Blog Series - Motorsports Pageants
So you’ve entered your first pageant. That’s a great first step! If you’ve haven’t entered yet, and are curious - I have linked 3 Motorsports Pageants that are coming up across the state of Pennsylvania at the bottom of this blog post for you to take a look at and fill out to compete. The last pageant sign up form has finally been posted, and I thought this would be a great way to help prospective first time contestants out, by writing a series of posts that would help them be better prepared for the day of the pageants, prior to getting there and not having an idea of what could happen. When I first got involved in pageants for Motorsports, there was nothing I had that I could really go off of. It was all new experiences, as I was a tom boy at heart. There were a few YouTube videos, but nothing other than that, and surely nothing about Motorsports pageants, which I did find odd.
Let’s face it, not everyone is a girly-girl, or your typical “pageant” chick. In Motorsports pageants I have noticed, they are usually not full of girly girls or the typical pageant girl stereotype and that’s what makes these types of pageants refreshing! It’s about the women who are passionate about the sport we love, and the women who want to contribute their time and service, to increasing awareness for the sport in a positive fashion or manner.
Now, you’re in need of choosing a photo to submit! It can be very overwhelming, as far as choosing a photo to set yourself apart from the other contestants.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
As a past competitor in these types of Motorsports pageants, and a 1st Runner-Up, 2 years in a row, 2017 & 2018, and a winner of several contingency awards in 2018. I wanted to share a few tips on how to choose your head shot for your next Motorsports pageant. I have competed in the following: Ms. Motorsports, Ms. Racing Xtravaganza, and the Ms. Motorama pageants. I think there’s a lot of things you can take away and learn from each pageant. Meeting new friends, and meeting new fans of the sport, is probably some of the best parts that I have taken away from each pageant. As well as, even if you don’t place to not to be discouraged, and try to stay positive, and learn everything you can for the following year. Every year since I had competed in my first Motorsports pageant, I get the question, “Are you going to compete again next year?” or “Can you help me be better prepared for the pageant that I’m in?”. This year has been no different with the constant question of “Am I going to compete again?”. I’m glad to see the interest and support, that girls have in competing for these pageants. It shows they truly care, great personalities, fans of the sport, and are grateful to have the opportunity of competing.
Welcome to the perfect read, just in time to help choose your head shots or candid shots for those pageants. I’ve complied a list of 5 things you should try to avoid or be aware of when choosing the photo you want to submit.
I think choosing a photo for girls are hard to pick, because we can nick pick, everything…
Now that I said that, I got you thinking about it. Right?
I think the most important thing when selecting a pageant candid or photo is that it encapsulates you and your personality. I love when a girl can be smiling and confident in photos, even if she’s not “cheesing”. That is the best part of a portrait or candid. To see someone’s personality play through a screen (for judging) or photo in a brochure, it can help tell a lot about the girl that is competing on show day.
I highly suggest that you do some research for each of the pageants, prior to submitting your application. If you haven’t, trust me, there’s still time! This way you are not blindsided, if you would be asked questions during the interviewing process regarding the organization you would be possibly representing. As a contestant, you are competing essentially for a “job”, and I feel you should understand the duties of what past title holders have done, while representing the same title, you will be competing for. This is also a good way to see if you would think you’d be a good fit for the different pageants and their organizations. They are each a little different in their own ways and have the potential for such a great and a rewarding year for whoever wins!
Researching will help show what photos the organization(s) are looking for, or have had allowed for submissions in the past. I love looking at these to get a feel for how “strict” or “loose” the competition submitted photos can be. Facebook pages for these pageants are typically where two pageants will post the photos for their “fan choice” award, and you can usually see a few years back, when looking for submitted photos, if you have no clue what you want to enter. Plus it gives you another viewpoint and a contact for who has competed in the competitions prior, if you would have any questions. The Directors of each of the pageant's are great! They go out of their way to make it enjoyable for everyone competing!
Now, let’s get to the tips on what makes a good pageant photo for submissions and what you should stray away from. Always remember that you don’t have to listen to anything I say. I’m just trying to provide you with information and tips that I have learned over the years of competing in these types of Motorsports pageants.
1. SELFIES & FILTERS
You should never submit a selfie as a head shot to a pageant board for consideration. There are several problems with selfies, and you want to put your best foot forward when entering for a pageant. For most people or the general audience, this will be the first photo they ever see of you, and you want to look the part for whatever crown or title you’re competing for. A selfie is a mirrored image of yourself. People will want to see that you’re confident in your own skin, or appear to be. You can tell when someone takes a selfies, versus a phone or camera image. This is challenging for everyone, women and men alike. It’s just human nature to like a mirrored image, more than an actual photo of ourselves, because when we look in the mirror, that’s all we can see.
Oh boy. Don’t get me started about filters and pageants photos.
Filters are distracting and if anything, it just hurts the image itself that was sent. A lot of people have the understanding of when viewing a photo with a filter, that the thought of “childish” or “unprofessional” isn’t too far behind in their mind. Professionally edited photos are one thing, but filtered images, are a whole different ball game. They’re very frowned upon when it comes to submitting something as far as a pageant. No puppy ears, pig noses, bunny ears, just to name a few, should never be used as a submission photo. Just save them for SnapChat, and Instagram, etc.
Just be you! That will help set you apart, from the get go.
2. A Complication of Photos
I really wish this trend would stop when it comes to submitting photos for a pageant. (And, yes, I’ll admit I’ve made the same mistake in the past, as well.) A complication of photos or multiple photos in photo, isn’t a good idea. Most times, the pageant directors will be asked to submit a photo in the show booklet of the contestants. Submitting multiple photos in one, makes this harder than it needs to be for the booklet. Also, some people will post photos and look completely different in each of the photos. You want to submit one, all-around great image of yourself, not 3 to 5 others, in one “square”.
3. CAN I USE PROPS IN MY PHOTO?
I think props can be very distracting, when it comes to images. Like I said, try to do some research. Each pageant is a little different, regarding what is okay, and what you should stay away from. However, with that being said, you could have a great pose, with a beautiful car, and people would still have find a reason not to like your photo, during the “fan vote” part. It can become very subjective, and in the end the fans may choose not to vote for that image, due to the props you may have added. Plus, fans want to see you, and the photo should be about you, not about the subject or prop. I can’t stress how much a photo should be about you, focused on you.
4. Baby Got Back
Judges and the general public want to be drawn into your image, but not by seeing your rear, plastered on their social media timelines. It doesn’t make for a good look, and the audience wants to see your beautiful face, not your backside! People will always judge you regardless of what “side” you show. If you are going to supply a photo that is full body, I would highly stray away from this type of shot. Also, most of these shows are family friendly, so the directors I’m sure would be in contact with you, if you supplied this type of shot. They would probably ask you to supply a different shot.
5. NATURAL IS PERFECT!
Any photo or candid of a woman that looks like she’s comfortable and genuinely happy, will stand out. This goes for first impressions, as well. If you have a natural, or not forced photo, it will help ease the stress of picking out a photo for the “fan vote” or for the brochure. These shots I would say, are best when caught in the act or look like they were. They do not need to be professional images, and honestly, shouldn’t need to cost you money, unless that’s what you want to use later on, as well. 'I’m not saying you cannot wear makeup. All I’m trying to say is that you should look confident, and look relaxed in your head shot. Some girls will hire a professional photographer, but there is really no need to do that.
I love to see women succeed in these types of pageants, because I know these pageants can be stressful, even though they shouldn’t be. Hopefully, these 5 quick tips will ease tensions when you are choosing which images you would like to send in the Director of the pageant along with your application. I hope to see all of you at the pageants in 2019. If you have any questions about how the shows go, I am always available to answer anything that you may have as a previous contestant. Also, use your resources, such as former Ms. title holders in the organizations you would like to compete for. They will be able to provide you with more insight on how their year went.
I am not associated or affiliated with any of the Ms. Motorsports, Ms. Racing Xtravaganza, or Ms. Motorama Organization(s).
Be sure to check back next Friday, for the part 2 of this blog series, Motorsports Pageants, for another post. This next post will be regarding social media accounts and professionalism, as a contestant.