Pageant Headshots NYC

Your Winning Image, Perfected

What Are Pageant Headshots?

Pageant headshots are essential professional photographs designed to showcase a contestant’s facial features, personality, and style. These images are crucial for pageant applications, judges’ reference, and promotional materials. A high-quality headshot captures the contestant’s natural beauty, confidence, and poise, creating a lasting impression. Whether the goal is to highlight a contestant’s charm or to present a polished, professional look, a well-crafted pageant headshot can significantly enhance a contestant’s overall presentation and impact in the competition.

Natural and Scholarship Pageants:

Pageant headshots are a vital tool in your pageant journey. They serve as your calling card, making the first impression on judges even before you walk into the room. A great headshot not only gets you noticed but can also set you on the path to winning the crown.

Key Points:

  • First Impressions: Judges see your headshot before meeting you, making it crucial to stand out.
  • Authenticity: Your headshot should capture you at your best while looking like you. Avoid overdone makeup and hairstyles that make you look like someone else.
  • Professional Quality: Invest in a skilled pageant photographer who understands how to capture your natural look and personality.

Finding the Right Photographer:

  • Professional Experience: Ensure your photographer specializes in pageant headshots.
  • Portfolio Review: Look at their previous work to confirm they can capture flattering and authentic images.
  • Avoid Compromises: Don’t settle for less experienced photographers, as it may result in amateur-looking photos that don’t impress judges.

Hiring Hair and Makeup Artists:

  • Expertise Required: Professional hair and makeup artists know how to create looks that photograph well and stay true to your natural appearance.
  • Research and Referrals: Seek recommendations and review portfolios to find the best artists within your budget.

Glitz Pageants:

  • Enhanced Look: Glitz pageants feature more retouched photos, with dramatic makeup and elaborate hairstyles.
  • Realistic Editing: Good editing enhances natural features without making the contestant unrecognizable.
  • Comparison: Comparing natural and glitz headshots helps understand the differences in styling and presentation.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your pageant headshot makes a lasting, positive impression on the judges and sets you apart in the competition.

How Do I Take a Pageant Headshot?

Taking a successful pageant headshot involves a combination of technical skill and artistic vision. Here are key steps to consider:

  1. Lighting: Use soft, even lighting to minimize shadows and highlight facial features. Natural light or studio lighting with diffusers works best.
  2. Background: Choose a simple, uncluttered background to keep the focus on the contestant.
  3. Posing: Encourage relaxed and natural poses that showcase confidence and personality. Practice different angles to find the most flattering one.
  4. Expression: Aim for a genuine, warm smile or a confident, poised expression. The eyes should convey emotion and engagement.
  5. Camera Settings: Use a high-resolution camera with appropriate settings for sharp, clear images. A shallow depth of field can create a beautiful bokeh effect, blurring the background while keeping the subject in focus.

Taking a killer pageant headshot is about controlling the narrative judges receive from your photo. Here’s how to nail it:

In Advance of the Photoshoot:

  1. Hire a Professional: Choose a reputable photographer like Lyndzie Hack Photography, known for clients who’ve won photogenic awards at various levels.
  2. Find the Right Photographer: Use directories like Pageant Planet to locate experienced pageant photographers in your area.
  3. Prepare Yourself: Get ample rest before the shoot to avoid looking tired. Ensure your face and hair are clean, and nails are manicured.

During the Photoshoot:

  1. Create a Comfortable Atmosphere: Play some good music to relax while in hair and makeup.
  2. Understand Lighting: Proper lighting is crucial. Trust your photographer’s expertise.
  3. Have Fun: Relax, breathe, and let your personality shine through.

What Do I Need to Bring to a Pageant Headshot Photoshoot?

To ensure a smooth and successful photoshoot, contestants should bring the following items:

  1. Wardrobe Options: Bring several outfits in different colors and styles to find the best look.
  2. Jewelry and Accessories: Bring a selection of jewelry and accessories to complement the outfits.
  3. Makeup Kit: Have makeup essentials for touch-ups during the shoot.
  4. Hair Tools: Bring hairbrushes, combs, and styling products to maintain your hairstyle.
  5. Comfort Items: Bring water, snacks, and any other items needed to stay comfortable during the shoot.

Consult Your Photographer:

  • Packages: Photographers often offer packages with different “looks” (outfits). Common options include one, three, or five looks.
  • Outfit Planning: Coordinate outfits with your photographer’s suggestions on colors and styles.

Wardrobe Essentials:

  • Necklines: Choose tops or dresses with flattering necklines.
  • Colors: Wear colors that make you look sensational.
  • Jewelry: Bring a variety of earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.

Additional Tips:

  • Formal Wear: Include formal dresses if they have stunning necklines or details.
  • Extra Options: Bring more clothing than needed for flexibility during the shoot.
  • Hands: Get a manicure or ensure your nails are clean and buffed.

By bringing these items and coordinating with me, you can ensure a successful and stress-free photoshoot.

What Are the Best Pageant Headshot Poses?

The best poses for pageant headshots highlight the contestant’s best features and convey confidence and poise. Here are some recommended poses:

  1. Straight-On: A classic pose with the contestant facing the camera directly.
  2. Three-Quarter Turn: A slight turn to the side, which can be more flattering for some face shapes.
  3. Over-the-Shoulder: A playful pose with the contestant looking back over their shoulder.
  4. Close-Up: A tight shot focusing on the face, emphasizing eyes and smile.
  5. Profile: A side profile shot can add variety and showcase a different angle.

Natural and Scholarship Pageants:

Learning to pose for pageant headshots takes practice and patience. Avoid trends like “duck face” selfies, and instead, study quality headshots to understand effective poses. Here are some key poses to master:

Straight to Camera Pose: A foundational pose where you face the camera directly. It relies on focused, expressive eyes to make a powerful impact.

Chin to Shoulder Pose: This pose creates a warm and approachable look. Ensure the head turn and chin placement are natural to avoid shadows and awkward angles.

Hands to Chin or Face Pose: Gently resting your hand on your chin or face can add a thoughtful touch. Avoid pressing too hard to prevent distortions.

Unusual Poses or ¾ Shots: These poses include arms or hands in the shot and require careful execution to look natural and engaging.

Side to Camera Pose: Turning away from the camera but maintaining eye contact can add drama and focus on your expression.

Looking Back Over the Shoulder Pose: This challenging pose requires a natural twist and relaxed neck to look effortless and captivating.

Glitz Pageants:

No Pose: Focus on showcasing your face without hands or arms in the way. A slight tilt can add interest.

Showing Hands: Hands can be included, but should be neatly positioned to avoid distraction.

Arms Up: This pose involves one or both hands near the face or behind the head, enhancing the overall composition.

By practicing these poses and working with a skilled photographer, you can create stunning and memorable pageant headshots.

What Should I Wear for Pageant Headshots?

Choosing the right outfit for a pageant headshot is crucial. Here are some tips:

  1. Solid Colors: Opt for solid colors that complement your skin tone and avoid busy patterns.
  2. Neckline: Choose a flattering neckline that enhances your features without being distracting.
  3. Fit: Ensure the outfit fits well and allows you to move comfortably.
  4. Style: Select a style that reflects your personality and the image you want to portray.
  5. Jewelry: Keep jewelry minimal to avoid drawing attention away from your face.

Natural and Scholarship Pageants:

Impressing the Judges:

  • Mandatory Headshots: Always submit a headshot, even if it’s not required.
  • Research: Match your wardrobe to the pageant’s brand and previous winners’ styles.
  • Solid Colors: Avoid busy prints; opt for solid colors that flatter your skin tone.

Wardrobe Tips:

  • Multiple Outfits: Bring several outfits in different colors and styles.
  • Flattering Necklines: Choose tops or dresses with appealing necklines.
  • Minimal Textures: Silky fabrics photograph better than heavily textured ones.
  • Confidence: Wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable.

Formal Options:

  • Evening Gowns: Include formal dresses if they have stunning necklines or details.
  • Variety: Bring extra clothing options and jewelry to give the photographer choices.

Final Touches:

  • Hands: Don’t forget a manicure with neutral polish.
  • Comfort: Ensure you feel good in what you wear, as confidence shows in the final product.

Glitz Pageants:

Attire Choices:

  • Photo Toppers: Decorative pieces wrapped around the shoulders, paired with matching accessories.
  • Glitz Dresses: For a more cohesive look, wear your glitz dress with visible hair accessories.
  • Unique Outfits: Create a standout look with embellished shirts and accessories.

Custom Toppers:

  • Unique Designs: Custom toppers can cost $65-$150 and should complement the child’s color and style.
  • Comfort: Choose materials that won’t irritate the skin.
  • Accessorize: Include matching hairpieces and jewelry for a cohesive look.

Practical Tips:

  • Underlayers: Wear a camisole or strapless top under your topper.
  • Comfortable Bottoms: Since only the upper body is photographed, wear comfortable bottoms.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your pageant headshot wardrobe is both stunning and appropriate for the competition.

What Jewelry Should I Wear for Pageant Headshots?

When selecting jewelry for pageant headshots, follow these guidelines:

  1. Simplicity: Choose simple, elegant pieces that complement your outfit.
  2. Color Coordination: Match the jewelry with your outfit to create a cohesive look.
  3. Size: Avoid oversized or overly flashy pieces that can be distracting.
  4. Consistency: Wear jewelry that fits the overall style and theme of your headshot.
  5. Comfort: Ensure the jewelry is comfortable and doesn’t interfere with posing.

Natural and Scholarship Pageants:

Keep It Simple Yet Glam:

  • Focus on Your Face: Choose jewelry that complements but doesn’t overshadow your features.
  • Bold Earrings: Different earrings for each outfit can add variety. Classic hoop earrings are a safe and stylish choice.
  • Avoid Over-bling: Too much jewelry can distract from your beauty. Stick to simple, elegant pieces.

Accessorize Wisely:

  • Matching Jewelry: Select pieces that match your outfits but don’t dominate the photo.
  • Necklaces and Bracelets: Only wear these if they enhance your overall look without being too flashy.

Glitz Pageants:

Complement Your Attire:

  • Photo Toppers: These decorative pieces often eliminate the need for additional jewelry.
  • Subtle Enhancements: Use jewelry to complement, not compete with, your topper or dress.

Creative Placement:

  • Unique Locations: Consider placing jewelry on your forehead, hands, or even within your hairstyle.
  • Minimalist Approach: Sometimes less is more. Focus on earrings and minimal additional pieces.

Tips for Choosing Jewelry:

  • Avoid Distracting Pieces: Jewelry should enhance, not distract from, your face.
  • Thrift Shopping: Unique pieces can often be found in thrift stores, but check for quality.

By thoughtfully selecting your jewelry, you can ensure your pageant headshot is both striking and balanced.

Pageant Headshot Tips to Take Great Pageant Headshots

Here are some tips to ensure you get the best pageant headshots:

  1. Prepare in Advance: Plan your wardrobe, hair, and makeup well before the shoot.
  2. Stay Relaxed: Keep calm and relaxed to ensure natural expressions.
  3. Professional Help: Consider hiring a professional photographer, makeup artist, and hairstylist.
  4. Practice Posing: Spend time practicing poses in front of a mirror to find your best angles.
  5. Communicate: Work closely with your photographer to achieve the desired look.

Natural and Scholarship Pageants:

Know Your Brand:

  • Understand Your Pageant’s Brand: Research the look and feel of past winners and align your style accordingly.
  • Personal Brand: Reflect your unique personality. Whether adventurous or glamorous, your headshot should communicate who you are.

Planning and Preparation:

  • Schedule Ahead: Book your photoshoot well before deadlines to allow time for editing and printing.
  • Beauty Prep: Schedule beauty treatments like haircuts, facials, and manicures in advance. Avoid last-minute procedures that might cause skin irritation.
  • Get Rest: Ensure you are well-rested and hydrated before the shoot to look your best.

During the Photoshoot:

  • Positive Attitude: Arrive with a positive mindset and be ready to collaborate with your photographer.
  • Relax and Breathe: Use deep breathing techniques to stay relaxed and avoid tension in your photos.
  • Pose Strategically: Start with your body at a 45-degree angle to the camera. This position is flattering and allows for easy adjustments.

Glitz Pageants:


  • Follow Guidelines: Adhere to any preparation tips from your photographer, including hair and skin care routines.
  • Pack Essentials: Bring all necessary outfits, jewelry, and comfortable bottoms. Label your accessories for easy organization.
  • Health Tips: Take vitamins like biotin and vitamin C before the shoot to enhance your skin and immune system.

On the Day:

  • Be Punctual: Arrive early to maximize your session time.
  • Practice Expressions: Rehearse facial expressions in a mirror to find your best looks.

General Tips:

  • Expressions Matter: Focus on eye contact and authentic expressions. Both smiles and serious looks can be effective.
  • Enjoy the Process: Have fun and stay in the moment to capture your best self.

By following these tips, you can ensure your pageant headshot is both stunning and reflective of your personal brand.

Do I Need a Pageant Headshot Photographer?

While it’s possible to take your own headshots, hiring a professional photographer is highly recommended for the following reasons:

  1. Expertise: Professional photographers have the skills and experience to capture high-quality images.
  2. Equipment: They use professional-grade cameras and lighting equipment.
  3. Editing: Professional photographers can edit the images to enhance their quality.
  4. Guidance: They can provide valuable posing and styling tips.
  5. Results: Investing in a professional ensures you get the best possible headshots.

Professional Expertise:

  • Authenticity: A professional pageant photographer ensures your headshot looks like you, avoiding unrealistic makeovers.
  • Experience: Experienced photographers understand the nuances of pageant headshots and can bring out your unique traits.

Importance of a Good Headshot:

  • First Impressions: A good headshot is crucial for making a positive first impression on judges.
  • Brand Representation: It represents both your personal brand and the pageant’s brand effectively.

Choosing the Right Photographer:

  • Recommendations: Get referrals from other contestants and titleholders.
  • Interview Questions: Ask about outfit recommendations, hair and makeup services, and editing costs.


  • Budget Flexibility: Allocate sufficient funds for headshots and adjust your budget if necessary.
  • Expertise Costs: Investing in a skilled pageant photographer is worth the extra expense.


  • Pageant Directories: Use directories like Pageant Planet to find experienced photographers.

By investing in a professional pageant photographer, you ensure your headshot is a powerful tool in your pageant journey.

What to Consider When Selecting a Pageant Headshot Photographer

When choosing a photographer for your pageant headshots, consider the following factors:

  1. Portfolio: Review their previous work to ensure their style matches your vision.
  2. Experience: Look for photographers with experience in pageant headshots.
  3. Reviews: Read reviews and testimonials from previous clients.
  4. Comfort Level: Choose a photographer you feel comfortable working with.
  5. Budget: Ensure their fees fit within your budget without compromising on quality.

Selecting the right pageant headshots photographer involves several key steps:

1. Have a Pageant Budget:

  • Ensure your budget is flexible enough to accommodate adjustments for a higher-priced photographer if necessary.

2. Get Recommendations:

  • Ask other contestants and titleholders for referrals, particularly those who have competed in your pageant system.

3. Interview Photographers:

  • Ask about outfits, hair and makeup services, number of proofs, editing costs, and other relevant details.

4. Consider Official Pageant Photographers:

  • These photographers are familiar with your pageant system’s requirements and may produce top-quality headshots, though they may charge higher fees.

5. Use Resources like Pageant Planet:

  • Pageant Planet’s photographer directory is a great tool to find seasoned professionals with extensive experience. The directory allows you to explore various photographers, see their work, and narrow down your search based on specific features.

6. Study Winning Headshots:

  • Reviewing winning headshots can give you insights into what a stellar headshot looks like and help you understand the standards and expectations.

Additional Tips:

  • Look for a photographer whose style you love and who is experienced in pageant photography.
  • Make sure the photographer provides a collaborative experience, listening to your ideas and suggestions while guiding you professionally.


Finding the right pageant headshots photographer involves careful research, budgeting, and seeking recommendations from trusted sources. Utilizing resources like Pageant Planet can streamline the process and ensure you select a photographer who can deliver the best results for your needs.

How Do I Find a Pageant Headshot Photographer?

Finding a pageant headshot photographer can be done through these methods:

  1. Referrals: Ask for recommendations from fellow contestants or pageant coaches.
  2. Online Search: Use search engines and social media to find photographers in your area.
  3. Portfolios: Review online portfolios to find a photographer whose style you like.
  4. Networking: Attend pageant events and network with other contestants to find reputable photographers.
  5. Directories: Use photography directories to find professionals specializing in pageant headshots.

Start Your Search:

  1. Pageant Planet: Use their photographer database to find event and headshot photographers with the right expertise. Utilize filtering options to narrow your search.
  2. Sponsored Photographers: Consider your pageant’s sponsored photographer. Ensure your headshots meet or exceed their standards.

Interviewing Photographers:

  • Studio and Social Media: Check the studio’s appearance and social media presence.
  • Experience and Reviews: Verify their experience and read reviews.
  • Packages: Inquire about packages including hair and makeup, and if they allow bringing your own team.
  • Travel Studio: Ask about their travel capabilities.

Additional Resources:

  • Pageant Coaches: They can provide recommendations and potentially discounts.
  • Local Shops: Bridal, gown, and pageant shops often have connections with photographers.

By exploring these avenues and asking the right questions, you can find a skilled photographer who can deliver winning pageant headshots.

How Much Should Pageant Headshots Cost with Editing?

The cost of pageant headshots varies based on several factors:

  1. Photographer’s Experience: More experienced photographers may charge higher fees.
  2. Location: Prices can vary depending on the location and market rates.
  3. Package Inclusions: Costs may include the shoot, editing, and the number of final images provided.
  4. Additional Services: Makeup, hairstyling, and wardrobe consultations may incur extra costs.
  5. Editing Quality: Advanced editing and retouching services can increase the overall cost.

Pageant headshots can be a significant investment, ranging from $250 to $1500 per session. This often includes the photographer’s fee, studio time, and sometimes hair and makeup services. Editing is a crucial part of the process to ensure your images meet the high standards of pageant judging.

Cost Breakdown:

  • Photoshoot Session: $250 – $1500
  • Editing/Retouching: $50 – $100 per image
  • Additional Fees: Studio/sitting fees, watermark removal fees, etc.

Budget Tips:

  • Evaluate Photographers: Ensure you can afford the photographer’s services before committing.
  • Editing Necessity: High-quality retouching is essential for ideal headshots.

How Should My Pageant Headshot Be Edited?

Editing is crucial for a polished look. Here are key aspects to consider:

  1. Skin Retouching: Smooth out blemishes and enhance skin tone for a flawless look.
  2. Lighting Adjustments: Adjust brightness and contrast to highlight facial features.
  3. Color Correction: Ensure accurate and vibrant colors.
  4. Background Cleanup: Remove any distracting elements from the background.
  5. Natural Look: Aim for natural edits that enhance, not drastically change, your appearance.

Natural Pageants:

  • Realistic Retouching: Stay close to your natural look while enhancing features. Professional photographers use editing to correct color, lighting, and minor imperfections.
  • Consistency: Ensure the headshot matches your appearance for judges to recognize you.

Glitz Pageants:

  • Professional Editing: Hire skilled editors for glitz photos, focusing on enhancing features without altering your natural look.
  • Attention to Detail: Retouching may include fixing hair, adding lashes, or correcting blemishes. Ensure edits do not overly transform your appearance.

Choosing the Right Editor:

  • Recommendations: Ask your photographer, coach, or makeup artist for referrals.
  • Quality Checks: Review past work and compare to winning headshots.

For a flawless and professional finish, invest in skilled editors and communicate your preferences clearly.

How Do I Do My Hair for Pageant Headshots?

Here are some tips for styling your hair for pageant headshots:

  1. Clean and Styled: Ensure your hair is clean, styled, and free of frizz.
  2. Volume: Add volume to create a fuller look.
  3. Face-Framing: Style your hair to frame your face and highlight your features.
  4. Consistency: Ensure your hair complements your overall look and outfit.
  5. Touch-Ups: Bring styling products for touch-ups during the shoot.

Hiring a Professional:

  • Photographer’s Team: Often, your photographer will recommend or provide a professional hairstylist experienced with pageant headshots.
  • DIY Situations: Learn to style your own hair if a professional is unavailable or in an emergency.

Essential Tools and Products:

  • Curling Irons/Wands: Invest in quality irons of various barrel sizes.
  • Heat Protectant Spray: Vital for maintaining hair health.
  • Flexible Hold Hairspray: Use during styling to keep hair manageable.
  • Strong Hold Hairspray: Secure your final style.
  • Combs, Brushes, Clips: Fine-tooth combs, round brushes, and clips for sectioning hair.

Styling Tips:

  • Blow Drying: Proper techniques to create volume without frizz.
  • Curling Techniques: Learn different curling methods for various styles.
  • Volume Creation: Techniques for achieving voluminous hair.
  • Loose Curls: A popular style for pageant headshots.

Glitz Pageants:

  • Professional Styling: Hire a glitz hair and makeup artist.
  • Accessories: Use hairpieces and accessories to enhance the style.
  • Preparation: Arrive with a clear idea of your desired hairstyle.

By following these tips and using the right tools, you can ensure your hair looks fabulous for your pageant headshots.

Do I Need a Hair and Makeup Artist for Pageant Headshots?

Hiring a hair and makeup artist can be beneficial for the following reasons:

  1. Professional Quality: They have the skills to create a polished and professional look.
  2. Time-Saving: They can efficiently handle hair and makeup, allowing you to focus on the shoot.
  3. Expertise: They know techniques to enhance your features for photography.
  4. Consistency: They ensure your look remains consistent throughout the shoot.
  5. Stress Reduction: They can alleviate the stress of doing your own hair and makeup.

Hire a Professional:

  • Makeup Artists: Use a professional makeup artist who specializes in pageant headshots, recommended by your photographer if possible.

In Emergencies:

  • DIY Skills: Learn to do your own makeup for those unexpected times when a professional is unavailable.


  • Airbrush Options: Temptu AirPods Perfect Canvas airbrush foundation for a flawless finish.
  • Liquid Foundations: Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation for a matte finish.


  • MAC Studio Finish: Ideal for covering blemishes and brightening under the eyes.

Contouring and Highlighting:

  • Subtle Contours: Enhance natural features without overdoing it. Use a light hand with highlighter.

Eye Makeup:

  • Neutral Smoky Eye: Dark, defining colors without bright shades. Use matte shadows primarily.


  • Balanced Color: Choose shades like rose, coral, deep pink, or plum in a creamy matte. Avoid overly dramatic colors.

Teeth Whitening:

  • Bright Smile: Use whitening toothpaste like AP 24® Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste for a radiant smile.


  • Learn Techniques: Watch tutorials like those by Patrick Starrr for step-by-step guidance.

Glitz Pageants:

  • Minimal Makeup: Light foundation, soft pink cheeks, and natural lip color. Digital enhancement will complete the look.

By following these tips, you can ensure your makeup is perfect for your pageant headshot.

What to Consider When Selecting a Pageant Headshot Hair and Makeup Artist

When choosing a hair and makeup artist, consider the following:

  1. Portfolio: Review their previous work to ensure their style matches your needs.
  2. Experience: Look for artists with experience in pageant styling.
  3. Reviews: Check reviews and testimonials from previous clients.
  4. Comfort Level: Choose an artist you feel comfortable working with.
  5. Budget: Ensure their fees fit within your budget while still providing quality service.

Importance of Professional Hair and Makeup:

  • Camera Details: The camera captures every detail, and a professional can ensure you look your best.
  • Avoid Over-Editing: Proper hair and makeup minimize the need for excessive retouching, keeping the photo natural.

Professional Resources:

  • Pageant Planet Directory: Use their resources to find experienced hair and makeup artists.
  • Local Classes: If you can’t hire a professional, consider taking classes to improve your skills.

Choosing the Right Artist:

  1. Portfolio Check: Ensure they have experience with your hair type and complexion.
  2. Versatility: Look for a range in their work, from glam to natural.
  3. Listening Skills: Ensure they understand and can execute your vision.
  4. Cleanliness: Professionalism includes using clean tools.
  5. Realistic Edits: Their portfolio should show subtle retouching, not over-edited images.

During the Photoshoot:

  • Professional Support: A good artist will maintain your look throughout the session, allowing you to focus on posing.

Finding the Right Stylist:

  • Integrated Packages: Opt for photographers who offer hair and makeup in their packages.
  • Stylist’s Role: Ensure they can handle both hair and makeup to manage flyaways and touch-ups during the shoot.

Interview Questions:

  1. Portfolio Review: Ensure diversity in their work.
  2. Styling Range: They should excel in both glam and natural looks.
  3. Communication: They should be attentive and understand your needs.
  4. Clean Tools: Their equipment must be clean and well-maintained.
  5. Editing: Their work should require minimal retouching, maintaining a natural look.


  • Arrive Ready: Come to the photoshoot with clean hair and a fresh face.

By considering these points, you’ll be well-prepared to select the best hair and makeup artist for your pageant headshots.

How Do I Find a Pageant Headshot Hair and Makeup Artist?

Here are ways to find a suitable hair and makeup artist:

  1. Referrals: Ask for recommendations from fellow contestants or pageant coaches.
  2. Online Search: Use search engines and social media to find artists in your area.
  3. Portfolios: Review online portfolios to find an artist whose style you like.
  4. Networking: Attend pageant events and network with other contestants for referrals.
  5. Directories: Use online directories that specialize in listing professional hair and makeup artists.

Finding a hair and makeup artist for pageant headshots is crucial. Here are some steps to help you find the right professional:

  1. Use Pageant Planet Directory:
    • Pageant Planet offers a directory to discover hair and makeup artists experienced with local, state, and national titleholders. Use their filtering options to find the perfect match.
  2. Personalized Assistance:
    • If you prefer personalized help, fill out a form on Pageant Planet to get matched with qualified experts who will contact you within 24 hours.
  3. Ask Your Photographer:
    • Photographers often work with experienced hair and makeup artists and can provide excellent recommendations.
  4. Check with Pageant Sponsors:
    • Some pageants have sponsored hair and makeup artists. Using these professionals can ensure consistency with the pageant’s standards.
  5. Network with Other Contestants:
    • Ask fellow contestants or titleholders for recommendations, especially those who have competed in your system.

Additional Tips:

  • Verify the artist’s portfolio to ensure they have experience with your hair type, complexion, and desired look.
  • Ensure the artist has clean and sanitized tools.
  • Make sure their style aligns with your vision for the headshot.

By following these steps, you can secure a skilled hair and makeup artist to help you achieve stunning pageant headshots.

How Much Should a Hair and Makeup Artist Cost for Pageant Headshots?

The cost of hiring a hair and makeup artist for pageant headshots can vary based on several factors:

  1. Experience Level: More experienced artists typically charge higher rates.
  2. Service Package: Some artists offer package deals that include both hair and makeup services.
  3. Location: Prices can differ depending on the region and local market rates.
  4. Duration: The length of time the artist will be needed can affect the cost.
  5. Additional Fees: Travel expenses or special requests may incur extra charges.

Professional vs. Regular Stylist:

  • A professional pageant stylist is essential for headshots due to specific requirements that regular stylists may not meet.

Cost Expectations:

  • Price Range: $150 to $700, depending on factors such as location, duration, and type of styling.
  • Hourly Rates: Typically $75 to $600 per hour, with a two-hour minimum.

Why Not Sephora or Ulta:

  • While cost-effective for day or evening events, these stores may not ensure the makeup matches well under professional photography lighting.

Best Value:

  • Opt for photographers offering packages that include hair and makeup to ensure cohesive work between the photographer and stylist.


Investing in a professional hair and makeup artist who works closely with your photographer is crucial for achieving the best pageant headshots.