Visual Storyteller

Miss Green Bay Area 2015

Added on by Kyle Bursaw.

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.

  I saw a lot of amazing talents at rehearsal but   I got a good vibe. So I made sure to shoot Jennie throughout every aspect of the time I was covering the pageant while getting as much as possible of everyone else too.

I saw a lot of amazing talents at rehearsal but I got a good vibe. So I made sure to shoot Jennie throughout every aspect of the time I was covering the pageant while getting as much as possible of everyone else too.

 Getting constructive criticism from Miss GBA 2014 and 2010.

Getting constructive criticism from Miss GBA 2014 and 2010.

 Backstage with Bailey Hanson who would later be crowned Miss Green Bay Area's Outstanding Teen 2015.

Backstage with Bailey Hanson who would later be crowned Miss Green Bay Area's Outstanding Teen 2015.

 With  Miss GBA 2014  Karlee Nimmer before going to her interview with the judges

With Miss GBA 2014 Karlee Nimmer before going to her interview with the judges

 Practicing her comedic monologue 'Yma Dream.'

Practicing her comedic monologue 'Yma Dream.'

 In the group huddle minutes before the show.

In the group huddle minutes before the show.

 During the first introductions.

During the first introductions.

 The swimwear portion of the competition.

The swimwear portion of the competition.

 Performing her monologue.

Performing her monologue.

 Getting ready for the evening gown portion of the competition at intermission.  And then she won Miss Congeniality via the votes of her fellow contestants... and then the people's choice from the public.

Getting ready for the evening gown portion of the competition at intermission.

And then she won Miss Congeniality via the votes of her fellow contestants... and then the people's choice from the public.

 You guessed it. She was crowned Miss Green Bay Area 2015.

You guessed it. She was crowned Miss Green Bay Area 2015.

 "Is this real life?" -- something I heard her say a few times in the hour that followed.  I have a full   gallery of all the contestants   at the  Press-Gazette  website, but here were a couple other favorites.

"Is this real life?" -- something I heard her say a few times in the hour that followed. I have a full gallery of all the contestants at the Press-Gazette website, but here were a couple other favorites.

GPG_KB_MissGBA06.JPG
 Miss Green Bay Area's Outstanding Teen 2014 Paige Kassner (left) has a pretty amazing story too. A car accident in November of 2014 put the talented dancer through many surgeries and into a wheelchair. But she stood up at multiple points and assured the audience she would yet dance again.

Miss Green Bay Area's Outstanding Teen 2014 Paige Kassner (left) has a pretty amazing story too. A car accident in November of 2014 put the talented dancer through many surgeries and into a wheelchair. But she stood up at multiple points and assured the audience she would yet dance again.