After our story on 50 Cent’s two-year-old landing a $700,000 modeling campaign, many of you shared adorable photos of your little ones on our Facebook and asked for child modeling advice. We did a little research over the weekend and found some valuable insight into the industry. Keep in mind that making $700,000 is very rare, even for adult models, and probably won’t be the case for your child.
Before investing the time into finding your child an agency and going on castings, first make sure that modeling is something that he is genuinely excited about. Your kid should never feel pressured to model or feel like you will be mad if he decides it’s not something he wants to do. Once you’re certain that your little one is really on board, take note of the tips below.
Take clear and clean photos.
When taking snapshots of your kid, note that less is more. As adorable as the photo of him with cake and sprinkles all of over his face may be, that typically isn’t the photo that agencies want to see. Instead, he should be facing the camera; no hat, sunglasses or makeup. “You can easily take this kind of picture at home with a digital camera,” according to BabyCenter.com. “Make sure the pictures show your child’s features and take a variety of poses, including head shots and full-body shots.” The photos should be in color.
Once you’ve taken several quality photos, send two to three by mail to reputable agencies “with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a short letter stating your interest,” Charles Ramsey, owner of Product Model Management in New York City, tells Parents.com.
Don’t spend a fortune on photos.
You don’t have to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on professional photos. Some agencies may try to convince you that this is necessary, but it is not and agencies that say otherwise are probably running a scam. Margaret Pelino of Ford Models tells Parents.com, “But why would you spend a fortune taking pictures of, say, a 3-year-old? He’s not going to look the way he does for very long.” Simple at-home snapshots are actually preferred among many top agencies. An agency may ask if you have a composite card (a card with several small photos of your child) which shouldn’t cost much more than $200.
Never pay money upfront.
One of the biggest signs that an agency is conning you is if they ask you for money upfront. Most reputable agencies will not start taking money until your child has been signed and companies are booking him for work. Parents.com says that once the model is signed, the agencies “usually take a cut of about 20 percent from you for setting up each modeling job and the same sum from the company that hires your child.” If an agency is trying to persuade you to pay any initial fees, especially if they’re costly, decline their offer and continue your search for representation elsewhere.
Go with a reputable and registered agency.
Doing your research on agencies is critical so that your child is protected and has a good experience. Pick an agency that is registered with the Better Business Bureau and one that has an impressive portfolio to reflect their credibility. You representation should have some proof, whether a page on their website or via their social media, of campaigns that they’ve booked for their clients. For example, Future Faces’ official Facebook page has multiple photos of their clients in ads for top brands like Ruum and H&M.
For safety purposes, never leave your child alone with an agent or photographer. Be with him at all times, even if the agency is reputable, to ensure that his physical and emotional safety are protected.
We hope that these tidbits helped. These are just basic pointers and you should continue to do more research if child modeling is something of interest to your family.