As a photographer, one of my favorite events to attend is the prom send off party. Things have changed since I went to prom. Yes, there was still a send off, but nothing like what I have seen in the past few years. Now families throw parties. Dozens of friends and family come over early to eat, party, and participate in the promgoers send off.

How do end up at the party? Many mothers (and fathers) hire photographers to capture the memories. Sure, there will be a couple of posed shots from the actual prom ballroom. But parents now want to capture photos of their child with their family, friends, and their date. And of course, quite a bit of money can go into making sure that your teen looks perfect. This is especially true of the prom dress. One great thing is that unlike when I went to prom, dresses can now be found online for a great deal. You can spend hours browsing the web until you find that perfect dress. And with the wide range of colors and styles out there, you already the makings of great prom photos. And of course, the guy is most likely clean in his tux. How can you not want photos of that?

Many promgoers even meet up with their friends and go in groups. This means there are even more beautiful girls in beautiful dresses with handsome guys on their arms. The mix of colors can provide some great contrast to your photos.

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If you cannot afford to hire a personal photographer to come to your send off party, capturing great photos yourself can be easy. Or maybe you can ask a camera savvy family member to get on the job!


Here are 7 Very Quick Tips

Start with a Great Camera

If you are doing photos yourself, start with a great camera. Don’t pull out the low megapixel camera and rely on that to capture the memories of your baby going to prom! If you have a great smartphone like the Galaxy S7, iPhone 7, or Galaxy Note 5 you should be able to capture great images. Of course, there are a few others. But, if you want to try your hand at professional looking photos, use a DSLR camera. You won’t be sorry. I currently shoot with the Canon 70D. It’s a professional series camera and it shows. The Canon Rebel T5i is also a great camera.

Move the Picture Taking Outside

This will sound harsh, but the inside of homes are not always the best backdrop for photos. It can be hard to see the fault in your own home, and it generally does not bother us if we live there from day-to-day. But in photos issues will stand out. Dirty walls, worn furniture, or just stuff sitting around is not something that you want in the background of your prom memory photos. Luckily prom season is usually during warm weather. Natural lighting is always better anyway, so move outside for a better backdrop.



Find the Perfect Background

If you do have a perfect clean wall, greenery, or another nice background to use in the home, that is great. If not once outside look for backgrounds like trees, plants, gardens, brick walls, open fields, or green grass to use as your backdrop.

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Use a Cloth Backdrop

If you don’t have a great space in the home for pics and going outdoors is not an option considering renting, borrowing, or purchasing a neutral canvas backdrop. Drape it over your curtain rod, tape it to the wall, or have someone hold it up while you snap a few great photos. If you rent, you can probably rent a backdrop holder to go along with it.



Shoot on an angle

Avoid all photos being straight on. Add interest by angling, taking photos from behind, below, or above the subject. Don’t be afraid to get artistic and take photos of tattoos, the back of the subject, or off photos like the below. Part of the subject’s head is cut off, but it is still a great photo.



Make photos fun

Once you have a few posed photos, let the subjects have fun. Snap candid photos of them interacting. You will likely capture a few gems.


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Capture the dress & accessories

Don’t forget to get plenty of full photos of the beautiful dress and all of the accessories that go along with it. This can be while on the subject, or nicely arranged before she gets dressed.




The important thing is that you remember that this is their special day. You have to capture it beautifully! Take your time, compose great shots, and use a great camera. Even if you are not a pro, you will have some great memories to cherish for years to come.