Monday, April 26, 2010

From the humiliation files: My Cliche Woodward Park Prom Photos

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

Lots of photographers, even beginning amateurs like me, go into convulsions when we drive by Woodward Park, in Tulsa at 21st and Peoria, and see dozens of photographers posing their subjects against backdrops of azalea bushes in full bloom, reflecting ponds and beds of tulips and roses.

The reason why is that everyone, and I mean everyone, wants to have their photos taken at Woodward Park. I mean, at this time of year when the flowers have yet to be fried into oblivion by the Oklahoma summer sun and those having their photo taken don't have to worry about the sweat rings under their arm pits showing up in the photos, it's positively idyllic.

It's also positively in every single springtime photo album of any and every Tulsan, from dewy teenagers in prom wear to families of five all wearing the same white, button-down collared shirt.

But the fact remains: You can't be a Tulsan and not have photos taken of yourself at Woodward Park. It's a given. It's a must. And it needs to happen if it hasn't already, just because.

Being a fifth-generation Tulsan, I've had my share of photos taken at Woodward through the years. But today, as someone who likes to think she takes a decent, original photo from time to time, I'd like to share with you some shots buried deep in my humiliation files - from eight and nine years ago, my junior and senior proms.

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

Yes, we went to Woodward for photos before not one, but both of the proms I attended. At the west Tulsa high school I attended, you weren't cool unless you showed up before dinner at Woodward Park for photos with the other kids in your class.

I wasn't one of the cool kids, but I went to Woodward Park anyway.

The photo above, that's The Azalea Shot (capital T, capital A, capital S). It comes in a number of varieties, as such:

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

The Group Shot.

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

The Prom Date Shot.

As you've certainly noticed, I've used a variety of implements to ensure the protection of the identity of those with whom I attended prom. Because they might be mad if I didn't. Being seen with me, even if it's only on the Internet, can be kind of a drag, so I'm told.

And now for more of our regularly scheduled programming.

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

That there is a Bridge Shot. This bridge is famous, let me tell you. I can only imagine in how many bridal photos this thing serves as a prop.


Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

In case anyone is miffed about the beards thing:

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

I'll wear the one with the bird in it. No, it's okay - I insist. Even though we all know I am not a huge fan of birds, especially birds mere millimeters from my face, it's all good. I'll take one for the team this time, considering.

Here are a few other types of Woodward shots:

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

The Grotto.

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

The Pond.

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

The Prissy High School Malcontent and her Eager-to-Please, Uberly Sweet Date.


Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

The Peek-a-Boo.

Hold on a sec. I think the back of my neck just imploded into my sinus cavity. SHIVER.

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

The Look Out.

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

The Look at How Tiny My Waist Used to Be Oh Dear Lord Where Are My Running Sneakers pose.

Ugh. Even my neck was skinnier back then. Nine years ago. The night of junior prom.

Nine years ago. The days before I even knew what the heck Spanx were for.

Cliche Prom Pics at Woodward Park

You know you've got 'em - at least, the people you went to high school with have already posted them on Facebook, tagging the heck out of them with the names of the innocent, including yours. Why not display them proudly, even if you have to use a black box here and there?

Plus, I have a prize for my favorite.

If you've got 'em, and if you want a totally awesome prize, post your links to those cliche Woodward Park shots in the comments.

As they say in the old country, "Come on, baby - show us your pics!"


Juice said...

The whole "you weren't cool if you didn't go to Woodward".. also applicable for that same West Tulsa high school in the 90s. Early 90s. It hurts just to say it! Looking for pictures now...

Anonymous said...

There is only one place worse than the conventional Woodward Park to have your photos taken. The red building across the street from El Guapo's downtown.


Angela said...

My memories of Woodward:

1) Taking Senior pix, the photographer tried to get me to take a "serious" pose (all my others I was smiling). Right as I got my "I'm looking into the future with hope" face on, the sprinklers kicked on from the other side of the bushes!

2) My date came to pick me up from home. Dad asked where we were going. When hearing Woodward was our reply, imagine my immediate mortification when my father let the love of my life know I was conceived there! eeek!

Kim said...

Oh, my. I wasn't even a Tulsa and I have one. Where's your obligatory "Rose Garden" shot?!/photo.php?pid=597398&op=3&o=global&view=global&subj=1252358107&id=1252358107

Robert said...

A photo from a recent engagement photoshoot I took in Woodward:

Katie & James @ Woodward Park

Anonymous said...

Your missing 'the money shot'

Lori Crockett said...

I've lived in Tulsa for 2 years now, but this past Saturday was my first venture into Woodward Park. It may be cliche, but it's also GORGEOUS!!!

I actually love these pictures, but it's all I have from Woodward so far and I love prizes:)!/photo.php?pid=12468828&id=342398610194!/photo.php?pid=12469624&id=342398610194

Ed said...

These are beyond fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing.

I was such a loser in high school, I didn't even go to my proms. No pics to share. :(

NatBean said...

I suppose it would be too obvious for me to win if I submit the pic of us in our super cool Charlie's Angels pose, right?....

; )

GreenEyes said...

I do have my very own set of fabulous (hardly embarrassing at all) prom pics. Alas, since I’m not a native Tulsan, Woodward Park does not exist in mine. I suppose I could Photoshop some Azaleas into them but bushes would look pretty odd cropping up in my parents living room.

Kellyology said...

So, well, uhhhh, I've taken those shots. Of my kids. But not since C was a baby. And she's 8 now. So, I'm not so cliche. right?

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