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Use outdoor chairs, couches or picnic tables to (Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Use outdoor chairs, couches or picnic tables to have some teens sit, others stand, and some lean, Robert Ruymen, professional photographer at Visual Concepts in Islip advises. You want the teens at different levels. If it's a very big group, try stairs.

Pictured: On the sofa, from left are Dejah Singletary and Fernando Soto, and Tashawna Gibson and Eric Garr. Behind them, from left, are Diego Gutierrez and Shelby Williams, and Vernon Hart and Tracey McFadden. (May 23, 2013)

Prom picture tips from Long Island photographers

If it's prom night, parents turn into the prom-parazzi -- snapping photo after photo at traditional pre-party house gatherings, then posting them proudly on Facebook.

Here are professional photography tips on how to take interesting pre-prom photos. Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School students, who gathered at the home of senior Jessica Hemmings in Amityville, tested the techniques before heading to their recent prom at VillaLombardi's in Holbrook. --Beth Whitehouse

For group shots, head to the street in
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

For group shots, head to the street in front of the house and ask the teens to walk toward you while you click away. Tell the group they can hold hands if they want. Instruct them not to look straight at you, but to interact as they would if they were strolling together. "They're walking, they're probably goofing around and having fun," said Scott Feierstein, owner of Red Sweatshirt Photography in Bellmore. "The girls like to strut in their heels."

Pictured: Courtney Jordan, Qinyonie Poole, Shatik Jones and Brianna Williams walk toward the camera for a photo-op at a pre-prom party before heading out to the Copiague High School prom. (May 23, 2013)

Use outdoor chairs, couches or picnic tables to
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Use outdoor chairs, couches or picnic tables to have some teens sit, others stand, and some lean, Robert Ruymen, professional photographer at Visual Concepts in Islip advises. You want the teens at different levels. If it's a very big group, try stairs.

Pictured: On the sofa, from left are Dejah Singletary and Fernando Soto, and Tashawna Gibson and Eric Garr. Behind them, from left, are Diego Gutierrez and Shelby Williams, and Vernon Hart and Tracey McFadden. (May 23, 2013)

Use outdoor chairs, couches or picnic tables to
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Use outdoor chairs, couches or picnic tables to have some teens sit, others stand, and some lean, Robert Ruymen, professional photographer at Visual Concepts in Islip advises. You want the teens at different levels. If it's a very big group, try stairs.

Pictured: Clockwise from bottom left, front are Dejah Singletary, Tyanna Palmer, Qinyonie Poole, Emani Barton, Tshay Williams, E'lasia Williams, Twiggy Hamilton, Brianna Williams and Shelby Williams at a pre-prom party in Amityville, before heading to the Copiague High School prom. (May 23, 2013)

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When shooting the guys, tell them not to
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

When shooting the guys, tell them not to look at you but to tell each other jokes. Try to capture a candid shot of them laughing. "I think the hardest thing is the guys," said Scott Feierstein, owner of Red Sweatshirt Photography in Bellmore. They're usually more stilted and self-conscious than girls, he says.

Pictured: From left, Eric Garr, Diego Gutierrez, Courtney Jordan and Vernon Hart at a pre-prom party in Amityville before heading to the prom at Copiague High School. (May 23, 2013)

When shooting couples, get their personalities incorporated in
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

When shooting couples, get their personalities incorporated in their pictures, suggested Mike Lee, a photographer at HiLite Studios in Commack and Westbury. If one of them is on the basketball team, for instance, bring the ball and have them dribble, guard each other, even shoot hoops in their prom clothes.

Pictured: Shatik Jones and Brianna Williams, headed to the Copiague High School prom, pose for a photo with Brianna Williams, who plays for the school team. (May 23, 2013)

Ask couples to pretend they are slow-dancing, even
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Ask couples to pretend they are slow-dancing, even if you don't have music. Have dates look at each other, not you, as you move around to shoot them. "That's a really fun one," said Ellen Wolff of Ellen Wolff Photography in Hewlett. "I have outstanding photos of couples I asked to do this for me . . . The natural expressions are what is so wonderful."

Pictured: Dejah Singletary and Fernando Soto slow dance for a photo-op at a pre-prom party in Amityville before heading to the Copiague High School prom. (May 23, 2013)

Weather tips: If it's sunny, worry less about
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Weather tips: If it's sunny, worry less about what's in the background of the photo and more about lighting. If the sun is in their eyes, they'll squint and nobody will care that your beautiful pool is in the background. "Everyone seems to make that mistake," says Kevin Togher, a photographer with Sherwood-Triart Photography in Woodbury.

If it's raining, many of the suggested techniques will still work indoors. Teens can sit and lean on a living room couch, for instance, or stand on indoor stairs. Try shooting couples next to a window where there's natural light, Togher says. Get a tight shot and then tilt the camera 20 to 30 degrees so the photo isn't shot straight on, he suggests. (May 23, 2013)

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