A few weeks ago at our studio here in Lawrenceville, GA I was able to meet and shoot with Miss Alyssa. Her Mother Kim brought this pint-sized beauty to me for headshots that she needed for an upcoming pageant. If you don’t know anything about pageants……all contestants need to submit a headshot. This photo is used to go along with any “packet” of information about the contestant and is the FIRST LOOK that the judges will have of a contestant. I am told a winning headshot can almost WIN you a pageant because it can really show the potential of a contestant. Of course they get points for poise, style, stage presentation and their interviews…..but guess what? It’s a BEAUTY pageant. Beauty matters too.
So I’ve been involved with pageants for 2 years now. I’ve met parents and coaches as well as a lot of contestants. Yes……I said COACHES. A pageant coach can really help guide a young lady and polish her presentation so that she gets favorable results. Think you can just enter a pageant and walk in with your best outfit and win? Think again. Winners are MADE. They are coached on how to dress, walk, talk, stand, smile and speak. I’ve heard of pageants being mentioned as a “sport” and from what I’ve seen….there is not much difference. You perform how you practice in sports. The players with the best COACHING usually win. Yes there is always someone that is super talented and sports that does great things….but natural talent can usually only take you so far. The same goes in pageantry. You could be the most beautiful girl ever but if you can’t walk across the stage with grace……it looks like a train wreck. Ask a contestant a basic question and they bomb the answer or they speak badly…..everyone cringes. So the pageant contestants get my utmost respect because it’s hard to be out there in front of hundreds of people with a spotlight on you and really perform “error free.” When I see it done especially from the really young ones and they pull it off well….I am amazed. I mean to have perfect posture, walk in heels across a stage, keeping eye contact with your judges and the crowd, while SMILING big and showing off your outfit all while being nervous would have my knees knocking! It’s at those moments I’m glad I’m behind the camera and NOT in front of it.
So back to Alyssa. She comes in to my studio for her shoot looking like royalty. She’s only 6 years old and had poise and grace that maybe I wasn’t ready for. Her hair was done to perfection and she has on a little bit of tasteful make up. I put her on a stool for some warm up shots and I swore I was looking at a baby version of Jayne Kennedy (I know I just dated myself). Looking at her skin I see why mature women go to get plastic surgery because a young persons skin is pretty flawless. No bumps, no scratches or scars. No discolorations or blotches. No signs of age or sun damage. No wrinkles. Just youthful, supple and vibrant skin. This can great thing for a photographer because there won’t be much skin editing needed.
So as I did some test shots, got my lights as I wanted them and we were off. This little girl rocked the session effortlessly pose after pose. She took my directions and just kept sizzling my lenses with her perfect gaze. She worked like a pro. Didn’t need coaxing, didn’t need to be promised candy if she posed or paid attention to me. She was enjoying WORKING at her photo shoot. These are the days that I love my job. When I have a person who came to “get it done” and will do whatever it takes to get the shot…..I’m a happy photographer.
Her Mom did great as well. She allowed me space to shoot never getting in the way and trusting the process. Her coach Onica (another client of mine and who referred Kim and Alyssa) was also at the shoot. She was there to assist with posing and styling, as she’s an expert in knowing what the judges will like and what poses will really be winners. We were an awesome team and I believe the photos show the winning results.
With everything in life comes the word “investment.” Rarely is anything free. Ladies invest in great hair, make up, maincures, pedicures, skin care, dental care and clothing. Why stop there? If you spent money on all of those things wouldn't you want to get great photos of all of it to hold those memories forever? I encourage my clients to consider INVESTING in great photography. It can really make a difference in your home on your walls and in this case…in front of pageant judges. You are not going to WOW anyone with a phone selfie or a badly lit photo as your pageant headshot nor is that type of photography something that you consider making into a piece of wall art for your home.
At Paul Marcus Photos we pride ourselves in producing high quality images that you will be proud to display. A couple of our clients have actually won their pageants after working with us and I do believe it started with their headshot.
If you need a winning headshot for your business, advertising yourself, for a pageant etc. consider our services. Our pricing is reasonable and the results are phenomenal. Thanks to Onica Blaize for referring her clients Kim and Miss Alyssa. They were a pleasure to work with!
*UPDATE - Just found out that Alyssa's photo was submitted to Fashion Kids Magazine and she was selected as one of the 50 most beautiful kids for the Month of March 2018! Once again a great photo will get you NOTICED!