My Pic of 2015 Miss America in Today’s Washington Post…

Kira and Nina meet
Shutter: 1/320, Aperture: ƒ/2.8, ISO: 100, Lens: 24-70mm, Flash

As you know, I am a big fan of the Miss America Organization. For months now I’ve been trying to get “in” with the organization to be “their main dude” to take photos when they come to my area. Though it would be the most awesome job in the world, there is no dedicated photographer that travels with Miss America and documents all her appearances. So they depend on some random person at each event to take a few photos. I want them to call me when they’re in DC, and yesterday was a great “in.” Both 2014 Miss America Nina Davuluri and the recently crowned 2015 Miss America Kira Kazanstev were at a private luncheon yesterday and I was on hand to take photos. My pics appeared on Miss America Org’s official Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds, and another photo was in today’s Washington Post. And this all happened by the time I got out of the cab back to the office. Click below for more.

Here is the main shot of the day. Do you see those likes? That’s what it takes… two Miss Americas in one photo… Anyway, this is everything I wanted and more. I used the WiFi function on my 6D to connect to my phone, and then email two or three pics to Miss America’s PR office. I was a bit nervous… I shoot RAW, and I wouldn’t have any opportunities to fix any flubs in my exposure. I also switched to RAW+JPG so I could email these pics quicker. This is news, people! Speaking of news, the Washington Post had a writer there, but no photographer, so she approached me and asked me to send her some photos as soon as possible. I showed her the 2 or 3 pics I had already downloaded to my phone and said “those are perfect.” Here’s how fast this all works. I get back to my desk and I’m uploading the pics from my card. I want to google Kira’s name to double check I’m spelling her name right for the caption. The third result was my photo as it appeared on the Washington Post. Damn

Photo in Washington Post

Here is a clipping. You can read the entire article here.

So here is the photo again on the official MAO Twitter feed. This was posted at 2:21, the lunch ended at 2:00… I’m getting pretty good keeping up to all those phone photogs. Ok, so at the risk of showing you this photo a third time, here we go.

2014 Miss America Nina Davuluri and 2015 Miss America Kira Kazantsev
Shutter: 1/320, Aperture: ƒ/3.5, ISO: 100, Lens: 24-70mm, Flash

It’s rare getting more than one Miss America together in the wild, but when it happens, you have to get the photo. I saw the American flag flapping outside the window so I wanted to make sure to get that. It was midday, but stormy out, so I knew getting both the girls and the flag exposed correctly would be important. But here are two VIPs at once, I typically get very self-conscious about how long I take to get my shot, even with normal people. I didn’t want to flub this and have them stand there longer than necessary, so while I waited for them to wrap a brief interview they were doing, I tried out my settings with someone standing next to a different window. The irony is she didn’t want to be photographed, so I was trying to explain that she was just the guinea pig for the “real” photo. Which actually sounded a bit offensive when I said it. Anyway, because the photo that went around the world and got so many likes was the JPG version that I didn’t have any time to touch up, so I wanted you to see the final processed version (yeah, I know, most people really wouldn’t care). I also rarely ever use external flash, but for today, I wanted this shot, and there’s no way I’d get both the flag outside at mid-day, and the subject at the right exposure without some lighting assist.

This was one of the other photos I had emailed to MAO PR, and it popped up on Instagram just a little while after the Twitter and Facebook posts. This one has no flash, but does have a filter applied, by MAO. But I’m cool with that, it fits and it got more than 2,000 likes. I like how they chose to tell the story with different photos. Very cool.

Kira Kazantsev
Shutter: 1/250, Aperture: ƒ/2.8, ISO: 1600, Lens: 24-70mm, No flash

Kira was amazing. She’s very graceful and personable. She signed a photo for my boss who is retiring next month, and made me feel as if she was so excited to talk with me. I’m looking forward to meeting her again at the next DC event, as it sounds as I’ve passed this test alright, and they’ll call on me the next time Miss America is in DC. I also was asked for the high-rez versions of these photos so they can appear in next year’s Miss America program. ! You don’t know how much I’ve wanted that. Hopefully I’ll have something to report next September!

Check out the rest of the pics below. These were all shot on Manual mode, but these were the JPGs that were uploaded.

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