There are quite a few "firsts" that as event photographers we get to document for our clients. One of these events is a shower for a couple's first baby. This wasn't our first baby shower that we've shot but it reminds us that common elements can be found across each event.
1. Mom-to-Be or Parents-to-Be (for a coed shower) are the feature of the event--and most of the photos should include them with either their guests, their gifts, or the games. It's tempting to take wide-angle photos that take in the entire scene of the party. Of course you want to remember how everything in a scene looked to share with their child when they're older (or with family members who can't be there). However, the reason for the celebration can get lost when you try to put too many things into one picture.
Most of the photos should have the mom-to-be/parents-to-be with a focus on their face(s). It's their reactions to the activity around them and well wishes received that most family and friends really want to see.
When a wider shot is taken, place the mom-to-be/parents-to-be in the center of the scene or in a place where it's clear to the observer that they are interacting with their guests.
2. The "Not-To-Miss" shots are the opening of the baby gifts. We're always amazed at the originality behind gifts from guests at baby showers. From how a gift is wrapped to what guests find that isn't on the registry, there's no limit to the level of "cuteness" during these moments. Baby gifts are actually our favorite time to have the camera out during the shower.
The shot of a newborn "onesie" on top of mom-to-be's stomach is a classic that most moms like to have.
Capture the look on a parent-to-be's face as he or she is reading a card from a guest. A smile, laugh, or tear is usually guaranteed.
If a guest is willing, have them sit next to the parent-to-be as his or her gift is being opened so that parents can remember who gave the gift for "thank you" notes later (and include the photo with the note).
3. We can't forget about centerpieces. Friends and family who host baby showers put a lot of effort into the small touches like centerpieces, cakes, table setup, games, etc. Especially for handmade items make sure to take detailed shots of each item to include in the shower's photos. It shows appreciation for the creators of these unique pieces and allows parents-to-be to revisit the care and effort that went into making their celebration special.
4. Plan group shots of guests with Mom-to-Be or Parents-to-Be. Friends and family--most of the time--like having a shot with the mom-to-be or parents-to-be as a souvenir. We like taking these shots on our cameras and also offering to take a quick shot on a guest's camera. Most guests are not comfortable having candid photos of themselves posted on social media but they don't mind posed and composed photos (that they approve of) being used to celebrate the event.
Most importantly, if you're hosting the shower try to get someone else to take the photos. A professional event photographer (like us) is perfect for making sure that every moment is captured as the guest(s) of honor would like it.