Nearly 40 tweens strutted their stuff in "Miss Junior Richmond Mall" for the seventh annual model search competition.
Four age groups had 10 finalists selected during the week to compete in Friday's grand finale, where an overall winner would be awarded a photoshoot and two-page spread in Wild Tomato magazine.
The competition tended to favour the 12-and-older "Miss Intermediate" or "Miss Teen" groups, said organiser Alana Riley, but a younger winner was not out of the question.
The former owner of Spotlight Models said her model search was not a beauty competition, and the event was really about letting kids experience being on the catwalk for the first time.
Judges Leonie Trathem, Rachel McRae-Woods and Alana awarded the children marks for confidence, personality and a sense of enjoyment.
"We're not looking for the prettiest outfit or the best make-up we don't even like them to wear make-up," she said.
She said last year's category judging babies aged 1 to 4 had been dropped as it "just didn't work."
"How do you pick a model in a little toddler?
"And they're all just so cute anyway," she said.
Alana said by the time they reached four, children understood about competitions and were able to take the event seriously.
The $2 entry charge made sure that the competitors were committed.
"This is serious stuff for these young kids," she said.
Dylan McRae, aged 11, was the only boy entered in the "Miss Junior" event on Tuesday. He said he took part because he had never been in a model competition before, and thought it might be like the Top Model television shows.
Nobody had given him a hard time about the competition, he said, and he felt good about his chances. Dylan was among the 10 finalists.