In about a week and a half I have to go to my sister-in-law’s baby shower. I’m planning on shooting some video. I’m somewhat nervous about it since I want to do some fun shots but I don’t want to overshadow the event.

I read in your book that most people are used to phones and point and shoot cameras being around. But I still feel that getting some of the good shots might feel intrusive. Help!


First, a reality check.  Unless you’re shooting naked while hanging from a light fixture above the food table, it will be almost impossible for you to overshadow a pregnant woman at her own baby shower.  If you are a male and un-pregnant, you might as well be a chair.

Shooting video can sometimes be intrusive.  While you’re getting a shot your head may block Aunt Trudy’s view of the guest of honor’s protruding abdomen– but then, so might the balloon bouquet.  Or Aunt Shania. Or the waiter.  There are lots of things that block people’s views momentarily at family events.  No need to be self-conscious about being one of them.

People may notice you at first, but they will soon get bored and focus all their attention on the awesome baby gifts or terrible food.  Or both.

Still too shy to shoot?  You might try talking to people.

Make your sister-in-law your partner. Take her aside ahead of time and say something like, “I’ve got some great shots planned that you’ll love later.  I’m going to be really focused on the viewfinder, so if I accidentally get in the way, just tap me on the shoulder.” Then you can relax, knowing she’ll discretely chime in if there’s a problem.

Or ask someone whose view you might block if they’d just excuse you for a quick moment… and then slip in and get the shot.  You’ll be done before they know it.  And don’t forget– you can always apologize if you do get in the way. After you have the shot, of course.

You may still feel self-conscious at first.  But with practice, that will fade. Don’t let shyness keep you from doing what you’re there to do.  Annoyance at an event is temporary.  Bad video of an event is permanent.(flickr.com photo by chriggy1)

What’s your question about video?  Perhaps you should ask it.

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