Capture Every Moment of Your Shower

It's hardly fair how preparing for an event takes so long & then it's over in the blink of an eye. Photos & videos are the only way you'll be able to see the vast majority of what actually happens at your shower. Fortunately, there have been such technological advances that even a novice can create a massive digital library to look back on for decades to come. Your entire wedding day, the ceremony, the reception & the after-party will feel like they lasted a combined 27 ½ seconds! The labor & delivery of your baby will likely seem a bit longer, but once he's born, every day will seem to slip through your fingers. You'll probably find yourself wondering where the weeks & months have gone.

Honestly, I don't know of a single newlywed or mother who hasn't said the same things. That makes this article for shower hostesses & honorees alike. If you are throwing a shower for a friend, she will thank you later for providing thorough coverage of such a special day. (Remember, you'll be running around being the Hostess With The Mostest, so looking at the pictures might be the first time you get a glimpse at what a success the shower actually was!).

If you are the bride-to-be or mom-to-be, don't hesitate to ask a hostess, friend, cousin or neighbor to help capture every moment. Trust me, you'll be happy you did. Also, you'll probably find several eager volunteers because photography & videography will get them out of doing shower dishes with the rest of the hostesses! Make sure you request the services of 2 specific people right now. YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER Most brides-to-be hire wedding photographers, but what about her shower? You will undoubtedly host an affair-to-remember, so it should certainly be documented. Your photographer can be anyone who has a decent eye & they can use anyone's digital camera. Digital is the best option for a multitude of reasons.

You can proof each picture as it's taken (did I blink?), you don't spend money on film (a distant memory) &, most importantly, you can share the pictures easily. Good riddance to the days of, "Oh, can you get double prints for me? I'll pay you back". Welcome the days of whipping a chip out of your camera, running up to your computer & downloading them before the guest-of-honor even leaves your house.

Nice. Just make sure they are 100% dedicated to their assignment as your official photographer. If they need a briefing, remind them to shoot every aspect of the event. The food table, the game-playing, the honoree hugging each guest who walks into the shower, etc. We'll talk about what to do with these masterpieces later.

YOUR VIDEOGRAPHER This idea is new for my Mom's generation, but let me tell ya.she tried it & she's hooked! As for our age group, we expect everything to have video.our own events are no exception. With a little help from the internet, video benefits those who CAN'T attend the shower as much as those who do.

I recommend live broadcasting the party for anyone who lives out of town to join in on the fun. I would pay ten times what I pay for the service I use, so consider this my desperate plea on behalf of any of your friends or family that can't make it to the shower. Please include them! They will thank you later! There are service providers who are helpful during the shower and after it is over. Before the event, you & the guest-of-honor communicate to whoever cannot attend, what website the live broadcast will be on.

During the shower, you can live broadcast it on your site with three clicks of your mouse (You do NOT have to be one of those techno-savvy kinda gals. My mom uses it & she literally learned how to check her email no more than a year ago- ha!). The audience can type messages to you during the broadcast, so you know who's watching & you can interact with them. (A word on "people watching you" here: you can make any broadcast private & give your invitees a password if you're uncomfortable with just anyone happening upon your festivities while surfing the net. We used this in the hospital when I was in labor, so privacy is a nice feature!) I forgot to elaborate on the qualifications for your videographer: .very little skill is necessary, so don't let this sound more complicated than it actually is.

Once they go to your site & after the 3 mouse clicks, all they have to do is point the webcam towards the action. Which greatly reduces any potential pressure. Just ask them to keep an eye on the screen & move the camera if someone parks in front of it. As for after the party, this can all be archived to watch forever. We have a blast with this & our family isn't quite as homesick for each other as we used to be.

An alternative would be the good ole camcorder & video tape. It's not quite the quality that digital is, but any video is far better than no video at all. There are very affordable services that convert any video tape to DVD or CD to help it last longer. Also, the prices of digital & DVD camcorders are becoming downright reasonable. Lots of great options.

NOW WHAT? Congratulations! You have successfully pulled off the perfect shower. Nobody left hungry & everyone had a blast. You take a sigh of relief because you covered all of your hostessing bases. Before your photographer left, you downloaded all of the photos onto your computer. You videotaped the festivities with your trusty camcorder.

Life is good. .so now what? Fortunately, we have a ton of options these days.

Unfortunately, they all kind of blur together & we're not sure which one would best suit our needs. Think of it as a big, digital scrapbook that you're trying to create. You can make it as unique as your friend, it can be simple or elaborate, you can find a free service or pull out all the stops.the choices are yours. I recommend making them one at a time. I've also heard of people creating these digital compilations as a wedding gift or a gift for the new baby.

Very touching as well as timeless. To begin, explore sites that allow you to showcase your media. You can check out social sites like MySpace, YouTube, helloWorld, Snapfish & others. This field is full of options that offer varying degrees of features. Some are free & some charge a small monthly fee for certain service plans. My only word of caution here is to be sure you pick a site where whatever you post remains yours.

We're trying to preserve these priceless memories, so you don't want someone else having the control over them once you post them. It's YOUR scrapbook. Next, decide what you want to preserve & how you want to share it. Do you have photos as well as videos? How do you want to be able to share them with your friends? Emails, posts on a website, podcasts, live broadcasts? Each service offers different features & requires a different level of technological know-how (my Mom chose one with 24/7 Customer Support).

Only you will know which of the above features is most important to you, so just take an evening & shop around online. Lastly, decide on where you want to park your photo & video "scrapbook" & start uploading. Most sites should walk you through the process step-by-step, so don't let this sound more intimidating than it actually is. That's it! Years from now, I hope you thank yourself for reading this article & choosing to preserve as much of these amazing times in your life as you possibly can! May you have a spectacular shower & an even better marriage or motherhood! Just don't blink because you might miss it.

and always remember, "Firsts" only happen once!.

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