For High School students, Year 10 and 12 Formals are the events of the year and are the result of months of planning and excitement. From asking their date to finding the perfect outfit, everything has been thought through thousands of times. The kids are counting on the photos from the night to serve as mementos for years to come. Being the photographer for such an important event in a young person’s life can be stressful if you aren’t equipped with a strategy.
Organising for a formal differs from other occasions, such as weddings or sporting events, in that formal photos are usually posed and not in the moment action photos. To prepare for shooting formal photos, check out these four tips:
- Choose the Right Background It is impossible to guess all of the colour combinations students will be wearing, so using a solid colour background is not the best option. An alternate choice would be a background that correlates with the school’s theme for the night, such as “under the sea” or “masquerade.” If it is not possible for you to acquire a themed background, choose a neutral color that works with a spectrum of colours.
- Pick the Perfect Pose Some formal photos can end up looking uncomfortable and unnatural if you don’t coach the subjects correctly. It is likely your teenage subjects will be nervous and unsure of how to pose, so providing exact directions will be beneficial. Two key directives to focus on are the angle of their bodies and where to place their hands. If you help your subjects feel comfortable, you will be able to capture a more natural photo.
- Take Your Time It is likely you will be shooting a large amount of subjects throughout the night, and you may be pressed for time—but don’t let this impact the focus and attention you give each photo. As mentioned earlier, these will be keepsakes of an amazing night for these students, so take the time to make sure they are getting your best work.
- Have Fun This may be a formal event, but it’s also supposed to be fun. Creating a light, cheery rapport with your subjects will make them more comfortable and energetic in their photo sessions. It will also ensure you have a fun night, as well—even if you are working!
Branching out into new venues in your event photography business is exciting, and can be stress free if you walk in prepared. Looking to expand your business further? Download our free guide, “Best Business Practices for Event Photographers”.