Preserving Prom Memories: From Scrapbooks to Selfies
Who doesn't love a good selfie? Whether you prefer digitally sharing selfies or turning the pages of a scrapbook, you're going to love looking back on your favorite prom memories when you’re older. . . so don’t hesitate to snap away! Take your own pictures, get professional posed photos, or opt for the best of both worlds with a mix of fun and formal shots. Some highlights from the big night, such as dance-floor shenanigans, jokes with friends, or the crowning of the prom king and queen, are best experienced beyond the limited two dimensions of a photograph. Start recording or live streaming to capture these moments on video. By taking videos, rather than pictures, you can relive the sights and sounds of those big moments. Looking back at your memories, you’ll be glad you did. Once all the prom pictures and video clips have been taken, what’s next? Preserve those prom memories in scrapbooks, as professionally framed photos, and shared social media, to name just a few possibilities. Explore the tips below for ways to save those precious prom memories.
Achieving perfect prom photos and Insta-worthy selfies is easy when you leave yourself plenty of time, remember that lighting is key, consider your backdrop carefully, and relax. Whether taking selfies with your camera phone or having someone else take the prom pictures, you want to capture the magic without your pictures ending up in a Hall of Shame. Videos with a “how-to” or “gag-reel” feel, dramatic or goofy selfies, posed group pics that include the whole gang (even Mom or Dad!), or candid snapshots of your prom prep all make for memorable moments to document. Check out the tips below to help you make the most of your photo and video opportunities.
#1 Allow lots of time. If you are having pictures taken before the prom, time them so that you don’t feel rushed. A rushed photo session makes for strained smiles and less creativity. Have friends that are always “fashionably late?” Pick a time to gather for pictures that accounts for those late-comers and allows wiggle room for unexpected delays in your prom preparations. The more people that you have for your before prom group photos, the more ideas and poses you will want to incorporate. Choosing an early meeting time is sure to make your pre-prom photos stress-free, and it will be easier to smile for the camera.
#2 Relax. Remember to have fun! Even if it feels awkward with a parent snapping photos, take a deep breath. Keeping a calm state of mind lends itself well to natural smiles, fun poses, and an all around enjoyable start to prom, which, of course, means better prom pictures for remembering the big day.
#3 Mix it up. Aim for a variety of selfies, group photos, and videos. Plan some posed pictures, action shots, and even candid snaps. You can begin capturing your photo memories as soon as you are dressed and ready for prom. Use a mirror or the front-facing camera on your phone to take some posed shots in full prom attire while you are picture-perfect with not a hair out of place. After you get the perfect solo selfie, try for natural, candid shots that are not posed, especially if you’re meeting up with friends or a date. Put someone else (a parent or sibling, perhaps) in charge of the camera to catch those candid and casual action shots that capture the moments between posed pictures. These are usually more memorable, catching genuine expressions rather than the formal smiles that follow “cheese.”
#4 Pick your backdrop carefully. When preparing for solo or group pictures, watch the background for prom photos, selfies, and videos. Whenever possible, pick a background that is clean with the least distractions (You should be the focus of your own photo!). Unless it fits with an edgy, alternative vibe (or hilarious posed picture), you may want to avoid having garbage cans or advertisements on fences in your pictures. Standing in front of a tree or bushes, at the side of the limo, on a staircase, or against a blank wall are good suggestions for a generic, clean-background photo that won’t interfere with the main subject (YOU!).
#5 Lighting is key. Lighting plays a big part in taking the perfect prom photo, selfie, or video. If you’re inside, find a window for maximum natural light. If you’re outside, find a spot where it is bright, but not so intensely sunny that everyone is squinting. Make sure to activate full flash on your phone or camera while avoiding shadows. If harsh shadows remain unavoidable, try changing the angle of your subjects so that you minimize the shadow. You can use shadows to your advantage for starkly beautiful images. Worried about poorly lit dance floors causing prom selfies to appear dark and gloomy? Of course you will want to find the areas with more ideal lighting, but a great solution to poor lighting is a specialty phone case that lights up to produce glowing selfies.
How Can I Preserve Memories at Prom?
In the simplest terms, to preserve your prom memories, you must take all the pictures and save all the things! Professional photos at prom are quick and easy ways to preserve prom memories, but the best pictures are usually the selfies, so keep your camera phone at the ready at all times. Aside from collecting all the pictures, think about the objects that you could save from the prom experience. Your prom ticket stub, prom flowers, menu cards, or favors are just a few possibilities. Once you have both digital and physical reminders of your prom night, it’s time to decide how you want to preserve them.
You can opt to keep your digital memories online, storing them in a personal Cloud storage, on a social media app, or in an online scrapbook, while keeping your objects in a special keepsake box. Prefer to combine them? Start by picking out your favorite images from before, during, and after prom to have printed. With physical copies of your images, you can combine them with your objects in the form of a prom scrapbook! At the very least, you will need a scrapbook album with protective sheets, photo glue or tape, and scissors. Get additional supplies, like colorful paper squares, shape cut outs, stickers, thin or thick markers, or unique edging scissors, at any arts and craft store. Showcase your artistic talent as you decorate the pages of your prom scrapbook in your school colors, fabric swatches, or glitter, while writing down your thoughts, hopes, and dreams for the future.
What are the Best Prom Photo and Video Apps?
Are you all about keeping your crew up to date on your recent activities through posts on Facebook? Love sharing snippets of your life with the world through commonly used hashtags on Instagram? Then finding the best ways to share your prom photos online will be easy! Never used these apps, or have yet to use them to the fullest? Don’t worry! Using them to share your prom experience will still be easy, and the tips in this Prom Guide can help. Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are currently the popular apps for connecting your prom experiences with others, not to mention they are excellent tools for preserving those prom memories with flair.
#Instagram Viewing prom memories on social media is an absolute blast, so tag yourself and friends in posted pictures to build up a shared experience. Using hashtags for prom on Instagram also makes it possible for you and others to link your memories together. There are tons of prom hashtag possibilities to explore. The simplest way to connect to other prom goers is hashtagging the year (#Prom2kxx or #Prom20xx). Some schools have specific hashtags that you may want to use to share your prom pictures, so using the school hashtag on your images can link you to your classmates’ prom experiences. Choose a personalized hashtag with your friends to easily share a your prom night together. Want to connect to PromGirl on Instagram (@PromGirlxo)? Link your promposal to others with #PGPromposal or share your PromGirl dress with #PGONME.
Facebook Create albums to store your prom photos and videos, share live video feeds as they happen by streaming from your phone, or post your favorite images to highlight your experiences. You can choose to share privately, with Facebook friends, or with everyone! Have group pictures? Don’t forget to tag your friends! You can even use prom hashtags on Facebook, and clicking the hashtag links to public posts that also used it (so check your privacy settings carefully before jumping into the hashtag fun). The more pictures you and your friends post and then tag, the more memories you will have to look back on. The best part about posting your prom experience on Facebook? Each year, Facebook will give you the chance to look through your memories for the day of your posts! Future-you is sure to love scrolling back over those images, rewatching those videos, and re-posting those memories to reminisce with your Facebook family again.
Snapchat Have fun with Snapchat filters for the ultimate selfie-enhancing technology. Once you’ve taken your prom photo or video with this app, simply swipe left or right to see filter options. Fun glasses, puppies, face swaps, and flower crowns can make taking prom selfies or group pics and videos a blast, especially when swapping these memories with friends later. Some schools even create their own Snapchat filters, like a fun frame for your image in the school colors with the school initials and prom date!
How Do I Preserve My Prom Flowers?
Preserving your prom flowers yourself is affordable and easy. One method of flower preservation requires a shoebox, Borax, and, of course, your prom flowers. Borax is found in the laundry soap aisle at the grocery store. Pour a thin layer of the Borax in the bottom of the shoebox. Remove the leaves and arrange the flowers the way you would like to have them preserved before placing them on the layer of Borax. After arranging, pour more Borax over the flowers until they are completely covered. Put the lid on the box and tape it shut so that it won’t be accidentally spilled. Allow the box to remain undisturbed for two weeks. The color, the shape, the size, and every fold of your prom flowers will be beautifully preserved.
Another DIY way to preserve your prom flowers is with silica gel, which can be found at craft stores. It is extremely effective at preserving flowers. Put the silica gel in a plastic container before placing the flowers in the gel. Cover the flowers entirely and seal the container. Place in a dry place for several weeks.
You can also try the professional flower shop method of freeze-drying flowers, but without the professional fee when you do it at home. If you place your prom corsage or flowers in the original plastic container, you can freeze them, which is cost-effective and easy.
Air drying is another budget-friendly option. Simply tie a rubber band around the stem of the flowers, and hang them upside down. You may want to spray the prom flowers with aerosol hairspray before beginning the drying process to minimize crumbling.
Now that you’ve preserved your prom flowers, what can you do with them? You can press them into the pages of a prom scrapbook next to photo prints from the big night, or create hangable artwork with them. Craft stores carry various sizes of photo frames and deeper-framed shadow boxes in which you can proudly display your preserved prom flowers, along with prom tickets, pictures, and other prom memorabilia on your bedroom or dorm room wall for everyone to see.
Imagine future-you kicking back and reliving the funny moments and quotes from prom day that you captured and preserved. That future-you is sure to appreciate all the little treasures that you save and compile now. Try taking notes of the hilarious jokes and exchanges, if you missed capturing them on video, so that you can use them later for posting online or writing into your prom scrapbook. Simple items, like dried prom flowers, favors, and keepsakes are sure to enhance your pictures when incorporated into a prom scrapbook or shadowbox frame. Use social media to double or triple your collection of memories by sharing your selfies, candid shots, group photos, or videos with all your friends. With the advice in this section of the Prom Guide, make the most of your prom experiences in the moment while preserving them for you to enjoy in the years ahead.