In the midst of a busy wedding season, I get a call from Tracy DePaola of Syracuse Image Photography, a photographer friend whom I’ve worked with on several wedding shoots asking if I’d be interested in shooting a pageant.  Tracy, by the way, is *the* photographer that pageant contestants flock to in Northern California when they need a portfolio portrait done.  She not only is the photographer, but also a hair and makeup artist, so she’s got the total package, or as I suggest to her, a monopoly (hahaha!)

I’ve occasionally shot pageants in the past, and it’s an art in itself.  I’m normally perched somewhere behind the audience with a big zoom lens stuck to a tripod, as quietly as I can, but constantly panning and snapping shots a hundred miles an hour, at the same time making sure I can solve whatever lighting challenges a theater presents.  And there’s the crowning moment, similar to the kiss at a wedding ceremony, that brings on the same adrenaline as you know that’s the shot that you cannot miss.  Not just to capture it, but to capture it in perfect focus, exposure, and expression.

The schedule worked out great, and I joined Tracy in Roseville for the Miss Northern Sierra Teen USA 2015 and Miss Northern Sierra USA 2015 Pageant a couple weekends ago.  We were joined by a third photographer, Emilie Bourdages, whom we’ve shot together at several weddings, so it was like a reunion!

The pageant flew by, and in no time, the new Miss Northern Sierra Teen was announced, and it was… Madison Miles!

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Next, the contestants for Miss Northern Sierra line up and you can feel the tension behind the smiles.

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And the winner is… Courtney Critz!

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What’s interesting is that the last wedding that I shot with Tracy and Emilie (sometime last year) was where Courtney and her family were family guests, and we remembered each other from that wedding right before the pageant.

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Congratulations to Courtney and Madison, and thank you to Tracy for inviting me to this special event.

Photographer:  Alex Win Studios
Pageant Site:  Miss Norther Sierra Pageants

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