Brisbane high school girl in yellow foraml dress in New Farm Rose garden pre-formal photoshoot.

Brisbane Formal Photography | Tips & What to Expect for School Balls

A Guide To Your Brisbane Senior School Formal

The school formal is a highly anticipated event that marks a significant milestone in every girl’s life. It’s a time to dress up, celebrate with friends, and create cherished memories. What better way to commemorate this special occasion than with stunning formal photographs? In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of Brisbane formal photography and a guide to having the best time of your (teenage) life!

Brisbane high schooler in formal dress having pre-formal photos taken in New Farm Rose Garden.

Picking Your School Formal Dress

School Formal is a formal event therefore formal dresses and formal gowns for the girls and formal suit (tuxedo with bow and tie) for the boys. Shop early and remember to discuss with your partners so you and your partner can wear matching colour outfit.

Brisbane Formal Photography in local park with roses and jacaranda in background.
Girl running in New Farm Park with roses, taken by Brisbane formal photographer.

Where to shop for a dress?

The dress/gown can be short or long. Here is a list of the places I would shop for a school formal dress:

Runway Goddess

There is a store in Westfield Garden City. Firstly, I recommend trying on different styles to see what flatters you best. Different skin tone suit different colours; different body shapes suit different dress styles.

Miss Runway Formal

Physical Store in Indooroopilly shopping centre. Again, you don’t know how you’ll look until you’ve tried the dresses on.

Trustworthy online shops for formal dresses

I have bought many dresses from AliExpress, JJHouse, Needle & Thread, Selkie, AWBridal. If you are a fan of short dresses, Have Dress Store has some beautiful, adorable, unique pieces.

AliExpress has some seriously good deals – I work with this vendor to create unique pieces I envision. The tailor listens to you, and will accept unlimited photos until she fully gets what you are after. They are super affordable 100% legitimate.

I personally would not recommend Shein, because their quality isn’t always as good. However, you can always return their goods for free if you don’t like it.

If you are struggling to find a partner/date…

Your partner can be your boyfriend, best guy friend, hang out buddy and you know what? It doesn’t really matter all that much. You don’t have to wait for the person to invite you, you can just ask. Asking someone doesn’t necessarily mean you have the hots for them. If anything, my formal date was literally just friend of a friend to split the cost of the ticket – ditched him within 10 minutes of the ball. Formal is a place to have fun and enjoy yourself, the ‘date’ isn’t all that important.

Pre formal photoshoot of high school couple in pine forest in Gold Coast.

School Formal Photography Brisbane

You might be wondering why you should spend extra money on hiring a professional photographer. Here’s why:

  • On the actual night the lighting at the venue will not be great. The photos on your phone won’t look amazing. Hiring a photographer means you get photos that will WOW your friends on social media
  • This is a once in a life time event, you won’t be 17 again. Make it special – document this in the most special way!
  • The photos you take on your phone won’t be printable quality. They will mostly be selfies or cheesy ‘looking at the camera and smile’ shots that are just plain.
  • By hiring a professional, you can get group and individual portraits pre-formal of all your friends together. Getting in front of a camera is heaps fun! I give plentiful of prompts and instructions to make the photoshoot experience fun and enjoyable. I love candid shots with interactive, emotion-filled images!
  • With professional photos, you can print the photos to send to your grandparents and remember this day for a lifetime.

Pre Formal Photography Brisbane

Cherish your memories. Your school formal is a significant milestone in your life, and having professional photographs to look back on allows you to relive those cherished memories. These images serve as a visual reminder of the friendships, excitement, and joy experienced during this special event. Professional photographers have the ability to capture the emotions and connections, allowing you to revisit those moments for years to come.

Pre formal photoshoot in Emerald Lakes with family in Brisbane, Gold Coast area.

When I contacted Izzy I was just after a few pre-formal photos of my daughter with family. What Izzy provided was unbelievably stunning and far beyond what I was expecting. And I am not just talking about the photos, I mean the whole experience from first contact to receiving the pictures. Izzy was completely professional, prompt in her communication, went over and above to accommodate (her style guide is amazing!) and was just a pleasure all round to deal with. Her photos speak for just how amazingly talented she is. She will be my first and only choice for family pics from now on.”

C. Sheck – Gold Coast
Pre Formal photography in Brisbane with stunning European architecture and black dress.

10 tips on how to have fun at your school formal

1. Have a pre-formal photo shoot. You are all glammed up, why not have a professional photographer to capture the day? See recommendations below

2. Organise a vintage car, limo with your friends. It elevates the entire experience and you will appreciate the transport

3. Wear comfy shoes and imagine yourself walking on red carpet feeling like superstar everywhere you go.

4. Hire a makeup artist if you are not comfortable doing your own makeup. See recommendations below

5. Learn 3 simple, yet awesome dance moves to show off on the floor!

6. You don’t have to spend your night with your date if you don’t want to. But if you are going with your boyfriend, this would be the most exciting thing of the year, take LOTS of photos and have fun!

7. Remember to eat. You get sick quicker on an empty stomach in the after party. Be sure to bring your lip makeup in your bag.

8. Join the pre-formal and after-party! It’s heaps fun. Don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with your friends. The formal is a great opportunity to talk to those who you don’t normally talk to. Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself. Everyone is there to have a good time and no one is judging you!

9. Put your phone away, and go around complimenting people! But take lots of pictures!

10. Most importantly, enjoy yourself! It’s the perfect opportunity to let loose and have a great time.

Japanese couple having pre formal photos taken in Brisbane flower field.

Why You Should Hire Me As Your Brisbane School Formal Photographer

Glowing Skin Tone, Not Dark or Moody

As your formal photographer in Brisbane, I understand the importance of capturing your radiant beauty on this special day. With my expertise in natural lighting and editing techniques, I ensure that your skin tone appears vibrant and luminous in every photograph. Gone are the days of dark and moody images – I specialise in showcasing your natural glow, allowing you to shine in your formal portraits.

Natural, Candid: Fun with No Time to Be Awkward

I have been there before – awkward posing, not knowing how to even look half decent in front of the camera — I know the pain! But trust me, formal photography shouldn’t feel staged or uncomfortable. My approach is focused on creating a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, where your true personality can shine through. By capturing candid moments and encouraging natural interactions, I ensure that your formal photographs are filled with genuine joy and emotion. Whether it’s playful laughter with friends or a tender moment with your loved ones, each image will reflect the authentic essence of this milestone event.

One-Stop Shop: Makeup, Dress, Printing Services Included

Preparing for the school formal involves various elements, from finding the perfect dress to ensuring your makeup is on point. As your trusted formal photographer, I offer a comprehensive one-stop-shop experience. Not only will I capture breathtaking photographs, but I also provide additional services such as makeup and hair, complimentary dress hire, and professional printing services. With everything taken care of, you can relax and fully immerse yourself in the celebration, knowing that your formal photography needs are in expert hands.

Professional preformal photos with high school friends in Brisbane Somerville House.

Pre Formal Photoshoot Locations

When it comes to pre-formal photos, I find flower fields to be the perfect backdrop, exuding natural beauty and charm. Roma Street Parklands offers a captivating blend of gorgeous gardens and lush greenery, creating a timeless and elegant atmosphere for your photographs. For those seeking a touch of romance, the lavender field at Sirromet Winery provides a picturesque setting.

If you appreciate the Victorian architecture vibe, locations such as UQ, Brisbane City, City Hall, and Emerald Lakes offer captivating backdrops that add a touch of grandeur to your formal photos. These locations showcase architectural beauty and provide a sophisticated ambiance.

To ensure that your chosen location aligns with your preferences and is conveniently situated based on your location and venue, I am more than happy to provide tailored recommendations. By considering your specific needs, I can suggest suitable locations that will perfectly complement your pre-formal photoshoot.

We can also do portrait photoshoot in the convenience of your own home if it has plentiful natural light. I can set up my fine art backdrop and floral arrangements for the most unique pre-formal portraits. Alternatively my home studio is in Sunnybank.

Formal photography at Brisbane girls grammar in indoor photography studio.

Sommerville House Formal

Somerville House Ball – a night of glitz and glitter – will be held on Saturday 9 September 2023.

School Formal Makeup Brisbane

One of the biggest thing I regret to date is doing my own makeup for my school formals. I literally hated every photo, and I had to try Photoshop every single photo. I didn’t like the way my false lashes looked. My brows were uneven, and my hair was boring. I don’t have a photo proof (another regret), but it was horrendous. Please, for the love of god, consider hiring a professional makeup artist for your special high school event!

Makeup and hair generally costs around $250 in Brisbane. Trust me, it is not a lot of money to ask Mum. I would happily give my daughter the money to make her look and feel amazing.

I recommend Amy Chan makeup (she specialises in Asian makeup), and Mariel Le Makeup. The transformation is phenomenal. You will have glowy skin all day and all night, and your foundation will not reflect off camera flash at night. Having professional makeup before Brisbane Formal Photography is definitely recommended!

Indian girl having preformal makeup done in Brisbane before professional photoshoot

Ready to Book Me As Your Brisbane Formal Photographer?

Enquire here! Let’s hear what you are dreaming up. Usually with pre-formal photos I organise my makeup artist Amy to come to your house early afternoon, then we do our photoshoot at around 3-4pm. The session is generally 60 minutes, depending on how many people there are. I do individual portraits, family photos as well as group shots, so you will get the bang of your buck!! Brisbane Formal Photography pricing start from $650; digital collections start from $900. I can’t wait to be your Brisbane formal photographer!

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