Carver Center Prom 2019

I love PROM!! When else can teens get dressed up so fancy? I have great memories of my own prom. My date was one of my best friends, and we met up with a big group once we got to the venue. I partied with all the theatre kids, and we made our own kind of fun!

I was delighted when Elizabeth asked me to photograph her and her friends before they went off to Carver Center for Arts and Technology’s 2019 Prom. They’re all “art kids”— my favorite kind. Carver brings its students up in an environment where they’re encouraged to be themselves unapologetically. Photographing this group was so much fun.


Elizabeth I’ve known for a few years now. We’ve done community theatre together! In 2016, we were in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and I’ve photographed her in numerous musicals since. Her prime at Carver was vocal music, and she’s going to further her studies at Messiah College’s Musical Theatre Program in the fall.


Elizabeth looked stunning in her A-line lilac gown. The lace and beading on the bodice; the glistening of the beads that comprised the open back… gorgeous! Not to mention her braided updo with wispy pieces that framed her face perfectly, and to top it all off, she wore her grandmother’s jewelry. I hope the dress was planned around the jewelry, if I’m being honest. Even if it was just a happy coincidence that grandma’s accessories matched Elizabeth’s dress, it was a very sweet sentiment.


With prom photos, there’s an order of operations in terms of what photos are taken when. I had to get the dates putting on each other’s corsages and boutonnieres, and posed portraits of whichever groups wanted them. Some people are a little camera-shy, and don’t want individual photos, or anything like that, and I’m not going to pressure anyone into doing something they don’t want to do! Prom is supposed to be a fun night, all about celebrating the end of a chapter of your lives, and moving into the next chapter. Imagine starting the evening with some random woman you’ve never met holding a fancy camera forcing you to stand and smile for pictures you didn’t ask for; that would be awkward as heck, and the photos would show it.

That’s where candids come in! I am constantly pressing the shutter button to get as many photos as possible, both when people are posing, and when people think I’m not paying attention, because my favorite moments happen when you don’t remember the photographer is in the room. The best smiles come from laughter.


There’s nothing like a formal dress, or a fitted suit/tux to boost one’s confidence. I hope Elizabeth and all her friends felt as beautiful/handsome as they looked in their prom attire, and that they all had a fun (and safe!) time dancing the night away!


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