First of all, enjoy the time with your daughter/son. If hiring a photographer means you get to sit back and relax, fantastic! Or if you can do the photography yourself and everyone still enjoys the time, that's also great!
Getting Better Prom Photos Yourself
1. Avoid harsh, direct sunlight.
Also avoid dappled (scattered) light, where there are highlights running across someone's face, etc. Ideally, you want even lighting, and then you can add more light as needed (stop by the store to talk to us about cool ways to bounce external flashes outdoors).
2. Set aside enough time.
You want to make sure that you are allowing enough time for prom photos. Once the teens are ready, hair and makeup done, dressed, you would be amazed by how quickly you can capture some amazing photographs like the ones pictured in this blog post. The ideal amount of time is approximately thirty (30) minutes (most prom couples won't want to be photographed for longer than that, and the longer they are outside, the more they will have to do makeup/hair retouches.)
3. Focus in on the faces!
The background isn't nearly as important as the faces, smiles, etc. in the photograph, so feel free to use aperture settings that blur the background a bit!
4. Don't forget to photograph the details!
A lot of style decisions are made during the process, so photograph all those details (shoes, jewelry, corsage, etc.)
5. Avoid action blur.
Make sure your shutter speed is fast enough to avoid blur! (Schedule a 1-on-1 class with us, if you need more help understanding aperture, shutter speed, etc.)
Shoot in JPG, or RAW+JPG, so that you have a JPG file you can send to the prom couple right away... you can always edit the RAW photo more later, but the prom couple would love to have a photo sooner rather than later! Speaking of shooting in JPG mode, be sure to get your white balance right in camera, so there's less editing or tweaking needed!
7. Have fun!
The MOST important thing is to make sure the process is a FUN one, and remember that this prom couple has an entire fun night planned, so don't let the photography drag out past the allotted time frame! Keep it short!