it balances out nicely.

10:00am – Begin getting ready

12:00pm – Photographer arrives

2:00pm – First Look and Formal Photographs of wedding party and family

3:30pm – Guests begin to arrive

4:00pm – Ceremony begins

4:30pm – Ceremony ends

4:40pm – Cocktail hour starts

5:30pm – Pre-sunset wedding portraits (for early Fall weddings)

5:45pm – Guests sit for dinner

6:00pm – Dinner

6:30pm – Toasts

7:30pm – First Dance

7:35pm – Dancing

8:30pm – Dessert

9:45pm – Last Call

10:00pm – Guests Depart

Remember, your timeline isn’t set in stone, it is a guideline to help create a day that is perfect for you both. A bit of flexibility goes a long way and can help everyone enjoy a day that is comfortable, relaxed and fun!

What is Wedding Photojournalism?

I love that brief second when my camera shutter is released and I know I just captured a moment in time, perfectly. It is why I am a photographer and why I love documenting weddings. From the time I began photographing, over fourteen years ago, I sought out to share relationships, interactions and  the emotions of people through my images. I have created photo essays of subcultures, neighborhoods, families and individuals with a documentary approach. After photographing a wedding six years ago with a good friend of mine, I was hooked. I loved spending the day capturing so many different emotions, relationships and stories. A few months later I began my own business. I have taken all my experience as a documentary photographer and brought it to my wedding photography.

There are a few ways to describe my approach: documentary, photojournalistic, natural, candid and unobtrusive to name a few. These descriptions can sometimes be overused and bit vague, so I thought I would dive in a little deeper and answer the question….what is wedding photojournalism?

what is wedding photojournalism?

Wedding photojournalism is the recording of events, as they unfold, without interference. The photographer acts as an observer, anticipating and capturing moments while being as unobtrusive as possible. It is honest, human, narrative and emotional.

Rather than manufacturing moments or instructing poses, wedding photojournalist crave to be unnoticed. This allows everyone to forget the camera, and be themselves on the day. While you and your guests focus on each other, the photographer is capturing the essence of relationships and the atmosphere of the day. Looking back at your wedding album, you will relive all the little moments rather than the instructions of a photographer.

For more on Wedding Photojournalism and other photography styles, have a look at my previous post, Choosing a Photographer.

Have a great day!

Tuesday Tips: Wedding Photography Shot List

I love lists. They make me feel reassured; that everything is accounted for and nothing will be forgotten. I would be lost without my ‘To Do’  list and like to put post-its on my suitcase before traveling so I don’t forget my toothbrush. While list are part of my daily routine, when it comes to documentary photography, a wedding photography shot list can distract your photographer and cause them to miss the REAL moments. You want your photographer to be immersed in the day, observing every moment and recording the day as it unfolds. A professional wedding photographer will know what to capture and it is important to trust them.

If you are planning a few surprises throughout the day or have specific details with lots of sentimental value, let your photographer know. They will be sure to take note of it and be more prepared on the day. I always ask my couples if there are extra special guests outside the immediate family and wedding party that they may have a close relationship with. This may be an Aunt who was like a mother to you or your Dad’s friend that was there for you since a baby. Being more informed allows me to keep an eye out and capture them candidly throughout the day.

flower girls yawing at wedding ceremony in boston

There is one aspect of the day that requires a shot list – the formal photographs. I personally like to keep these short and sweet as my priority on your wedding day is to capture moments while you and your guests enjoy yourselves. If this sounds good to you, I suggest the following for a thirty minute session:

Bride & Groom with all parents, siblings and grandparents
Bride & Groom with Bride’s parents, siblings and grandparents
Bride & Groom with Bride’s parents
Bride & Groom with Groom’s parents
Bride & Groom with Groom’s parents, siblings and grandparents
Bride & Groom with Wedding Party
Bride with Bridesmaids
Groom with Groomsmen

I also like to get the names and relationships of everyone in the formal photographs. This helps me prepare a location that will fit everyone comfortably and it is so much nicer when you can address everyone by name.

If you liked this blogpost you may also like my previous post ‘Choosing Your Wedding Photographer’

Happy Tuesday!