Prom Pics & Tips

Many of my high school seniors will be going to prom soon.  I’m sure moms all over the country are asking themselves, “How did it go by so fast?!?”

Prom is a milestone that you’ll want to capture for sure and I’ve put together a list of 5 tips that I hope you’ll find useful!

  1. Document the getting ready portion of the evening!
    • Your daughter getting her hair and makeup done.
    • Your son putting on his cologne and straightening his bowtie.
    • Snap pics of the details: jewelry, shoes, corsage (are those still a thing?!?), tickets… Think candid and creative!
    • Take small video clips 60-90 seconds. Then use a fun program like Animoto to make a slideshow movie.  This is a GREAT way to have a memorable keepsake.
  2. If you can, take their pictures in front of the prom venue.
    • When I take pictures, I always think of the story I’m telling.  So taking pictures in front of the prom venue makes sense within the storyline.
    • Sometimes the venue is far away and inconvenient or (let’s face it) embarrassing to our super cool kids.  I get it.  Go to their high school or where they’ll be having dinner.   A nearby park or urban location works well too!
    • Don’t stress too much about the where because the key factor is good lighting.
  3. Find good light!
    • One of the things that I see many people doing is taking pictures in direct sunlight.  This isn’t any fun for anyone- it’s bright and I have yet to meet a person who looks good with the raccoon type shadows that harsh lighting brings.
    • Instead, find some open shade.  Have the prom cuties stand in the shade so that no direct light is hitting them-this is open shade.  This is much easier on the eyes and looks so much better than full sun.
    • I think the best kind of open shade is created by a tall building.  Be careful with using open shade from a tree.  They can cause dappled shade which is also not a good look.
  4. Go easy on the flowers and trees.
    • So many times I see and hear people say, “Oooo, those flowers are pretty, stand there, it’ll make a good photo.”  Flowers are pretty, but don’t stand right next to them- they aren’t the subject.  Just because they’re pretty flowers, doesn’t mean they’ll make for pretty pictures.
    • Your kids are the star of this story.  If you see some flowers, great!  Have them stand a good distance in front of the flowers (if they’re in good light- see Tip #3) and they’ll add a nice pop of color.
    • The same goes for a brick building.  Don’t have your subject stand right in front of it, have them come on out a few feet.  Also, put some distance between the happy couple and you (the photographer).  It’ll make your subjects pop even more!
    • Summary:  The greater the distance between you and your subject AND your subject and the background, the MORE your subject will stand out from the background. 😉
  5. Awkward is in!
    • Not everyone may agree with me here, but I’m going to say it anyways…They are prom pictures and they are teens so it’s ok that they are awkward.  I think it’s adorable that they’re awkward with each other and in front of the camera.  It’s is all part of the growing up process, right?  I won’t need to show you pictures of my big bangs and ridiculously tight permed hair.  It was awkward and it’s a cherished memory.  Besides I’d be a worried mama if my son was a little too comfortable with his date/girlfriend.  Call me old fashioned.
    •  This last tip is for the parents that have a DSLR…When they are standing together, make sure their faces are on the same plane.  Yep, I’m bringing it back to Geometry. Then when you take the picture have the focus point on one of their eyes.  If they are both on the same plane, you’ll have them both in focus.


Can we all agree that I should not quit my day job to pursue drawing? 😀  I hope you’re able to use these tips!  Have a fun and safe prom!

Kaela Green | 720.263.6083 |

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