How to Take Amazing Prom Photos

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Group Photography, Photography Tips

Prom photo, prom photography, prom High school prom is easily one of the most significant events in any teenager’s life. With this grand affair comes tuxedos, fancy dresses, flowers, limousines, and of course a mass of photographs. What better way to capture the memory of a Senior Prom than with photographs of the whole evening? Whether you’re an amateur photographer trying to get a few shots of your child and their friends on this special day, or professional photographer looking to shoot on location with backdrops and props, here are nine tips to help you take the best prom pictures!

1. Shoot early

This is possibly the most important tip of all. Schedule all of your prom photo shoots hours before the actual event. This way, you can get the excited prom goers looking their absolute best, which isn’t always easy when you’re working with makeup, hairstyles and weather. Most teens plan to head to dinner before going to prom, so be sure to leave plenty of time for photos. Most teens will want to be photographed in a variety of different poses with and without their prom dates and friends. Whether you’re taking pictures of your child and their friends or a group, you’re going to want to allow more than enough time to capture each special moment.

2. Expect the Unexpected

This goes without saying, but come to the shoot more than prepared. Make sure your camera battery is fully charged and that you have extras readily available as well as extra SD cards and camera accessories. Beyond accessories for your camera, if you are shooting on location, don’t forget to bring practical things like wet wipes, paper towels, tissue, etc. You never know when someone’s dress/tux will get dirty when moving from one pose to the next or when makeup smudges will need to be removed quickly. Time is of the essence with these photo shoots.  Always have a backup plan when planning to shoot outdoors, unexpected wind or rain could pose major obstacles.

3. Choose the Right Background

As a general rule of thumb, you will want to choose neutral backdrops or background when taking these photos. Since you can’t predict what everyone will be wearing, choosing something subtle will ensure that all of the attention will be on your subject and not on the background. If you do get stuck, silver and gray backdrops are a nice neutral background color that will make your client’s outfit pop.  Sequin backdrops are a really popular option for prom photos since they offer both a subtle and glamorous touch to any photo.

4. Use Proper Lighting

Most prom pictures are shot on location, outdoors or at one’s home. Take advantage of a nice day to get some beautiful natural looking outside shots, but use your best judgment to get the best lighting results. We also recommend using a reflector to enhance natural lighting. If the weather is not great, you may want to send the party inside where you can use studio lighting to capture better pictures.

5. Plan Your Pictures

Before gathering the prom goers for their photo shoot, be sure to select the perfect camera settings and background/backdrop to produce the best pictures and plan accordingly. For example, a staircase picture is a timeless prom photo and can be achieved with a Staircase Printed Backdrop or by using the stair case in your home. Make sure to shoot individual, couple shots and plenty of group shots!

6. Get Closer

Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal to capture the smiles on their faces, the boy putting the corsage on the girl, and vice versa. These moments happens so quickly and can make all the difference when creating long lasting memories.  

7. Focus on Details

To piggyback off the “closer” tip, focus on the details. The flowers, dresses, hair styles, and moments of hand holding can produce unique, memorable images. Don’t be afraid to zoom in on various parts of your subjects’ outfits or faces.

8. Have Fun

Chances are your subjects are going to be nervous and excited for their big date. Don’t rain on their parade with strict posing or rules! Have fun with your subjects and have them do some more humorous poses to loosen them up and to help them get into the prom spirit.

9. Capture Memories

Remember, you’re not just snapping everyday photos. This is an event that people want to remember for the rest of their lives. It’s a defining moment of high school and teenage years, so keep these things in mind that you’re capturing valuable memories for your subjects and their families.

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

Interested in learning more about taking professional prom photos? Read Tips for Successful Prom Photography


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Comments (1)

  • Paula Henson


    Thank you! Simple and to the point for this first time prom Mom.


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