Jessica Hickerson Photography » Blog

 

I popped! I popped! All of a sudden around 30 weeks I started to get round, and now a day shy of 34 weeks there is no denying I-am-mama-hear-me-roar! With that came an even more uncomfortable belly and my first itty bitty stretch mark. I’m doing my best to follow the “sleep while you can” advice even though I have to pee constantly, and embrace the chaos of the next couple weeks. Before my maternity leave begins I’m shooting three weddings, an elopement, and a few family sessions. We just had our baby shower last Saturday (photos below!) and next weekend we are combining my out of town wedding with a camping trip. In the last three weeks things will finally settle down. Maybe then the “nesting” will begin? And I’ll pack my hospital bag… have my last couple OB appointments… and install the car seat… Whoa.

Sam and I have reached a point where we are so ready for baby girl to be here. We keep reflecting on how very, VERY long 9 months is. We can hardly wait to see what she looks like and finally settle into our new roles as mom and dad. She is going to make everything so much more fun + special; from our weekend road trips to a simple night watching the sunset at the beach. Sometimes it feels like the baby is all we want to talk about. We are still fighting over her name (lovingly, of course), who will get to play with her after work, and who will feed her in the middle of the night (we both want to, not the opposite! haha).

A giant baby shower seemed like the best way to celebrate this incredible light that’s entered our lives. I envisioned an eclectic, 70s inspired, beachy affair with good food and everyone that we love in one place. With the help of my mom, mother in law, aunt, and friend Andrea, my vision came to life! It was a perfect summer day with tacos, donuts, the most amazing friends and family, and wicker + macrame + tropical flowers everywhere you looked.

Let me just preface the photo portion of this post with this: we were still getting ready when guests started to arrive (so out of character for me!) and it was 85º out. So the combination of stress + heat + running around like a crazy person at 33 weeks pregnant = me quickly snapping some detail photos before I sat down to recover/ try not to make myself go into labor. Kidding, kidding….. sort of 😉 There are a few things missing and definitely not enough photos of our guests BUT it was the best I could do.

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Baby girl has the best Grandmas!

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And finally, our amazing family! They did so much to make this day happen, and the THREE of us are so grateful!

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Rentals: inJOY The Party

Taco Bar Caterning: Iconic Catering

Invitations: Kirra Reyna Designs

Guest Book: Starboard Press

Donuts: Jay’s Donuts (seriously the best donuts in the South Bay!)

Flowers + favors + design by me, but all of other insanely cute details were done by my friend Andrea and my aunt!

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This past November I was able to photograph a wedding at one of my dream venues: El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara. Kim and Paul were able to perfectly mesh what they loved about a non-traditional camping wedding with a sweet ceremony on the coast. They borrowed details from their parents weddings (like Kim’s gorgeous bouquet) and kept the wedding simple with no wedding party and family style seating. Most of their family traveled in from across the country and they used this opportunity to show off their new home in California they’ve grown to know and love.

 

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Photographer: Jessica Hickerson Photography

Venue: El Capitan Canyon

Coordinator: Once in a Lifetime

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For their engagement session, Tiffany and Travis invited me to explore the area surrounding their home in beautiful Point Dume, Malibu. We started the adventure at their private beach with these amazing flower-covered bridges along the way. There were a few other locals on the beach and everyone just waved as they enjoyed their little hidden piece of paradise. It was a chilly evening but luckily Tiffany brought a blanket, plus Travis was more than happy to snuggle his bride-to-be. From there we made our way to the cliffs at Point Dume. The wind was so strong but we managed to make our way to the top of the point to take in the amazing views. What a dream location.

I can’t wait to reunite with Tiffany and Travis in Malibu for their seaside wedding at the Adamson House next year!

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27-30 Week Update //

As soon as I hit the third trimester, things have gotten a little more difficult…

Without a really “visible pregnancy” (aka 90% of strangers still wouldn’t be able to tell that I am pregnant) it feels pretty silly every time I struggle to stand up or get winded walking up a flight of stairs. But as my belly grows at its own slow pace, baby girl is growing right on track.  According to my app she is already 15.7 inches long and around 3lbs; from 30 weeks on she will gain half a pound a week. She starts a little dance routine every time I stop moving and has taken over all the extra room inside me. I imagine my lungs and stomach are fighting for space in there, since breathing gets more difficult with each passing week and I can barely finish a meal. (P.s. do pregnant women really have an appetite big enough to “eat for two?” I’m eating less than I did pre-pregnancy- teach me your ways!)  Sitting for extended periods has become pretty uncomfortable. Well, so has standing, laying down, walking… but I digress. The heartburn is fairly constant, charlie horses have me leaping out of bed in the middle of the night, I get dizzy spells at least once a day, my skin is itchy, my belly button is so stretched I’m afraid it’ll rip, and and and and….. Okay that’s it. Those are all of my complaints. I just had to put them out there. Because honestly I have been SO lucky to have an easy pregnancy that it feels like its not my place to complain, but I want to keep these blog posts real & sometimes I’m not the happiest pregnant lady on the block.:)

Suddenly she has started to kick me all. the. time. And it kind of freaks me out. It feels more like an alien rummaging inside me rather than the magic everyone talks about. But I’m learning to view them as little reminders that everything is okay. Every time she bounces on my pelvis or pushes back into my ribs, I feel like she is saying “all is good in here, mom! Still growing!

I have to say that even with all these little things making my day to day life increasingly difficult, I can’t help but feel grateful. Each discomfort I experience genuinely feels like a gift. They let me know my body is working and that we are growing together. These are symptoms that other mothers have experienced for years and years, and there’s something comforting in that sense of solidarity. I remind myself that I get to do this; there are so many women who won’t ever experience pregnancy though they may so desperately want to. Sam and I have been entrusted with this sweet little life and man are we going to love her fiercely.

So here we are at week 30. 10 weeks, and just over two months left. One of my favorite moments of this pregnancy happened at the beginning of this week: Sam and I spent an afternoon on the couch binging a season of The Office. We watched my alien-inhabited belly swaying back and forth, with the occasional jolt that still makes me jump up and say “Whoa!” Sam pressed his hand into my left side and a few seconds later there was a big thud in that exact spot. He tried it again, and the thud was bigger. She was responding! We just looked at each other and laughed with awe and a little bit of fear. Every milestone makes her seem like more and more of a little person in there. (A couple days later I was playing The Beach Boys on my phone, and she started kicking like crazy. She has good taste already 😉 Our goal is to constantly play Oldies and hopefully avoid the whole baby music thing. Are we crazy to think we can win that battle? Probably.)

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Once again I haven’t been great with taking “real” photos, but in the past three weeks the belly has been groooowwwing! These were all taken post-workout in the evening because thats when my stomach is biggest haha!

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And finally let me leave you with my gushy mama moment of the day: LOOK AT THAT CUTIE BATOOTIE CHUNKY BABY FACE WITH HER ITTY BITTY HAND AND LITTLE BUTTON NOSE. We can’t wait to meet you little bean!!! <3

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I recently realized it had been three years since I last shared about my wedding albums! Since about 75% of my brides and grooms choose to include an album with their wedding collection, I thought it would be a good time to rave about them some more. Plus I just delivered an album from last year’s Redondo Beach Wedding and it was just begging to be photographed!

I always tell my clients “these aint your mama’s wedding album!” Long gone are the days of slide in prints and busy designs, these albums are beautifully sleek, clean, timeless- something you will always be proud of. My goal is for your to love it so much that is has a permanent home on your coffee table, instead of forgotten in a box or bookcase somewhere. The albums feature flush mounted prints, thick pages, and a lay-flat design. I have one from my own wedding- thats how much I adore the company I work with.

Here’s how the process works:

Step One: You go through your PASS gallery and select the appropriate number of favorites from your wedding or portrait session.

Step Two: I create the first draft album design and email it to you for your review.

Step Three: At this time you can make any requests or changes, which I will implement immediately, and then you approve the final design.

Step Four: We choose what you want the cover to look like. You have so many beautiful options to choose from, like hand etched leather, linen covers, and foil stamping.

Step Five: The album goes into production and will be delivered to you within about a week!

That’s it! Depending on the projects I am currently working on and the speed at which you approve the design, the entire process can take as little as two weeks. This will become an heirloom that your kids and grandkids will flip through for years to come. It’s the story of your wedding day, where it all began. They will talk about how beautiful their mama is and recognize that loving look in their daddy’s eyes. Creating the album is truly one of my favorite parts in the wedding process and I hope to share the experience with each and every one of my clients.

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