Your back yard or front porch can be great places to take prom pictures, but you can make your photos even better by getting creative with locations. An awesome, interesting setting can make your prom photo stand out on Instagram and other social media platforms, and these same ideas can work wonderfully for homecoming dances and other special events.
1. A Field of Flowers
This shot looks like a dream, but it isn't that hard to achieve. Check around at local gardens and arboretums to see if there are any fields available. If not, you can scatter colored blossoms on your front lawn and get a very similar effect. There are a few tricks to making this photo work:
- Think about lighting. Do this shot in the shade or on an overcast day to avoid glare or squinty eyes.
- Pose people together. No matter how many people you have in this photo, they should be touching or almost touching to give it an intimate feeling.
- Use a stepladder. Have the person taking this photo use a stable stepladder to get high enough above you that some of your beautiful prom dress is included.
- Use Photoshop. If you know Photoshop or have a friend who does, it's easy to extend the background and make the field of flowers look bigger than it is.
2. Museum or Building With Stairs
Architectural details like steps can really take your photo to the next level! These kinds of elements add visual interest to your prom photo and offer lots of ways to compose a shot creatively. You can pose friends on different stairs to get lots of people in the shot or try some great movement shots with dancing or jumping. If you have a long gown, you can let it trail out behind you princess-style. Keep these tips in mind to help:
- Go for shade. Just like in the flower photo, you don't want bright sun in this shot. Choose a shady side of the building or a cloudy day.
- Look for a slow time. Choose a time of day when people won't be walking in and out of the shot to get into the building. If the place is really busy, just set aside some time so you can shoot between groups of people.
- Check the whole picture. Cities can feel cluttered, so look at all the details in the picture before you push the shutter button. Change your angle to avoid cars, signs, random construction vehicles, and other distractions.
3. The Back of a Pickup
Are you a little more country than city? If a friend has a pickup truck, you can all pile in the back for a photo. Don't drive around like this, of course, but it's a great way to give your shot a playful, country feel that no one else will have in their photos. There are a few things to keep in mind to make this work:
- Make the people the focus. Don't put much of the truck in the photo, since that can be distracting. You just need enough of the truck to show you are in a truck.
- Try different angles. You can shoot from the front or pose everyone sitting on the side. You can even shoot from the tailgate to get a shot of the truck bed full of dressed-up friends.
- Park in the shade. Again, avoid bright sunlight here. It can glint off the metal on the truck and can make everyone squinty. Shade is your friend.
4. Empty House or Building
Do you or your friends have a parent or friend of the family who is a realtor or owns a building? Can you move all the stuff out of a room in your house? As you're planning your prom night, see if you can find a totally empty room with great light. It can make a great place to take your prom photos and not worry about the weather. This lets you move around and dance, and you don't have to worry about a cluttered background with furniture and other things in the way. Try these tips to make it work:
- Bounce some light. If the room has one window but one side is dark, you can reflect some of that window light from the other side. Hang up a white sheet across from the window to work as a reflector.
- Shoot fast. Takes lots of quick shots in a row to capture twirling dresses and movement. Your prom photos will have an active, alive feeling.
- Watch for clutter. Even in an empty room, you may have clutter like light sockets, cords, and other items. Try to find an area that has the fewest distractions.
5. Your Backyard Trampoline
If you don't mind making a few tiny fixes to your hair after the photo, you can get some of the best prom pictures ever on your backyard trampoline. This is a great shot to take with one or two people, or it can work with a large group. Keep these hints in mind:
- Take off your shoes. Even though your shoes are part of your outfit, you don't want to hurt anyone. Trampoline safety is important.
- Hold hands. You need to show connection in the photo, whether it's you and your best friend or a huge group. Holding hands is a great way to do that.
- Look for the best background. Try to shoot from an angle that doesn't have a lot of clutter like buildings or cars. Leafy trees make a great backdrop.
- Clouds are great. If prom is on a cloudy day, you're in luck. That's the best kind of light for this type of outdoor photo. If you have a sunny day, try to drag the trampoline to the shade.
Don't Forget to Have Fun
No matter where you choose to take your photo, enjoy this time with your date or friends. How you feel about being together will show in the finished pictures, whether the location is your dad's pickup truck or a beautiful field.