April 12, 2022

Prom Mini Sessions | Benton Park

Mini Session

From Disaster to Dazzling!

Ok, can we just start by saying that these dresses and kids are just ADORABLE! I never looked this good in high school! I just can't wrap my brain around it. LOL. These guys were so wonderful, so fun and full of laughter...so much excitement and nerves...So, how can you see these images and think that there is any room for "disaster" in this story? Let me tell you, I was in a panic earlier in the day. But I'm jumping ahead of myself...

Let me start out first by saying that as I migrate my portrait business toward Seniors and Wedding photography, I am just captivated by young people and the fresh new starts they have in life. It's a dream of mine to just connect with and give these guys the absolute best photo experience that they never thought they could get. Ha! One way I wanted to serve my high school students and connect, is by offering Prom/Homecoming Mini Sessions. After every big dance, my heart falls when I see parent after parent on FB posting their cell phone shots of their gorgeous kids and I always tell myself "I could give them photos that would make them cry". Cell phones just don't cut it! I have wrestled with how to make this possible, how to format it, price it, provide it. I threw some ideas around with my husband, and was getting ready to throw myself out there, when my dear friend Leighann called me up asking if I could do her son's prom photos.

UM, YES!!!!

Then I just went ahead and word vomited my ideas, and she just started brainstorming with me, and I ended the phone call with a "stay tuned" message to Leighann and my heart and head in the clouds. I knew I had to find the perfect location to make this work. I absolutely wanted to use downtown Benton, Illinois to photograph these kids in, because how fun would that be?! Our downtown is being transformed before my eyes from a dingy downtown to a dazzling one full of updated buildings, amazing eateries, and a very lovely artistic vibe that I want to utilize as much as I can in my work. From Cafe Bloom, Seasonings Bistro, and The Buzz, we can eat real well here in Benton, and I knew some of these kids might be having dinner downtown. So Downtown I went to location scout!

And I found it.

I found my perfect spot! It had a beautiful rail, a beautiful pink tree, and I even used a special app on my phone to track the exact location of the sun when my shoots would be happening so I could have the PERFECT mini session experience! I drummed up my marketing, got some bookings, and we were off to the races!


I wake up on Session day, and I'm all congested. NO! I think it was a combo of cold and insane spring allgergies.

(I will probably regret this TMI moment, but a certain female curse also made its debut on this very day).

I hopped on Facebook only to see a notification from the Benton Commerce about the awesome CAR SHOW going on in the square RIGHT DURING MY MINI SESSIONS! I knew this was bad news for my location. So I took my kids out and drove all around Benton searching for a new location. My kids were getting antsy pantsy while I was ending my trip scouring the park, and I saw this tree where we ended up taking photos. Turns out, this location far exceeded my expectations and I'm glad for the blasted car show now!

Cell phone vs professional photographer

Before we head to the gallery, check out what you see vs what I see!