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Child Modeling 101: Are you sure?

I get this question a lot. 'How do I get my child into modeling?' Well, there's a lot that goes into this, but we will start with the first step in this post which is "Are you sure?" I think I will end up doing a series of Child Modeling 101.
Child Modeling Agency Signed Talent

Let me start out with saying that all kiddos are cute. Babies, toddlers, kids, tweens, teens - all super adorable {note: I have not seen the tween years yet, I've heard they are a bit hairy and awkward - I'll let you all know when we get there}. However, not all kids are cut out for modeling. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

1. Is my child out-going or shy?

This is probably one of the most important things. When you go into castings, the child has to usually go into a room without you. By themselves. Not only that, when they go into the room they have to be able to speak to the casting directors and agents, ask questions, show them a series of faces, do a dance and sometimes even impromptu act a little (depending on the gig). If your child cannot go into a room full of strangers and do these may want to consider other activities.

2. Do I (as the parent of the child) have time {and money} to spend?

Ooo this one is also extremely important. You will spend a LOT of time going to castings, auditions and bookings. If you live in a demanding market like New York, you could be requested to attend castings daily. This could mean a lot of shuffling your child to and from castings. If you don't live in a demanding market but live somewhat close this could mean a lot of driving or sometimes flying {ps: no travel reimbursements for castings}. The closest market to us is Chicago and it's a 4-5 hour drive. One casting/audition takes up an entire day. Driving there, doing the audition and driving home. Daphnie also does work in New York, but we are very picky on what jobs we choose to do.

3. Does your child like to take photographs and take them well? Do they have a good attention span?

Ok so let's just say at this point that all of these are equally good attributes to evaluate when considering child modeling. If you can't get your kiddo to take family photos with you by their side, they most likely won't take them by themselves for a complete stranger with a handful or room full or people watching. {kinda goes back to question #1} If they don't like to take photos, this is not for them.

4. Can you accept the fact that an agency {or multiple agencies} may turn you down?

Not everyone gets accepted to the first agency that they submit to, and some are never accepted. I'm sure you've heard of all of the big models {except Kendall Jenner of course!} say that they were turned down multiple times before they made it. The same thing will happen with your kiddo. You could be turned away from agencies and you will be turned down for castings. {You won't book every casting you attend, that's just how it is.} So be prepared to accept no with dignity, pick yourself up and keep going at it if this is truly what your child wants!

Child Modeling Agency Talent Child Modeling Agency Talent Child Modeling Agency Talent
photos by Molly Magnuson 

If you were able to say Yes! {with confidence} to all of the above then congratulations, you are ready to apply to an agency!

You will need to research agencies in your area. In general, steer clear of those that require you to pay money up front {they are usually a scam}. The ONLY thing you should have to pay for are headshots. Headshots are pictures you have taken {professionally} of your child for their portfolio. Your child's portfolio is what your agency shows casting directors so they can decide if they could see your child as a fit for the job they are casting for. If you are super serious about this and your child really likes it, then it would be a good idea to invest decently in good headshots. You will most likely pay $300+ for a good set of headshots, but you won't need these until after you have been signed by an agency.

Most agencies allow for online submissions which is great! It allows you to easily submit photos of your child to multiple agencies. When you choose what photos to send, always send crisp, clear, uncluttered images. You don't want anything to take away from your child {and yes, that basket of laundry lingering in the background is distracting}. Other agencies will ask that you physically send an application and photos through the mail.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post which will answer all of my FAQs about modeling! Please submit any questions you have below and I'll respond in the comments as well as in a future blog post!

Read my related Child 101 posts:

Child Modeling Agency Talent
Photo by Molly Magnuson

Child Modeling Agency Talent

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