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Top 10 Pageant Photographers of 2015

Nia Sanchez, Miss USA 2014. Photo by Georgina Vaughan, courtesy of the Georgina Vaughan Photography Facebook page.
Nia Sanchez, Miss USA 2014. Photo by Georgina Vaughan, courtesy of the Georgina Vaughan Photography Facebook page.

Every pageant girl knows that a good photo can set you apart from the crowd. The judges see your photo before they ever even meet you, and the audience also gets to see you in the program book before you even step on stage.

Once you win, your crown and banner shot will be on autograph cards, splattered on social media, and posted on the pageant’s website. Your photos must be flawless!

Having an excellent, go-to photographer who you trust and who knows the “pageant look” is the key to getting the perfect shot. We’ve put together a list of some of the best photographers in pageantry this past year. With so many AMAZING photographers it is impossible to include them all , but we’ve narrowed it down to the few who we believe really stood out this year.

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Top Pageant Photographers of 2015

10. Eve Dupree

Specializing in kids photography for natural and glitz pageants, Eve can get you what you need for a pageant. She is based in White Rock, British Columbia and also does print modeling shots. Glitz photos are very different from natural photos, so when going for this look be sure to choose a photographer who is familiar with glitz style. (Read: How to Prepare for a Glitz Pageant)

She can be found on Facebook and at eedupreephotography.com.

Glitz headshot by Eve Dupree. Photo courtesy of eedupreephotography.com.
Glitz headshot by Eve Dupree. Photo courtesy of eedupreephotography.com

9. Paula Preston

Each year, Paula Preston and her team pick up and move from Minnesota to Jacksonville, FL for two weeks to photograph the events surrounding the Mrs., Miss, and Teen International Pageants. In addtion to the national pageants and pageant headshots, Paula also photographs seniors, families, and beauty shots.

Her client, Brookley Wofford, Miss Minnesota United States 2015 won Most Photogenic at Miss United States 2015. You can find her on Facebook and at paulapreston.com.

Taylor Woodruff, Miss North Dakota International 2016. Photo by Paula Preston courtesy of Taylor Woodruff Facebook page.
Taylor Woodruff, Miss North Dakota International 2016. Photo by Paula Preston courtesy of Taylor Woodruff Facebook page.

8. Laura Hunter – Beyond Photography

As a pageant contestant herself, Laura knows just how to accent the contestant in a headshot and in a crown and sash shot. Her portfolio is filled with girls of all shapes, sizes, age divisions, and pageant systems.

She is based in Mill Creek, WA and has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Photography. Visit beyondphotography.net for more information.

Mrs. Washington International 2012, Elizabeth Gibbons. Photo courtesy of beyondphotography.net.
Mrs. Washington International 2012, Elizabeth Gibbons. Photo courtesy of beyondphotography.net.

7. Laurel Austin Studio

Laurel Austin Studio partners with Vanbros and Associates for headshots of their titleholders and pageant shots of the contestants during pageant week. The Laurel Austin Studio Facebook page is filled with crowning moments and silly group shots of the girls backstage.

Knowing there is a great photographer snapping away as you walk the runway helps you to stay focused on stage. Visit her on Facebook or at laurelaustinstudio.com.

Hellen Smith, Miss Oklahoma Teen USA 2016 and Taylor Gorton, Miss Oklahoma USA 2016 after crowning in December. Photo by Laurel Austin Studio courtesy of the Vanbros and Associates , Inc. Facebook page.
Hellen Smith, Miss Oklahoma Teen USA 2016 and Taylor Gorton, Miss Oklahoma USA 2016 after crowning in December. Photo by Laurel Austin Studio courtesy of the Vanbros and Associates , Inc. Facebook page.

6. Southern Exposure Photography

Owned by Jack Bains, Southern Exposure Photography, Inc. has 4,000 square feet of studio space in Oneonta, AL. Their Facebook page is full of pageant contestant photos that showcase both the girl and her personality. Visit them on Facebook or at southernexposurephotos.com.

Madison Guthrie, Miss Alabama USA 2015. Photo courtesy of the Southern Exposure Photography Facebook page.
Madison Guthrie, Miss Alabama USA 2015. Photo courtesy of the Southern Exposure Photography Facebook page.

5. Goodwin Photography

Founded in 2006 and based in Blountville, TN, Goodwin Photography can do it all from headshots to crowning moments. Their headshots accentuate the natural beauty of the girl and highlight her smile and eyes.

You can find more information of their Facebook and at their website, goodwinphotography.com.

Goodwin-Photography
Paiton Patterson, Miss Tennessee Valley United States. Photo Courtesy of Goodwin Photography.

4. Clay Spann

Clay Spann Photography began in 1998 and is based in Dothan, AL. He and his team also have a cosmetics line and can provide a full service photoshoot with hair and makeup. They sponsor the International Pageants queens during their reign, provide their official portraits, and host a Trunk Show in April to help prepare contestants for the competition.

You can visit his website at clayspann.com

Samantha Riddle, Miss International 2014. Photo courtesy of the Clay Spann Facebook page.
Samantha Riddle, Miss International 2014. Photo courtesy of the Clay Spann Facebook page.

3. Georgina Vaughan

Georgina Vaughan’s work is seen on both the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA website. Her titleholders photos are vibrant and full of life, and could easily be put on a glossy magazine cover as they are nothing short of glamorous.

Georgina’s headshots are always bold and beautiful, and stand out among the crowd of headshots. You can see her work on her website at georginavaughanphotography.com or on her Facebook page.

Victoria Mendoza, Miss World America 2015. Photo by Georgina Vaughan, courtesy of Georgina Vaughan Photography Facebook page.
Victoria Mendoza, Miss World America 2015. Photo by Georgina Vaughan, courtesy of Georgina Vaughan Photography Facebook page.

2. Matt Boyd

A Southern gentleman always knows how to make a girl look and feel beautiful. Matt Boyd is no different. Based in Smyrna, GA, he has photographed many pageant contestants across the country across a variety of pageant systems. He is known for his photos of our gorgeous Miss Americas, and he is an official MAO photographer.

You can find him on Facebook or at mattboydstudio.com.

Betty Cantrell, Miss America 2016 in a photo by Matt Boyd. Photo courtesy of the Matt Boyd Photography Facebook page.
Betty Cantrell, Miss America 2016 in a photo by Matt Boyd. Photo courtesy of the Matt Boyd Photography Facebook page.

1. Fadil Berisha

Based in NYC and founded in 2006, Fadil is the go-to photographer for any girl looking for a high fashion, Miss Universe look. He has worked with numerous titleholders including Olivia Jordan, Miss USA 2015, and Nia Sanchez, Miss USA 2014. Fadil also works with Sherri Hill.

miss-usa-nia-sanchez-by-fadil-berisha
Nia Sanchez, photo by Fadil Berisha.

You can see more of his work at fadilberisha.com.

Behind the scenes of a photo shoot with Fadil. Photo by Steven Roddy.
Behind the scenes of a photo shoot with Fadil. Photo by Steven Roddy.

Having a photographer who is familiar with pageantry, your specific system, and can make you feel comfortable in front of the camera is the key to creating the photo of your dreams.

Headshots can be expensive, but they are the first look that the judges get to see of you. They need to be good for you to win the crown in the end of the competition! (Read: How Important Are Pageant Headshots to Winning a Pageant)

Even if you walk away without a crown, you’re sure to have a beautiful photo to last forever.

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10 thoughts on “Top 10 Pageant Photographers of 2015

  1. Umm excuse me but why is AJ Day not on here?

  2. that top picture was taken by the iconic Playboy Photographer Stephen Wayda.

    1. The top one with Nia? That’s Georgina Vaughn…

  3. Toni Overby has been around for years in kid and teen pageants both on national and international level of glitz pageantry. Never even heard of some of these photogs…KaShay Kim another awesome photographer! Let’s not forget Bonnie Rebholz, and Donna Evans Mallard. All been involved in top winning head shots and portfolio shots since my daughters was a baby and they are now 21. Their head shots help girls win supreme titles all over the world and some have helped kids get acting roles in major movies. Just saying.

  4. What about Shana Lemos and Zac Grimaldo. Both took winning shots at USA and teen USA pageants this year.

  5. Once again a totally crazy weird not so even close to accurate list here are mine in random order.
    Claire Buffy NY
    Clay Spann
    Benzio AZ
    Catherine Fiehn CT
    Matt Boyd GA
    Carter Studios SC
    Fidel Berisha NY
    Amanda Ferguson SC
    Kristy Blecher TN
    Toni Overby
    LeRed NY
    Angel Studios SC

    1. Btw they should separate which photogs are a good fit for which type of pageants that issue is huge for example you would be wasting your money to send your child to a USA type photographer etc

  6. YAY GO MOM! LAUREL AUSTIN STUDIO

  7. Interesting list. I definitely think that Kristy Belcher from TN should have been on here. Her work is truly phenomenal!!

  8. Honored to be in such esteemed company!!!

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