Smiling man with salt-and-pepper hair and facial hair

Frank Margold

Frank Margold was born on April 15, 1975, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Milton and Betty Margold.

Milton was a newspaper photographer, and Betty was a housewife. Frank had an older brother, Bob, and an older sister, Margaret.

Almost immediately, the young Frank showed an affinity for his father's darkroom and the chemicals and the smells. He played with his father's old cameras, and as he got older, he spent hours going through the photos his dad had taken in war zones and other overseas assignments.

In school, Frank was a decent student but did not excel. He spent all of his time and energy taking photos for the school newspaper. After high school, Frank attended the University of Arkansas and studied journalism with a focus on photojournalism.

After he earned his degree, Frank moved to Memphis and worked as a freelance photographer. He often chased ambulances and police cars so he could snap exclusive shots that appeared on the front page of The Commercial Appeal. On the weekends, Frank photographed weddings and took family portraits.

As his photo studio business grew, Frank began doing more fashion photography for Memphis area clothing stores and department stores. He often shot the advertisements for Dillard's or McRae's that appeared in the fold-out section in the newspaper.

This fashion work enabled Frank to build a stable of young female models. Ole Miss co-eds would drive up I-55, and Frank would find them modeling gigs in Memphis. Or country girls from Arkansas would come to town, and Frank would snap them for a local advertisement.

By the time he was in his late 30s, Frank was viewed as a small-town expert on beauty. Not as cosmopolitan or experienced as Hugh Hefner and not as metropolitan or artistic as Herb Ritts, Frank nonetheless was often stopped on the street by a doting mother asking him to "rate" her beautiful daughter. The mother usually requested Frank's expert evaluation of just how gorgeous a young girl was and then immediately pressed him to get her daughter work as a model.

Due to his reputation as a local beauty expert, Frank soon began working the pageant circuit. He was sensational, and his assessments could be harsh, bordering on cruel, as he adopted an approach similar to the unfiltered critiques seen on some talent competition TV shows. He was known to make pageant contestants cry, which infuriated their parents but delighted the audience.

For the last several years, Frank has continued his photo studio business and representing models. He enjoys the pageants and takes his work as a judge seriously.

 

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