Here’s an opportunity to add fill-flash. If you have an accessory Speedlite like the 430EX series, simply mount it to your camera and turn it on. The flash will do a nice job of filling in shadows when the sun is at your subject’s back. Also, take some pictures with no flash and see what you like better just to be safe. If you have a camera with a built-in flash, this is certainly a good option as well. Simply touch the flash icon button on the camera to raise the flash, and take your pictures. One note, if your camera is set in the Green full-auto mode, CA mode or any of the icon settings like Portrait mode for example, you will not be able to manually activate the flash to pop up. Your mode dial must be in one of the following settings to manually pop the flash up: P (Program mode), Av (Aperture Priority mode), Tv (Shutter Priority mode), or M (Manual mode).
Chances are, you may have some beautiful natural light in the early evening before the prom so this is a great time to use the nice soft light present before you. Just position your subjects toward the open sky and take your pictures. Most importantly, try to get better reactions out of them by saying something clever other than “smile” or “say cheese” – which usually tenses people up, making for smiles that aren’t genuine. Also take lots of candid photos with a telephoto lens. Often times, when people don’t know there’s a camera pointed at them, they tend to act relaxed and more natural. You know, how you’re used to seeing them. Zoom in and capture the fun and spontaneous moments of the kids that you’ll cherish for years to come. If there’s a flower exchange, zoom in close on the flowers and hands as the flowers are being pinned on. It helps tell the story. Who knows, you may want to make a cute album out these photos so you’ll want more than just pictures of everyone’s faces to make the book more interesting. Take detail pictures of earrings, necklaces, the couple holding hands etc. You get the idea!