Don't settle for the standard prom backdrops this season. Your back yard or front porch can be great places to take prom pictures, but you can make your photos even better by getting creative with locations.
An awesome, interesting setting can make your prom photo stand out on Instagram and other social media platforms, and these same ideas can work wonderfully for homecoming dances and other special events. Give your photos a vibe that's as memorable as the night itself by choosing fantastic places to take your prom pics.
Take Advantage of Those City Lights
Grab some photos with your city as a backdrop. Night photography can be a little tricky, but this is a fun way to add some sparkle and excitement to your prom photos. You can shoot these after the dance if it's not dark yet when the night gets started.
The key to great night portraits is having a little light on people's faces. If you're shooting with a pro, mention that you'll need the skyline as a background. If you're doing DIY prom photos, have someone hold a phone light a few feet away from the camera so it lights up everyone's faces but doesn't give them that deer-in-the-headlight look flash can create. Take tons of shots and experiment to get what you want.
Shoot Prom Photos on a Bridge
Know what's great about bridges (besides getting you from one side of a river to another, of course)? They are one of the best places for prom pics. The lines of the bridge frame people in a super flattering and cool way, making them ideal for group shots and solo portraits too.
These work really well if you're centered on the bridge for the pictures. You can pose lots of people together (stay close so you look like a group), do couple photos, or just do a shot of one person. There's no wrong answer. Try to find some shade to keep harsh shadows out of the picture, and look for a prom photo location without too much clutter in the background on the other side of the bridge.
A Field of Flowers Makes a Great Prom Photo Location
This shot looks like a dream, but it isn't that hard to achieve. Check around at local gardens and arboretums to see if there are any fields available. If not, you can scatter colored blossoms on your front lawn and get a very similar effect.
For awesome results, pose people together. No matter how many people you have in this photo, they should be touching or almost touching to give it an intimate feeling. Then use a stepladder for the shots. Have the person taking this photo use a stable stepladder to get high enough above you that some of your beautiful prom dress is included.
If you know Photoshop or have a friend who does, it's easy to extend the background and make the field of flowers look bigger than it is.
Bring in Some Great Architecture for Prom Pics
Architectural elements like buildings, bridges, arches, and other man-made backgrounds can give your photos a fun city vibe. Using this sort of structure as a frame for your photos is always a winning choice.
For best results, choose a spot that's not super cluttered. Anything that creates a natural arch or frame around you is perfect. Position the group or couple right inside the frame and take tons of shots.
Take Your Prom Photos to the Next Level With Stairs
Architectural details like steps can really take your photo to the next level! These kinds of elements add visual interest to your prom photo and offer lots of ways to compose a shot creatively. You can pose friends on different stairs to get lots of people in the shot or try some great movement shots with dancing or jumping. If you have a long gown, you can let it trail out behind you princess-style.
It's key to avoid clutter in the background in this kind of photo. Look for a slow time. Choose a time of day when people won't be walking in and out of the shot to get into the building. If the place is really busy, just set aside some time so you can shoot between groups of people.
Go for Some Gazebo Prom Photos
If you have a nearby park with a gazebo, you have an instant prom photo location on your hands. Just head over there with friends and get your shots before the big event.
Know what's great about a gazebo for prom photos? It's perfect if it's raining or if it's really bright and has unflattering light. The shelter it creates is super flattering.
Shoot Prom Photos Outside Your School
No worries if you can't find a nearby park or bridge to use. Your school building can be a perfect backdrop. An added bonus is that it will give context to your photos, and you'll be able to remember what this moment in your life was really like.
It's a good idea to get permission ahead of time if you'll be taking photos at the school building. Just check with administration a few days before you plan to do your pictures.
To add something special to these pictures, use some multicolored twinkle lights in front of the camera. They'll be out of focus but will add a fun sparkle and glam look to your prom pics.
Use a Studio or Empty Building for Prom Photos
Do you or your friends have a parent or friend of the family who is a realtor or owns a building? Can you move all the stuff out of a room in your house or rent a local photo studio for a few hours? As you're planning your prom night, see if you can find a totally empty room with great light.
This can make a great place to take your prom photos and not worry about the weather. This lets you move around and dance, and you don't have to worry about a cluttered background with furniture and other things in the way.
If the room has one window but one side is dark, you can reflect some of that window light from the other side. Hang up a white sheet across from the window to work as a reflector. Experiment with lots of different poses, especially using a ton of movement.
Take Photos on a Nature Trail
If you love walking at a park or on a local nature trail, this can be an ideal location for prom pictures. This can be awesome for couple photos, since the trail will create an intimate feeling frame for the two of you.
The best spot for this sort of picture is some place with lots of shade. Staying out of direct light will make your photos more flattering.
Get Some Prom Pics in the Limo
If you're taking a limo to prom, get pictures in the car. This can be a little tricky because you need light on the faces of the people in the vehicle, but with a few simple tricks, you can nail it.
Have someone next to the photographer use a phone to add some light to the photo. Shoot with a wide angle lens (or a phone) so you can get lots of people in the shot. This is a perfect way to get some candid prom photos if you're going as a group. Squeeze in together to make it look cozy.
Take Prom Photos as You Walk Through Town
Your hometown can be an awesome setting for your photos. This is a totally easy shot to get too, especially if you take a lot of pictures and choose a spot that's not too crowded.
Think about what makes your town pretty or cool. Then get some photos of you and your friends walking around in your prom outfits. Take plenty of images so you can really capture that sense of movement.
Take Prom Pictures in the Back of a Pickup
Are you a little more country than city? If a friend has a pickup truck, you can all pile in the back for a photo. Don't drive around like this, of course, but it's a great way to give your shot a playful, country feel that no one else will have in their photos.
As you shoot these pictures, make the people the focus. Don't put much of the truck in the photo, since that can be distracting. You just need enough of the truck to show you're in a truck. Try different angles too. You can shoot from the front or pose everyone sitting on the side. You can even shoot from the tailgate to get a shot of the truck bed full of dressed-up friends.
Hit the Local Orchard for Photos
One of the great things about prom happening in the spring is that orchards tend to be in bloom in many part of the country. If you can find an orchard with blossoms, you've got the perfect place to take prom photos.
Pose one or two people in front of blooming trees or stand with your whole group of friends between rows in the orchard. Either way, try to shoot when the sun has a golden light - usually an hour or so before it sets. That's the most flattering sunlight there is.
Take Pictures on Your Backyard Trampoline
If you don't mind making a few tiny fixes to your hair after the photo, you can get some of the best prom pictures ever on your backyard trampoline. This is a great shot to take with one or two people, or it can work with a large group.
To stay safe, take off your shoes. Even though your shoes are part of your outfit, you don't want to hurt anyone. It's also a good idea to hold hands - not for safety but to show connection.
Look for the best background. Try to shoot from an angle that doesn't have a lot of clutter like buildings or cars. Leafy trees make a great backdrop.
Go for the Scenic Turnouts
Do you live near somewhere beautiful? Those scenic turnouts can be incredible photo locations for prom. Choose the prettiest spot you can find (waterfalls and mountains, we're looking at you) and head out there with friends to get some gorgeous shots.
You'll need to plan plenty of time for this type of shoot, since it can involve some driving. You might even want to get dolled up a little early so you can get the pictures before the real events of the evening begin. This is a really romantic option for couples, but it's also lovely for a solo portrait.
No matter where you choose to shoot, remember that this is an event that's all about how great you look and how much you care about your friends or your date. It's always okay to keep the focus on you and let the background blur.
Once you get the perfect prom photos, take a few minutes to share them with everyone. Post prom photos on Instagram or text them to friends so you can let everyone enjoy your perfect prom night.