Bridal showers and baby showers are events that every modern woman dream of. These celebrations are organized to celebrate life-changing events and often are avenues to unite several generations of family and friends. These events require the celebrant to hire the services of a professional photographer to help document them. So what do you do if you are so hired?
How do you tackle this form of photography? I will be dishing out some useful tips to help you below. For those who are experienced handling these sort of events, you can still find tips to help you further develop and fine-tune your skills below. So, photographing bridal showers and baby showers, how to go about them.
Going for a bridal shower or baby shower event, what will you need to take along? Having the right equipment is always the first step towards getting the job done well and also saving yourself stress. The goal here is to be prepared for a variety of photo ops while also keeping your camera bag as light as possible.
So if you are hired to photograph a bridal shower or baby shower event, go along with a versatile 18–55mm standard zoom lens. You can also use a similar lens that is equipped with image stabilization and continuous autofocus (AF). A lens that can handle virtually any scene, ranging from large group portraits to close-ups of a pretty cupcake or a special shower favor.
You should ensure you have enough battery and memory cards to last the entire duration of the event. It is best to pack more than you will actually need of these two to avoid embarrassing situations of being slowed down by dead batteries or full memory cards which may lead to you missing out on important parts of the celebration.
If you want to take lots of continuous action shots or video, it is advisable to use large-capacity cards with fast writing speeds.
Create a “Shot List”
It is a good idea to always draw up a shot list before the event From time-honored traditions to last-minute surprises, it is quite easy to miss an important moment if you are not well prepared. Try to meet up with the organizer of the event to get the schedule so you can plan ahead of time where you and your camera can set up during and after the main event.
Draw up a list of shots you will like to capture such as the arrival of the guest of honor, generational photos of mothers and daughters, poses with friends and family as well as other concepts along these lines. As a matter of duty, should arrive early at the party venue so you can familiarize yourself with the venue and also assess lighting of the place so you can choose possible angles to choose the best camera settings.
Take notes of the camera models and settings you will use so you can quickly switch when those big moments arrive.
Photography is all about lighting. It is a must that you capture your clients in the best light possible. You don’t want to be the one to spoil a bride’s big day or an expectant mum’s big occasion. So you have to figure out the available lighting at the venue and optimize it. In photography, shooting where there is an abundance of natural light usually gets you the best results.
See also: PHOTOGRAPHY LIGHTING
Avoid shooting subjects when the sun is located behind them when taking photos in direct sunlight especially when the sun is high up in the sky. Alternatively, make use your flash to avoid underexposing subjects and filling-in dark shadows.
Shadow areas are automatically lit up by your camera using the right amount of flash often called Fill Flash without washing out the subject. If the shower is taking place in an area with poor lighting condition, modify your camera settings to compensate for less optimal lighting conditions.
Capture Customary Events
Photographing bridal and baby showers can be full of surprises for the guest of honor. From arriving at the party to the “reveal” of a gift as it is opened, these moments must be captured by you, the photographer. The build-up to a moment is usually filled with as much drama as the actual moment itself.
By shooting the scene before and after a burst of activity, you will get a range of reactions that authentically captures the moment. Activate Continuous Shooting in the Drive mode settings of your camera to rapidly snap a series of images with a single press of the shutter button.
If you are shooting in an area with good lighting, opt for Sports mode to automatically select a fast shutter speed and an appropriate aperture setting for the scene and also activate autofocus.
Some moments during bridal and baby showers are best captured on video. Moments such as the opening of gifts or a fun shower game demand to be captured on video. Be prepared to switch your camera to Movie mode when such moments play out.
You are able to control quality, AF mode and sound to get high-quality recordings through the Movie menu. If you plan to use extended Movie mode, take along a dedicated memory card for video as videos take up more space than photos.
Shoot Candid Photos
Candid photography is all about taking photographs of people without them intentionally posing for the camera. Event photography such as baby showers and bridal showers present you with opportunities to capture candid images. While everyone both guests and celebrants are engaged in party games and gift opening, take the opportunity to go around and snap candid photos.
See also: THE ESSENTIALS OF CANDID PHOTOGRAPHY
When people are not thinking about posing, often the results tend to be more relaxed and natural. Try to capture at least two photos of each guest during the festivities. Also capture scenes that are unrelated to the main event such as a shared laugh between guests. It is a good idea to pay special attention to older guests. Also take note of guests who may have traveled from a long distance to the event.
If there is a need for you to stage posed photos with the guests of honor and special guests, do so. Also snap the group from alternate angles. Shoot in continuous Sports mode to increase your chances of finding a shot of this large group without someone blinking.
For photos of small groups of people, set your camera to Portrait mode. This will reduce the DOF (depth of field). Also it will put more focus on your subject while at the same time blur objects in the background.
Bring your creativity to full bear. Once you get through with taking the traditional, get a little creative with interesting poses and unconventional cropping. If you are taking portraits, start with the basic poses and then shoot from several angles to spice things up. Also, you can shoot upward from a low position. Usually, this is with a wide-angle zoom setting when the guest of honor is opening a present.
If the engaged couple or expectant parents are both at the event, be watchful. Be on the lookout for unique opportunities to stage romantic scenes. Also encourage them to indulge in a tender moment or PDA. Create dynamic complete ns using props, reflections, and backlighting.
Incorporate a little action with bubbles, confetti or sparklers when taking photos of guests. Encourage them to blow bubbles or toss confetti. This will distract them from forcing a pose making your compositions more dynamic.
The essence of event photography such as baby and bridal showers is to document and tell a story. Enhance your story by including photos of decoration details like banners, balloons, the gift table, and party favors. Also, take photos before the event starts and also after the event must have ended. Hence you capture the overall experience of the event.
To add a sense of drama and intimacy to the entire photo shoot, get some artistic close-ups of smaller items. Get in close to the subject. This would allow you to take advantage of your lens’ minimum focusing distance to capture small subjects and details. Some of them are baby booties or engraving detail on gifts. At the end of the event, share your top picks of the photos with the guests of honor.
Follow these tips. In addition to your personal knowledge gained through practice, they will help ensure you deliver a great job next time you are invited to capture a bridal or baby shower.
A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography