Pregnant wedding photographer

My official due date of January 3rd has come and gone, so we’re officially on Baby Watch 2011 around here. He could come any day now, so stay tuned for our exciting news! I’ll update my blogs with baby photos as soon as I can, and I’ll be keeping my Facebook and Twitter accounts updated as we go.

In the meanwhile, I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve learned this year about how to photograph weddings while pregnant. I know that I was nervous about how to handle a pregnancy with my hectic and physically demanding career, and I would have loved to have someone offer me tips before I got started. So if you are a wedding photographer who is planning to have a baby soon, here are some tips to help you out.

Before you get pregnant

1. Get in shape.
Shooting weddings requires strength and endurance under normal conditions, so if you gain 25 pounds of awkwardly-distributed baby weight, you’ll need to be very fit to handle an eight-hour wedding shoot. Thanks to Weight Watchers and frequent workouts, I lost 13 pounds before getting pregnant. By the time wedding season came along, I was strong enough to trek around steep mountain venues at 11,000 feet of altitude.

2. Try to schedule your pregnancy around wedding season.
Timing a pregnancy is very difficult for most people, but if you can, consider your wedding schedule while planning your pregnancy. I hoped to have a January baby, and amazingly, that worked out just right for us.

My slower spring months took place during my first trimester, when I was at my sickest. By the time my hectic summer months of July, August, and September arrived, I was in my second trimester and feeling much livelier. My last wedding of the year took place in mid-November, when I was 7.5 months along and still very active. I wouldn’t have wanted to shoot later than eight months along, because by then I was large, unwieldly, and achy.

The baby is due to arrive in January, my slowest month of the year. I’ll have a few months of maternity leave before wedding season begins again.

Surviving morning sickness

1. Rely on adrenaline
I won’t sugarcoat it: morning sickness is a lot worse than I’d expected. I was sick all day, every day, for about 17 or 18 weeks. But every weekend I’d arrive at a wedding and suddenly feel great. The excitement of the wedding, the stress of the job, and the thrill of loving my work all created a happy buzz that I could only attribute to adrenaline. Often the only time I felt good was while shooting. If you find yourself suffering from morning sickness, just dive right into the photo shoot and you’ll be fine. Really.

2. Bring food and water.
I felt sicker when I was hungry. As soon as hunger pangs hit, I would need to eat immediately. During my morning sickness months, I brought tons of easily digestible snacks to weddings, such as bagels, oranges, and snack bars. Hydration is also extremely important, because pregnant women need more water than other people. Do not let yourself skip water breaks.

3. Rest during the weekdays.
Take as many naps and breaks as you can manage when you’re not shooting. I was lucky enough to have a few hours of productive time per day before I started feeling really sick. I used those morning hours to get tons of work done before lying down during the rough afternoon hours. I don’t know who in their right mind named it “morning sickness” — morning was the only time I felt decent!

Outsource what you can

1. Hire good help for the wedding days.
It’s risky for a pregnant woman to carry heavy bags, so consider hiring an assistant to do your heavy lifting for you. If you find yourself needing more breaks to rest your feet or use the restroom, make sure that you bring a skilled second shooter to cover those moments.

2. Hire help for when you’re not shooting.
Outsource your work during the weekdays, too. If you’re too tired or sick to spend much time at the computer, outsource your photo processing. Or hire a bookkeeper. Or administrative assistant. I decided that I wanted to keep doing my own work for the business, but I hired a house cleaner to take care of the home that I was neglecting. I loved having someone clean the house while I was napping!

If your photographer turns out to be pregnant

Please don’t worry! I created some of my best work of all time this year, so the pregnancy didn’t slow me down at all. Take good care of your pregnant photographer, and offer her lots of water, and everything will be just fine.

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COMMENTS

Thank you for posting this! I’m almost 8 months pregnant and have a wedding this weekend that I was a tad freaked about. It’s my last and final shoot before going on a little break, so really want it to come out nice. Thanks for the info!

What wonderful news, Ashley! I’m so happy for you! My baby was due just a couple weeks after yours (Jan 3), so my stages of pregnancy last year were timed very similarly to yours. That timing turned out to be just perfect with my wedding season, so I hope yours will go well, too! I chose to take an extended maternity leave, which I’m loving. I am waiting until August to shoot any weddings, but I started doing occasional portrait sessions in April, which was just about right.

Charlotte, Thank you so much for this post! I have been following your work for quite some time and my husband and I recently found out we are expecting! Our 1st baby is due on Christmas Day.We are so excited, and it is so true what you say about the morning sickness and adrenaline rush you get when shooting.I had to email two brides this morning and let them know I would not be able to personally shoot their wedding with our little one on the way and that was so tough (You become so close to your clients and it’s hard to know you’re going to make them sad when they had their heart set on your work:(. How long did you give yourself before shooting a wedding after your baby was born?

Congratulations!

Congratulations! Daniel is a handsome, darling little boy. πŸ™‚ I know you both will be such wonderful parents to him. I can’t get over the fact he’s got blond hair. Little toe head–ADORABLE!

Congrats again. Charlotte, take it easy. Don’t try to do too much. Let that wonderful family of yours dote on you for the next week or so. You just enjoy your sweet angel baby. πŸ™‚

This was a great post, Charlotte! I too made some of my best images during my pregnancy, stuff I’m still quite proud of over two years later. I think it’s a great time for a woman to work in a creative profession since all of those hormones are getting the artistic feelings flowing! πŸ™‚

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Good luck! Can’t wait to see pics of your new little one. πŸ™‚

Luckily.. I don’t think I’ll have this situation happen to me. πŸ™‚

But either way.. I hope when the child does come for you that everything goes smoothly Charlotte! Good luck and best wishes!

Another suggestion is make sure you’ve got some good friends in the business :). One of our friends ended up on “almost bedrest” (I think her Dr. wanted her on real bedrest). Several of the local photographers helped her out as not only second shooters, but sort of sharing the main photographer duties – she was still there most of the day, but couldn’t make certain shots happen (climbing on ladders and such). Networking is good pregnant or not, right?

Good luck with everything, Charlotte! It’s always a pleasure to read your posts and see your work, and now we can look forward to the announcement of the baby’s arrival and all of the wonderful photos to come!

Best wishes!

Good luck! Can’t wait to see pics of your new little one. πŸ™‚

Luckily.. I don’t think I’ll have this situation happen to me. πŸ™‚

But either way.. I hope when the child does come for you that everything goes smoothly Charlotte! Good luck and best wishes!

The adrenaline definitely did it for me– that and some Martinelli’s or Izze in a steel bottle in my bag!

Good luck with everything, Charlotte! It’s always a pleasure to read your posts and see your work, and now we can look forward to the announcement of the baby’s arrival and all of the wonderful photos to come!

Best wishes!

Impressive!

Can’t wait to “meet” your babe!

I came across your website by chance this past weekend and have been browsing around your blog. I absolutley adore your photography and are so thankful for every helpful tip you post!

Best wishes as you await the arrival of the baby!

Awesome info, thank you sooooo much for sharing! Hopefully the rest of us can have a perfectly timed pregnancy like you! =)

You’ve rocked it this year Charlotte, it’s been awesome to see you working through the pregnancy. How cool will it be to see all the work your little man helped you create πŸ˜‰

Blessings & Joy to you guys!

The adrenaline definitely did it for me– that and some Martinelli’s or Izze in a steel bottle in my bag!

You haven’t popped yet?? I’ve been thinking about it recently. Hopefully, it’ll happen soon! πŸ˜€

Charlotte Geary

CHARLOTTE GEARY

Lifestyle, event, and portrait photographer with a vibrant, joyful style and 17 years of professional experience.

Located in Reston, Virginia near Washington, D.C. and available for travel.

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