Jessica Hickerson Photography » Blog

If you’ve been hanging around for a while, you’ve probably seen these cute faces before. The Dickherber fam are some of our besties and I always loved getting them in front of my camera. A little over a year ago I was capturing some moments before they had baby #2 and now here they are- a family of four! I can hardly believe how fast time has gone.  Our girls are just a week apart and they really need to stop growing so quickly!!!

I think this family session is a new favorite. There’s something about a warm “winter” beach day in Palos Verdes that I can’t get enough of. More days like this, please.

 

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Its been a couple years since I wrote a post looking back on the previous year. But 2017 was such a whirlwind that I wanted to write a little something to remember the year I shot weddings pregnant and with a newborn.

Let me start by saying, it was an AMAZING year. But very, very challenging.

In 2016 I came up with the perfect plan where I would have a baby during late Fall AKA my “off season” so it wouldn’t interrupt my work too much. Fate had other plans, and I ended up having our sweet Dylan in the summer. Thankfully I didn’t have to cancel any weddings I booked BB (before baby), but I had to turn away a loooooot of wedding inquiries for 2017. It was difficult financially but even more so emotionally because I LOVE my job. I had to accept this would be a slower year for my business- something I consider to be the first of many, many sacrifices I’ll make as a mom. Good ol’ Fate was at it again and my amazing husband ended up with a new job + a raise in the beginning of the year, so that greatly eased our money struggles (life’s crazy, isn’t it?!) However the photography world is all about momentum and things like taking a break, moving, changing your focus, etc. basically mean you will need to start over. So 2018 is going to be the year of HUSTLING.

Because I want to spend my weekends third wheeling 😉 Like here at Nicole and Levi’s Calamigos Ranch wedding last May!

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The image below was taken in June during the last wedding I shot before I gave birth… specifically, a week before. I had just been diagnosed with ICP and literally went from a hospital bed in the morning to shooting this wedding two hours away that afternoon. I had the most gracious bride & groom and a truly incredible second shooter Megan, without whom this day wouldn’t have been possible. So in case you were wondering, this is what shooting a wedding in 95º at 36 weeks pregnant looks like haha!!

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And then came my first wedding post-baby. Just 7 weeks after I gave birth, I shot a 9 HOUR wedding day on the beach in Redondo. I pumped in the car twice and cried three times (#hormones). But once again I had the best couple + second shooter Jess who made everything so easy (except when they asked how Dylan was and I immediately got tears in my eyes because I missed her gosh darn it haha!)

pinthisIt was freaking HARD to leave my baby that first wedding. Since then I’ve shot two more plus a bunch of family sessions and each one was a little bit easier. I actually enjoyed some “me time” at my last wedding of the year and jammed out in the car driving there and back.

In 2018 I hope to give my “first baby” (aka my business) more love and attention as I work on getting it back to a place of growth and continuing to find couples that I jive with. Like I said, its going to take a lot of hustle… but I’m up for it.

Speaking of which, if you’re planning a 2018 intimate wedding or elopement, let’s chat! 🙂

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Winter beach days are kind of my favorite. Towards the end of last year I got to spend an afternoon with the Karzen family and take some photos before they became a family of four. Their sweet Violet joined them just after Christmas so I thought it was time to share these photos!

I just want to say, I am ALLLLL about lifestyle sessions for families. Toddlers have a mind of their own and little Lucy just wanted to play in the water. So we rolled with it (while tricking her in to a few poses) 🙂 She had a blast and they will always be able to look back on these photos and remember what life looked like when it was just there three of them. <3

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I am a work at home mama, or a “WAHM” in the mommy blog world. Balancing raising the tiny human and running a small business has been SO challenging. I feel like I have a million things to say about this topic, so stick with me here as I share how the heck this even works 🙂

PSA I want to preface this post by saying this: I absolutely do noooottt have this totally under control. There are many days where we all eat and sleep and thats about it. Any parent will tell you that once you’ve finally figured out a baby’s schedule or preferences, it changes. Like instantly. BUT I want to share what I’ve been doing over the past 6 months.

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I went “back to work” with my first wedding when Dylan was 7 weeks old. Since then I have shot three weddings, a handful of at-home sessions, and about a bazillion family session (bazillion= technical term); not to mention the regular upkeep that goes along with a business: emails, social media, endless computer work, etc etc. Every wedding (600+ images) has been delivered in two weeks or less (I promise four weeks to my clients) and portrait sessions within ONE week (I promise two.) I don’t want to downplay the amount of work that goes in to editing, it is a LOT. But I’ve always been a big believer in “under promise/ over deliver” and its a big part of my business model.

Some details about our life I should mention:

  • Dylan is almost 6 months old and for the past two months has been on a pretty basic routine with her awake hours being 7am- 7pm and 3ish naps a day.  On a good day, she takes three 30 minute naps + 15 minutes of crib chill time before I come grab her. (Note: apparently “normal” 4-6 month olds are supposed to take 1.5 hour naps?!?… I can count on one hand how many times that has happened.)
  • We have always followed an EAT-PLAY-SLEEP schedule and the PLAY portion is a mix of going for walks, running errands, and actually playing. I DO NOT work during these times so I can give Dylan my full attention. Occasionally I will do housework (like the dishes or laundry) but I include Dylan in these activities as much as possible by making up cleaning songs or having her hold things + press the buttons.
  • I’m addicted to Social Media… who isn’t these days? But a rule I’ve set for myself is that I will not be mindlessly scrolling while Dylan is playing. “Zombie Phone Time” is reserved for while she is nursing & sleeping. (Honestly I’d like to kill this habit and have less screen time, but I’m picking my battles)
  • We are ALWAYS on the move. Most naps are in the crib, but sometimes they are in the car/ stroller/ etc. and we both just need to be flexible. This sometimes means I have to work at odd hours to make up for lost time. Which leads me to….
  • I have rules for when I’m allowed to work (mostly for the sake of my relationship!). 4 out of 5 weekdays I “close up” as soon as Sam walks in the door. Occasionally I need to play catch up and have him do full Dad Duty for 30 mins- an hour while I work. But once we get to dinner I’m done for the day. I also don’t work on weekends. Obviously I have photo shoots + weddings, and sometimes need to answer an important email, but 95% of the time my computer stays at my desk from Friday 5pm- Monday 9am.

ANYWAYS. In a perfectly scheduled work, Dylan’s days look something like this:

7am: Wake Up + Nurse, then go for a walk

9am: Nap

10am: Nurse, play play play- maybe run errands

12:00pm: Nap

1pm: Nurse, playtime at home

3:00pm: Nap

4:00pm: Nurse, then normally we take an afternoon walk

7pm: Bedtime

That gives me 30 minutes to accomplish something three times a day (9am, 12pm, and 3pm). The options that constantly run through my head are: emails, edit, laundry, dishes/ cleaning, eat, or relax. At first I put SO much pressure on myself by thinking I could do all of theses during one nap. Then Dylan would wake up early or something and I would be resentful. And thats not fair! So I made my goals smaller:

1st Nap: Eat, WORK/ answer emails, if theres time start a load of laundry

2nd Nap: WORK

3rd Nap: Clean, dishes, relax + EAT (no work)

^ The order can switch up depending on my energy levels and how much work I have to do, how hungry I am, if Dylan wakes up after 10 minutes…

I also have tasks I try to do weekly: On Mondays I grocery shop, Tuesdays I do laundry, Thursday I clean the living room and Fridays are my fun days!

The most important things I want to mention is this: Dylan is happy if I am happy. I am happy if I feel accomplished and fulfilled. To feel accomplished, I have a weekly calendar where I schedule my daily goals, and then check off as I complete them each day. To feel fulfilled, I give my full attention to my family whenever I can and I leave the house (walk at the beach, get coffee, run an errand, baby + mama  groups, etc.). It may seem like those take away from my work/ home time, but it actually helps me do more because I fill my cup (literally and metaphorically) and then have the energy + right attitude to do the other stuff.

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Here are some tips:

  • Multitask // Its so doable if you don’t allow yourself to stress about it. Figure out what you can manage at once. I can cook a meal, move a load of laundry, and answer emails during the same nap time, I just have to figure out my “limit” before getting overwhelmed.
  • Ask for help // I don’t know about you, but this one is so hard for me. But when I ask Sam to take over for 10 minutes before work so I can get ready, or 30 minutes after work (if he’s home early enough) for me to finish up some work, it makes all the difference. Maybe someday I’ll even let a grandparent babysit? 😉
  • Somethings gotta give // Sometimes we just can’t get to everything and THAT’S OKAY. Our “something” is folding Sam and I’s laundry. I literally bought a second laundry basket for clean clothes. Someday I’ll figure out how to do this but for now we can handle digging for underwear every morning and some wrinkly shirts.
  • And finally, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK // There are days where I buy two coffees and eat cookies for lunch, or maybe just hold Dylan and Netflix all day long. And its okay!!! I’ll resume being Super Mom tomorrow.

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  • Tiffaney - Thank you for sharing! This was so encouraging.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - “I fill my cup (literally and metaphorically) and then have the energy + right attitude to do the other stuff.” Love this and it’s so true for me, too!

    I’m so happy to hear that sometimes you hang out with Dylan and watch Netflix. I’ve felt too guilty to watch TV while Mabel’s awake but I am sometimes on my phone. It’s silly what we make a big deal about. I remember asking her pediatrician if I had to play with Mabel every minute while she was awake and the ped assuring me that just like adults, babies need time to chill, too.ReplyCancel

Brittany and Stephen met while attending college at NYU. A few years later they made the move to Los Angeles to follow their dreams together. LA quickly became their new home and they loved sharing it with their friends and family. Stephen proposed on one of their favorite beaches, and then the two of them started planning the perfect California wedding. They dreamed of beautiful architecture, an ocean view, and bougainvillea everywhere: The Adamson House brought all those visions to life.

The wedding took place in the middle of October, though it felt more like the dead of summer. Brittany and Stephen couldn’t take their eyes off of one another from the moment they had their First Look. Their intimate celebration was truly magical because they allowed their closest friends and family into their story. During the ceremony they shared a sweet little tradition: every Valentines day Stephen writes Brittany a “Why I Love You” book and on their wedding she received a “special edition.”  Its pretty obvious that these two adore one another. And as the sun set, everyone danced under the twinkling lights and full moon until their voices were hoarse and their feet sore.

Photography: Jessica Hickerson Photography

Venue: The Adamson House

Coordinator: Wish Wonder Dream

Videographer: Cotton Love Studios

Florist: Penelope Pots

Rentals: Circa Vintage Rentals, Pretty Vintage Rentals

Catering: Truly Yours Catering

Ice Cream Sandwich Bar: Chunk N Chip

Dress: Hayley Paige

Hair and Makeup: Design Visage

DJ: Vox DJs

 

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