November 30, 2014

Kiddos and Modeling

I have to say one of the questions I get asked most frequently is from parents wondering how to get their child started in modeling. Often even for babies and toddlers. They are told by friends and family that their child should model, but they don't know where to get started. My advice may vary per child - their look, age, and market are all things to consider for more strategic career advice. However, I believe there are some basic moves that can get a parent going in the right direction.

1. Have realistic expectations, and ask yourself if you're ready to commit.

Work for adult models is competitive. There are few paying jobs and a lot of competitors. Child modeling is even more difficult, as there are even fewer jobs available. To get a paying job you will have to lose some money first. Your child will need some images for a portfolio, which will probably require a paid test shoot with a photographer. Then you will have to pay for gas to get them to and from castings.

Also, depending on what decent size markets may be nearby you may need to commute a bit. This will take up a lot of your time as the chaperoning parent. You will need to have a flexible schedule and availability on short notice, as castings can happen at any time and you will be expected by an agency to make the majority of them.

You also need to be realistic about whether you are purely doing this for yourself, or for your child. It can be a lot of pressure on a young child to be expected to perform and act a certain way. If your child has an inkling in the direction of performing, then be supportive of that. If not, you should really consider another activity for your child. There are downsides to this job like any other, and the payoff has to be emotional as well as financial in order to for you both to deal with the hard days. This will become even more important if your child stays in the industry long enough to face the pressures of maintaining a certain body type. If it isn't a dream of their own, it honestly isn't worth it.

2. Do your homework.

You'll need to know what the nearest modeling market is and what agencies are operating there. Google should be suitable on this front. Make sure the agencies you find do indeed represent children, because not all agencies do. Some only take models of a certain height and age - maybe starting at 13 or 16. You can find this information on their website. Look into the agencies who represent your division and find out who is reputable. Check Yelp. If they have multiple recent bad reviews you may want to take that seriously, or even reach out to the person who made the review for further information. Most models who have had a bad experience will be happy to help you make an informed decision. As always, just use your best judgement. There are both good and bad agencies out there. Be aware and do your due diligence.

3. Submit.

Professional agencies who are taking submissions will have clear instructions on their website about how to submit. They all do. Some will have you upload images into an online form, others may have you send an email with specifics, and some may have an open call that you can attend. Follow their instructions precisely! Then wait and see! If you don't get a response you can always submit again later - just make sure to allow some solid time in between submissions, maybe six months.


I hope this info can be of some benefit to you guys! If you have any more questions please ask below!

Xo
Ellen

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