This will be my 3rd year not taking my oldest daughters photos for any sort of school dance as she is now 21. The first year she was out of high school and it was homecoming or prom season was so ODD for me! I was always the one that took their pictures, drove them to dinner and ate with them along with the other parents, and then dropped them off. It was a bit hard to get used to. My youngest is 13 so I don't have very much longer until I get back into it again! Ugh...I really don't want to think of my youngest getting older right now!
With my experience as a photographer, and a mom that has taken prom photos for many years, I have quite a few tips I want to share with you to help your sessions go smoothly and organized! Because let's face it, a group of teenage girls together at once is like the Tasmanian Devil on speed!
Keep them informed and organized
From the very beginning of the session, make sure you inform the prom goers of exactly what your process will be. Will you be photographing groups first, individuals, all the girls, all the boys, etc. Make a list of the process and order so you can remember because it is very possible for the session to get chaotic.
Make sure to capture ALL of the details. The jewelry, the hair, the flowers, and anything unique each of them are wanting to show off about their ansamble.
Keep it simple and brief
Especially with the boys. The will more than likely LOVE being in front of the camera and showing off. But the boys not so much.
If you can, go to the location the day before the session, at the same time of the session, and get your background mapped out in your head, or, take pictures of it. That way you aren't struggling in the moment to come up with different settings.
Avoid having them pose too much
Teens are lively, and full of energy. And of course they are already super excited to get to their dance. Let them be themselves, and capture lots of candids. The girls giggling, the boys being shy and awkward. All of that are what they are going to look back on and smile and laugh at.
Have a talk with the parents before the session starts
Now, just because someone hired you to take prom photos, does not mean a parent or two, or all of them, won't sneak in some cell phone snaps while you are busy posing. Just let them know before you start that you would greatly appreciate them holding off on any cell shots until after you are finished. We know they are excited to post to social media showing off their babies all dressed up. But their cell phone snaps are potentially a distraction from you and will cause wandering eyes because they aren't sure who they should be looking at. You were paid to do your job, and you would like to be able to present your final product as perfect as it can possibly be.
My final tip is, don't take any negative or lack of cooperation from the teens personal. Sometimes they just feel awkward in front of the camera and their personalities change a bit. Just have fun right along with them!
I also wanted to let you know, BP4U is having a sale on their prom bundle right now. Everything you could possibly need for a successful prom photogrpahy session.
36 prom posing workflow cards from Jamie Dalton Photography
10 customizable prom marketing graphics
25 text overlays for all things prom
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