As a pageant coach and judge, I am more often asked how do I pick the photogenic winner than how do I pick the queen. The most important thing you have to remember is the photogenic award is completely subjective. It is based on one person opinion.
I’m a very decisive person. Over the years, I’ve trained my eye to quickly pick okay photos from great ones. When I judge, the first question I ask the director is, “what are you looking for?”
A well prepared director will use very specific adjectives to give me insight into the image of their pageant system. If they use words like glamorous, red carpet, and high fashion, I’m looking for a model. But if a director tells me whoever you think is the most photogenic, then my decision is going to be based on my personal taste and opinions.
I’m going to use photographs from my last photo session with my friend and expert photographer, Rick Martinez,www.studiormphotography.com to illustrate my points. First, and foremost, you need a photographer who has an eye for lighting and makes you feel comfortable. A great photo happens when you feel comfortable in the moment and the photographer captures it at the perfect time. It is a combination of composition, background, lighting, and timing. The photographer either gets it or misses it. Your hair, makeup, wardrobe, and accessories must all harmonize with each other to create a feeling.
Having a professional stylist help you with these details will greatly enhance your photo. You could have all these components in place, but as a judge, if I feel nothing when I look into your eyes and face, it’s not a winning photograph. The picture needs to speak the moment to me.
Look at this great moment Rick captured of me and my daughters during our session. In my opinion, next to understanding lighting, timing is what makes the difference between an average photographer and an artist. This photograph captures the relationship and daily joy I experience in being the mom of my three totally diverse and precious daughters. The photo MUST speak to me.
Entering more photos is not going to improve your chances of winning the award, especially when your facial expression and the angle is exactly the same in every picture. You’re looking for the one magical moment captured on film. If you’re lucky, you might get two. When I’m judging, if I see more than two photos from a contestant, I’m turned off to that person. Sorry if that hurts your feelings but I am not alone on my thoughts on this subject. Only submit the very best. If you’re torn between two, submit them both.
I’m not talking about a modeling portfolio or a photogenic competition where you are required to submit three to five different pictures. I am talking about the regular photogenic competition at 90% of the pageants you will be competing in. If you submit more than two photos, you’re just wasting your money unless the shots are completely different, all are totally fabulous and there is an award for the most photos submitted.
When a pageant judge looks at the photo, it should elicit an immediate emotional reaction. The emotion should be appropriate for the age of the contestant being photographed and the capture the image the pageant system is promoting. Consult with the director of the pageant system if you’re unclear about the image the pageant represents or the awards being presented.
Listen closely to the words the directors use. If they’re saying wholesome, energetic, and happy, don’t submit a headshot of your 14 year old daughter with a sexy seductive look on her face.
When it comes right down to it, it is the opinion of one person choosing the photogenic winner. Hopefully, the person in charge of judge selection will get a judge who understands the pageant system and what they are looking for. You can’t always count on that though. A judge could no show at the last minute leaving the director to get anyone who is available to judge.
All you can do is submit the best photo that is in alignment with the pageant system’s ideals, and if you win, celebrate. Plain and simple, there are no standards. It is all based on one person’s opinion.
Have fun capturing the moment with your photographer.
The ability to answer questions about you, your purpose, current events, and controversial topics in a clear way is an important life skill. The more you practice, the better you will get. This handy interview card is a great way to practice with a partner or to use by yourself.
The Beginning 10 Questions are the staple interview questions everyone must know the answers in an interview. Now preparing for your interview is easy and for a limited time FREE.
WTP Pageant Boot camp In
This two-hour boot camp is for you if you're preparing for a pageant and you want to take your skills to the next level. I will provide face-to-face training to strengthen your abilities in the following areas:
- Modeling Technique
- Personal Introduction
- Answering Onstage Questions
- Mental Attitude
By working in a small group, you’ll benefit by listening and watching each other; expanding your knowledge of pageantry; mastering your own skills; and receiving personal feedback at an affordable price. Space is limited so reserve your time now.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Hilton Garden Inn | 3928 Jackpot Road |Grove City, OH 43123 |
Directions to Hotel: Take Exit 100 off Interstate 71South of downtown Columbus. Turn left onto Stringtown if you're coming from the north, right if coming from the south. Turn left onto Thistlewood (it’s the first big intersection with a stop light). Turn left onto Killdeer at the stop sign - (there's a Home Depot on your right- Putt Putt on your left). Turn right onto Jackpot road. The Hilton Garden is on the right behind the LaQuinta Hotel.
Sun, October 30
1:00pm - 3:00pm
You can participate in one session, or all of them. It’s up to you. The more you practice these skills, the more natural they’ll become. In each session you’ll be actually practicing your interview, modeling, personal introduction, onstage question and mental attitude skills.
I’ll be giving you immediate feedback the entire time so it doesn’t matter if this is your first pageant or you’re a seasoned professional wanting some extra polish. I’ll meet you exactly where you are and take you to the next level.
For boot camp contestants, I’m offering an optional 45 minute private coaching session the same day of the boot camp. This individual time is to help tailor the material to fit your specific needs. These are scheduled on a “first come” basis so schedule now to get your choice of time. Time slots will be before and after the boot camp.
All fees are nonrefundable and must be paid in full prior to the boot camp or coaching session. If you prefer to pay with a check, please contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks must be received at least one week prior to the date of your session. Your date is officially confirmed once payment has been received.
Once payment has been received, you will be contacted to schedule your private 45-minute coaching session.
There are only eight private sessions available each day.
Private sessions will begin at
10:00am through 12:45pm
3:15pm through 7:15pm
Rhonda Shappert is an expert pageant coach, an iPEC Certified Professional Coach, an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, and a member of the International Coach Federation. She created Winning Through Pageantry® to partner with pageant contestants and their support people to provide complete pageant preparation, achieve winning results in life through pageantry, and to Succeed From The Inside Out®. She has over 30 years experience in the pageantry world as a contestant, judge, emcee, staff member, mother of daughters who compete, Mrs. Ohio America 2005, and has held multiple titles at the local, state and national levels.
Rhonda graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors degree in Musical Theater from The Ohio State University and has performed on stage in 15 countries on the Asian, European and American continents. This mother of three home educates their children and has been married 22 years to her husband Stephen, is the former mayor of her community, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Virtual Academy. She and her husband perform original contemporary Christian music. For more information on Rhonda, visit www.WinningThroughPageantry.com .