NOTEWORTHY: This Is How You Do Pageant Photography

It is that time of year again when the most successful national pageant in the world, Miss Venezuela, gets underway. The unveiling of the official photos of this year’s contestants reveals the reason for the success of Osmel Sousa’s enterprise. Venezuela always manages to take the contest to new heights, this year through photography.


Miss Venezuela photographer Alejandro Lee captures the imagination which images that look made right on the (IMG) Miss Universe stage.

Everything is on point, the styling, the shoes and the retro swimsuits, which highlight the hourglass figures.

It shows the care and attention to detail that goes into the planning of the Miss Venezuela pageant and the performance of their winners internationally.

Regretfully, most national pageants chose to hate rather than emulate the Miss Venezuela Organization. Yet, nothing succeeds like success!


Effortless in 2017, Jakub Kucner, Mister Polski 2017 & Mister World Poland 2018

As we have said before, we consider the Mister Polski contest one of the two best national male competitions in the world (the other is Mister Brasil CNB). It is run over several months, with preliminary competitions to select the final 20 who will compete for the coveted title.

Many themed photoshoots are organised and the social media presence for the contest should be an example for competitions, both male and female, are over the world. The contestants are presented as examples of down-to-earth masculinity, a practice most male competitions would do well to follow.

This year, we pegged the very charismatic Jakub Kucner as the one to beat and he did prove to be unbeatable in a very strong field of finalists.


Jakub has a strong social media presence, with which he shares his life with us. From cheeky childhood pictures,


to his experience as a model,

to his charity work in the Gambia,


to regular, everyday activities, including his physical transformation.


Through it all you get to know Jakub as a well-spoken, caring human being, who takes full advantage of life opportunities, without putting on airs or trying to show off.


The Effortless Mister Poland will be a force to reckon with at the next Mister World competition.



Effortless in 2017: Jack Eyers, Mister England 2017 & Mister World England 2018

As we stated previously, what makes a male competitor great is his charisma. He needs to project approachability, to be kind of man that men want to emulate and women (and some men) want to be with.

Charisma is not something you can learn or practice,  although you will see most male contestants try. Charisma has to be EFFORTLESS.


One young man who you can say is the epitome of charisma is Jack Eyers, Mister England 2017. Jack is ruggedly handsome, an avid sportsman and, as they say, he “cleans up nicely”. He is a catwalk and commercial model and never puts on airs. In all his pictures he just looks like you captured some of his daily activities. Jack is indeed EFFORTLESS.


Jack is also smashing barriers in the world of pageants and fashion, as the first amputee to win a national title. With Jack, that is the last thing you notice though.

Jack will represent England at Mister World 2018 and we already predict he will do very well at this competition.

THOWBACK (way, way back): The 1997 Miss Universe Pageant

In 1997, I wrote this review of the 1997 Miss Universe pageant. Rereading it this weak I was surprised by how spot on my evaluation of Donald Trump really was. I predicted that the Miss Universe pageant would die under his stewardship. It did not, but the Miss Universe pageant has lost its lustre and the US ratings of the Final Show are at their lowest in the competition’s long history. I also said that the show could have been one of the best ever; looking back now it really was.

The 1997 Miss Universe pageant has left a bitter aftertaste, for its general tackiness, the treatment of the media and the crass commercialism which dominated it. The tone was set by THE announcement and  the blatant exploitation of what should have been a private drama. If the timing of THE announcement was ever in doubt, one need only follow the carefully rehearsed on stage banter about what was new in Marla Maples’ life.

Everything was basically cheap: from the trailer park offices, to the photocopied passes and Delegates’ Handbook.  Everyday there was some ruckus involving the media and the very tight working conditions which were allowed to them. After the first week, the only events open to the media were the rehearsals for about a half hour every day.  Everybody seemed confused and it would appear that everything could unravel at any moment. The security was a joke, as no pass had a photograph and nothing was checked.

The stage itself was really beautiful and the show could have been one of the best ever. It was marred however by its flattery of the Miss America Pageant (imitation is the sincerest form of?) . The double Judges’ Panels, the call-inn audience question, the lame attempt at squeezing a talent round out of what is not a talent-based competition and the outdated swimsuits, made one wonder if it was really May in Miami Beach and not September in Atlantic City.

Marla and George finally seem to have gotten the hang of it, although there is plenty room for improvement. Let’s bring back Bob Goen and a former Miss Universe as guest commentator.

The 10 semi-finalists were as predictable as ever. Besides the “Staple 4″ (USA, Venezuela, India and Sweden), Miss Italy was there to prove that Miss Universe is not racist, even if she was the most vulgar girl there.

Miss Curaçao, Miss Panama, Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Trinidad & Tobago were true beauty queens (the REAL semi-finalists) and Miss Estonia was her comic relief self.

Brook Mahealani Lee won deservedly based on her finals answer. Marena Bencomo was CORRUPTLY boosted by her compatriot Carolina Herrera (they are from Venezuela after all and remember the saying about old dogs?) and Margot Bourgeois was affected by her honest, but unpageantlike, answer to the final question.

In the hands of Donald Trump, the Miss Universe pageant is bound to die soon. How can this man head a pageant that requires its contestants to be a positive role model to their communities and the world, when he himself is an example of the basest human emotions?

Marla and THE Donald never seemed like a divorcing couple (am I the only one who saw the encouraging caress of Marla’s arm?). Donald Trump was besides himself at the Coronation Ball when he heard about the show’s exceptional rating and “jokingly” told those present that he was sure he had done nothing to affect those ratings (talk about blowing your own horn!).

Its very painful to see that Miss Universe has become the pageant that exploits the national pride and aspirations of most countries in the world for the financial benefit of one despicable human being!

A concerned (almost former) fan of and reporter at the 1997 Miss Universe pageant