Child Modeling 101: What to Expect After Signing with an Agency

Tuesday, May 09, 2017
You did it! You evaluated your child and your situation, applied to an agency and are now a proud parent of a signed mini model! So what now? Well, there are a few things you have to do and most likely your agency will have already gone over some of this with you, but just in case you were too mesmerized with your mini model and day-dreaming of all of the amazing things he/she will soon be out doing, I'll cover a few of the most important things you need to do as well as what to expect now.

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The Legal Stuff
Each state is different on what it requires you to do/have before your child can start working. At a minimum your little will need a work permit in the state that he/she will be working in. You can check your state laws on your state's labor website, your agent should have told you this when/before you signed so check your paperwork.
The next most common thing is a Trust account. Your kiddo is making the dough and some states (such as New York) believe that they deserve at least 10% of that dough that you are requierd to put into aTrust account. I am personally all about this rule and even when Daphnie does work outside of a state that requires it, we still deposit all of the money she makes into her very own bank account. She saves all of the money that she makes modeling and spends her allowance, pretty fair trade I think.
Okay so work permit and trust account - if required in your state, you must have these two things before you can work, so get it to it!

Not all agencies require that you have professional headshots. Personally, I think they are a must. You can read about how to find a great headshot photographer and watch Daphnie's latest session from just last month with an amazing NYC photographer here! Child Modeling 101: Headshots

Direct Bookings
Direct bookings are where a client chooses your child among a sea of photographs and wants to book them for a job without going through an audition. These are like rainbows, whereas they rarely happen - but when they do they are amazing! For us these are the best since the closest modeling market to us is 5 hour drive one way. Which means we travel 10 hour-round-trips two to four times for a single booking:  audition, call-back (sometimes), fitting (sometimes), and then the photoshoot. 

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Daphnie at an audition for American Girl™ 

You will go to far more castings and auditions than your child will actually book. That's just the name of the game. Don't say I didn't warn you, I totally covered it in my first Child Modeling 101 post. But it's not a bad thing, the more jobs you audition and the more your child is in front of the casting directors, the better! And don't forget to take your compcard!

Booked it!
Your kid landed their first job! Here are a few tips:
- Read every email from your agent fully from top to bottom. Every word. There is important information on there from where you need to go to what you should bring.
- Typically there isn't a ton of room, so only one parent and the model should attend the shoot.
-DO NOT be a stage mom. Don't. I know it's hard, trust me...but once your child is there for work, they need to be fully focused and zoned in on what they need to do. No distractions or mom telling them to 'smile pretty' from the sidelines. {I've heard that moms actually do this.}
-Always check to make sure it's okay before you snap any behind the scenes pics, some clients/photographers don't like it.

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Daphnie hanging out at a shoot for American Girl™ 

Most Important of All...
Have fun! Let your child be a child! Don't put too much stress and pressure on them. There will be some shoots where they may need to be super high-fashion and serious and other times where they want your little to have fun and be a kid! After all, they are most likely shooting children's products geared towards kids!

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