Perfect Prom Photos Tips

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Follow these tips to capture great photos at Prom time!

Make sure the background is uncluttered

If possible, choose an outdoor setting with some greenery – trees, bushes, anything with green or flowers. Place the subjects several feet in front of the background. When inside, take a few minutes to clear away any clutter that may be in the shot and select a positioning spot. Where possible avoid direct sunlight. If you have no choice, place the sun behind them and off to one side and force the flash to fire. That will create a highlight on their hair, but you will have to balance the lighting with some front light from flash or reflectors.

Fall back and zoom

Most modern cameras have a zoom feature. To compose your image, you can either zoom out (wide), get close or zoom in (tele) and step back. Try the latter, by stepping back, you will shorten the facial features and create a more attractive image of the subjects’ faces.

Use a Tripod

If you have a tripod or monopod (stick), use it. If not, try to set the camera on a stable object. The worst possible way to shoot is to hold it out in front of you with two hands. The camera will move and the image will be blurry.

Use flash sparingly

Generally speaking you should never use the on-camera flash inside. If you have an SLR camera with a separate flash, you can consider bouncing if off of the wall or ceiling. But indoors, the little camera flash will create a very cheap look and very hard shadows on the wall behind them. It’s better to use available light and shoot with a stable camera. Outdoors, a bit of fill flash may be good to minimize eyes circles.

Mind the white balance

Most cameras have a white balance selection. Instead of auto, choose the white balance that is appropriate for the predominant light source. Outside in shade: choose Shade. It will have a great impact on your image colours.

Compose the groups

If you have multiple couples, take a couple of shots of each lady in full length, then half (waist up). Then get each couple, generally with the man a bit behind the lady and off one shoulder. Have him place his arms around her waist and you can show his and her flowers as well. Then get all of the ladies together and then all of the men, and finally, one shot with all of the couples. Avoid the “Adam and Eve” look with hands together in front. Hands at sides, or partly in pockets, or holding flowers or each other. A bit of physical contact between subjects conveys a much warmer, friendlier image.

One camera at a time

To have the photos come out best, make sure the subjects place their attention on just one camera at a time. Otherwise, the eyes of some subjects will not be looking at the camera. If you have one parent with all the gear and experience, let them guide the placing and the first shots, and then the others can step in before the pose is changed.

Vary your angle

Sometimes shooting waist level is a good way to capture the whole dress, or far above for a dreamy look.

Throw in some creative and fun poses

Everyone is nervous and feels a bit awkward about being so dressed up and being with a crowd of kids and parents. Encourage the kids to loosen up and shoot some fun candids. Add the little sister or brother for a shot or two, or the family dog.

Multiple shots for multiple people

The more people in an image, the greater the likelihood that someone will be blinking in any shot. For larger groups, take at least 5 images. One trick is to have everyone close their eyes, and on a count of three, open them and smile.

Share, Share and share some more!

Post the images on your Facebook page, or Flikr page or other areas. But before doing so, spend a couple of minutes to rotate the images so they all show up correctly, and consider a few basic edits: Contrast, colour saturation, exposure levels, cropping.

These fundamental editing steps will take a good shot and make it great.

Enjoy taking great prom photos!

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