Miss Preston photo portfolio

And the winner of Miss Preston is…

My name is Stephanie Leeson and I am the current Miss Preston 2013/2014. I was crowned at the Playhouse theatre in October 2013 after my 3rd attempt at a Miss title.

Photo of Miss Preston Steph Leeson at the Harris Museum
Miss Preston – Steph Leeson at the Harris Museum

Winning was overwhelming and such an amazing feeling but at the same time I was really nervous about the standard I had to keep up as the new Miss Preston. Many title holders would agree with me, that being a Miss isn’t easy…they weren’t wrong.

A better experience!

When I won, many things ran through my mind. What was I going to different as the new Miss Preston?  What could I do for my city that would make it stand out from others? And what could I do to help make my experience as Miss Preston that little bit better?

Being Miss Preston will mean that over my year I will attend events. These all differ depending on what’s new in the city or what events are held, either way one thing was certain; I would be having my photos taken.

Camera shy?

When I was younger and a lot sweeter may I add! I was timid and didn’t really enjoy my photos being taken by people I didn’t know. Was this going to be the same case now then? Well not really as local professional Andy Bristow proved to me.

One of the first things I decided to do and to help kick start my experience as Miss Preston was to build a portfolio. These were to be images with me wearing my title and crown whilst also just being…me. So how did I know where to start? The truth is I didn’t know how to go about it, at the same time I was a little apprehensive about it.

Miss Prestin in cocktail dress at the Buluga Bar in Preston
Miss Preston at the Buluga Bar in Preston

Safety first!

As Miss Preston I had my image to protect so I had to ensure that I contacted the right photographer. I had already checked out Andy’s pictures as I knew of him and he had shot with some of my friends in the Miss England circle. Perfect! I rang the Miss England Regional manager Mark to make sure that I went through the right channels whilst also getting Andy checked over. This was a must, not only for my own personal image but also my safety. Mark assured me that he had worked with him before, so I got the go ahead.

Building on solid foundations!

Building a portfolio is important, and you want it to be professional and contain a large variety of images with different looks styles hair and make-up. The portfolio will enable me to help gain appearances and possible sponsors for the Miss England finals, all the money I raise for charity will go to ‘Beauty with a purpose’. This charity raises money for Hundreds of millions of pounds have been raised and donated to local and international organisations in aid of disadvantaged children the world over. This is why I knew I had to make sure I was getting it right.

That is why I chose Andy Bristow. I gave Andy a call and straight away wanted to meet him for a chat and go through ideas. I was really nervous upon meeting him but he made me feel really comfortable when we met at the local Starbucks. I looked at some of his images from previous models and was impressed.  I already had an idea of what images I wanted in my portfolio, these were based around the rounds of a Miss England final; swimwear, sports, day and evening gowns. Andy had some amazing ideas of perfect shooting locations! He came up with locations that I would never have even thought of, but they were beautiful! Tigers Clough waterfall for instance, it was gorgeous! And the pictures from that shoot were amazing I was so pleased! Even if this did mean we shot until my lips turned blue, literally! The best thing was it was totally freezing but Andy got stuck in and even got in the waterfall with me nearly knee deep.

Miss Prestin swimwear photoshoot at the beautiful waterfall - Tigers Clough in Rivington
Miss Preston swimwear photoshoot at Tigers Clough waterfall Rivington

An amazing experience!!

Shooting my portfolio was something that I needed to do. I just want to add that shooting my portfolio with Andy was amazing and I had such fun doing it. We had laughs as well as moments of frustration when the weather wasn’t behaving itself but I can honestly say I don’t think I will have as much fun on any other shoots to come. He made me feel so at ease and brought the best out of me; I wasn’t even shy and just got stuck in with him. I would advise any other Miss Title holders to build a portfolio, not only is it amazing fun but it could be the key to getting you more appearance and sponsors! Just make sure you get your manager to check out the photographer first or use Andy, I would certainly recommended him he’s amazing at his job! He is also now a friend and I look forward to shooting with him in the near future as he joins Miss England North West as our official portfolio photographer.

Best wishes,

Miss Preston 2013/2014, Stephanie Leeson



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