My friends Robert and Lauren are expecting their first baby.  Last Sunday, I took several hundred pictures of their baby shower. I was flattered when she asked me if I’d photograph her special day — I warned her that I wasn’t a professional. Nonetheless, she had faith in me and she liked my style. I was apprehensive about photographing such a special day because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. However, when she told me there would be plenty of food and lots of beautiful women, I was sold.

This was my first baby shower, so I didn’t know what to expect. There were a lot of oooohs and awwwws; and the estrogen was flowing like Niagara Falls. So much so, I think my beard began to thin. The food was excellent and she did not lie when she said beautiful women — wow! This was the first time strange women didn’t mind me taking their photograph.

In January, I photographed an event for the Friends of the Wounded Veterans which was indoors. I don’t like using flash, so I stuck with my Canon 24mm f/1.4L II lens. I learned some valuable lessons that day. A few weeks ago, I purchased a Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens to use at the baby shower. I figured I would just shoot in aperture priority (Av) mode like I do with my wider prime lenses. Again, I learned some valuable lessons. One lesson reminded me of the rule-of-thumb regarding shutter speed. When shooting without a tripod, a good rule-of-thumb is to ensure your shutter speed is at least a reciprocal of your focal length. With my 85mm lens, my shutter speed should have been at least 1/80 second. Unfortunately, some of the pictures I took during the baby shower were blurred. Despite this mistake, I was still able to give Lauren and Robert around 300 pictures!

Like most men, I blame poor performance on my equipment rather than technique.  After a lot of research, I purchased a Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/50mm ZE lens. I just received it yesterday, and I am blown away by the results I’ve seen so far. Before I ramble on about my new toy, I want to share a few black and white photographs from the baby shower. I shot all of the photographs in RAW format, and I provided the family with both color and black and white versions.

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Setting up - hanging streamers.

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Setting up - balloons.

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Setting up - ribbons and flower arrangements were scrutinized.

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Insert "ooohhhss" here...

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Insert "awwwwss" here....

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