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Non-Prom Prom Photos

My cousin texted me recently and asked if I was available for a photo shoot. I'm always game for a photo shoot, especially when the weather is perfect. But since I just took her senior pictures a year ago, I wondered what kind of photos?

Prom dress photos.

"I want to be a dang princess, Amanda," she said. Prom dress photos are the best (!), but prom was over a year ago. Hmmm.

Sophie went to her high school senior prom. She found the perfect dress, had a date, did the whole prom photo session with friends, families and phones, went to dinner and the dance and the rite of passage was realized.

So what was the problem? She had photos of herself in her favorite dress, right? Right. But it was the memory those photos represented. Since Sophie was no longer dating the guy she attended prom with, she wanted to put on that dress again under different circumstances and see herself differently.

That's when it hit me: we all have favorite things in need of new memories. Sophie's favorite dress was no different.

A little older and a lot wiser, Sophie donned her fluffy prom dress for a few photos. There before me sat a young woman empowered to be herself. New photos in an old dress doesn't change history, but it can change the future.

Prom dates aren't forever (usually), but for whatever reason, the memory of that fancy dress is. Who says you can't wear it again? A lot of people. Who says you only take prom photos on your prom day? Mostly everybody...

So be the exception. Wear it again. Wear it when you want. And take the photos you'll want to have for a lifetime.


Be ready to take your photos according to the weather. If you live in place where prom falls in the spring, and spring can either be gorgeous...or snowing, then my advice is to take advantage of that random spring day that IS beautiful, throw on your dress and head for your favorite environment. There are photographers everywhere (myself included) who would be more than thrilled to spend 30 minutes with a subject grinning ear to ear in a gorgeous gown.

Find your favorite hangout spot and snap photos there. It is likely that you won't be able to recreate the prom location, so think outside the box. Are you the kind of student who stops for bagels or coffee every morning before school at your favorite shop? Or, is there a post-class hangout that you love? Stop in and ask if they would mind you stopping in for a quick mini photo shoot in their store. Be sure to ask them about the times they are NOT busy so as not to interrupt their business with their other paying customers - and be sure not to overstay your welcome. You could offer to share your photo and tag them in social media as a thank you. A little courtesy and positive publicity can go a long way!

Buddy up on a quite day. Everything is more fun with friends, so grab a friend or two, get in your gowns and head to quiet city street. It's amazing how different the city looks when no one is around. Cosmopolitan concrete and steel contrasts perfectly with fashion. Skyscrapers make amazing backdrops. Choose a quiet Sunday or Monday afternoon and take over those abandoned streets as your own!

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