oh the senior prom.
that formal school event every student gets all hyped up about. they search and search for the perfect dress or tux months before the big event. they...er...the parents...spend oodles and gobs and vats of money on said attire...hair-do's...accessories...transportation. and of course PICTURES! it's the most exciting time in a high school senior's life!
unless of course...you're being forced to go by parents living vicariously through you. the family's finances aren't in a position to go all out. you have a major break-out one week before the big day and it just seems to get worst daily. man...i wouldn't be a teenager again if you paid me (unless i was a celebrateen <---i think i just made that word up. did i? gotta google it.)!
theeeeen...the student gets to the big dance to find out it's...well...it's just that. a dance. except now they're dressed in stuffy, binding clothing and they can't really dance the way they want to because the teachers are there...watching! the entire evening is spent...awaiting the after party that can be enjoyed in jeans and t-shirts.
i like to liken proms to weddings. all the fun is in getting ready for it.
check out these pictures i've taken kids preparing to leave for prom over the last couple of years.
oh there's another reason i liken proms to weddings. i absolutely dread taking pictures of them. well...not totally. when i'm alone with the couple...everything is fine. but i LOATHE contending with parents, friends, godmothers, uncles and whoever else has a camera on their cell phone, to get the shots i want. i get the couple posed just right...then someone calls their name and their eyes move. so i'm stuck with a shot...body posed the way i want but with a fake confused smile and two sets of eyes looking at two different cameras (neither of which are mine). and let's not forget the rogue elbows, shoulders and backs of heads that tend to sneak into my almost money shots! aaaaaaarrrrrrgggghhh...the worst.
and to add insult to injury...with proms there's always multiple couples. and yes, they all end up in the shots. sometimes i choose to take their picture because they're just too darned cute. other times the person or couple who requested i take their picture...snatches others into shots with them. that's fine too. but i wish i could see my own face when these strange people say..."when am i going to get my pictures"? or i hear them say to some random person i don't know either...."where's the photographer? i need to get a picture with you". lol they're kids. they don't know any better (read: my services aren't free)...so i just walk away before they notice me!
this is why i only shoot prom pics for kids i know and love. yes i said love! why? hmmm...how do i say this delicately?... with the expense of traveling to meet the students, the pressure of dealing with momzillas and contending with faux paparazzi...and the burden of sorting thru pics and the task of editing the ones i like...there is no way i would charge anything less than my full going rate. the parents i know wouldn't dream of adding that fee to their tab! and i for one don't blame them. so i don't even try to sell my services to them.
i had one kid be the lucky recipient of free photos because his date asked me to take their pics for her...and i agreed. i gave his mom the link so she could see the pictures and download the ones she wanted...for free. 2 hours out of my life...well maybe 3 with the quick editing i did...and it was a done deal. or so i thought.
<<<-----not her! lol
this mother harassed me about those pictures to the point i had to start ignoring her emails! she couldn't figure out how to click the button that said "download". she couldn't figure out how to order prints. and most of all...she expected me to do some serious editing to the pictures...sans charge!! "i want that plant removed from in front of his foot in these 3 pictures. i want this one changed to b&w. i want my mom's arm taken out of this picture. and how long will it take for you to get these to me?"
she's still waiting....