Tips on How to Photograph a Wedding While Pregnant

As a wedding photographer, working while pregnant is a topic that doesn’t get talked about very often. People ask me “when did you shoot weddings until?” and “when did you go back to work after you had a baby?”. Having my first baby was very overwhelming, especially with juggling my wedding photography business. As most of you know, being a wedding photographer is a very labor intensive job (we carry so much gear!) and being on your feet for 8+ hours at time is can be very grueling on your body especially when you are carrying an extra 10, 20, 30+ lbs because you are making another human being. So, I wanted to share some advice and things I’ve learned along the way from my own experience when I was expecting my Daughter.

Oh, and I also shared my thoughts on my latest Instagram IGTV episode of Tea with Jainé. Be sure to hop on over and watch the episode for even more advice! Let’s jump in…

No. 1 - Know Your Timeline - Once I confirmed that I was in-fact pregnant, we celebrated and then panicked about the timeline. My daughter was going-to be coming right in the heart of my wedding season so I had to start planning what I was going to do for my upcoming wedding season. I decided to photograph my last wedding at 36 weeks, and to be honest, I will never do that again. I was so H U G E at the end that it was totally uncomfortable for me. No one ever tells you that you gain ALL THE WEIGHT at the end of the pregnancy and the baby gains 1-2 lbs a week in the last month alone so you go from “semi-big” to “huge” pretty quickly. Well, at least it was for me :)

No. 2 - Tell Your Couples In Advance - Once I figured out my timeline, I started to let my clients know the good news and let them know I was expecting. For the majority of my weddings, I was going to be able to make the date but for one couple, I had to gracefully bow out of covering their day. I was so sad that I didn’t have an associate to fill in but if and when it happens again, I will look for someone to fill my spot vs. refund the retainer and cancel my services. I do regret not photographing their wedding (they were one of my favorite couples to date!) BUT I helped them find someone new, refunded their retainer, and gave them their engagement session as a gift to make up for cancelling. Not that you have to do that but for me, I wanted to end on a positive note.

No. 3 - Hire A Backup Photographer/Extra Assistant - For most of my couples, letting them know I was expecting was was not a big deal. Everyone was really happy and thanked me for letting them know so far in advance. I assured them that I would be at their wedding and I would be bringing along a third photographer/assistant to cover me when I needed a break. This was an additional expense that I paid for out of my own pocket because I wanted them to know that I had on-site backup when if necessary. My assistant also carried all of my gear and food for me throughout the day so I only had to wear my two cameras on my body. It was very helpful to know that I didn’t have to lug my gear anywhere or wear any additional lenses.

No. 4 - Bring ALL THE FOOD - Depending on your pregnancy, and your cravings, you could be hungry like ALL THE TIME especially when you are working. For me, I knew that I was eating every few hours and brought a little cooler filled with food to keep me fed throughout the day. It might have looked like “A LOT” to some but I really did eat just about everything in my cooler when the day was done. A snack here, a bar there, it all adds up, and you want to make sure you are fed to keep your energy levels up. I also drank a ton of water to keep me hydrated.

No. 5 - Take Breaks Throughout the Day - This might seem obvious but when you are photographing a wedding, you never rest. We are always on the go, standing up, bending down, and going from place to place so when you are expecting, remember sit down and takes breaks whenever you can. This is why having the third photographer/assistant was so important for me. Whenever I needed a break, especially towards the end of my pregnancy, I would sit down and my third shooter would go on the dance floor to cover the crowd. I would save my energy for the key moments like speeches, dances, and toasts and then go sit back down while people were dancing or eating their meals.

No. 6 - Wear Comfortable Shoes and Supportive Undergarments - If you know me, you will know that I HATE (no, LOATHE) sneakers. I only wear them to work out and if I had a choice, I wouldn’t even wear them then. Ha! I just do not like how sneakers look and I’m always searching for an “prettier” alternative option.

When I was pregnant, I wore a pair of Women's Jambu JSport Spin Encore Ballet Flats that I absolutely LOVED! They were very comfortable and supportive for my body weight and were not ugly sneakers ;) For me, this was a happy medium that I could still do my job and look cute. Hey, it’s important to me!

I also wore a pair of supportive Maternity Spanx to give my belly some extra support. The weight of your gear plus the weight of the baby gets very heavy over the course of the day and having a bit of support to lift your belly actually felt amazing.

No. 7 - Hire Help - To get my work done, I hired an outside editor to work on my weddings and intern to take care of my social media while I was “out of the office”. I found out that I could no longer sit at my desk for hours because I needed to walk around and move my body so editing became very difficult for me. I strongly encourage you to outsource and hire help whenever you can to help you when you are pregnant and go on maternity leave. I still use my digital editor to this day because it makes taking care of my daughter so much easier. It’s worth the investment!

No. 8 - Decide When to Go Back to Work - After my daughter was born, I wanted to have 3 months off to be with her and let myself readjust to my new life as a mother. Becoming a new mom is truly life changing and one of the biggest joys of my life, but it’s also really stressful. Simply put, you do not know what you are doing and have to figure it out as you go, so having that time off was invaluable, at least for me. I also liked NOT having the pressure of a client looming over me while I was on maternity leave.

I photographed my first engagement session 8 weeks and my first wedding 12 weeks after delivery. For me, this was perfect timing. I was physically well enough to get back to work and excited to get out of the house too! It was definitely more emotionally challenging for me to leave my baby for the first time, but it gets easier as they get older. Heck, now I”m like “see you later!” when I leave the house :) but I’m always excited to come home to a big smile and good hug!

I hope that was helpful for you expecting or plan to be expecting mom’s out there who are wedding photographers. I’d love to hear from you or answer any additional questions you may have. Please leave a comment below and let me know how I can help you! xo - Jainé


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Podcast Interview with Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting

Ever wonder what Surprise and Delight is? How to use it in your wedding photography business? How much should you to invest per client? Meghan Ely from OFD Consulting breaks it down for us in this brand new podcast episode of Tea with Jainé. Megan founded OFD Consulting to combine her love of public relations and weddings to help empower her clients to reach their top potential and attract the right clients. She shares her marketing advise and expertise to help you stand out in a saturated market and get noticed! It’s a MUST listen!!

You can listen to Tea with Jainé on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all other major podcasting platforms. We’d love for you to leave us a review to help other listeners find out about us. Want to support Tea with Jainé? You can make a monthly contribution by using the Support this Podcast button in our profile.

Thank you so much for all of your kind support!! xo

Meghan Ely - OFD Consulting - Surprise and Delight

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Best Dress and Shoes For Wedding Photographers

I get asked a lot about what I wear to my weddings. It’s hard to find the right clothing that looks good and comfortable for you to do a very physical job at the same time! I’m really excited to share my GO TO dress & shoes that I wear for every wedding! Yes, I buy in multiple so I have a few of these dresses ready to go in different colors too!

Here is my absolutely FAVORITE dress and shoes to wear while I’m photographing a wedding! You can watch my latest IGTV video where I share my thoughts on each piece and why I love it! I hope it was helpful and please leave a comment below to let us know YOUR favorite “go to” pieces you have discovered and work for you on a wedding day. I want to hear from you!! xo

BestDressShoesForWeddingPhotographers.jpg

Phoebe Dress by Boden - Black - Navy - I absolutely love this dress from Boden. It’s very flattering shape and darts that give you a nice look but very professional. It’s a 100% cotton and totally breathable which is great for when you start to break a sweat. The best feature about this little dress? It has POCKETS! Yes, that is correct! I purchased three of these dresses (2 black and 1 Navy) to make sure that even if I had a double header weekend, I would have a fresh dress for the day.

Gabor Gabor Black Flats - LOVE these shoes! They are like sneakers with a rubber and flexible sole but they look like nice flats from above. These are 100% my secret shoe weapon on a wedding day!! They didn’t need any “breaking in” so no band-aids required. They are about $150+ dollars but worth every penny. I’ve had mine for about 3 years and they are still going strong!

TOMS Jutti Flats - Black Suede - Perforated Detail - I change into these flats as soon as the ceremony is over and cocktail hour begins. I love these TOMS because they are so comfy and give my feet a bit of break. Again, they are really comfortable, require no “break-in” time, and you can hit the ground running as soon as they arrive. I purchase at least 2 pairs every season and were them on my off days too!

Rothy’s Pointed Black Flat - Save $20 when you order your first pair of Rothy’s through this LINK !! - I like these Rothy’s for a few reasons but mainly because they are very stylish and comfortable at the same time. They are machine washable so they are going to last a long time. I will wear these for either part of my day but I would suggest getting arch supports if you require more support for your shoes.

Black Compression 5” Bike Shorts - One time I wore Spanx to a wedding and by the ceremony, I was taking them off in the bathroom because it’s just too much compression while I was working throughout the day. I found a pair of compression bike shorts (similar to linked) and they are my go-to “shorts” i wear under every dress when I’m working. They are comfortable, give me a bit of shape, and do not tug or pull throughout the day. They also keep me “safe” from any flashing accidents when I’m working which, when you are wearing a dress, could be an issue ;)


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Podcast Interview with NST Pictures - Jennifer Thompson

I’m so thrilled about our latest Tea with Jainé podcast episode because we are chatting with the HQ Director of NST Pictures Jennifer Thompson! We chat about how wedding videographers and wedding photographers can work together seamlessly on a wedding day. How being prepared and in open communication will ensure that your couples have the best day along with the best photos and video!

You can listen to Tea with Jainé on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all other major podcasting platforms. We’d love for you to leave us a review to help other listeners find out about us. Want to support Tea with Jainé? You can make a monthly contribution by using the Support this Podcast button in our profile.
Thank you so much for all of your kind support!! xo

NST Pictures - Jennifer Thompson - Wedding Videographers

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Podcast Interview with Whimsy Weddings

A brand new podcast is now available on Tea with Jainé! We are chatting with wedding planner Tatiana Jones from Whimsy Weddings about how wedding photographers and wedding planners can work seamlessly together. Tati shares some great tips and advice to help ensure our couples have the best wedding day ever!

You can listen to Tea with Jainé on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all other major podcasting platforms. We’d love for you to leave us a review to help other listeners find out about us. Want to support Tea with Jainé? You can make a monthly contribution by using the Support this Podcast button in our profile.
Thank you so much for all of your kind support!! xo

Whimsy Weddings Event Planners and Floral Design

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Locust Collection Surface Giveaway

You guys, I can’t believe that Tea with Jainé is officially a YEAR old! How did that happen?! I’m so happy that you love my education series for wedding photographers and thrilled I have helped you along in your own business journey. To celebrate our 1st birthday, I’m so excited to share that we’ve partnered with one of my ALL TIME favorite brands to bring you an incredible giveaway!! Who’s excited?!

Enter for a chance to win a 18 x 27” rollable, double sided, styling surface from Locust Collection - HOORAY!! These are my absolutely favorite surfaces and so honored to partner with Kate! xo

Locust Collection Giveaway 2019

HOW TO ENTER:

1 - Follow @brklynview AND @locustcollection (we will be checking!!) on Instagram.

2 - Tag one person in the comments to enter (INSTAGRAM ONLY!) You can tag as many people as you like so the more tags, the more chances to WIN!

3 - BONUS ENTRY - Take a screenshot of my photo in MY INSTAGRAM story and share it in YOUR story. Tag @brklynview AND @locustcollection so we can see your entries.

Giveaway ends WEDNESDAY, April 10th at MIDNIGHT EST. The Winner will be announced in the Instagram post. GOOD LUCK!!


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Podcast Interview Luisa Navarro - Create Something Captivating

I’m so excited about the latest podcast episode with Luisa Navarro of Create Something Captivating. We are talking about how to use Instagram for wedding photographers. How by showing who you truly are and engaging authentically with your followers will grow your audiences, trust, and your business. You are going to LOVE this episode and Luisa!

One of the best App’s for planning your Instagram feed, is Planoly. Luisa and I both L O V E this app and use it daily. You can plan the look of your feed in advance, save your most used hashtags, geo tag, and mention users, pre-plan stories, and so much more. Planoly is an incredibly powerful app for anyone using Instagram for their business.

You can listen to Tea with Jainé on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all other major podcasting platforms. We’d love for you to leave us a review to help other listeners find out about us. Want to support Tea with Jainé? You can make a monthly contribution by using the Support this Podcast button in our profile.  Thank you so much for all of your kind support!! xo

Instagram Advice with Luisa Navarro

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Personal Safety Gear for Wedding Photographers

I wanted to share a few items that I recently purchased for my own personal and business safety. Being a female wedding photographer can feel a bit ominous at times, especially when I have to walk back to my car at night or when I’m taking the gear out of the trunk to head back to my apartment alone. I don’t like thinking about the “what if’s” but I always like to be prepared. Here are some of my new tools to help me feel a bit safer and track my gear while I’m working on a wedding day!

Again, I love GMA DEALS and highly recommend you guys follow them to score some great deals on items whenever they are posted! xo

Safety Gear for Women Wedding Photographers

The Glammer : Emergency Escape Hammer by Bling Sting - This super cute and very function personal emergency escape hammer is one of those items that the fire department always recommends you have in your car but you never actually purchase it until now. Why? Well, because it’s so darn cute (hello ROSE GOLD!) and it can save your life if you ever need it. You can cut your seat belt and break the windshield to get out of your car as well. I will carry this in the front seat with me just incase I ever need to use it when traveling.

Ahh!-larm! Personal Alarm by Bling Sting - This super cute confetti glitter keychain heart is not only cute to carry but it’s an ear piercing 115 decibel alarm - YIKES!!! It includes an LED safety light that will blink so people know where you are and you can replace the batteries too! This keychain also comes in a bow shape and gem stone so you have a few choices and colors to choose from. I like that it looks cute and can make a bit impact to scare off someone who might be following you. Hey, we all know that walking back to your car late at night (alone!) can be scary so be prepared!

Tile Mate - I mentioned this previously but I forgot to put it in my IGTV video which you can watch here. I love these little Tile Mates because they are small, discreet, and I can put one in each of my gear cases and track their whereabouts while I’m busy photographing a wedding. Also, the new Tile Mates allow you to replace the battery once a year which is great and very environmentally friendly! You can use the Tile App to track your devices and play the tune to find your cases (or keys!) quickly.

Is personal safety something you think about on a wedding day? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below! xo


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Speaking at IGNITE 2019 Workshop

I’m so excited to share that I’m going to be speaking at the upcoming IGNITE 2019 workshop hosted by NJ SPARK on Saturday, April 23rd, 2019. Each year this incredible group of women host a FREE wedding photography workshop and I’m so thrilled to be teaching one of the breakout sessions. Yay!

I’m going to be teaching attendee’s how create content for Instagram with images they already have and how to schedule, plan, and auto post with Planoly to get your life back and OFF social media. Ahhh, I’m SOOO excited!! The conference has already sold out (it’s free but the 75 spots are all full) but they do have a waiting list if you want to sign up to find out more and hopefully snag a spot! xo

Jaine Kershner - Brklyn View Photography

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Sharing Photos with Wedding Vendors

Should or shouldn’t you share the wedding photos with the other wedding vendors? This is definitely a hot button topic that pops up every few months or so in the wedding photography groups. There are both sides to every story but honestly find this question really interesting because the answer, at least for me, has always been YES!

Of course I will share the photos with the vendors who were involved with the wedding I photographed because why wouldn’t I? It’s there work too, right? Let me explain why I share the images and how I deal with image usage. You can also watch my latest IGTV video to hear me talk about this topic too!

How to Share Your Images

Once my wedding has be delivered to my clients, I will do a few things afterwards. I will either submit their wedding for publication (online or print) and reach out to the vendors to let them know they can now view the images and pick out their favorites. I give them limited access to the gallery so they can only view the images and choose their favorites to use on their website and social media. Once they are done with their selections, I’ll download the files, rename, resize, and send them to the vendor via Dropbox.

Allowing each vendor to pick their favorites has proven for me to the best and easiest way to handle requests for photos. This way, they can see the full gallery, pick out all the photos that they like and I still have full control of what images are shared online. Sometimes I will omit images that I know the couple doesn’t want released on social media, especially ones with children photographed. I’m always keeping my couples privacy in the back of mind.

I usually wait till have I have a few requests in my inbox and set aside some time to process each request. It can take anywhere from 10 -30 minutes per request so I need to do it when I have some available time in my calendar. If it’s my busy season, or I’m slammed with editing work, I will let the vendors know that their request will take some time as my priority is always my couples. No one has ever complained!

Photo and Usage for Vendors

In my initial email to the vendor, I let them know that if they want to use the images, they need to credit them properly. If they can agree to that, I’m more than willing to give them to them for usage. Just about everyone agrees, which is great, and I also send a very detailed Usage Agreement with the final photos.

I clearly state how the photos can and cannot be used. How they cannot be altered or edited in any manner. How they cannot submit the photos without my permission and if they want to use them for Advertisements, they need to get my written permission to do so. I also state that since the images are given to the vendors complimentary, if they do not follow these rules, they could receive an invoice for improper photo usage.

I do this so they know what the rules are and how to ensure that we have a good standing relationship. I want to give them the photos and I want them to use them everywhere BUT I want to make sure I am given proper photo credit where credit is due.

Also, I should mention that I would never CHARGE a vendor for images. I own the photographs but they wouldn’t have happened without the other vendors decor, design, flowers, vision, and artistry. They want to showcase their work too so why not make that happen as easy as possible for everyone?

Create Great Vendor Relationships and Networks

Do you know that the number ONE thing I hear all the time from every single new planner or vendor I work with is? It’s that that NEVER get any of the photos of their work - EVER!! How is that even possible? <scratches head>

By simply sharing images with the wedding planner, florists, caterers, venues, officiants, and every other vendor at the wedding, you are creating a great vendor relationships. They are going to be SO HAPPY you contacted them and shared your photos of their work, they are going to love working with you. And you know what happens from there? They show of your work on Instagram, or their website, or their blog and more couples see your photography. More potential clients SEE YOUR WORK!! Isn’t that worth everything to you? Well, it is to me! The vendor becomes your walking talking billboard for anyone who needs a photographer. You are the one they love working with because you share the images and you take great photos too!

I always say this but being nice in this industry is going to get you a lot further than being over protective about your photos and NOT sharing. Yeah, I said that! They will remember you if you don’t share, were rude, and terrible to work with. Do you think they are going to recommend you every again?

By sharing your photos, you are creating a network of vendors who want to work with you, who will support you, and hopefully recommend you in the future.

What Is Your Return On Investment?

I get it. It takes TIME to email the vendors, get their favorites, and send them the final images. I understand that maybe you didn’t get a referral from each and every vendor but hey, that’s how it goes, right? If you have a system in place and guidelines for vendors to adhere by when using your images, I (personally) think you are really going to be putting yourself at a HUGE advantage as a wedding photographer.

For me, the ROI (return on investment) takes time. It’s the long game that you have to play. Creating and cultivating lasting vendor relationships is so important. At least, they are in my opinion if you want to be doing this for a long time!

What If the Vendor Doesn’t Credit Me?

If you’ve given vendors your specific guidelines and they didn’t tag you on Instagram, Facebook, etc… feel free to nudge them with a quick DM. Just say “hey, can you tag me?” and most vendors will add the tag quickly and say they are sorry for leaving it out of the post. If they don’t respond, or continue to fail to give you the proper credit, feel free to email them about the issue. Last resort is to send an invoice for photo usage. I have YET to do this but hey, it’s in my usage clause so I could if I needed too.

If a vendor continues to leave off your photo credit, well, you know for next time that maybe you won’t be so eager to share with them before having a talk about your past experience with them. Speak up for yourself and make it known that it’s 100% NOT ok to do this! You deserve the credit because the photo are yours and they wouldn’t have them without you. It’s a two-way street!

And what if you didn’t like working with a particular vendor all together? Well, that’s at your digression if you want to share the images or not. You have to do what’s best for you!

Make it a WIN/WIN

Personally, I want my work to be shared everywhere with everyone, and I want to receive the proper credit when it is shared. I’ve had numerous people reach out to me over the years because they kept seeing my photography pop up for a few of their favorite wedding vendors so they wanted to work with me too. In my opinion, it’s a win/win!


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