Unheard of in the United Kingdom a decade ago the prom is now the much looked forward to highlight of the year for school leavers. With the mix of exam anxiety, hormones and peer pressure the teens of today are funnelling that energy into the event of their lives… the prom!
With stately homes and grand buildings being booked for the venue, the pressure to match that grandness with their outfits is on. Every girl is using Pinterest to create boards of their favourite dresses and hair and make up styles, no two girls wanting to have the same dress or look as anyone else.
Once upon a time only wedding dress retailers with bridesmaids dresses were the only option now specialist Prom dress retailers are booked out from January through to April with girls desperate to find the perfect dress. Retailers having to keep detailed lists to ensure no dress is sold to the same school twice.
Parents paying tidy sums to get the perfect dress, hair, make-up and transport for the event but what do we have to show for it years or even a week after the event? A few iPhone snaps perhaps?
With fewer and fewer parents printing the images off their phone or cloud and only the odd photo Booth passport photo from the prom I felt like such a big event in an adolescents life really was being missed completely.
In Canada where I hail from we actually had professional graduation photos with cap and gown and roses and in the US senior portraits ( not the over 65’s but the senior school sort). The US senior portraits are yet another way to commemorate the end of a school career before embarking on higher education. Often in an outdoor location and with several outfit changes it gives parents and equally the teens something nice of themselves to commemorate the occasion.
Why not have a beautiful portrait I thought? After two years of photographing the proms at Hylands House in Chelmsford I realised that the teens attending these events were not as keen as I had expected to have their photograph taken but why? They looked better then they ever had, professional hair and make-up and a red carpet worthy dress, what was I missing?
I spent some time researching and talking to teens from all different parts of the UK and two things really stood out to me. The first was that whilst the majority like taking selfies they did not actually like posing for a camera, mainly because they cannot see how they look. The second was that they did not like posing on their own or in front of their friends.
I also heard the frustration of the parents, desperate to have just one beautiful photo of their child dressed in their finery. Something fitting to be framed and displayed.
So how could I best serve the younger generation and the parents?
We set about to see what we could create with Emma & Livvy – two friends who have been close since birth despite living in separate cities. The brief, glamorous and fun! I enlisted the help of make-up artist Victoria Taylor and for the amazing hair styles Carly Williams and to complete the look we had Alison of Fairytale Prom & Party bring along an arsenal of Ruby Prom dresses.
What we got was the Ultimate Prom Queen Photo-shoot!
I have shared just a few of the favourites from the shoot. If you have a prom coming up and you want to do something to celebrate or you have your hair and make-up trial and want another excuse to wear your dress and feel like your on the red carpet then call me on 07768 078 088 and book your shoot now. I have limited weekend sessions. It can be you on your own or with your best friend. We can enlist the styling team and ensure your hair and make-up are perfect or you can come after your trial or as you are.
The sessions start at £75 with no hair or make-up and £150 with, email now for more information.