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Going to Prom!

Oh the senior prom… I must confess mine was pretty fun although nothing too fancy. My dress cost about $25 (I was damn proud of that bargain) and I got my hair done at Supercuts. A very pretty up-do with a few curls cascading down… for about 10 minutes until the coastal humidity and heat got to them. Flattened hair aside, it was a fun night with great friends and one I will always remember.

It’s been just over 10 years since my prom (my gawd, really 10 years?!), and I got the chance to relive a little bit of that special day last weekend. Andrew’s folks asked me some weeks ago to photograph his little sister and her friends’ prom pictures. I was so honored and excited to be the one to capture that special day for them, and also totally freaked out – as I tend to get about anything new. lol

Their prom day was definitely a bit fancier than mine. It was an all-day affair, complete with appointments for hair and makeup, a party bus to drive them all around town, photoshoot at the gorgeous Tea Gardens in San Antonio, a fancy dinner and of course a horse-drawn carriage to arrive at the prom in! Now that’s style.

I’m just going to say it – this was just about the most fun thing I could ever imagine being paid to do. All the kids were so excited and having a blast together while we were shooting, which of course made the photos come out so genuine. The locations we shot at were gorgeous too. I was definitely nervous, having never done prom photos and really having very little experience shooting people. A few nights before the shoot, I had my typical “lets blow this up into a thing of monumental proportions and spaz about it for a few hours”, but once I got that out of the way (and was talked back down to reality by Andrew – thanks babe!) I was good to go.

Doing the Uncomfortable Thing
I tend to avoid photographing people honestly – because it can be so awkward. Directing people is so tough, and I have a really hard time trying to create what I want to see. I’d much rather wait for the moment to come on its own and then capture it. So as you can imagine, 14 teenagers and less than an hour to get approximately 10-12 specific shots was definitely out of my comfort zone! Although I really cool thing happened when I was let loose with these kiddos… I realized it was all on me and we didn’t have time to screw around! So there it was. I just took charge and off we went. It was chaotic, it was rushed, and nothing was as perfect as I wanted it to be… but there was something really great about not having the time to be a perfectionist. It also means you don’t have time to second guess yourself. A whole day of doing with my gut instincts… I think we came away with some really great shots.


This is one of my favorites, all the girls scrunched in the horse carriage, shot from up in the driver’s seat.


Another of my favorites, even though the lighting conditions weren’t very good – I think it sort of adds a bit of a celebrity quality to it. As soon as that horse wrapped his head around next to the girls I new we had an awesome shot! Thanks Tiny!

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Claudia #

    I’ve heard reports from several that the entire experience was perfect. Having the photos documenting the evening is the icing on the cake for the prom-goers! (parents & relatives, too!) You did a fabulous job, Sarahl!!!!

    Monday, May 7, 2012
    • Thanks Claudia! I am so glad everyone is happy with them! I definitely didn’t want to disappoint! =)

      Monday, May 7, 2012
  2. Kay Craig #

    Thank you for this ‘forever’ photo journey of the special day!

    Monday, May 7, 2012
  3. WHAT amazing! I had a horse-drawn carriage at my WEDDING but prom?? Wow. Great shots! I’m glad I’m not the only one who needs to have a spaz attack before any event. ;) Thanks for sharing, love the pics!

    Monday, May 7, 2012
    • Haha thanks Rachel!! I know i was definitely envious of their carriage arrival! ;) The crowd’s response as they pulled up was priceless… gasps and voices whispering! hehe!

      And yes, despite the fact that I try to see myself as a tough cookie that never doubts herself – i’m a total spaz when tackling new creative projects… particularly when they are for other people. I get really worried I will not be able to perform or let them down somehow! (not sure why, i’ve yet to fail a client in any real way. lol) Glad to know i’m not the only one too!!

      Monday, May 7, 2012

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