Keri Wiginton Photography


Molly Storts, 13, a pageant veteran who has been competing since the age of 9, skeptically looks at her longtime modeling coach, DiAna Carrasquillo, 42, as Carrasquillo makes suggestions on how to salvage Stort's damaged rhinestone-laden competition gown, which arrived just days before Storts was to compete in the 2005 Sweet Pea Pageants National Finals in Cocoa Beach.
Storts, and first-time modeling students Meagan Russak, 13, Tharra Rudnick, 8, and Theresa Fulgenzi learn the correct posture to use when competing in beauty pageants.
Carrasquillo, owner and head instructor at DiAna's Dance Express in Spring Hill, teaches Michaela Leon, 4, right, how to make pretty hands.
Jasmine Wilson, 4, gets her foundation applied in Carrasquillo's one-room studio before competing n the Little Miss/Mr. Octoberfest Sweet Pea Pageant.
Kelly Hennessey tells Leon, her daughter, to be quiet during dress rehearsal at modeling II class.
Linda Wilson, left, dresses her daughter, Diane, 4, while Storts applies her eye makeup in the bathroom of the Gulf View Square Mall before competing in the Little Miss-Mr. Octoberfest Pageant.
Tiffany Wilson, left, dresses her daughter, Jayden Wilson, 2 months, center, while Wilson's daughter, Jasmine Wilson, 4, looks on before the girls compete.
Storts frowns as her mother tries to perfect the "Barbie Flip" moments before the 2005 Sweet Pea Pageants National Finals in Cocoa Beach.  "Just fix it," said Storts.
Kylee Buffardi, 5, left, stands next to her cousin, Naobi Lantigua, 15, after the two received their trophies in the Sweet Pea Pageant held in the Crystal River Mall.
 Carrasquillo's group stands with their trophies, crowns and plaques after competing in the 2005 Sweet Pea Pageants National Finals in Cocoa Beach.
All images are © Keri Wiginton, St. Petersburg Times or Chicago Tribune.