Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us, to him be the glory. Ephesians 3:20

Motherhood is such a joy, but I didn’t expect it to be so hard.  I honestly went into it with the mentality that I would just figure things out as I went, completely naive to the challenges that lay ahead. I am so thankful that God is able to do so much more than we ask or even think.  More strength. More hope. More power. More joy. More is ours when we put our faith in Him.  We do not have to have all the answers.  We do not have to go through this exciting and challenging journey alone.

I didn’t think much about how having a newborn would change my business.  I was honestly so focused on getting through all of the weddings I hoped to photograph while pregnant, and the overwhelming excitement of meeting our little girl, that I didn’t put much thought into how my day to day life would change.  When I did stop to consider it, most of my thoughts centered around when I would physically be ready to photograph a wedding after giving birth.

When I would edit, when I would schedule my client meetings and engagement sessions, how I would find time to pump and keep up my milk supply on a wedding day, these were questions that quickly arose after Audrey was born!  I want to talk through my biggest challenges in running a small business while raising a newborn, with the hope that some part of my experience will encourage or resonate with you!

Balancing A New Life

When I brought Audrey home from the hospital, I had maybe slept 12 hours in the past four days.  I was so tired!  I like to pride myself on being able go on little sleep, but even I was more exhausted than I had ever been before.  I had photographed five weddings right before giving birth, and had one coming up in three weeks.  Needless to say, I was worried about finding the time to edit them all.  In my head, I pictured me working happily at my desk with a cup of coffee and Audrey sleeping soundly beside me in her pack in play.  In reality, I couldn’t have much coffee because I was nursing every 2-3 hours around the clock, and most of the time, I was unable to move from the couch in fear of waking Audrey up.  “Couch Island” I called it.  I was starving all the time, came home from the hospital with 25 pounds of baby weight still on me, and had a complete break down in front of my father in law when I tried on my biggest pair of sweat pants, and they didn’t fit.  Y’all, I literally wore my hospital gown on the couch at home for the first two days.  My poor husband must have thought I was loosing my mind.  In a way, I was.  I had expected to have the time and energy to run my business in the same way I had before, and felt overwhelmed when I realized balancing it all was going to be much harder than I thought.  I began to pray for help in putting together a new schedule that would allow me to be a great mama and a good business owner as well.

His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  – 2 Peter 1:3

After the first few weeks, I started to feel more like myself again.  I allowed myself one cup of coffee a day, which definitely helped!  I started getting to know Audrey’s schedule and began to plan for times to edit and answer emails.  I realized Audrey liked to sleep on me, so I purchased this nesting days wrap.  It allowed for the skin to skin contact I had heard was so important, and Audrey would nap in it for 3-4 hours at a time!  I would nurse her to sleep in the wrap, put on a romantic movie, and tackle my inbox or editing for the day.  It really was the best feeling!  When I could successfully transfer her to the rock in play, I would, but found she didn’t sleep as long or as well as she did on me.  I obviously didn’t have as much time to work as I did before giving birth, but I was slowly but surly checking things off my to do list.

A few other things I found helpful in transiting to #momboss that first month:

The Boppy.  I actually attempted to nurse on the boppy pillow and cull after Audrey went to sleep on it.  It worked, but was not super comfortable.  Many time I would find myself wide awake and culling at 4am in the morning!

The Nesting Days Wrap…great for baby wearing!

Pack in Play.  I would put Audrey down in it by my desk and get to work!

The Jump Jump.  I started using this with Audrey around 5 months!  I would put her in it, turn on little baby bum songs, and have my coffee and answer emails in the kitchen.  Audrey loved jumping, and I could usually get a good 30 minutes of work in before she wanted to get out.

Long drives.  Audrey slept great in her car seat.  I would drive 20 minutes to my favorite coffee shop, just enough time for Audrey to go to sleep.  I would then put her in the stroller and work at Drip for a few hours!

Anthropolgie candles.  I lit them on the living room table, right by my frequent nursing spot on couch island. These honestly just made me happy when I was feeling overwhelmed.

A pumping bra.  Hands free allowed me to cull, edit, or answer emails while I pumped.  Since my first wedding back after giving birth to Audrey was three weeks after giving birth, I started to pump and store my milk pretty much right away.  I love the Kindle system and Medela pump!

Grace.  There were many times I was just too tired to pull out my computer and work.  If I was feeling this way, I chose to simply enjoy my baby snuggles with Audrey.  After all, this sweet time is too short.

Photographing Those First Few Weddings Back

That fist wedding back after giving birth was always the scariest.  I made sure to bring on a solid team of two amazing photographers in addition to myself for the first few weddings.  I wanted to make sure I could step out and pump when I needed to, knowing the weddings were still being captured in a beautiful way.  I highly recommend bringing along at least one other photographer if you know you will need to step away and pump during a wedding day!  In the first couple of months after giving birth, I would try to pump twice during the wedding, once right before the ceremony and once right after the first dances and toasts.  Around 6 months (once we added pureed food to the kids diets) I started pumping only once on a wedding day.  This is because my milk supply had dropped slightly, making it less uncomfortable to go longer without pumping.  I would also pump right before the wedding started, and when I got home afterwards to keep up my supply.

Most of the time I would pump in the car with this car power inverter, or in a private office at the venue.  Bridal suite bathrooms are also usually pretty empty during certain parts of the night and are great options!  I was surprised by how many venues were so accommodating to the fact I needed to pump.  If I asked, most of them would let me use a private bathroom or private office.  I usually tried to approach and ask women who looked like they could be moms.  I honestly just thought they would be the most empathetic to my needs!  One venue said I could use the pool house to pump as no one ever went in there.  There were windows in the shed, so I positioned myself near a closet just in case.  When I saw someone start to come it, I quickly opened the closet door and stepped in to hid myself.  Moments later, the door was ripped open and a bewildered old man started apologizing profusely and backing away.  I am pretty sure he thought two teenagers were making out in the closet.  🙂  It was definitely a little embarrassing, and this prompted me to start pumping in the car whenever I couldn’t find a private enough place.

Another important thing I had to consider was what to wear to the first weddings back after giving birth.  They say it usually takes 9 months to gain your baby weight, and nine months or more to loose it.  This has been pretty true for me!  My old shooting dresses didn’t fit yet, so I invested in a few “tweener dresses” to get me through this season.  I made sure they fit well and that it was easy to pump or nurse in them.  Dresses that buttoned in the front were the best!

A few other things I found helpful in shooting those first few weddings back:

Great help!  I am so thankful my husband agreed to watch the kids while I am photographing weddings on the weekend.  I know it is not easy to take care of one kid, let alone two, but he tackles the job with enthusiasm!  When Matt is not watching the kids, his mom and dad (who live around an hour away) offer to help out.  They frequently post pictures of the kids to our shared folder, and they pop up on my apple watch on the wedding day. It is reassuring to know they are happy and in good hands.

A nursing bag with my pump, car adaptor, kindle bags, and a cooler with ice for storing the goods.  I carry everything in one bag, making it easy to access everything quickly when I need to do so.

A third photographer for those first few weddings to make pumping breaks easier.

Outsourcing + Prioritizing
Since I had less time to work while raising a newborn, I began to outsource the tasks I could to save some time.  I send off my images to be color corrected by ShootDotEdit, and it saves me so much time in editing.
When you do have limited time to work, I recommend making a list of the top three tasks You need to get done that day, and then tacking those first.  For example, if I really needed to deliver a gallery, I would save emails until the end of the day, or the next morning. Checking one or two of these important tasks off my list felt like such a win!

Client Meetings + Engagement Sessions

One of the hardest things to find time for as a new mom were client meeting and engagement sessions.  I was used to being able to travel to my couples for initial meetings and get together at a time most convenient for them.  Nursing made this a little more difficult!  I started offering client meetings on weeknights at 8pm at the Starbucks less than a mile from my house.  The kids are usually in bed by this time and Matt is home and able to take over in case either of them wakes up.  If the couple is not able to travel to me, I recommend a FaceTime or phone call first!  I usually schedule these weeknights after the kids have gone to bed as well. Scheduling these meetings got a whole lot easier once the kids started sleeping through the night.  If you are still in the thick of those first few months, or going through the four month sleep regression, God bless you.

Before having kids, I offered engagement sessions primarily on weekday afternoons only.  Now I try to shoot on the weekend if at all possible.  This is simply because Matt is home to take care of the kids on the weekends.  If I do need to shoot an engagement session on a weekday, I will hire a sitter.  I am looking forward to talking more about finding great help next week.  I truly couldn’t run my business effectively without help!

Dealing with Sleep Deprivation

To be totally honest, sleep deprivation was and is my biggest challenge as a new mom.  There are simply not enough hours in the day!  When I am not able to get all of my work done during the day, I try to tackle it at night. Every single post in this series was written somewhere between the hours of 11pm-5am.  I have truly learned to love the quite of late nights.  I will also edit and answer emails (to be sent out the next morning) after the kids have gone to bed as well.  If I do stay up late one night, I try to go to bed early the next night, just so I don’t completely wear myself out.

One thing that has been difficult for me is feeling guilty about the time I spend working in the evening instead of hanging out with Matt.  We may be sitting side by side on the couch, but if I have my computer on my lap, I know I am not being as present as I would like to be.  As much as I love my business, I often try to keep in mind what is most important: God, my husband, and my family. My day completely changes for the better if I am able to spend a little time in the word and prayer in the morning.  I usually try to do this during Ryan’s first nap, while Audrey is at school (when she turned two she started going half days three days a week).  I have also been trying to have dinner and watch a show or talk to Matt before pulling out my computer.  This usually causes me to stay up a little later, but the time we get to spend together makes it worth it.  If you have any suggestions or personal success stories on how to balance family/husband time with work time, I would love to hear them!

Being Honest With Yourself about What You Want the Future to Look Like 

One final thought.  I think it is important to be honest with yourself about how things are going and what you want your future to look like.  Going back to work as a small business owner after having a baby is hard, especially those first few months.  If you are finding your schedule hard to handle, or think you may have taken on too much, it might be time to scale back or find help.  Babies are only little for so long, and these precious first years should be treasured!  If you are feeling overwhelmed, take some time to pray and asked God for his strength and direction in your business. Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us, to him be the glory. Ephesians 3:20 God loves us.  We are his children.  He wants the best for us.  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! -Matthew 7:11

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:33

Next week is the final week of this Pregnancy and Motherhood as a Wedding Photographer series!  I will sharing my experience/attempt in Managing it All.  I look forward to discussing childcare, balance, mom guilt, social media strategies, feeling like you are falling behind, and learning to be happy exactly where you are.  I hope you will join me!  If you would like to get caught up on this series, feel free to check out the posts below.

Week 1: Navigating Pregnancy + Motherhood As a Wedding Photographer 

Thanks again for following along!  It means so much to me.




When I sat down to write this series, it was most important to me not to draw attention to myself, but to bring glory to what God has done.

“I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Deuteronomy 32:3-4

Giving birth to Audrey was hard.  I was induced a week past my due date, labored for 30 hours, and had a pupps rash all over my body that made me swell so much that it was very difficult to walk.  I was a first time mom and I was in shock at how painful it actually was to give birth.  It was the hardest thing I had ever done, and even though I had read the books and talked to my friends who had gone before me, I felt completely unprepared.  I photographed my first wedding three weeks after giving birth to Audrey, and was truly just so happy I was able to be there.

Ryan was due in May, and I had weddings booked every weekend.  I wanted to be there to photograph them all, but I just didn’t see how it would be possible.  I prayed for clarity on my dates, asking God which weddings I would be able to photograph and which ones I would not.  I felt confident I heard I would be able to shoot the first two in May, (God even pointed out that these two weddings were at the same venues as the last two weddings I photographed while pregnant with Audrey).  I didn’t feel like I had clear direction either way on the last three.   When I prayed about these dates, I didn’t feel like they were a yes, but I didn’t feel like they were a no either.  This made me nervous and I was unsure about how to pray for them.  I wanted so badly to be able to shoot these weddings, but I also wanted to be faithful to God’s will.  While discussing my struggle at SPARK one week, the girls pointed out that God is always working things together for the good of those who love Him and that He genuinely cares about our desires, especially when they align with His.  My hope and desire at every wedding I photograph is to faithfully serve others in a way that brings honor and glory to God.  I want people to be drawn to the unfading light and never ending joy of Jesus that lives inside of me thanks to His Holy Spirit.  With the girls encouragement, I prayed and told God my desire to be at all of the weddings I had committed to photograph.  I asked that His will be done, and told Him I trusted Him no matter what the outcome.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” -Proverbs 16:9

If you know my story, you will know I was able to photograph EVERY SINGLE WEDDING I HAD BOOKED IN MAY!  I feel like shouting HALLELUJAH y’all!  This truly was such a wonderful GIFT!!! God not only answered my prayers, He answered with a YES and I truly felt His goodness and His LOVE.  One wedding fell four days before I gave birth to Ryan and another four days after.  I want to talk through what it was like to shoot each of these and give practical tips just in case you have weddings closely surrounding your due date too.

I know I said it in the first post, but I want to mention again that it is totally okay if you have no desire to photograph weddings anywhere close to your due date.  Having a baby is such a big deal, and it is completely normal to take the time to fully enjoy this beautiful life change.  This is just my journey, and I want to be faithful in sharing about God’s goodness, strength, and love.


Photographing a Wedding Four Days Before Giving Birth

I was due with Ryan May 21st and I had a wedding on May 20th.  To say I was nervous about whether or not I would be able to photograph this wedding is an understatement.  When I was still pregnant the week leading up to this wedding, I prayed everyday that Ryan would just stay inside for a little longer!  I worked from bed every chance I got thinking if I didn’t over exert myself, he would stay put!

The day of the wedding arrived and I was feeling great!  Mekina and Cassady were coming along with me (both rockstars!) and I was really looking forward to seeing this couple!  Emily and Steven are so much fun, easy going, and all around just amazing people.  I was beyond thrilled to be able to photograph their beautiful day!

I ate a big breakfast, put on my comfortable shoes, and headed into NYC to get started.  The couple got ready at the Park Hyatt hotel, we photographed their portraits in Central Park, and then headed back to the Park Hyatt for their ceremony and reception.  They had 10 hours of coverage, we walked almost five miles, and I took two breaks to rest, one before the ceremony and one during the dancing at the reception.  If I am being completely honest, I felt great throughout the entire day!  I am so thankful I was able to be there and I truly know I was not operating from my own strength.  I believe God gave me the energy to be able to photograph this wedding, and it was such a beautiful gift.

If you have a wedding close to your due date, I want to share a few practical tips on how I prepared for the day:

  • I hired two amazing photographers who had a similar styles and personalities to mine that could take over the day if needed.
  • I invested in a good pair of comfortable shoes.
  • Even though I didn’t end up wearing it, I bought this belly band for extra support just in case I needed it.  I did use this while running the Disney Princess Half Marathon at 6 months and it was so helpful!
  • I packed easy to eat snacks, like bananas, apples, and granola bars.  I stuck these in the back pockets of my shoot sac.
  • I asked my team to take over during the first dance set following all the traditions so I could put my feet up and rest.
  • I made sure I had help the following day for Audrey so I could relax and recover. 


My feet and back were sore after shooting!  I am normally a little sore after shooting a wedding not pregnant.  This was obviously worse, but the soreness went away after a few days.

People definitely commented on how big I looked!  I tried to respond with kindness or make a joke about it.  I knew I looked big.  I was 40 weeks pregnant!  I would laugh and say something like “this baby will be here any day now and I am so excited!”  I am sure people thought I was crazy. 🙂

While shooting any wedding pregnant, I didn’t feel the baby moving as much as I did when I was at home.  I talked to the doctors about it and they explained I would probably not notice movements and kicks as much while I was being active.  When I got home and would lie down in my bed I would start to feel movement again.  This was so comforting.

After photographing Emily and Steven’s wedding on May 20th, I stated to get excited for Lena and Steven’s wedding on May 28th.  I was scheduled to be induced on the 29th and was hoping to be able to photograph one more before giving birth.  To be completely honest, it is much easier to photograph weddings nine months pregnant than it is to photograph weddings directly following birth.  Even though I wanted Ryan to stay put, God had a better plan.

On Wednesday, May 24th I woke up around 3am and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I realized I had an uncomfortable pain in my lower back that came every few minutes.  I didn’t go into labor naturally with Audrey and wasn’t sure what to expect.  Is this what contractions felt like?  I woke Matt up and we called the doctor.  They recommended we come to the hospital and that morning at 7am I was admitted at 4cm.  I was nervous and excited at the same time!  I was feeling great and in very little pain in comparison to my labor with Audrey.  I even felt good enough to edit in the hospital!  I labored naturally until I reached 7cm and then decided to get an epidural.  A few hours later, at 8:41pm, Ryan was born!  My sweet little baby boy!!!  It really was love at first sight.  My favorite doctor was there to deliver him, the nurse cheering me on was a Christian, and I pushed for 25 minutes to worship music!  There was no tearing this time, and relatively no pain.  The experience was completely opposite from my birth experience with Audrey!  I thanked God for this incredible gift.  He didn’t have to give me an easy birth experience, but He did.

The next day I was up and walking around in the early afternoon.  I felt good enough to go home and believed I would be capable of photographing the wedding I had that Sunday.  Mekina was in the hospital with me for both birth experiences and she admitted this delivery was completely different from mine with Audrey.  I called the couple for Sunday’s wedding to let them know I had given birth to sweet Ryan. I also shared my interest in still photographing their wedding if they were okay with it.  They were so kind and gave me the option to be there if I wanted, but told me it was fine if I couldn’t make it.  I had an amazing team in place, and they trusted either way their day would be captured beautifully!

On Friday I went home from the hospital and on Saturday I started talking to Matt, Mekina and my parents about my desire to photograph the wedding the next day.  They could see I was feeling great and that it was important to me and agreed to help make it possible.  Here is what it looked like…

Photographing a Wedding Four Days After Giving Birth

I was contracted for 14 hours this day, but communicated with the couple I felt comfortable being there for the getting ready, the portraits, and the ceremony.  After the ceremony, my team of Mekina, Jen, and Nadine would take over.  I started the day shooting with Mekina and Jen.  Nadine joined right before I left to help cover the photo booth and the reception!

My mom, Ryan and I headed into NYC together the morning of May 28th.  The couple got ready at The Mandarin Oriental, we photographed their portraits in Grand Central, the Top of the Rock, The Plaza, and in Central Park, and they had their ceremony and reception at the Boathouse.  We had three hours dedicated to portrait time, a photographers dream!

I had committed to nursing Ryan and wanted to be available whenever he needed to eat.  Since I had some experience with Audrey, I remembered at this age babies normally sleep for 3-4 hours at a time and go back to sleep shortly after feeding.  I wore my apple watch and told my mom to let me know whenever Ryan woke up and needed to nurse.  I communicated with the couple that I would need to step out to nurse Ryan a few times during the day, and when I did, Mekina would be taking the lead.  Since Mekina was taking on much more work than a normal second shooter, I offered to split the final payment with her.

I ended up nursing Ryan three times in the nine hours I was there, once at the tail end of the getting ready, once during our portrait time in Central Park, and once right before the ceremony.  It took about 30 minutes each time.  My mom stayed in the car with Ryan while he slept, driving him around to put him to sleep when she needed and keeping the car running to make sure it was cool enough throughout the entire day.  God gave me the strength to shoot this wedding, but my mom made it possible for me to be there with this selfless act.  It is hard to put into words how grateful I am!  I can’t imagine it was enjoyable to be in the car for so long, but she did it out of love for me.  Mom, thank you so much.  You are kind, selfless and generous with your time, and I know how much you love me.  You are such a good mom and I pray God will help me to love and care for Audrey and Ryan the way you and Dad have for me.

Even though I wasn’t carrying the weight of a baby in my belly anymore, I was still intentional about listening to what my body needed and resting when I had the chance.  It is recommended not to work out until you are cleared by your doctor around 6 weeks following a vaginal birth and around 8 weeks following a cesarean.  I figured if I could walk around the park at home, I could walk around on a wedding day.  I did ask my doctor if it would be okay for me to physically  photograph this wedding and she said it should be fine. If you are considering photographing a wedding shortly after giving birth, I recommend asking your doctor their thoughts as everyone has different circumstances.

Since I had just given birth to Ryan, I still looked pregnant!  It takes a while for everything to go back in the right place.  I had many guests congratulate me and ask me when I was due.  I came prepared for this, and tried to respond in the most upbeat and positive way when I told them I had actually given birth a few days ago!  People were just trying to be kind, and I tried not to take offense.

Physically, I remember it being a little more difficult to get around after giving birth.  After all, I had just pushed out a baby!  I was thankful we had so much time for portraits and for Mekina’s endless energy on the wedding day.  I went into the day with less rest than before giving birth as Ryan was up to nurse 2-3 times a night.  I knew I would be up in the middle of the night following the wedding and this was hard to wrap my head around. This being said, I was still so thankful I was able to be there to capture this incredible day!

Some Final Thoughts on Photographing Weddings Pregnant

As much as I loved being there to photograph these beautiful wedding days, it was stressful having no control over when I went into labor and gave birth.  I thought about it a lot for nine months.  I am so thankful for God’s perfect timing in Ryan’s delivery.  He truly answered my prayers and gave me the sweet gift of being able to photograph these wedding days.  If I could go back, I wouldn’t change it.  That being said, if we were going to do it all over again (although we are not planning on it!) I would attempt to be more intentional about trying to deliver in the off season.  I would shoot up until 8 months pregnant and would take a two month maternity leave.  I think this would take a lot of stress off me leading up to giving birth, and a lot of stress off my couples leading up to their wedding day.

Whew!  That was another long one!  If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me an email or reach out in the comments below.  Next week I will be talking about Going Back to Work Post Birth. If you are just joining the series and would like to get caught up, feel free to view the first two posts here:

Week 1: Navigating Pregnancy + Motherhood As a Wedding Photographer 

Thanks again for joining me!  Have a wonderful day!




What Photographing Weddings Pregnant Is Like

It’s pretty amazing how strong we become when our faith is rooted in a big God.  A God that helped David defeat Goliath, who shut the mouth of lions, and spoke the entire universe into being in only six days…just to name a few.  When I realized how many weddings I was hoping to photograph while pregnant, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into.  As I shared in my previous post, I had a strong desire to shoot as many of the weddings I had committed to as possible and had prayerfully considered the possibility of this with God.  I shared my desire with Him, but ultimately asked that His will be done.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. -Matthew 6:33

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13  

I photographed 36 weddings while I was pregnant, 20 with Audrey and 16 with Ryan. The earliest I can remember shooting was 4 weeks into my pregnancy, the latest was 4 days before giving birth.  Each trimester came with different challenges, the first and the third being the most difficult for me.  Everyone has a different experience and I know mine might not look the same as yours!  I am happy to share what each trimester was like for me and some practical tips to prepare for shooting in each one.  In case you don’t speak in pregnancy weeks yet, let me break it down for you. 🙂


Bring Your Own Food

I was nauseous with both pregnancies. Morning sickness was more like all day sickness. My body had decided it didn’t like several normal foods.  Even the mention of one of them would send me running to the bathroom.  Those first few weddings I lived on carbs.  It was all I could eat!  I remember at one wedding, I brought an entire bag of blueberry muffins that I had made that morning, 12 to be exact.  I am embarrassed to admit there were only two left at the end of the day, but at least I didn’t go hungry!

My advice would be to listen to what your body wants and bring it with you. It is challenging enough to power through 8 hours of shooting, only to get to dinner and realize there is no way you can eat the meal placed before you. Some of my favorite snacks to take on wedding days were bananas, chewy granola bars, muffins, peanut butter and jelly, apples, and bottles and bottles of water. I wanted to stay hydrated for the baby and felt like I could never get enough!

Leave the Heavy Lifting to Your Second Shooter

Chances are, you won’t be showing yet but there may be some things you won’t want to do. I recommend bringing along a second shooter you trust and sharing the good news with them!  If furniture needs to be moved, or a chair needs climbing on, ask them if they are okay helping out instead. I believe doctors suggest not lifting more than 25 pounds while pregnant and recommend avoiding putting yourself in a situation where you could fall and hurt the baby.

If You are Nauseous, Avoid Cocktail Hour

In my first trimester, I avoided cocktail hour like the plague. All those smells!  I asked my second shooter to focus on this part of the day while I captured reception details.

Rest Up Before and After

I was honestly just so tired during my first trimester. After all, my body was adjusting to growing a tiny human!  Make sure to get a good nights sleep before the wedding day and give yourself a little grace if you need to go to bed instead of staying up until 3am working on sneak peeks after the wedding. I promise the photos will be there the next morning!

The second trimester was by far my favorite!  My appetite was back, along with my energy. I had definitely popped but it wasn’t physically straining to my body. It was nice not to feel so bloated, but to finally have a cute baby bump.  I actually really enjoyed shooting weddings during this time because I felt so great!



Pray for Strength and Trust in God’s Plan

I came in with the expectation that this would be the most challenging of the three. After all, this is when my bump would be the biggest!   Everyone is different, but I found it started to become more physically challenging to shoot around 36 weeks. I would pray before each wedding for God to give me strength, to protect me and the baby, and to help me see creatively through His eyes so I could capture the wedding in a beautiful way.  I always felt great while shooting, even up to 39 weeks pregnant!  Afterwards, my back and feet would be sore (more so with Audrey than Ryan) but it wasn’t unbearable.  I would pray for healing to my body, rest afterwards, and would be feeling back to myself in a few days. I know everyone is different, so I would recommend praying about it yourself and listening to what your body is comfortable with as you get further along in your pregnancy.  I had prayed about my dates early on in my pregnancy and felt God tell me I would be able to photograph weddings even at nine months. This gave me hope that when it came time to do so, He would give me the strength, and He totally did!

Hire a Great Team

For all of my weddings between 36 weeks and 40 weeks (nine months) I hired an amazing second and a third photographer! I wanted two talented women who could completely take over the main shooter and second shooter role just in case I did go into labor at the wedding.  I made sure to bring on photographer friends I trusted, who had worked with me often over the past few years and had tons of experience shooting their own weddings. If you would like to read more about this, check out my first post here. When I was nine months pregnant with Audrey, I also brought along my husband to help carry the bags during the portrait time.  It was definitely a comfort to have him there but I ended up carrying my own bags throughout my pregnancy with Ryan. I normally had my shoot sac and one camera body on me.  The women shooting with me were kind enough to offer to carry my big Kelly Moore bag throughout the wedding day.

Dance Floor Breaks

By the time we got to the reception, I had been on my feet for the entire day.  After the entrances, first dances, and toasts, I would sometimes take a small break and let my second and third photographers cover the dance floor.  I would take around 15 minutes to eat one of my snacks and rest my feet before heading back out again.  Having incredible women I could trust to capture all the fun, even if I needed to take a break, was so helpful!

Invest in a Dress + Comfortable Shoes

In the first and second trimester, I had been able to get away wearing larger dresses I owned. Now, it was time to officially shop for maternity dresses!  I was feeling big and wanted to still look put together and professional on wedding days. I went to Destination Maternity and invested in two black dresses, one that fit well at the time, and one with a little extra room to grow. I ended up alternating between these dresses for both pregnancies and was so happy I had them!  I also purchased a pair of comfortable black shoes. The Aerosoles brand ended up working the best for me.

The Snoogle

While pregnant with Audrey, I would get so sore after each wedding I photographed in the third trimester.  When I would get home I would take a hot shower, beg Matt for a foot massage, and snuggle with the snoogle pillow.  It really did help my aching back!  When I photographed double headers at nine months, I would pray and ask for super natural healing for my body and for God to make the four hours of rest I was getting feel like eight.  He was so kind and faithful and I did always feel rested when I would wake up the next day.

Waiting for the Kicks

I think from the moment you find out you are pregnant, every new mom worries about the safety of her baby.  After  each wedding, I would lie awake in bed until I felt Audrey and Ryan kick.  Even though the doctors said it was totally fine for me to work up until giving birth, I was still nervous.  I felt so comforted when I felt them moving around inside my belly.

The Reaction of Guests

I was obviously pretty big by the third trimester.  My couples knew I was pregnant, but most of the guests did not. I would often get asked when I was due, how I was feeling and told I needed to sit down.  I never wanted to take any attention away from the couple on such a special day but showing up to photograph a wedding nine months pregnant did not go unnoticed.  This is honestly when I wrestled the most with whether or not it was the best idea for me to be there.  I felt completely fine, but I could tell people were concerned about my ability to capture a wedding day at nine months pregnant.

At one wedding, I had a guest come up to me and say I needed to rest or my baby was going to die.  It had been a big fear of mine and it felt like such a spiritual attack.  I went to the bathroom and prayed against this lie, and God drew near to me in this moment.  By His grace, I was able to hold it together through the rest of the wedding but totally broke down to Mekina in the car on the way home.  For me, this part of photographing weddings at nine months pregnant was harder than any physical challenges.

Have a Plan Just in Case You Do Go Into Labor

I am so thankful I never went into labor at a wedding!  I was definitely concerned that being so active that close to my due date could do it.  If I had gone into labor, my plan was to calmly tell my second shooter they would need to take over, and say goodbye to the couple if I could be discrete about it.  Again, I never wanted to take away any attention from them on such a special day, so I had planned to leave as quietly as possible if I needed to.


I know we have been talking about what it is like to photograph weddings while pregnant, but I think it is equally important to talk about those you committed to and just can’t.  I had two weddings booked that I was not able to photograph, one with Audrey and one with Ryan.  I struggled a lot with this, and wanted to talk through both situations.

When I found out I was pregnant with Ryan, I had a destination wedding booked that December in Jamaica!  Matt and I had planned to wait to get pregnant until after I had returned from this wedding and gotten the go ahead to start trying from the doctors.  Zika had just exploded, and we didn’t want to take any chances.  As you probably already know, this didn’t work out exactly the way we planned.

That September I took a pregnancy test and found out Ryan was on the way!  I was excited, but so sad about the possibility of not being able to photograph this destination wedding.  I had really connected with the couple and was genuinely excited for their day!  I had planned on waiting until my eight week ultrasound to talk with them.  I wanted to see the baby, hear the heartbeat, and make sure everything was okay.  I was five weeks pregnant when the bride reached out to me to put a date on the calendar for her engagement session.  It felt like it was the right time to let her know what was going on, so I asked if we could schedule a call.  I was so nervous about what they would say, so I prayed and listened to worship music beforehand.  When we got a chance to talk on the phone, I explained I was pregnant and uncomfortable with traveling to Jamaica because of the risks of Zika, Mekina had agreed to second shoot with me and the couple had already booked a flight for her!  After confirming it was okay with Mekina, I gave the couple the option of having Mekina take over their day.  She would become the lead photographer, our friend Ash would come along as the second photographer, and I would edit all of the images after the wedding day.  I also offered to completely refund their deposit, cover the cost of our flights, and help them find another photographer if they weren’t comfortable with the plan above.  They were so kind to me and said they would be happy to have Mekina take the lead in photographing their wedding day.  Mekina and I even photographed their engagement session together so they could get to know her before the big day.  It was so much fun and I loved having the opportunity to still be involved in capturing their love story.

One of the biggest struggles for me was not shooting the wedding the week before I was due with Audrey.  When I prayed about my dates, I felt like God had showed me I would not be photographing this wedding.  When the wedding week rolled around and I was still pregnant, all I wanted to do was to be there to photograph the day.  Physically, I thought I could do it (I was 39 weeks) but every time I prayed about going, God made it clear that I was not to go.  I had already communicated with the couple I would not be able to be there, I had an amazing team in place, and I knew the day would be covered beautifully.  I have read a countless number of stories in the bible about people directly going against God’s will, and it never ended well.   I knew in my heart He had my best interest and the couple’s best interest in mind. I made the decision to trust that God sees a much bigger picture than I ever will.  Even though it took me a little while to get there, I have peace about my decision today.

I hope these stories and tips have been helpful in some way.  In the following weeks I will be sharing:

Week 3: My Experience Shooting a Wedding Four Days Before Giving Birth, and Four Days After

Week 4: Going Back to Work Post Birth

Week 5: Managing It All

If you have any questions about what photographing a wedding pregnant feels like, or can relate to anything I have shared, please reach out in the comment section below.  I would love to hear from you!  Thank you so much for following along and have a wonderful week!

 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalms 9:10

We didn’t exactly plan to have two kids right in the middle of wedding season. I was definitely going to be one of those photographers who gave birth in January and went back to work in May. God’s timing is perfect, and He had other plans. While pregnant with Audrey (born in July 2015) and Ryan (born in May 2017), I photographed 34 weddings, including one four days before giving birth and one four days after giving birth! These are things I simply could not have done out of my own strength.

Over the next five weeks, I will be sharing a post every Monday centered around pregnancy and motherhood as a small business owner. Even though I am a little nervous to open up about something so personal, it is a topic I have felt God calling me to write about for the last few years. My hope is that whether you are pregnant, considering starting a family, or have kiddos running around, you will find encouragement through my personal testimony. God draws close to us through big life changes, gives us strength when we are weak, and listens to the quiet desire of our heart.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Our Family, July 2017

Welcome to the beginning of this five week series! Over the next few weeks, I am hoping to dive into:

Week 1: Finding Out I’m Pregnant + Telling My Couples

Week 2: What Photographing Weddings Pregnant Was Like For Me

Week 3: My Experience Shooting a Wedding Four Days Before Giving Birth, and Four Days After

Week 4: Going Back to Work Post Birth

Week 5: Managing It All


I have wanted to write this series for a long time.  When I got pregnant with Audrey, I am pretty sure I googled “pregnant wedding photographer” 100 different ways, trying to find stories or testimonials of other women who had gone from having a “business baby” to an actual baby.  I knew big changes were in store, but I was completely unsure of how to navigate them.  I normally book weddings a year, to a year and a half in advance.  When I got pregnant with Audrey, I had eight weddings closely surrounding my due date.  How long would I be able to shoot weddings before giving birth?  When could I go back afterwards?  Would I be able to effectively run my business as a new mom?  What would this look like?  These are all questions I had and I wasn’t sure where to search for the answers.

This is when I began to hear God’s quiet, encouraging voice.  “Share your story.  Share what I am doing in your life.”

I believe we all have a God story.  A story where God has shown up in a big way.  A time when we have felt Him draw close.  For me, God worked in miraculous ways in both of my pregnancies.  He gave me His strength, and strengthened my faith.

I have been nervous to share my story for a while now.  I think I was most worried about what my couples would think.  After all, my pregnancies did involve many of them.  I wanted to be sensitive to their feelings, even though each and every couple was nothing but supportive!  I think I was nervous about being so vulnerable as well, about telling my whole story, even the hard parts.

I also never wanted to come across as knowing it all, or imply that my way is the only way.  I want to make it clear that this is just my story.  How I approach pregnancy and motherhood as a small business owner may not be the perfect way for you.  I encourage you to pray about what is going on in your life, and ask God what is right for you and your family.  He always answers, and His advice is better than any I could give.

That being said, I hope you find encouragement in my story.  I hope it makes you feel a little less alone.  Most importantly, I hope you see the love, faithfulness, and strength of our Heavenly Father in my transition into this wonderful role of motherhood.


I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with Audrey.  My husband Matt and I had been trying, and I decided on a whim to take a pregnancy test.  I was on the phone with my friend Mekina at the time. I remember happily chatting away, having no idea my life was about to completely change.  I put the test on the windowsill, picking it up only moments later to see two pink lines.  My heart rate quickened, and I felt excited, nervous, and unsure of what to do first!  I couldn’t contain such big news, and actually ended up telling Mekina on the phone, asking her advice on how to tell Matt.  That night, I brought home three tiny Yankees onesies, along with a book called “From Dude to Dad”.  We celebrated together, tried to do the math, and realized I would be giving birth sometime in the beginning of July.  I started jumping up and down, so excited that I had no weddings that month, at the moment oblivious to the fact that having five weddings one month before, and three the month after could be an issue.

Things started to sink in after our first visit to the OBGYN.  After confirming I was in fact pregnant, I begin to rattle off a whole list of questions, a few important ones to me being how long before giving birth could I continue to shoot weddings, and when could I go back to work.  My doctor explained it was different for everyone, but if I was healthy, I could possibly work up until giving birth.  She also mentioned that giving birth vaginally usually lead to a faster recovery than a cesarean birth.  I left feeling excited, but still unsure about whether or not I would physically be fine to shoot the weddings closely surrounding my due date.


If you know me well, you know how much I care about my couples and how much I LOVE weddings.  My dad makes fun of me because I have told him “this is my favorite couple” more times than I can count.  “You say that about EVERY couple,” he quickly reminds me…and it is true.  The thought of not being able to photograph a wedding I had committed to made me sick.  I remember being six weeks pregnant with Audrey and crying so hard to Matt in our room about my fear of not being able to be at each one that I actually threw up.  I was so excited about the fact that we were growing our family, but absolutely terrified about how pregnancy would affect my business.  It was a low point for me, and I simply felt out of control.


I knew something needed to change.  After all, I didn’t want to go through the next nine months feeling this way.  Earlier that year, while attending SPARK, my friend Caroline had talked about asking God specific questions when we prayed.  So often my conversations were one sided, me praying and not taking the time to pause and listen to what God had to say back.  I wanted to give it a try, so I went to take a shower (totally the best quiet place to think) and prayed. I told God how thankful I was for our sweet baby, but confessed how fearful I was about not having clarity on how long I would be able to work while pregnant, and when I would be able to go back to shooting weddings after giving birth.  I began praying about each individual wedding date closely surrounding my due date, and was so surprised by what I heard.  As I prayed about each individual date, I started to hear the tender voice of Jesus talking back in my head.  I knew it was Him because His words were so gentle, yet clear.  They were filled with love, and did not sound like words that would come to mind while thinking about the situation myself.  As I prayed about each date, I felt a great peace about May 29th, May 30th, June 12th, and June 19th.  Audrey was due July 2nd.  When I asked God if I would be able to shoot these weddings, I felt him gently reassure me with a YES.  When I prayed about June 20th, I did not feel confirmation either way, but it didn’t feel like a no.  When I prayed about June 27th, I started to see pictures form in my head.  I saw myself sitting in a rocking chair, holding a little baby wrapped in a pink blanket.  I was only six weeks pregnant with Audrey, and I felt like God was showing me that I would be having a little girl.  I felt God say I would not be able to shoot this wedding, and as hard as it was, I chose to trust Him.

This was the breakthrough I had been looking for!  Even though I didn’t have all the answers, I felt like I could contact my couples with more confidence.  I wasn’t relying on my own understanding or advice I had gotten from others anymore.  I was relying on God.  I had faith that what He told me was true, and peace about the fact that He was close by my side.  Now, it was time to form a plan.


I had eight weddings closely surrounding my due date of July 2nd.  A double header the last week of May, four weddings in June, and two in August. In my mind, there were two options.

  1. Give back the deposit and help the couple find another photographer.
  2. Photograph the wedding.


The thought of giving back all of these deposits terrified me. Not only would I have to return thousands of dollars, I would forgo the final payment.  God has always taken care of our family, and I had faith he would take care of us during this time.  Still, the possibility of this financial stress worried me.

I began praying about another option, a way for me to still be a part of these beautiful wedding days if I were physically able.

Since I had already prayed about my wedding dates, and God had answered (showing me which ones I would be able to do, and which ones I would not) I felt comfortable offering my couples this option.

If I was physically able and the couple was okay with it, I would photograph their wedding along two other incredible photographers.  If I were to go into labor or give birth within a few days of their wedding, my team would take over for me!  My second photographer would take the lead, and my third photographer would step in as the second shooter.  I would still edit all of the images and deliver the couple’s wedding album.

I knew that if this option was going to work, I needed to have a strong team in place before contacting my couples.  I wanted them to know and feel comfortable with who would be photographing their day if I was not there.  I also wanted my team to be the same for all of the weddings closely surrounding my due date.  With Audrey, I reached out to two super talented photographers from our Christian photographers small group SPARK, Sidney Morgan and Kristy Timms.  Both ladies were free for all of the weddings I hoped to shoot at nine months pregnant, and agreed to commit to shooting with me seven months in advance.  This meant a lot to me, because it meant they were giving up the opportunity to potentially book the date themselves. Sidney and Kristy owned their own businesses as well.  I did offer to pay more for these weddings, 2x the amount I would normally pay to the first shooter if I was able to shoot the wedding alongside them, and 3x the amount if I was not there, as they would have to take on the main shooter role in this case.  I offered to pay my third shooter the same fee I would normally pay my second shooter, whether I was there or not.  When all was said and done, the majority of my final payment from the couple would go towards the cost of outsourcing my editing and paying my team.  This was totally okay with me as it allowed me to keep the initial deposit.  In many cases, I had already photographed the couple’s engagement session and I would be delivering the final gallery and all products.


I decided to wait until after my 12 week ultrasound to talk to my couples.  I wanted to make sure everything was going well with our pregnancy before sharing the news.  It was also important to me to talk to my couples before telling many of my friends or sharing on social media.  This was mainly because I wanted my couples to hear the news from me first.  Besides our families, my couples were some of the first people to find out Matt and I were pregnant!

I wasn’t sure what my couples would think, but I knew it was time to contact those with weddings one month before my and one month after my due date.  I wanted to let them know what was going on and give them a choice.  I offered to stay on as their photographer (with a solid team in place if I could not be there) or to refund their deposit and help them find another photographer to capture their day.

I decided to call each couple on the phone instead of sending an email.  I didn’t want them to think I was taking the fact that I might not be able to be there on their wedding lightly.  I had committed to photographing their beautiful day and wanted so badly to still be a part of it.  I knew I would be able to communicate this more clearly over the phone.  I made sure to call in the evening or schedule a time to talk when they would both be together.

Pregnant Wedding Photographer



Before making each phone call, I went up to my office, put on worship music (I love Bethel Live on Pandora) and prayed.  I asked for courage, as I was extremely nervous about how they would feel and what they would say.  I asked for grace in their responses.  I asked that I would be able to clearly communicate my desire to still be a part of their wedding day along with my excitement for the pregnancy.  Most importantly, I asked for God’s will to be done in the situation.  I wanted each couple to feel free to make a decision they felt comfortable with, the one that worked best for them.  Feeling God’s peace wash over me, I picked up my phone and made the calls.

The responses of my couples completely blew me away.  Each one congratulated me.  Each one responded with kindness.  Each one chose to have me stay on as a part of their wedding day.  Tears of joy streamed down my face after every conversation.  Their trust in me was so encouraging and I felt like I had been given a wonderful gift in still having the opportunity to be a part of their day.  God drew close to me and I was so incredibly thankful.

In faith, I did tell the couple whose wedding was a few days before my due date that I did not think I would be able to stay on as their photographer.  When I was praying, I felt in my heart God tell me I was not going to be able to shoot this wedding and I wanted to be faithful and honest about what I had heard.  I also came to them with two options.  The first was a full refund of their deposit (even though I had already photographed their engagement session) and the offer to help them find another photographer to capture their day.  The second was to have my best friend and talented photographer Mekina Saylor take the lead as the main shooter, my close friend Caroline Frost (who actually charged more than me at the time) take on the role as second shooter, and the amazing Asher Gardner come along as a third.  I would still edit all of the images and deliver their full gallery, and they would be fully taken care of with an incredibly talented team on their wedding day.  This couple chose the second option, trusting the team I had put together and giving me the opportunity to still be a small part of their day.  I was so grateful!!!


After talking to all of my couples who had weddings one month before my due date and one month after, I drafted an email to send out to every other couple I had booked for the year.  I attached our pregnancy announcement photo, sharing the exciting news and letting them know this would not affect their wedding day.  Feel free to check out the email I sent out right before Christmas!

Hi (bride + groom),

I hope you both are doing well and enjoying the holiday season!  I wanted to share the exciting news that my husband and I are expecting and will have a little one joining our family in July!  This should in no way affect your wedding, I might just be sporting a little baby bump while capturing your beautiful day. 🙂  I am attaching our Christmas card below!  I hope you both enjoy a wonderful holiday with family and friends and I look forward to seeing you soon!


I emailed this out the day before I shared the news on social media.  I didn’t want any of my couples to see my pregnancy announcement and worry if I would be able to be there for their special day.


Now the secret was out, I finally felt like I could celebrate!  A huge weight was lifted off me in being able to share the good news!  Now all I had to do was wait for this sweet baby to grow and see what God had in store.

I hope you will tune in for the rest of my story in the coming weeks!  Over the next four Mondays, I hope to share:

Week 2: What Photographing Weddings Pregnant Was Like for Me

Week 3: My Experience Shooting a Wedding Four Days Before Giving Birth, and Four Days After

Week 4: Going Back to Work Post Birth

Week 5: Managing It All

If you are enjoying this series or have any questions you would like me to answer, please let me know!  I would love to hear from you!  Thanks for taking the time to read my novel of a post and HAPPY MONDAY!

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:31

The rain dotted the windows of the Essex House, making the view of Central Park across the street look almost like a painting. Despite the weather, laughter rang out as Natasha and her bridesmaids popped champagne, listened to a pretty awesome wedding mix, and slipped into their gorgeous gowns!  The day had finally arrived for Natasha to marry John and she was SO excited!  These two love birds met through a mutual friend who lived in the same building during their time in New York and they hit it off right away!

John had also been looking forward to this day for a long time.  As he was watching his beautiful bride walk down the aisle at St. Ignatius church, a huge smile spread across his face!  In front of their family and friends Natasha and John promised to spend their lives loving and supporting one another.  Afterwards, they headed to Central Park for a few fun and romantic portraits in the place where they got engaged!  As we arrived, the clouds parted and the skies cleared!  The rain earlier in the day had left the park almost entirely empty and it felt like we had the place to ourselves.  It was magical!

The rest of the evening went by in one amazing blur as Natasha and John danced the night away, toasted to a long and happy marriage, and indulged in delicious wedding cake and Momofuku cookies!  It was an honor to be a part of such an amazing celebration and I can’t wait to share a few of my favorite images below.  Congratulations again Natasha and John!  Your Central Park Boathouse wedding was truly a dream and I am so happy for you both.





The Team: Photographer- Amy Rizzuto Photography, Bride’s Getting Ready- The Essex House, Groom’s Getting Ready- W Hotel Midtown, Ceremony- St. Ignatius Loyola, Reception- Central Park Boathouse, Wedding Planner- Katie Berger (Sara Kate Events), Hair Stylist- Audrey Schaenman, Make-up Artist- Linda Gallo, Invitations- Paper Source, Florist- Lenox Hill Florist, Wedding Dress- Vera Wang, Bridesmaid Dress- Jenny Yoo, Shoes- Jimmy Choo, Second Photographers- Mekina Saylor + Cassady K, Videographer- eMotion Pictures, Inc., Cake- Lulu Bakery – Scarsdale, Cookie Favors- Momofuku Cookies, Band/DJ- Around Town Entertainment, First Dance Song- “I Don’t Dance” – Lee Brice

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Want to see more pretty images like Natasha and John’s Central Park Boathouse wedding photos?  Follow along on instagram and facebook!

Amy Rizzuto is a NYC  wedding photographer
who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.
For more information visit!