Clarke Central High School senior Julie Alpaugh poses with her friends before going to last year’s prom. In the many events of high school prom is not of much importance for Alpaugh.
By JULIE ALPAUGH – Senior Visuals Coordinator
ODYSSEY Media Group Senior Visuals Coordinator Julie Alpaugh reflects on her experience photographing prom as a freshman and her thoughts on the event.
I walked into the Botanical Gardens as a timid freshman. It was an hour until the biggest night in high school — or so I thought. As a recently-added photographer on the ODYSSEY Online staff, I was assigned to shoot prom. The pressure was on me. I was supposed to capture this magnificent night where everyone would be dressed up and looking their best.
I stood at the end of the room looking around at the decorations with tables on one end and lights hanging from the ceiling. With my camera around my neck, I nervously waited for students to arrive. I expected fancy dresses bedazzled with jewels, cute couples walking hand-in-hand and for the room to be filled with all the junior and seniors I saw walking the halls at school.
I was shocked it wasn’t like the movies where prom is supposed to be the culminating event of a student’s high school social life. I imagined prom to be huge. Yes, people were dressed up and looked nice, but it was not the image I had in my head for years. Not everyone was latched on to their date, and in fact there were groups of friends who had gone together. Some people wore fancy dresses with jewels while others wore something simple and plain. The room was not even filled. So many juniors and seniors had not even come to the dance. The majority of students awkwardly danced around and did not even look like they were having a good time.
Now that I am one of those seniors attending prom, I realize it isn’t even that big of a deal. I hope it will be memorable, but getting into college and even shooting prom as a freshman will be something I remember more than it.
I did not have some huge promposal — in fact I am just going with friends. I waited until two weeks before the dance to order my dress and I don’t even know where my group is eating dinner.
Prom is an important event for some students, but I think for many students like myself, it is just a fun night that pales in comparison to more memorable moments in high school.