Senior Prom Photo Shoot…Behind Bars

All I ever talk about is being pregnant!  So I thought I would share a little bit about what else is going on in our Purdy World.

I dabble in photography, as some of you know.  I started in 2003 with photographing landscapes and architecture and selling prints at art shows and festivals.  I slowly transitioned over into photographing people around 2009…first for fun and practice, and then taking on paying clients.  I have shot a few weddings, engagement sessions, babies, high school seniors, families and a bit of whatever is in-between.  I only do natural light, outdoor sessions and prefer unique locations and settings.  I gravitate towards couples and high school seniors because of the emotion and intensity you can get in the images.  Weddings are very demanding and make me nervous.  Babies are particular and challenging.  Large groups loose creativity.  I prefer those intimate shots that let you really see into a person.  But hey, every photographer has a preference.

When I got a call to do a senior prom shoot, I was excited.  I went to Pinterest and pulled ideas.  I wrote down and sketched out some things I had only had floating around in my head for couple shots.  I even made props.  Like I said, I love working with teenagers and couples, so this was a great combo.  And of course nothing went as I had planned in my head!  It had been raining, and then was overcast all afternoon.  We actually got rained out before I even finished.  There were 16 kids total!!  (Did I mention the challenges of big groups??)  AND we were shooting half the photos inside the local county jail!  Yes, I just said that.  INSIDE the jail.  You see, my client was the Sheriff’s daughter and the kids thought these would make for fun photos.

As I walked into the 80 degree jail, I watched my lens fog up from the difference in humidity and temperature.  I was immediately worried.  Then I noticed that the inside of a jail has NO natural light and some pretty crappy light sources in general.  Oh-uh number 2!  For a natural light photographer, none of this was looking good!  Add in blah colored walls, gray steel bars, 16 kids and about 20+ parents with point-and-shoot cameras flashing everywhere, and I was one nervous photographer!

At the end of the day, my nerves were shot and I was almost in tears.  My props were still in the van.  My ideas were never realized. And I wasn’t even sure I got a couple photo of my client!  Not sure an emotional pregnant woman should take on a large group photo assignment!!

Luckily, I doubted myself too quickly and found plenty to work with when I got to my computer.  With the help of my Photoshop editing skills and a few Lightroom filters, most of the photos turned out pretty good.  One in particular seemed to really steal the show…..I may decide to share my before and after comparison, but I don’t want to give away all my tricks!

The Prom Night Line-Up:

Best Friends!

Simply Beautiful

Senior Prom 2013

At the end of the day, it was a good shoot….and they all looked beautiful.  As a photographer, I have to remember, nothing goes as planned, and you just have to roll with the punches and MAKE IT WORK, as Tim Gunn would say!  To see more of my photography, you can visit my Facebook Page – Purdy Pictures.


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