Helping Photographers Understand the HOWS & WHYS behind Great Photography

Child Modeling – 3 things your kid needs to succeed

 
 

If you are interested in child modeling for your son or daughter, there are some very important things to consider before you begin the process.  PLEASE take a few minutes and read the article:  Baby Modeling – 7 Things for Parents to Consider, before you dive in.

A successful child model is not just a cute and adorable kid.  We are talking about kids with tons of personality and parents who have done their research and are approaching the industry with a business mindset.

Here are 3 things that your kid needs to be successful in child modeling.

1. Personality
Every parent will say their child has so much personality.  That is not the personality I am talking about.  I am talking about whether or not your kid is good with strangers.  If you manage to get your child booked for a job, her or she will be working with adults that they are not familiar with.  If your child tends to become shy in these situations, they are not going to do well as a model.

2. Photographs
You do NOT need a modeling portfolio for your child, but you do need some photos.  Snapshots are best.  Do NOT pay a professional.  Infants, toddlers, and young children change in appearance much too quickly and the legitimate agencies understand that.

Under the age of 4 – modeling agencies will only need a few snapshots of your child.

  • Headshot (Head and shoulders) This picture should have a pleasing and natural smile. If your child is missing teeth – that’s ok – it’s part of being a kid.
  • Full-body shot (Head to toe)
  • Character shot This shot is a chance for your kid to be a little goofy and have some fun. It is a way for you to show agencies that your child is outgoing and a natural in front of the camera.

Have your kid wear solid colored clothing – no logos, no prints, patterns or florals.  Do NOT try to make a fashion statement or think that if you dress the kid in designer wear that the designer might hire them.  That’s not how it works.

Find a place that is bright and evenly lit – DON’T use a flash.  Open shade works great!

Make it a FUN event for your child.  Do not pressure them.  Make it a special time with Mom or Dad and be patient. Keep at it until the camera gets boring to them and you can get their real personality to shine through.  Don’t use “cheese” photos.

Don’t send 50 photos to the agencies – just three.  On the back of the photos include your child’s name, your name and address as well as a telephone number and email address.

Mail the photos to the child modeling agencies in your area along with a short (5 to 10 sentence) letter of introduction.

Do NOT call them and do NOT email them unless their website specifically asks you to.

For a list of modeling agencies:  Modeling Agency Directory

Whatever you do, DON’T PIMP YOUR KID!  Even as a baby, your child has to sell themselves.  When modeling agencies have to listen to parents go on and on about how incredible their child is, all they really hear in their head is “blah-blah-blah-blah-what time is lunch-blah”.

If a modeling agency accepts your child – you should update these pictures twice a year. (Every 6 months)

If your child get’s signed and if the modeling agency is having some success getting them work, then they may ask you to spend some money to have professional photos done.  A legitimate agency will not make this request until they have already secured a few jobs for your child and generally only for kids aged 4 to 13.

Child Modeling

3. Child Modeling Agency
Please remember a lesson that your parents taught you and that you will probably teach to your child when they grow up – NEVER kiss on the first Date!  If a modeling agency holds out their hand and asks you for money the first time they meet you, this is not an agency that is interested in getting your kid work as a child model.  Guaranteed, this is an agency that is simply interested in your wallet.

A good modeling agency will never pressure you into spending money for their website, classes or photography and will be patient and willing to educate you.  Do your research FIRST!  Start by looking through the list of modeling agencies on this website.  Then look them up online and ad the word “scam” to your search when you type in their name.  It is also a good idea to check with the local Better Business Bureau if you have any doubts.

So there you have it.  Child modeling requires very little investment to get started, but it is also not something that is likely to help pay for your child’s college tuition.

If you are considering submitting your son or daughter to child modeling agencies, be sure read the article:  Baby Modeling – 6 Things for Parents to Consider.

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