On Wednesday I got assigned to cover the Miss Green Bay Area pageant at the Meyer Theatre Saturday. Having met a former Miss GBA when I shot a wedding in 2013, I was well aware that former Press-Gazette photographer Corey Wilson had built a lot of goodwill with the organization. He got me in contact with them and talked me up a bit, which was a great help. Thanks Corey! I know form experience that kind of positive relationship can really pave the path for the kind of access that makes for great photos. Plus I thought it would be cool to follow someone as they prep and compete through Miss GBA, win it and then go on to do many more things.
The one issue with that is you can't know who is going to win the competition beforehand and you also can't cover every aspect of every contestant as they are spread out doing different things simultaneously in the hours leading up to the show. Jennie, the first contestant to talk to me, introduced herself as the 'Grandma' of the competition. Grandma apparently translates to being a Miss GBA pageant veteran who will age out of being able to compete and knows this is her last hurrah. I figured Jennie would be a great story because those years of pageantry would either draw to a close or she'd win.