Miss English Rose Final in Southport – 3rd October 2016

What the event was for?

More than 50 finalists headed to the Vincent Hotel in Southport for the finals of Miss English Rose 2016. The Miss English Rose beauty competition has been taking place in Southport since 1953 and this year the organisers also introduced a Junior Miss English Rose.

What were my main duties?

I made the 40 minute dive to Southport and arrived in good time at midday. I parked up near the hotel and after receiving directions from the reception staff I made my way to the large function room upstairs where I met Howard, the event organiser. He introduced me to the three judges and the other photographer, Leigh and I were given a de-briefing as to what he wanted from us photography wise and he explained the plan for the event and the timings.

He told us where he wanted us to stand and what type of cropping he wanted from our photographs. He then gave us a quick tour of the rooms that we would be using in the hotel and he told me he wanted a full body shot and a head shot of the girls as they stood next to the judging panel as they walked in the room.

There was a lot to photograph but the key focuses for me to capture were:

  • Wide shots – exterior and interior; of the main room set for the event and preferably packed with guests!
  • Happy guests – engaging with each other
  • Buzz, action, interaction!
  • Single shots of each model and some group shots of each category in each outfit outside on the band stand in the gardens next to the hotel.

The event was due to start at 1pm and at 12.30 the parents, family and friends started taking their positions in the rows of seats in the main room. Lots of nervous and eager looking faces slowly started filling the room waiting in anticipation of the event.

In the corridors next to the main room; all the girls were busy getting changed into their first of 3 outfit changes. As 1pm came around Howard then picked up the mic and began to introduce himself and the event to the crowded room full of guests and explained how the day would progress.

Each girl would walk down the cat walk one by one and when they got to the end of the catwalk then would then turn to the judging panel and pause for around three seconds. They would then look towards me and I would shoot the two shots that we wanted and then they would walk back off the cat walk and then the next girl would walk in and so on.

This went on all day, up to a 9pm finish with the girls wearing three different outfits and walking down the catwalk and posing for the judges. There were various coffee breaks and chances to chat to some of the judges and the audience. I was also taking individual shots of each model on the bandstand to get some nice natural shots in the daylight but we had to be quick as it started to get cold.

What camera settings did I use and what lenses?

The camera I used was my Nikon D610 and I work on manual settings. I used my 18-70 mil standard Nikon lens which gives me a range of focal lengths to capture different shots for example a full body and then zoom in for a close crop on the face.

I also used my trusty Nikon speed flashgun, which was essential as the hotel was quite dark in certain rooms we were in. I also made sure I had lots of spare batteries for the flash and that I had a fully charged camera battery and spare memory 64GB card.

The Winning Models Next Step

Miss English Rose 2016 was won by 26-year-old Miss Frodsham – Laura Wenton. Who will now fly to the world finals of Swimsuit USA at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Dominican Republic at the end of October to fly the flag for England against models from across the world.

Laura also won a modelling contract, £500 designer dress from Icon Fashion House plus a £1,000 portfolio and website from Studio Liverpool. The top three in Miss Teen English Rose qualify for the finals of Miss Teen British Isles next March. Junior Miss English Rose was won by 14-year-old Cassie Simms from Warrington, runner-up was 12-year-old Paige Cannon James from Liverpool and Charley Game from East Anglia was third; exciting times for them.

I would photograph some of the winning models again a few weeks later when they came to the Liverpool studio for me to provide them with a modelling portfolio.

Image Delivery

I was asked to provide the images within a week via wetransfer.com once I had edited them using Adobe bridge software. I then edited the images slightly on Adobe Lightroom adding touches like contrast, cropping and brightness. The next day I received great praise and feedback from the event organiser who said that I had done really well and captured a great selection of images and really captured the event well and ticked all the boxes; he said he was thrilled with the results!

Exposure of The Event

The event was documented a few days later on online at www.southportvisiter.co.uk and in the local Southport newspaper, on the facebook page www.facebook.com/Miss-British-Isles-223761677684712/ and http://www.missbritishisles.com/

Event Summary

Overall the event was a big success, lots of great feedback was received from the models and their parents and the judging panel and the organiser. From a personal point of view I found that it was a long day and I must have taken nearly 1000 photographs but I enjoyed the event and would like to do it again one day.