5 Reasons You Should Hire a Photographer for Prom Day (or a Prom Dress Photoshoot)

(Featuring photos from Taryn's prom dress photoshoot.)

[I will be hosting prom mini sessions for Mount Pleasant Area and Southmoreland High School on their Prom dates.  (If you are from a different school and are interested for your prom please send me a message!)  Visit my events page on Facebook for more information and contact me to reserve your spot! ]

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Last year, just after my baby was born, I was at the park walking with her in a stroller and it just so happened to be prom day for one of the local schools.  There was a group of students, dressed to the nines, having photos taken by the lake.  At the time I thought – well this is new, and a bit of an extravagance for prom, isn’t it?  It wasn’t something that I had done for my prom and I’m pretty sure none of my fellow students had hired a photographer either, as far as I know.  Then again this was nearly 10 years ago (ugh, I feel old now!) and it was a time when digital photography was still somewhat new.  A time when you didn’t think to ask for digital images at your senior session and the photographer was still excited about this new digital age and their new digital cameras (I remember this from my own senior session)!  But a lot can and does change in over 10 years.  Now photographers are abundant and a session doesn’t have to break the bank!  And you know what – digging into my own files and looking at my pictures from prom – I WISH I had some better photos that showed how beautiful I felt.  Instead, I have a few embarrassingly laughable photos taken with a small point and shoot camera in terrible lighting that do absolutely no justice to me, my dress, or my memories.  With prom season in full swing this has been on my mind and there are plenty of reasons to pay those few extra bucks for some quality images.

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#1  Not everyone has a Sweet Sixteen Bash, a Quinceanera, or a Debutante Ball

 

I, for one, did not have any of these celebrations and I don’t know anyone who did.  There may have been a couple small sweet sixteen parties, but nothing extravagant.  Coming of age and entering adulthood is a big deal – there is a reason that these celebrations exist and it’s sad to see them fizzle out in modern times.  Being a kid, there are certain things that are looked forward to, milestones that should be recognized – graduation, 18th birthday (official voting adult!), 21st birthday (alcohol, yay!), college graduation – and while all of these are important events, what about the 16th birthday?!  I feel like the 16th birthday is often scoffed at, even dreaded (Oh God, my baby will be driving!).  But to a “kid,” we’ll say entering the age range 13-16, is SUCH a big deal!  This is the difference between being a child and being a young adult!  The difference between being babysat and being the babysitter.  The difference between a tween and a teenager – need I go on?  The point is, this is a celebratory phase in life, and if you don’t plan to have one of these celebrations, with a photographer to document this wonderful transition, prom is an event that coincides with this life transition and also happens to be the perfect opportunity to have some beautiful photos taken as you “come out to society” (Pride and Prejudice anyone?) as a blossoming young adult.

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#2 Prom is a right of passage to embrace

 

When I was in high school I tended to belittle events in my life.  If I had to go back (You couldn’t pay me to go back to high school!  Maybe it’s just me but that was enough drama to last a lifetime?  Anyway…)… so if I HAD to go back, I would truly embrace the events a little more then I did my first time around.  You only go to high school once and prom is definitely an event that is anticipated and dreamed of for years through junior high.  As adults we look back and go, “eh, prom, that’s nice.”  But as a junior high girl I remember watching the juniors and seniors, admiring their gowns and biding my time, waiting until it was my turn, until I was old enough, until I got to wear the fancy dress and be presented to everyone at grand march.  To us adults, we’ve been through a lot since prom, hence our feelings of, “eh, prom, that’s nice.”  But to a student?  This is one of the biggest events so far in their lives!  One of my high school teachers, senior year, gave our class a small speech before graduation.  One of the things he told us was to always embrace rights of passage in life.  That is something that has stuck with me and that I have tried to live by ever since. (Thank you, Mr. Giacobbi!)  As someone who is quick to say, “eh, it’s not that important”, I try to check myself every now and then – sometimes it IS that important, and we should make the most of these passing moments in our lives.

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#3  Why not document something you’ve put so much thought and effort into?

 

As I said previously – for many girls prom is something they have been envisioning for years, practically like their wedding day!  The dress, the shoes, the hair, the accessories, need I continue?  With so much thought (and let’s face it, with so much money!) already invested in this special day, it would be a shame not to document it properly.  (I’d like to note that while the school will typically provide a photographer for grand march, the photos are usually generic and done quickly.)  This leads me to number 4…

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#4  This may be the only chance you get to wear a fancy gown or tux until who knows when!?

 

Let’s face it; we are not a tux and gown type of society.  We do not live in a Georgian fantasy in a Jane Austen novel in which we attend fancy balls every other week or so (For the second time:  Pride and Prejudice anyone? Eh? Eh? Can you tell I'm a fan!?).  There is only a small number of occasions in which we wear a tux and gown in our lifetimes – unless you intend to become a celebrity, in which case never mind, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to dress up.  Most of us are limited to our wedding day…. and prom!  There are other events that you may wear a gown to, such as a military ball or maybe a super fancy company fundraiser.  In which case I’m grasping for straws.  I’m 27 and have never had the occasion to wear a gown since my wedding day…and prom!  And I was in the military!  (Unfortunately if you’re a kick ass military woman you have to wear an ugly, manly uniform to the military balls.  Personally I think this is unfair and you have to watch the military wives in all their glory in their beautiful gowns… sad face, sometimes I want to wear a pretty dress too!  End Rant.)  Add to that the fact that younger generations are just not as quick to marry.  Some will marry young, but many will hold off as long as they can and there is no problem with that.  They are young, independent, and have their own ambitions and aspirations to live up to before they decide to partner up and settle down.  This is today’s society!  So, is it really so much to ask to take some awesome pictures in your beautiful fancy gown or tux, because who really knows when you will have the chance to look this fabulous again!?

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#5  Preserve your memories as YOU remember them

 

Ugh, do I need to bring up my own prom photos again?  I wanted to send a photo of the dress I wore to prom, that I still have (is that normal or ridiculous that I still have my dress?) to a model, to see if she would be interested in wearing it for photos.  And OMG…. I almost didn’t send it, I didn’t want to send it, I was like – is that REALLY what I looked like?  There is absolutely nothing wrong with the dress I wore.  It was and still is a beautiful dress.  But the pictures were just laughable.  The pictures were bad, made me look bad, and in turn made my dress look bad.  Granted, my taste in hairstyle at the time was not very elegant, but still!  I KNOW that the photos are just not accurate to how I remember my prom day.  And when my daughter gets older, those bad photos are all I have to show her.  And when I get old, and my memory gets hazy, those bad photos are all I’ll have to remind me of who I was when I just coming into my own person as a young adult.  I just hope I’ll remember that those photos were a poor reflection of my beautiful day.

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So, have I persuaded you?  Will you have beautiful photos to look back on when you are older?  Or will you miss this opportunity, as I did?

I have decided to host prom mini sessions for Mount Pleasant Area and Southmoreland High School on their Prom dates.  (If you are from a different school and are interested for your prom please send me a message!)  Visit my events page on Facebook for more information and contact me to reserve your spot!

Below are some more images from Taryn's Prom Dress Photoshoot!  Taryn will be attending her first prom as a sophomore this year!  Taryn, you were wonderful to work with and I had a great time taking your photos!  I hope you love them all as much as I do!

Check out my overview page for information on the sessions that I offer!  

What are your thoughts on this session?  What kind of session would you like?  Please comment below!