You thought you had a lot to cope with when you were a pregnant wedding photographer? Just because the baby is out now doesn’t meant that you don’t have a few more things to consider. When you’re a wedding photographer who is breastfeeding, you become the epitome of a multi-tasker. You’re not only shooting the day and planning the next image in your head but you’re also planning on when you’re going to pump and where you’re going to pump amongst the chaos of a wedding day. A few tips for breastfeeding and pumping as a wedding photographer include:
- Get a good pump! Battery powered is really convenient.
- Get a second shooter! They can shoot for 10-15 minutes while you’re off pumping.
- Bring a cooler! Gotta keep that milk cold; a cooler with several ice packs in it will do the trick
- Have a change of bra and shirt in case you do a little too longer without pumping and start leaking (despite the pads!)
You don’t have to let your client know that you’ll be pumping but you don’t have to hide it from them either. If you have an open relationship with your clients there’s nothing wrong with telling them that you’ll need 15 minutes 2 or 3 times during the day to pump and then reassure them that you’ll find appropriate times to do this so that you’re not off pumping and leaving the walk up the aisle to your second shooter.
A lot of photographers choose to pump in their car but not everyone has a vehicle that’s easily accessible on the wedding day. Some women will use the bridal suit at the reception while others simply find a stall in the bathroom to pump. Breastfeeding and pumping as a wedding photographer can be challenging so choose what makes you happy; whatever works for you is the right way to do it.
Here’s some advice about breastfeeding and pumping as a wedding photographer directly from other mama photographers:
From Olivia Jenner at Olivia Jenner Photography: “I usually plan where to park my car based on a spot that will be both discreet for feeding and fast to get to and then I pump in there, and bring extra batteries so I don’t have to worry about plugging it in. I always bring a cooler bag with ice and just store all of my stuff in there. It’s challenging for me to be able to relax enough to pump much milk out. It’s usually cramped and rushed and stress and breastfeeding aren’t a good combo. Overall it’s been ok though! If it’s my own wedding I ask my 2nd to cover for me and try to slip out when there’s a little break. I’ve done it 8 or 9 time so far…If I’m a 2nd the person I’m shooting with is always really understanding and I just ask them what time would be best.”
From a wonderful photographer and mom of 2: “[The] challenge is trying to find a suitable time and place to pump, often it’s the car and often the max I have is 15 min. The worst is when you have to do it in the bathroom, plus it’s often hard to find an electrical outlet. Also it’s very hard to do if you’re shooting alone but much more manageable if you have someone else there to cover you. Yesterday I was all set up to pump upstairs in a quiet and secluded area of the reception then some guy comes and plugs his phone in and sits at table next to me. I packed up and demanded to the wedding planner to let me in the private bridal suite. I’m way to private to be able to pump in front of people. I use a nursing cover to hide the pumps and hide my boobs. My boobs are only for my babies and my hubby, that’s all I personally feel comfortable with.”
However you need to make it work for you is totally okay; there is no right or wrong way to be a breastfeeding and pumping mama who works!