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West Bloomfield

‘Prom is really about the memory’

Plan picturesque locations for prom photo shoots

May 14, 2014

» click to enlarge «
The dock at Marshbank Park is noted as one of the picturesque places for prom photos in West Bloomfield.

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Teenagers spend weeks preparing for prom. From their date to the perfect dress, it’s a memorable night teenagers want captured with photographs.

Ally Cohen, owner of Frameable Faces in West Bloomfield, said that while many people take prom pictures at home, there are hidden and well-known gems throughout West Bloomfield that can create the perfect backdrop and assist parents with “capturing the magicalness of the night.”

Cohen’s most recent find is the fishing pier at Marshbank Park, located on Hiller Road. The pier is located toward the back of the park, and the lake and trees create a picturesque scene, she said.

Of the multiple nature trails West Bloomfield offers, Cohen said that the Nature Preserve near Pontiac Trail and the trails on Arrowhead Road are prime picture areas.

“You can get really pretty light, shooting into the sun (on the Arrowhead trails). If the parents shoot into the sun, the kids will have a halo behind their hair,” Cohen said.

Cohen also noted the trails at the bottom of the sledding hill behind the West Bloomfield Township Public Library and behind Town Hall.

Chris Frey, Parks and Recreation Commission park supervisor, and Meagan Kurnat, public information officer for the Parks and Recreation Commission, said it is not uncommon to see students taking prom pictures at the pergola on the trail north of Walnut Lake Road, near Haggerty Road. Kurnat said that the front of the barn at Schulak Farm and the steps of Schulak Farm also offer a unique background. Notifying the Parks and Recreation Commission about using Schulak Farm for pictures is not required, they said.

In addition to the perfect picture backdrop, simple photography techniques can help parents enhance the pictures taken.

The best time of the day to take prom pictures, according to Cohen, depends on the location and where the sun is positioned in the sky. The lower the sun, the better the picture.

“If the sun is straight up above, you’re going to get raccoon eyes on the kids,” Cohen said. “Overcast days are perfect. If it’s completely overcast, that’s the dream for pictures.”

When shooting outdoors, use a flash only if needed. A flash can flatten the details and colors of a photo, she said, so it’s best to review the picture and decide if a flash is absolutely necessary. While indoors, a flash should be used unless the room contains a large picture window or contains an abundance of natural light.

Cohen said that, in her opinion, pictures of couples interacting and showing natural facial expressions are just as important and are the best images to shoot.

“Capture the interaction between the two kids, because (prom is) supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” she said.

Hiring a photographer for prom pictures isn’t common, but Cohen has shot prom sessions. However, she said, hiring a photographer has risks.

“If you have that professional photographer, you need to be cognizant of the time. I have heard lots of stories where kids are late to prom for the sake of the picture,” Cohen said.

Cohen suggested limiting the group size to 10-20 people and setting a time limit for the photo shoot. Individual pictures should be taken prior to the photo shoot by family members.

“The worst thing is, yes you have these amazing photos, but you don’t have the memories because you were out getting the beautiful photos,” she said. “Prom is really about the memory.”

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