Picture perfect pictures for prom night


Graphic by Sophia Fisher

Prom is getting close, and it’s time to start thinking about where to take your photos!

As the prom season continues to blossom, we all want the best pictures to make our outfits stand out and so we can hold on to the memory of this year’s prom. With all the stresses that come along with prom planning, photos can become one more thing you have to think about. We’ve compiled a list of all the beautiful places to take stunning photos for this prom. 



Your house

Prom comes with a lot of tasks besides just photos. You need to shop for your outfit, decide how you want your hair, where to eat and who to go with. With all those stressful tasks, you can find some ease by taking photos in your backyard. It may not seem as fancy as some of the posts you’ve seen on Instagram, but it comes with something that most of those fancy places don’t have: a personal connection to you. 

Taking photos in your background means you only have to walk a couple of feet to your own personal photo studio. You can do so much with your backyard to make your photos special such as light candles, hang a backdrop, have potted plants, use the trees, use natural light and have your family there to celebrate the event with you. The backyard is yours and you can have it any way you want. 


Wakefield Plantation

Wakefield High School area

There are a lot of naturally aesthetic places all around you to take photos at, one of them could be the community you live in. Wakefield Plantation has a ton of different places to take photos. The Wakefield Plantation Roundabout Fountain is usually always on with fresh green grass and flowers. The Falls Lake Dam comes with a lot of nature and animals; imagine having a squirrel or deer in your prom photos! There’s also a golf course, cemetery, forests and a few run-down places. 

Wakefield Plantation is around 30 minutes from the venue and it’s all the neighborhoods around the school. When taking prom photos, all of them don’t have to be at the same place. Taking a few photos in every place that shows part of your personality will give your pictures a personal touch. Wakefield Plantation is a very versatile public place and as long as you are not taking photos on private streets or property, the whole area is fair game. With all these different options, the possibilities are endless. 


Downtown Wake Forest

103 North White Street, Wake Forest

With prom right around the corner, we are all making to-do lists of what we need to do on the big day. One of those tasks for many people attending is taking pictures of the stunning outfits we picked out. One beautiful place to do that is Downtown Wake Forest. This cute and quaint area has many photo opportunities with many unique walls that you could utilize as backdrops for your photos. You could take pictures in front of the brick walls of the shops, the murals on the shop buildings, or other open areas that look interesting to you. This area is great for letting your creative ideas come out and your imagination run wild with your photo ideas. 

The drive is about 11 minutes from the school and a 34-minute drive to the venue. Parking for downtown is limited, but you can park at a business and walk around the area to find the best place to take pictures. As well as looking cute, the downtown area also has many boutiques and restaurants that are easily accessible and are great options if you need to pick anything up last minute or want to enjoy some good food in a nice area. 

Carroll Joyner Park

701 Harris Road, Wake Forest

Joyner Park is a beautiful place to take prom photos this year. It is 117 acres of green grass, forest and assorted buildings. There’s a performance garden with a stone wall and stage, and the area is lined with trees. Another area in the park is the walker garden, a small courtyard-type thing with bushes and all kinds of flowers. Joyner Park has an endless place to take beautiful group, date or solo photos. 

This park is located right by Wake Forest High School, but is 10 minutes away from Wakefield High, and 40 minutes from the Marriott Downtown, where prom is being held. The parking lot is located off Harris Road, right in the middle of the park, giving you a great view of anywhere you want to go. However, a lot of the different places are spread out, so it will be a lot of walking and standing on grass. Joyner Park, open from dawn to dusk, should definitely be on your list of places for photos.


Hasentree Clubhouse

7305 Village Club Drive, Wake Forest 

Another beautiful location for prom photos is actually in a neighborhood, located at the Hasentree Clubhouse. The clubhouse is located right on the golf course in Hasentree, providing endlessly green fields, lined with trees. The building itself has a modern-day castle-type feel to it, with a grand entrance and an outdoor hallway lined with columns, a great place for group pictures. Depending on the time of day, the clubhouse is not extremely busy with golfers, and the sunsets are always gorgeous. 

If you’re interested in taking pictures here, the Hasentree Club House is located 40 minutes away from the prom venue, and 15 minutes away from Wakefield High School. As it is on a golf course, you will be mainly standing on grass, so be cautious for both shoes and longer dresses. Another upside is that you do not have to live in Hasentree, nor be a clubhouse member, to take advantage of the architecture, and it’s completely free of charge to take photos there. 


Raleigh Little Theatre – Rose Garden

Behind Raleigh Little Theatre at 301 Pogue Street, Raleigh, NC 27607

Covered with flowers in full bloom and the beautiful greenery of the garden’s perennials, the Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden creates an amazing backdrop for your prom pictures. The grounds are covered year-round with sixty different rose beds of all colors that will be bright and blooming in May, just in time for our prom. From the multicolored hybrid tea roses, to the pointed petaled floribundas, and their signature miniature and antique roses, no bush is the same, leaving you with many options for your pictures. In addition to the flowers themselves, the rose garden also has many architectural aspects such as the stone shelter which is the perfect opportunity for spinning and walking photos. The huge amphitheater is the perfect moment for a group photo and the beautiful fountain in the center of the garden adds even more variety.

The Rose Garden is open from dawn to dusk so regardless of when you plan to take pictures, you’re in luck. It’s 35 minutes away from Wakefield High School and only 10 minutes from the Marriot. There is limited parking immediately adjacent to the garden but there is plenty of street parking along Pogue Street. Barring event restrictions that can limit access to certain areas, the garden is free for the public with no reservation required. 


Dorothea Dix Park

2105 Umstead Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603

The largest park in the city of Raleigh at 308 acres, Dorothea Dix Park is an amazing photo spot, especially for those looking for variety. Aside from the well-known sunflower fields, which unfortunately won’t be blooming until after prom, the second flower field will be in full swing with the daffodils being at their peak time of year. For those who don’t love a floral backdrop, there are also sprawling fields with beyond enough space for a large group. The chapel on the park grounds and the flower cottage are lovely architectural options for scenery and for those who are in love with the city, there is an amazing cityscape able to be seen from the flower fields. 

While this park is a 35-minute drive from the school, it’s a mere 6 minutes away from the prom venue. As it’s open from dawn to dusk, free to the public, and has all of the overabundance of parking available on weekends, Dorothea Dix Park is a wonderful choice for your prom photos.  


North Carolina Museum of Art

2110 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh, NC 27607

Being one of the premier visual arts museums in the south and including a 164-acre museum park, the North Carolina Museum of Art is the perfect place for all of your prom picture needs. With many different outdoor locations, your pictures can include cool sculptures, beautiful fields or even contain the captivating museum in the background. The outside of the museum is a white-silver color, allowing all the colorful prom dresses and suits to stand out.  When the light hits the museum perfectly, right around sunset, you get a beautiful golden hour glow.

The North Carolina Museum of Art is around 15 minutes from the prom venue, and about 35 minutes from Wakefield High School, but it can vary based on traffic. The museum park is open from dawn to dusk, is free to access and has no limit on the amount of people in your party. Parking-wise, when the museum is busy, as it will most likely will be on prom night, it can be difficult to find parking. 


JC Raulston Arboretum

Ruby McSwain Education Center, 4415 Beryl Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606

The JC Raulston Arboretum is an endless adventure of beauty. Being a nationally acclaimed garden and having received international recognition for its imaginative use of resources and the excellence of its plant collections, the beauty of the JC Raulston Arboretum is undeniable — the perfect background for your prom pictures! There are a variety of different garden spaces at the arboretum including the White Garden, the Finley-Nottingham Rose Garden, the Asian Valley and more. Between the different types of gardens, there is something for everyone.

For parties over six or photo sessions that take longer than 30 minutes, it is requested that garden space be rented. The Finley-Nottingham Rose Garden will not be available from 3-5 p.m. on the day of prom due to a previous reservation. The JC Raulston Arboretum is around 15 minutes from the prom venue and about 35 minutes from Wakefield High School. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 


WRAL Azalea Gardens

2619 Western Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27606

The WRAL Azalea Gardens located near downtown Raleigh has beautiful gardens that can be a great option for photos because of the numerous flowers they have on display and the impressive one-and-a-half acres of land. This can also be a great place if you want your outfits and prom group to pop out against the background of flowers and nature. 

These gardens are a 34-minute drive from the school and a 6-minute drive from the venue. They close at 6 PM and have plenty of parking in a lot across from the gardens, but I would recommend getting there somewhat early to claim a parking spot before it gets too crowded. They do not require a reservation to take pictures and it is free to go walk around, but all they ask is to get there before dark and be mindful of others walking around the terrain.