How to survive being a pregnant wedding photographer! You might want to grab a cup of coffee, you could be here a while :) This was during the very first wedding that I shot pregnant. I was only about 7 weeks pregnant here.
First thing is first. #1: You’ll need to communicate with your clients and let them know ASAP if their wedding will be affected by your pregnancy. Whether you decide to continue working with them or not, I felt it was only fair to inform them of my pregnancy before announcing any news on social media. The last thing you want is for one of your brides to have a million questions going through her head: Can she shoot my wedding? Will she be there the whole time? Etc. I definitely didn’t not want any of our clients to be worried. With that being said, I did have to inform one of our dear clients that I would be unable to photograph theirs (I’d be full term and 38 weeks pregnant!). It was so hard to break the news, especially since they had booked far in advance and I already shot their engagement session. I wanted to make it as easy as possible on them: I explained my situation and provided her with referral photographers who offered a similar style. I already checked with these referrals to ensure they were available for their wedding date. Within a few days, they had new photographers booked. The last thing I wanted was to add any stress to the wedding planning process, and I did my very best to minimize it.
#2: Organize your camera gear so that you are not carrying everything. In my case, I stocked up Nick’s Lowepro bag with all the extra lenses, bodies, and accessories that used to be in my bag…which makes his so much heavier! Not to mention, it is huge! I carry my Kelly Moore bag which has my essential camera gear. Whenever I can, I set my bag down to decrease the amount of time it’s on my shoulders. This has helped me so much: Less back pain, less neck pain and definitely less weight on my feet. Nick gets stuck carrying the rest of our camera equipment! He carries the gear, I carry the baby. It’s only fair!
#3: Wear comfortable shoes. I cannot stress the importance of this one enough. Good shoes will make a world of difference. As such, I wear these super stylish flats by Crocs. And by super stylish, I mean super nerdy. They are life savers though, and I’d be lost without them. Plus, they’re slip resistant which makes them perfect for the reception and capturing fun shots on the dance floor. You can judge all you want, but don’t knock it, ’til you try it! You’ll thank me later :)
#4: Stay hydrated. I bring a 32 oz. Nalgene with me to every wedding and fill it up once. This way, I know throughout the day that I’m drinking enough water. It’s an easy way to keep track of how much water you’re drinking without counting individual cups, bottles, etc.
#5: Pack snacks. For an 8 hour wedding day, I always eat lunch before arriving. About every 2 hours, I will eat a snack (when it’s convenient and not right in front of people). I’m really great at consuming food in a matter of seconds these days :) Typically, I bring 3 snacks with me during the day: A Power Bar, a peanut butter sandwich, and a granola bar. All are very easy to eat on the go, too! If all else fails, cake always does the trick!
#6: Wear comfortable, professional clothes: Shooting a wedding 7 months pregnant in the heat of the Georgia summer isn’t exactly comfortable. My body temperature increases more when I’m pregnant; I’m carrying more weight, my heart is pumping 4 pints more of blood, and I’m making a human…dress pants, a blouse, and a cardigan (my typical wedding wardrobe) were not going to cut it this summer. Heat stroke is not a risk I’m willing to take! It’s also really dangerous for your baby if you overheat. I found a super cute, black dress from Motherhood Maternity and paired it with a silver, sparkly necklace. It’s so cute that I’ll probably start wearing it when I’m not pregnant! Best of all, the material is stretchy, breathable, and keeps me from over heating.
Wearing a Black Rapid Strap across my body has helped with some back pain, too. And trust me…any little amount helps!
That’s how I survived shooting weddings while pregnant in my first, second and third trimester! It was not easy. Last, but not least: I couldn’t have done any of this with out Nick: He runs to refill my water bottle, carries all my gear (and my shoulder bag sometimes :)), makes my dinner plates, brings me a piece of leftover cake, and drives me to and from every single wedding…all so that I can be as comfortable as possible. He reminds me throughout the wedding day: Be careful, don’t get too hot, make sure you can sit down sometimes…He has been my number 1 supporter and I couldn’t have done this without him.