With our first little one on the way, I knew I needed to photograph my own maternity session at one of my favorite SF locations- Legion of Honor! But I want to share more than just pretty photos here…
Shooting over 40 weddings my first-year experiencing pregnancy came with a lot of ups and downs. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as my body and mind changed over the next 9 months or how I was going to best handle this while photographing my client’s big days. Here are some things I wish I better understood going into my wedding season while expecting my first little one.
1. Be sure to listen to your body. The nausea in the first trimester means you are going to want easy snacks within reach on you all day (whoever called it morning sickness clearly didn’t know what they were talking about- it’s definitely an all-day thing for most women). Try packets of saltine crackers, nuts, or cereal bars that can easily fit in your pockets. Nibble as soon as you start to feel off! During the entire pregnancy, always carry water on you and be sure to stay hydrated! Your extra baby weight will mean extra heat, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself sweating more than normal, and thus becoming dehydrated more quickly.
2. Wear comfortable shoes. Your body is packing on a lot of extra pounds which means more strain on your hips, legs, and feet. Be kind to your feet and wear comfortable, non-heeled shoes. My personal favorite are the memory foam flats from Sketchers. They look cute with your wedding outfits while still being breathable and comfortable for a hot summer wedding day. And don’t be afraid to bust out the all black Nikes in your last trimester (I did!). I promise you- it doesn’t look that bad, and its way more important for you to feel good than to look cute. Extra tip here- look into wearing a belly band as your tummy starts to expand more towards the end of the second trimester. This will help save your back and alleviate some round ligament pains you might feel when moving about.
3. Try not to book anything after 35 weeks. And if I can be even more generous with your time, I’d say nothing after 30 weeks. Your body has so much going on during this third trimester- this is when you are going to really start feeling the pregnancy both physically and emotionally. If and when possible, try to slow down your work load and hopefully stop it completely by the middle of your third trimester. Not only is this a huge factor for your personal comfort, but there is always the chance of having an early delivery as well, so it’s best not to book past 35 weeks for both you and your clients.
4. Give yourself grace. Pregnancy brain is a real thing (often forgetting things or feeling the “fog”), so do your best to prepare for this by writing down things you don’t want to forget, packing and preparing the night before, and asking others for help. I promise it gets better after delivery, and if you find yourself tripping over your words- it’s totally normal.
I hope these little tips may help any photographers looking to start a family or are currently expecting! Happy shooting and blessings to you and your family.
My fav quick wedding day snack- blueberry fig bars
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