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  • Writer's pictureAutumn Merica

2021 Tiny Miss Virginia & DC Pageant

Happy Monday and welcome to my (1 day late) blog post of this week! Since I have so many senior spotlights to share, I've decided to double up for events that I'll be blogging about as well. This week I'll be sharing highlights and memories from this weekend at the 2021 Tiny Miss Virginia and DC Pageant. I was asked by a pageant director that I've known for years to photograph this pageant and immediately took that opportunity. This past weekend has been full of fun and great photo opportunities with gorgeous girls!

Sunday morning 26 girls got to head home with a new crown after a weekend full of hard work and lots of laughs at the Tiny Miss VA/DC Pageant this weekend! I headed to Roanoke on Friday morning geared up and ready to go, with every piece of equipment I owned as well as some new advertisement material I got to design specifically for this weekend. I was greeted at registration by some familiar faces and also some new, and that evening the fun began! We started out Friday night with a few optionals - casual wear, runway, and swimsuit. Every single girl rocked the stage and I got to enjoy my favorite area of competion, runway, which I love because each outfit is unique and beautifully designed!

Bright and early Saturday morning contestants went into interview to meet with the judges one on one and have the opportunity to truly showcase who they are! After interviews they could come meet with me at my backdrop for a mini session in their interview outfits. I spent 3 hours getting to know the contestants personally (if I hadn't already worked with them before) and capturing beautiful images! I love seeing everyone compete, but I've always offered these mini sessions at the pageants I photograph because I enjoy having the chance to better know who I'm photographing all weekend long. It gives us such a fun time together where they can wind down after interview and meet me before the final areas of competition and crowning!

After a quick lunch break (which I used to DoorDash Panera) the final events of competition started off with the gown competition. I find that I always get the best photos from the gown portion, because it's a slow paced event and all of the girls are bringing their best modeling to the stage during this. I captured amazing shots of each contestant and was able to share those with them early this morning at crowning when they received their plaques! Following gown they had fitness wear, and it was the first time I had photographed fitness wear but I loved it so much! Everyone gets to have fun with their modeling and share their favorite ways to exercise and stay healthy.

The final event was talent, and if you've never seen the talent portion of a pageant, I'll be the first to share with you that it is so awesome to get to watch these young girls share their different talents on stage. I saw talents ranging from dancing and singing to a science project and also a contestant who performed a song in sign language! The hard work they put into this shines through effortlessly when on stage during talent.

Once the events for the day were every all of the contestants gathered in the ballroom for a group photo and then a "Lights, Camera, Action" themed party! I ended up heading out to get photos printed and I know I missed out on probably the funniest part of the weekend - the Hot Mama and Daddy Long Legs contest. Parents of contestants (moms AND dads) got to dress up and take the stage to compete in a pageant of their own. I saw one of the dads backstage in his full pageant wear and was so upset that I couldn't be there to witness this whole thing in action. I also know that the girls had plenty of fun seeing their parents on stage as well!

Sunday morning was the big moment everyone had been waiting for: crowning! Since this was the first year for the District of Columbia pageant they had double the titles to give out and so many deserving girls walked away with a new title to represent for this upcoming year. I've always said I could never be a judge and that stands true, because everyone works so hard and does such a fantastic job that I know I wouldn't be able to choose just one. But the judges at this pageant did a fantastic job, even if I'm sure it was difficult at times! You could tell right away that this new set of sister queens was already bonding and excited for their upcoming year as a Tiny Miss queen. I'm hoping I'll be able to return back next year to hear all about how their year went and the amazing things they do for the community during their reign as well! Ever since I began pageant photography about 5 years ago I knew I wanted to be a part of the Tiny Miss family, so thank you to Toni, Tyler, Dawn, and Gabby for having me and welcoming me in to this amazing system! Toni gave some advice to the contestants at orientation that was very encouraging and fitting and I wanted to share it here - "You never lose, you learn" I feel like that can be applied anywhere in life and I know it's an important lesson all of these girls will keep with them!

I hope everyone has a great week and thanks for reading! Join me in giving all of the girls a big congratulations and best wishes for a great year!

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