Shooting a prom – new techniques

This week, I was kindly asked by Ashby School in Leicestershire to photograph their 6th form prom celebrations. I love these kings of engagements as it allow me to celebrate with the students who have spent the past two years working towards their A-levels whilst at the same time, trying out new image techniques.

The prom was held in a fantastic venue in Leicester called Athena - It seemed to me that it had previously been a theatre or cinema - but just a magical place with great staff.

For proms/dances, I typically work to three main schedules.

Schedule 1 -  (19:00-20:00) arrivals: I setup in the arrival area with a backdrop and two Profoto B2 heads (and soft boxes) - its a simple setup, but gives great results in most venues. This is where people start to arrive and grab their welcome drinks - this is my opportunity to grab the more formal poses of groups of friends together.

Schedule 2 (20:00-21:00) - dinner: While dinner is served, I make my around the tables and grab shots as people are relaxing and chatting. I mount one of my Profoto B2 heads and its soft box onto a monopod - that way I can carry it around and angle it as needed.

Schedule 3 (21:00-22:30) - after dinner: As folks come back to my area for more group shots - only this time, they are more relaxed and we get some really great shots of friends together before heading off into the big wide world.

At this particular event, I tried a new technique I have been wanting to try out for a while - I got hold of a few picture frames and used green card to replace the actual pictures. As groups/teams came to get their pictures taken, I found out who the boss was and took a shot with them holding my frame...

I then took individual shots of the rest of the team, so that I could add them to the frame later in post editing - i hope you agree, they came out great, and the people really enjoyed working out where they would go in the frame, and therefore what direction to face (plus what face to pull).

This is also a great technique for a different kind of "couple" image - something a bit more special then the regular couples poses.

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