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beauty-pageant-preparationBeauty pageant contestant Gemma Berto tells us what it's like preparing for a pageant from the very beginning. 

Before each personal interview the judges are presented with a head shot of the contestant. This photo will also be used in the pageant program book where each contestant will be listed. While a professional head shot is not required, many of the girls do elect to have an expert help them. I decided to have my head shots done with pageant photographer, Daniel DuVerney.

When I phoned Daniel to set up my appointment he asked me whether or not I would like my hair and makeup to be done. Daniel has a few hair and makeup artists that he collaborates with on shoots and invited Marcus Greeter to come in and help us out that evening. I arrived at Daniel’s studio at 4:30 PM to begin makeup and hair with Marcus.

Getting ready is always half of the fun and I had a fabulous time sitting in the chair chatting with Marcus. We spoke about his experience within the industry and I received some great hair and makeup tips. Shoots like these are a great time to ask beauty professionals about their thoughts on your presentation. These people are a fresh pair of eyes and have much experience to share.

After about two hours in the chair we were finally ready to shoot! I had brought with me a bag of different outfits and accessories to choose from. I mostly selected black tops with attractive necklines as this is what the focus would be on. Jewelry is really used to highlight the outfit and accentuate the woman’s features. The first few shots I did with a bright pink necklace that I had bought just a few days prior. After shooting with the necklace we tried my pair of silver oval-drop earrings. It’s funny how just a small change in jewelry can produce an entirely different look!

While I was in the chair with Marcus, Daniel had been working on the lighting and equipping the set with the fan. Pageant photography is a bit more glamour-focused than editorial, so Daniel walked me through the different poses he wanted for the shoot. With the lights up and the fan whirring I moved around under Daniel’s direction. The shoot lasted for about 30 minutes, including the change of jewelry and occasional fixing of the hair.

We finished with 206 shots. It was so much fun! Daniel compiled all the shots into one CD and I was given the task of selecting just one for him to edit. I will then send on the edited shot to be published in the pageant book. I have included some of my favorite shots (all unedited) but not the one I have submitted to the program, that one will be a surprise!

Don't forget to check out our video series featuring Gemma Berto

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