I’ve been keeping a little secret the past few weeks… I’ve been working most of my summer wedding season in Washington, DC on a broken foot! I haven’t not shared out of lack of transparency; I simply wanted to ensure all of my clients were notified and taken care of before sharing anything else. Now that I’ve completed two weddings and four sessions, I feel like I can be an open book to others who might find themselves in a similar situation in the future!
First a little backstory — because, naturally, the first thing anyone asks when they see my giant beast of a walking boot is “what happened to your foot!?”. Unfortunately, it’s literally the least interesting story… I stepped off our friend’s back porch one Saturday morning while letting out their dog and basically fell into a hole!!! I mean, could it be any later than that?!? I went immediately to the urgent care where I found I broke my fifth metatarsal near the base. For the first two days, I was in a cast with crutches and was in a near panic… how can you shoot with crutches!? Luckily, when the orthopedics office reopened on Monday, they fixed me up with a walking boot and I was good to go… well, as good as I could be anyway!
But I learned a lot along the way and to the future photographers shooting with a broken foot — I promise you can get through this! Here are some of my best “remedies”!
1. Stack Your Team
I shoot every wedding with a second shooter and have some AWESOME ladies who help me out, so I truly wasn’t too worried on that on. I did end up bringing an assistant with me as well to carry all the bags and do some of the running back and forth for me on the day of — this allowed myself and my second shooter to simply focus on shooting and saved me a ton of energy!
2. Notify the Planner
If you’re working with a wedding planner, I suggest making them the first person you notify to alleviate any stress from your client. I worked with two different planners who both made different decisions on whether or not we should loop in the bride; ultimately, both decisions worked best for that particular client, so always trust the planner!
3. Shoes, shoes, shoes
I highly recommend bringing multiple pairs of shoes! I HATED the idea of showing up in sneakers — that just isn’t how I run my business as I prefer to dress similar to the guests, but I also knew I had to be practical. I started the day in a heel, which was actually quite comfortable because it levels you out with the walking boot. I then slipped into my sneakers during the reception once the lights were down and it was less noticeable!
4. Raise ’em Up
If heels aren’t for you, I totally get it! But you’ll still want an insert for your sneakers so you aren’t totally out of alignment — the walking boot is several inches high which will destroy your hips in just a few minutes by walking unevenly! I found THIS on Amazon and it worked perfectly in my sneaker!
If you have to shoot a full wedding, don’t be surprised if your foot is exhausted the next day. While I’m definitely not a doctor, I found a lot of relief in the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method. Be prepared to take it easy for the following 24-48 hours after a wedding day! I loved THIS compression sleeve!
Tylenol? Consider that your new bestie :) I took some BEFORE the day even began so that I could avoid the pain later. I took another dose again during the wedding so I could last the entire day! Again, please chat with your doctor!
7. Wool Socks
I couldn’t have picked a worse time to break my foot — during the peak of summer when it’s 100 degrees and humid every day in DC! I swear that walking boot adds 10 degrees! So wool socks may sound counterintuitive, but they actually helped keep moisture out! I loved THIS lightweight pair from REI — it came in black which helped it blend!
Finally, if you’re extra unlucky like me and break your right foot, Uber will quickly become the most used app on your phone. Don’t waste time and precious energy trying to walk — I promise, you’ll thank me later.
It’s funny — I came across so many people who were shocked I was still shooting, but it never crossed my mind that there was another option; I will literally do anything I can to not miss a client’s wedding day! After all, they only do this once and deserve the absolute best no matter what is going on in our personal life!