A few weeks ago, I was commissioned by a group of parents to photograph their kids for Pell City's 2024 prom. Most of the kids were from Pell City High School, but some of their dates went to other schools. The original plan was to meet at Birmingham's Botanical Gardens for pictures and then a party bus would pick them up from our location to take them to dinner before heading to the prom. Sounds like the perfect game plan... we're set and ready. Then came ABC 33/40's weatherman, James Spann, telling us rain was in the forecast. Now, I don't know Mr. Spann personally, but in Alabama James is a legend. So if he says rain is in the forecast, you better believe it's going to rain. But now if he takes off his jacket and rolls up his sleeves, then we all know we better be finding shelter cause it's about to go DOWN! Luckily for us it was just rain this time... BUT it's still a damper for our party cause all our plans were outdoors at the Botanical Gardens. We are 2 days away from our prom shoot and having to rush to find an indoor location to avoid the weather. I pull up Apple Maps and start scouring the downtown Birmingham area to see what options are available. I'm not real familiar with downtown Birmingham hot spots, but I know some basics. There are tons of great spots... outdoors, but I was panicking to find an INDOOR location. I happen to notice the Birmingham Library is near by the official prom location. Libraries are usually open to the public and most of the time have a good bit of space. Maybe this will work... but then my photographer brain starts worrying: what if there's not enough light. I called the library just to make sure they would even allow our group to come in and basically take over, considering we have 8 couples to photograph. The Library's operator was extremely helpful, asked a few questions regarding our session, and then transferred me to their contact person in charge of these type of things. He was very kind and seemed excited even for us to showcase their library. He begins to give me directions on how to get to the best spots within the library and I realize very quickly that there are two sides to the library. There is the newer modern side that was built in the 1984 filled with floor to ceiling windows and big open spaces, but there is another side called the Linn-Henley Research Library. The research side is the original side that was built in 1927 filled with rich deep colors and beautiful marble staircases adorned with iron railings. Once you make your way into the main part of the research library, you will see gorgeous murals adorning the walls above the rich mahogany stained bookcases. It is breathtaking. You can feel the history of the building echoing its stories as you walk through and take in all the beauty of the architecture. There were other areas of the research library that I wanted to take advantage of, but time did not permit. I will be back though! I want to see every inch of the beauty of that library. What a treasure for Birmingham.

{Below are a few sneak peeks of this session. It has quickly become one of my favorites so far.}

You could hear all the parents, siblings, and prom attendees as they walked into the room. Everyone's reaction was the same... "Oh wow! This is amazing!" The Linn-Henley Research Library is a hidden gem within the Birmingham area. I had no idea it was even there and am so happy I stumbled upon it. Once we had time to take it all in and get some pictures indoors, we were able to step outside for a minute as the rain had a taken a break. We were escorted out a side door to the sidewalk just around the corner from Linn Park. We took advantage of the rain break and were able to get these shots below. The fountains were not running that day, however we found this beautiful iron canopy that I thought would make for a lovely backdrop (and a good cover in case the rain started back up). For a last minute, throw together, I'd say we winged it pretty well! Ha! Hopefully these kiddos had fun and made all the memories that evening! This session was the epitome of "when life throws you lemons, make lemonade!"