How to get your child to become a Model & Knowing If It’s a Good Decision.
How to get your child to become a Model: Are your kid’s photos loved in social media? Do your friends and family often suggest you make your munchkin a model? If your child is a darling before the camera and you are considering a career kick-start in modeling for him or her, read on this quick guide for all you need to know about child modeling and how to become a child model.
Can Your Child Be A Model?
You can initiate your child into modeling only if they like it and are comfortable with it. Ask yourself if being a model is your child’s aspiration or yours.
It is okay for your kid to do modeling as long as he or she is enjoying it and having fun. But if they are uncomfortable, call it quits.
Remember that modeling for children is not a money-making venture, and it should not be a source of income for you or your family.
As a parent, understand that modeling is not all about glamour and a pretty face. It takes hard work and patience for getting the first gig and then sustaining there. Therefore, analyze if your child is willing to take this additional burden along with their education.
The most important thing is you should not compromise on your child’s needs and rights such as their education, playtime, and relaxation.
Let’s suppose that you and your child have ticked positive on all the above considerations, would that be enough? No, because you need to consider your convenience and availability as well.
Things to Consider Before Getting Your Child into Modeling
Does your child want to do it? Is this something your child would enjoy? Step one is to ask your child what they think about it. My kids want to do it and look forward to booking jobs so modeling works for our family.
Good looks are a plus, but a child that loves the camera is what makes for great pictures. Knowing how to work the angles by moving your head a few inches to the right or left, up and down, can make the world of difference for a shot. Knowing the tricks to get the perfect shot is a skill that even a four-year-old can be good at.
A patient child. Most jobs are booked for a full day, usually ten to twelve hours. During that time there is a lot of waiting. If your child gets bored easily, doesn’t like waiting around, then modeling probably isn’t for them.
Faking it. If your child can’t pretend to be happy as soon as “action” is called then the director will not be pleased and you may not be rebooked for other jobs. When working with kids under four, most directors will book several children as a back-up so this may work out for you. But an older child is expected to be able to make it through several different scenes. Directors that work with children are usually good with children so they understand the emotions. But at some point, your child should be able to fake it.
A parent with a flexible schedule. Castings and callbacks can be annoying because it usually happens with less than a week’s notice (sometimes 24-hour notice) and it often never happens like the booking agency tells you it will happen. For example, on Monday you learn of a casting. You’re told castings will take place on Wednesday but then you get a call that castings have been moved to Thursday. When you show up for your appointment you wait two hours before your 5-10 minute turn is up. The booking agency tells you decisions will be made by Friday and the job will likely begin in one week. Friday rolls around, you hear nothing, you assume you didn’t get. Next Tuesday, you learn you booked the job it starts in two days, not the following week. If any of the above annoys you, modeling is probably not for you or your child. You have to be flexible go with the flow of things.
Are You Ready for Your Child’s Modeling Assignments?
Consider these points before you make a decision:
You will have to undergo a lot of stress and workload, which will be in addition to your career workload.
Sometimes you will need to keep yourself free for an entire day to take them for auditions, wait there for your turn and then drive back home.
If your kid gets selected, it means more breaks from your job. You should be available whenever you get a call and not just during the weekends or in the evenings.
You need to see if your work schedule is flexible enough to accommodate all these demands.
If you have planned all this and your child is interested too, then you can take a step towards modeling. The first step is to know the traits of a child model.
What Makes A Good Child Model?
Children do not have to be perfect to become a model. But here are some usual requirements:
Agencies look for children with good features such as healthy skin, big and bright eyes, shiny hair, and a smiling face.
Conventionally good-looking kids are in high demand. Children are selected depending on the type of cover or advertisement.
A “different” or unusual look might make your child unique. For example, young boys having long hair or an Asian child with green eyes or any other unconventional features could have an edge over others.
A child’s overall personality also matters. A fearless, happy, and the smiling kid is preferred to a kid who always needs their parents around.
The child needs to be friendly, outgoing, and comfortable interacting with strangers as they have to meet photographers and baby wrangles. They should be okay with a crowd of other kids.
The aspiring model should be good at taking advice and instructions from new people during shoots. A shy child will not be able to enjoy all the attention and thrills that come with modeling, while a carefree child will not like to listen to others.
Child modeling is as competitive as the adult modeling profession, but getting work is not impossible.
What Are The Chances Of Your Kid Getting A Modeling Job?
Out of 100 submissions, agency directors meet about seven to eight children and work at most with three of them.
Agencies that represent child models from birth to teenage receive several stacks of pictures and letters from parents and out of every day’s pile they generally meet two to three kids.
Your child’s chances of getting selected are high in the below cases:
The kid fits into popular clothing sizes.
You live in proximity to the agency’s office.
You are a capable parent – not pushy, good in handling rejections, can reschedule your day within a short notice, etc.
Your chances could be high if you personally know somebody in the industry. They can guide you and maybe connect you with the right people. Ultimately, it depends on your perseverance and preparation.
How To Get Your Child Into Modeling?
Click some good quality photos of your little one. The photos need not have to be professionally shot. One headshot and two full-body photographs should be enough to start with.
Approach some genuine modeling agencies after proper research, and share your child’s photographs and details such as age, weight, and height.
Share the profiles with multiple agencies. Then you have to wait for casting calls, also known as go-sees.
They will get back to you if they like the profile, and you will have to take your child for auditions.
If your child gets selected in the audition, your agency will intimate you. After your kid is done with the work, the agency will cut 10 to 20% of the model’s pay.
Remember that legitimate agencies never ask for money upfront. They only take their cut once your kid gets work. Be wary of such cheats who feed on the excitement of parents.
Do not confuse between a model scout and an agency. A scout charges for clicking pictures of your child, which they eventually send to agencies. You can do this on your own.
Your child may not be earning much from modeling as magazine and catalog shoots pay less. The rates are higher on the television and movies. Sometimes, very prestigious magazines or companies pay less but provide good exposure to your kid.
Do not relocate to a new city or country to kick-starting your child’s modeling career as no agency can promise assignments. Alternatively, you can continue sending photos to modeling contests and competitions online.
For modeling assignments, children often require to take leaves from school. Whenever your child takes a day off from school, keep the permission letter ready as most agencies will ask for it.
Your child may not get an assignment immediately after being selected by an agency. There is a process for that.
How to Take the Photos
Once you’ve got a good list of legitimate agencies, it’s time to start taking photos to send to them. You absolutely do not need professional photos at this point, nor do you need a bunch of fancy clothes.
Dress your child in something clean, casual, and simple, preferably in solid colors as prints can distract the eye from your child’s beautiful face. Think about what colors look great with your child’s eyes, skin, or hair. What you’re after are clean, clear photos that show off your child’s beautiful features to their best advantage. Here is a shortlist of “no-no’s” most agents do not like to see in submission photographs:
No pageant dresses
No hair covering the eyes
No closed eyes
No drool or runny noses
No “messy food face” photos or dirty bibs
No naked “bathtub” shots
No other children, people, or pets in the photo
No distracting backgrounds, such as piles of laundry, an unmade bed, or a bright floral couch
What you’re after is three or four nice, clean shots: perhaps one closeup of your child’s smiling face; another closeup with a thoughtful, pensive expression; one 3/4 body shot and one full-length body shot. In at least three of the four, your child should be looking directly into the camera. These are just guidelines; use your best judgment when selecting photos. Do send at least one close-up of your child smiling and at least one full body shot.
What Smart Steps Can You Take When Submitting To An Agency?
Research agencies in your area. Most legitimate agencies only require snapshots and don’t require you to pay money to work with their photographer prior to being signed. (Once you sign on with them, you may need to have professional portraits taken.)
Follow directions carefully. Some agencies prefer digital submissions while others prefer printed images submitted by mail. Thousands of people submit images every day. The only way to increase the odds that your pictures will be seen is to submit them in the manner requested by each agency.
Do a good job on your snapshots. For children under the age of 4, you definitely don’t need to hire a photographer for your initial submissions. Your child is changing way too frequently for this to be cost-effective. Agencies want to see clear pictures with minimal visual distractions. Set your camera to portrait mode and photograph your child in front of a white wall. A clean nose and face are always important. Include a variety of full body shots and headshots. Unless you are a skilled photo retoucher, do not run photo actions or filters on your images. Changing your child’s appearance is counterproductive. The agency needs to see what he or she actually looks like.
Don’t forget to include your child’s name, age, height, and your contact information along with the images!
Submit to numerous agencies at the same time(unless the agency indicates that it will not accept multiple submissions). If you don’t hear back from any of the agencies, don’t be disappointed. The market changes quickly. Try again. Persistence is almost always needed.
What to Expect After Signing Up With an Agency?
Here is what happens after signing up:
Go for auditions and go-sees: Your child may have to attend many cast calls before getting selected for their first assignment. These go-sees are usually tiring, and sometimes you may have to stand in a queue with more than 200 children waiting for their turn.
Additional photos: You may have to expand your child’s portfolio depending on the client’s requirements.
Quick process: Once you get your turn, the process gets over in a couple of minutes. Often your kid will be asked to try out the outfits.
The scope of work: Child models mostly work for in-store advertisements, magazines, catalogs, and store circulars.
Commitment: The work opportunities of your child will greatly depend on your patience and commitment. You may have to attend multiple go-sees in a day or none for several weeks.
Do remember that not every child will be successful in getting modeling assignments. Don’t make success so important that your child feels dejected about the ‘failure’. There is a long, promising life in front of them and myriad careers to choose from.
Is Becoming a Model Right for Your Child?
Becoming a model is not a great fit for every child. It’s probably obvious that friendly, outgoing children are best suited to modeling. A Child model also needs to be obedient and cooperative. A child model may be asked to do all kinds of uncomfortable things, like stand on a cold beach in a swimsuit, wear shoes that are way too small, or have their hairstyle changed three times in one hour.
If your child hates to have his hair combed, styled, and sprayed, or hates to repeatedly change outfits, modeling may not be right for him. If your child feels uncomfortable around adults he doesn’t know, modeling may not be right for him.
Babies should be generally easygoing and not afraid of going to people they’re unfamiliar with. Toddlers are, of course, unpredictable and can sometimes be hard to manage, but at least need to be able to cooperate and follow directions. Older children will be expected to project a certain degree of professionalism. While clients and agents alike understand that kids will be kids, they prefer easygoing, well-mannered children who follow directions well, catch on quickly, and don’t complain.
Your child also needs to be resilient. This is a tough field. No one is ever offered all the jobs they audition for. Of course, a baby or toddler will not have a clue that they weren’t selected for a job, but an older child will figure it out quickly. If a go-see does not materialize into a job, your child needs to be able to put it behind her and move ahead to the next one.