Tips for Mommie Photogs: Shooting Weddings While Pregnant

shooting-weddings-while-pregnantSome women can’t wait to go on maternity leave once they find out there’s a little one on the way. Along the same lines, shooting wedding photography with a pregnant bride can be one of the most endearing, delicate, and special experiences you’ll have as an artist. However, today’s post is about neither one of those scenarios, but about what you can do if you’re shooting weddings while pregnant. Since wedding photographers are largely freelance, many female professionals choose not to abandon their business, or put in on hold, while pregnant. If you’re about to face this situation, you might wonder how you’re going to be able to manage it all – the baby that’s on the way, the business, and the actual, physical challenges of working when you’re a few months away from giving birth. We’ve scoured the web left and right and checked out some true stories from photographers who have gone through this. We’ve come up with a list of resources and tips you might find useful.

The checklist for shooting weddings while pregnant

  • Flip flops

If you’re the kind of photographer who cares a great deal about looking professional at all times when working, this might be a bit of a challenge for you, but it’s probably unavoidable. Chances are your feet are going to start swelling as your pregnancy progresses and if you want to keep working, you’re going to have to find yourself one (or several) nice pairs of flip flops to change into, in order to keep your feet from killing you. Shooting weddings while pregnant does involve a lot of standing, you know?

  • Back support

The same pretty much goes for back aches. They’re very difficult to handle for some women, even if they’re not up on their feet and running about, taking pictures all day. Those women who want to keep shooting weddings while pregnant might want to invest in Maternity Support or a similar form of support for their back.

  • A breast pump

There’s no way around it: if you want to keep working during and immediately after the pregnancy, you’re going to need a carry-on with a special portable breast pump.  Alternatively, you can opt to breastfeed at weddings, if you’re comfortable with this. Most wedding guests are tolerant about it, according to several real life mommy wedding photographers. However, if you can’t afford the downtime, or just want to pump for whatever reason, then an “on the go” breast pump is your best bet.

  • Water & protein

Much like you are going to have to feed the baby on the go, you’re going to need to nourish yourself, too. If you’re a newbie wedding photographer, don’t think there’s going to be any time for you to snack at the wedding party – there usually isn’t. And keeping hydrated and well-nourished while pregnant is essential, both for your health and stamina, as well as for the baby’s well-being. As such, make it a point to never leave home without plenty of water and protein bars, to keep you up on your feet all day long.

  • An assistant

Yes, it’s an added cost, but one which might just save your wedding photography business while you’re carrying. The assistant will help carry your gear and other bags – and they also come in mighty handy when it comes to remembering that you actually have to eat those protein bars if you want them to have any effect.

  • A backup

We’re talking an alternate wedding photographer that you can call on, if need be. Someone you trust is able to step in at the last minute, in case anything goes wrong with you and you need to step down from an engagement. Always have the phone number of such a trusty friend on hand, you never know when you might need to use it.

7 Things That Should Be On Your Not-To-Do List

I love to-do lists. I don’t scratch them out on sticky notes and throw them away at the end of the day. Instead I keep a spiral notebook and write down every detail, checking things off when they are complete. It’s a nice way to keep a record of where you’ve been. And you can also go back and refer to notes if you have questions in the weeks and months ahead.

And while I’m a firm believer in creating written to-do lists, I also have started keeping a not-to-do list.

I heard about this concept a while back, and have really come to appreciate what it does for your productivity. The idea is to eliminate the activities that are costing you a ton of time during your workday, yet really aren’t providing you with any reward. Yep, they’re basically the time wasters.

The easiest way to find your time wasters is to sit down with your monthly to-do lists, your monthly calendars, and any other tools you use to track your time during work hours. Where did the biggest chunks of time go? Were they productive?

While every business owner is going to have their own areas of concern, there are several areas that seem to affect small businesses in general. Take a look at this list and see if you can see yourself in any of them. I’ve set them up to be in not-to-do list form.

1. Do not answer unexpected phone calls.

The world runs by caller id. When the phone rings, if it doesn’t ring with its own unique ringtone, you glance down to see who it is. Then its decision time.

If it’s during normal work hours and it may be a potential customer, answer it. But if you’re in the middle of a project, talking with a client/friend/co-worker, or its after hours, let it go to voice mail. Have a great message that will provide the caller with the appropriate information. And consider getting a better phone system that can allow you to do different things with the message, such as send you a copy to your email so you can read it at your convenience.

Dig Deeper: Google Voice – an Amazing Tool For Virtual Photographers

2. Do not leave your email program open and check it all day long.

One of the biggest distractions outside of the phone is your email. That little “ding” when an incoming message appears can throw you completely off track and quickly scrambles your priorities. Every email has the potential to delay what you are currently working on by minutes, hours or even sometimes days. Instead, set up two or three times per day to check in and see what needs your attention. I usually spend my first hour or so working on my own project and check email when I’ve accomplished my first set of to-do’s. Then I check in when I’m back from lunch, and again before I shut down for the day. If I’m expecting something important I may check in more frequently. Otherwise three times per day is more than enough. Just because you have access to it with your phone, iPad or other portable device doesn’t mean you have to do it. [Read more…]

How To Create a To Do List You Actually Stick With and Do

This post is Day 7 of 30 Ways In 30 Days To Redesign Your Life With Photography. This series seeks to provide you with practical steps to get you from wherever you are today, to exactly where you want to be – this year! If your goal has always been to take your photography to a whole new level, hang on and start enjoying a new lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

“My issue is with setting “to do” lists. I can set great goals and even know exactly what I need to do to get there – no problem. But when it comes to actually carrying out the steps I know I should take – I fail. I find items just staying on the list day after day.  I’d be interested in hearing how you go about making your to do lists and how you make sure you complete everything.”

As I was gearing up for today’s post, I went over to Google to see how many results would rank under “to do lists”. Close to 600 million entries appeared for this search phrase. And the suggested related searches ranged from “printable to do lists”, “to do lists iphone”, “to do lists templates” and “to do list software”. Obviously there are many issues related to just a standard to do list, and it really comes as no surprise.

As a society, we’ve achieved overload. We try and accomplish more in one day than people were doing in a month a few decades ago. It is estimated that a week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century. We are at information overload, and we simply don’t know how to control it all.

Add into the equation the need and desire to get more done. Our families have demands, friends have demands, jobs have demands, and then we add in the desire to start up a new venture. Something has to give, and it can only be sleep for so long before our health pays the price.

I once attended a seminar in which the presenter said something that really stuck with me.

Everyone has 24 hours a day. Some people learn how to use those 24 hours more effectively than others. You and Bill Gates both have the same timeframe; Bill has figured out how to get more done within that time frame, and therefore is more productive throughout the day.

When I heard that, I went on a quest to find out how I could get more done every day, and enjoy every minute of the day as well. I’ve taken a ton of organization management classes over the years, and have read a lot of books on the subject. While I don’t consider myself an expert on the subject, I do know how to get things done. And what I’ve discovered is: [Read more…]