Meet the child models who are taking the fashion world by storm – and earning big bucks in the process
Top child models can earn six-figure sums for TV ads and up to $1,500 per day for editorial work
They have fronted campaigns for brands such as Chanel, Fendi, J Crew and Dolce & Gabbana – and all before their twelfth birthdays
Forget Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss, there are a whole host of fresh new fashion faces on the scene who are quickly becoming the toast of the modeling industry – before they’ve even reached their twelfth birthdays.
According to an article by Jane Ridley at the New York Post, these mini models are now among some of fashion’s highest-earning stars, with many commanding six-figure sums for one television commercial and up to $1,500 per day for editorial work.
Take 11-year-old Ekaterina Samsonov. Despite her young age, Ekat – as she is known to her friends – has already appeared in campaigns for the likes of J Crew, DKNY, Macy’s and JC Penney, earning a reported $50,000 in the last year alone.
Pint-sized star: Ekaterina Samsonov has already modeled for the likes of DKNY, J Crew and Macy’s
Like father, like son: Hudson Kroenig, son of Chanel model and muse Brad Kroenig (right, with Hudson, in January 2013), has already modeled for Chanel (left), Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi
High earner: Lily Chee has raked in $12,500 this year thanks to her work with the likes of Nike and Levi’s
And as if that wasn’t enough, the pint-sized fashion star has also landed herself roles in two upcoming movies. The first, Anesthesia, which also stars Kristen Stewart, is due out later this year, while indie drama The Ticket is set to hit screens some time in 2015.
Then there’s Hudson Kroenig, the six-year-old son of Chanel model and muse Brad Kroenig and his wife Nicole.
Hudson made his catwalk debut alongside his famous father in the Chanel S/S ’11 show and since then has gone on to appear in campaigns for Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana. He has also appeared in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar and W Magazine.
While Hudson’s annual earnings are kept a closely-guarded secret by his parents, it’s thought that he is most likely to be one of the world’s top-earning child models, thanks in large part, no doubt, to his impressive fashion heritage.
MONEY MATTERS: WHICH MINI MODELS EARNED THE MOST LAST YEAR?
1. Ekaterina Samsonov, $50k
The 11-year-old had a bumper year thanks to campaigns for J Crew, Macy’s and JC Penney – to name but a few. She also earned an unspecified five-figure sum for her work on a Nutella commercial for network TV that took a day to film.
2. Baylor and Hudson Cryder, $45k each
Both Baylor, 10, and Hudson, 7, have well and truly earned their place among fashion’s elite, after landing jobs with the likes of Ralph Lauren Children, J.Crew and Oscar de la Renta Kids.
3. Lily Chee, $22k
After being discovered by a Whilemena Models scout while shopping with her dad, 11-year-old Lily has worked with Nike, Levi’s, Kohls, Uniqlo and Ralph Lauren.
4. Julian O’Neill, $12,500
Despite his young age, seven-year-old Julian has already worked with a huge number of high-profile brands, including Hanna Andersson, Euroclub Kids, Roberto Cavalli Kids, Vogue Bambini and Toys R Us.
5. Hudson Kroenig, unknown
While six-year-old Hudson’s exact earnings have not been revealed, insiders believe that the Chanel campaign star is likely to be one of the highest-earning mini models around.
And while Ralph Lauren model Lily Chee took a slightly different route into the industry – she was discovered by a Whilemina Models scout while shopping with her dad Max two years ago – that hasn’t stopped her from amassing an extensive portfolio of editorial work which includes campaigns for Nike, Levi’s, Kohls and Uniqlo.
The 11-year-old’s modeling has earned her $22,000 in the last year – a figure which looks set to keep rising if her popularity continues.
There are also a number of sibling mini models currently scaling the fashion ladder.
Baylor and Hudson Cryder are two of the most popular child models currently working in the industry and the pair have achieved the type of success that many adult models can only dream of.
Baylor, 10, recently appeared on the front cover of Vogue Bambino, while Hudson, 7, was flown out to the Bahamas in order to appear alongside British socialite India Hicks in a Ralph Lauren shoot.
‘It was crazy,’ mother Mary said of the whirlwind trip during an interview with the New York Post. ‘But most of the work is in and around New York City.’
Sisters Emilie and Alexandra Su lead a similarly jet-set lifestyle. The duo regularly appear alongside each other on high-profile campaigns around the world and have recently worked with the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue, Target, Uniqlo, H&M, GlaxoSmithKline and Nickelodeon.
Thankfully for the pair, their mother, Jayne Choi, is incredibly supportive of their early career path.
‘I love the confidence [that] modeling has brought my daughters,’ she told the New York Post. ‘They have good manners and the poise and focus [that] you need in this industry.’
Sister, sister: Emilie (right) and Alexandra Su have both appeared on giant billboards in Asia
Family ties: Brothers Hudson (left) and Baylor Cryder are two of the top-earning child models in the business
Model behaviour: Julian O’Neill is a rising star in the child modeling industry and has already appeared in a 12-page spread in Elle
According to renowned children’s photographer Lee Clower, it’s not the parents’ opinions who matter when it comes to child modeling – but rather the young fashionistas who are doing the work.
The New-York based snapper’s work is regularly featured in Vogue Bambino and PetitePARADE magazines and he has worked on numerous occasions with many of the world’s leading young models.
He told MailOnline: ‘The most important element of a star kid is that the kid wants to be there at the shoot, not that the mom wants the kid there.’
A child dubbed ‘the most beautiful girl in the world’ is at the centre of a controversy after landing a lucrative modelling contract – at the age of 10.
Kristina Pimenova has been working since she was just three years old.
She has more than 1.2 million Instagram followers who signed up to see her posing in fashionable clothing , from skinny jeans to minidresses.
But the Russian child supermodel is famous for the wrong reasons, say critics, with many fearing she’s a target for paedophiles.
Kristina, from Moscow, has worked for Vogue, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana , and is now signed for the ‘Youths’ section of LA Models.
Kristina’s mum, Glikeriya Shirokova – herself a former model – runs the social network sites, while her dad is former international footballer Rusian Pimenov who played for Russia in the 2002 World Cup.
Her Facebook page says Kristina got into modelling while on shoots with her mum, now 40: “Anywhere her mom would go, people would tell her how adorable Kristina was and tell her to try modelling.
“Her mom decided to try it out and Kristie soon realised how much fun it was, especially catwalk and fashion shows. She’s been having a blast ever since and is still loving every minute of it!”
The rules of the page state: “All the content shared on this page should be kid friendly. Any video or pictures posted here that is not appropriate for Kristina’s age will be deleted.”
In an interview with MailOnline last year, Glikeriya said: “You must think like a paedophile in order to see something sexual in these pictures, so it is time for you to see a doctor.”
On her 10th birthday, Kristina’s Instagram image showed her in a silver sequinned minidress.
Comments included Emiiiii_2701’s stunned: “She’s freaking 10 yrs old.”
Other images have comments including: “She is only 10 it’s not fair,” and “Later she walks for Victoria’s Secret as a angel.”
Too young to be a supermodel? Meet nine-year-old Kristina Pimenova, the controversial child fashion star dubbed ‘the most beautiful girl in the world’
- Kristina Pimenova, from Moscow, Russia, has been modeling since the age of three, for clients including Vogue, Roberto Cavalli and Armani
- Her mother manages her social media accounts and regularly posts candid snaps to her Instagram page, which has over 300,000 followers
- The photos often invite disturbing comments, some describing Kristina as ‘a babe’ or making lewd comments about her legs
- Others have expressed their concern that she is being ‘sexualized’
Kristina Pimenova may only be nine years old, but she’s been a hugely successful model since the age of three, and is widely touted ‘the most beautiful girl in the world.’
Kristina, from Moscow, Russia, has been walking catwalks since the age of four, graced the prestigious cover of Vogue Bambini when she was seven, and has already been the face of Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani and Benetton, among others.
She also has a legion of fans – more than two million Facebook followers – but also a large handful of concerned critics who insist she’s being sexualized. Indeed, recent comments on her Instagram photos include users declaring her a ‘babe’ and praising her ‘long legs.’
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Child star: Russian Kristina Pimenova (pictured) may only be nine years old, but she’s been a hugely successful model since the age of three, and is widely touted ‘the most beautiful girl in the world’
With her long honey blonde hair, piercing azure eyes and angelic facial features, Kristina’s breathtaking beauty is undeniable.
Her mother Glikeriya Shirokova, unsurprisingly a former model herself, seemingly manages her daughter’s career and mans her various social media accounts.
She regularly updates Kristina’s Instagram feed with photos of her, both professional and candid, and states that Kristina ‘DOES NOT post on the internet.’
The nine-year-old’s Facebook biography reads: ‘She first got started in modelling when she was 3 years old, anywhere her mom would go, people would tell her how adorable Kristina was and tell her to try modelling.
‘Her mom decided to try it out and Kristie soon realized how much fun it was, especially catwalk and fashion shows.
‘She’s been having a blast ever since and is still loving every minute of it.’
Gifted: Kristina has been walking catwalks since the age of four, graced the cover of Vogue Bambini when she was seven, and has been the face of Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani and Benetton
Face of an angel: She also has a legion of fans, including more than two million Facebook followers and 300,000 Instagram followers
Candid: Her mother Glikeriya Shirokova seemingly manages her daughter’s career and mans her various social media accounts, regularly posting snaps to Instagram, including this one, captioned ‘Bedtime’
Worrying: The above photo triggered several mentions of Kristina’s legs, with one user declaring her ‘a babe’ (pictured)
Little is known about Kristina’s older sister Natalia – her only sibling – but one fan site, Kristina Pimenova UK, states she is 15, studying in England and presumably not a model.
Kristina, having evidently won the genetic lottery in more ways than one, is also a gifted competitive gymnast.
Kids corner: Although Kristina only models children’s clothing, and wears little – if any – make-up in her professional shots, photos which involve her wearing shorts or little skirts often invite disturbing comments
Say cheese: Her Facebook biography reads, ‘Kristie soon realized how much fun [modeling] was, especially catwalk and fashion shows. She’s been having a blast ever since and is still loving every minute of it’
Although she only models children’s clothing, and wears little – if any – make-up in her professional shots, photos which involve her wearing shorts or little skirts often invite disturbing comments.
‘Creepy pic for a child,’ writes one commenter of a candid photo of Kristina wearing leopard print hot pants, while another, seemingly male user, wrote: ‘I like it.’
In response to one comment about Kristina’s ‘sexy legs’, another wrote: ‘Treating a child like a adult, taking adult style photos is so wrong.
‘You are sexifying your daughter and parents like you are the reason why girls grow up to have many issues… also there are so many sick ppl out their that look at these in sexually ways.
‘My child would never ever ever ever ever wear shorts this tight and small ever [sic].’
Sporty: ‘Creepy pic for a child,’ writes one commenter on this photo of Kristina wearing leopard print hot pants, while another, seemingly male user, wrote, ‘I like it’
Adorable: A photo of Kristina when she was a toddler
Parents: Kristina’s mother Gilkeriya (left) is a former model and her father (right) is Ruslan Pimenov, a 33-year-old retired footballer who played for Russia in the 2002 FIFA World Cup
Her mother Glikeriya claims she frequently deletes inappropriate comments, and lists ‘rules’ on Kristina’s Facebook page including: ‘All the content shared on this page should be kid friendly.
‘Any video or pictures posted here that is not appropriate for Kristina’s age will be deleted and whoever posted it will be blocked.’
She also states: ‘Kristina’s pictures can not be used for role playing.’
Mom: Glikeriya (left) lists ‘rules’ on Kristina’s Facebook page including, ‘All the content shared on this page should be kid friendly,’ and, ‘Kristina’s pictures can not be used for role playing’
Some argue that Kristina’s photos are entirely innocent and that adults are projecting their own agendas onto essentially neutral images.
‘You can say her expression is sultry in her photos, or suggestive, or too mature,’ one London-based model agent, who prefers to remain anonymous, tells MailOnline.
‘Or you can say she looks moody and sulky. Essentially, you’re just looking at a girl who happens to be extraordinary beautiful. Perhaps if her face was that of an average-looking child, no-one would be having this conversation.’
I am a little boy living in a poor town of Eastern Europe.
I love singing and dancing as well as taking photos of myself and become a model but my parents don’t allow me to become famous or any kind of public person.
I started collecting photos of girls mostly from music scene when I was 12 years old then discovered the nonude child modeling websites at 14 and over years I collected over 200 GB of photo sets and videos which now I want to share with everyone on this blog!
Unlike other teenagers who watch porn often, personally I am NOT interested in porn or any form of adult entertainment. I look only at well dressed people.
Most photo sets were obtained via private exchange with other collectors, and from torrents which are now dead. You are welcome to send me your photos and I will send some of mine for free!
We are a 100% legal website that has no nudity, sexual or erotic poses no lewd photography no photos are designed to arouse anyone. We were not designed for pedophiles. If you came there looking for girls to have sex, please quit this website. Do not post sexual or other inappropriate comments.
All girls are professional models who published their photos online via their agencies. I, as website admin, I do not take any photos. Also I do not have contact info of the models, if you want to contact the models you may try to contact the agencies who originally took photos, if they are still running (many agencies are dead).
This website just collect photo archives mostly from defunct agencies, photos that can hardly be found online. These photo sets were originally available via subscription about 20-60 USD per month. Some photo sets were available also on torrents, but the torrents died having no more seeders. So the only way to download the photos is from collectors like me posting them online.
Some photos are sourced from major image hosting websites (Flickr, Instagram, etc)
pretty Lena came from Russian, she got pretty face and good figure ,and she is a professional model , every her pose and motion was so elegant and charming,i just took her very motion, and closed to to window, used the natural light without flash , she was gorgeous indeed
Download link: beautiful-russian-girl-lena.zip
2017 updated version!
Laura Niemas: https://www.instagram.com/lauraniemas/
Jade Weber: https://www.instagram.com/jade_weber_…
Nicole Summers: https://www.instagram.com/jade_weber_…
Zhenya Kotova: https://www.instagram.com/zhenyakotov…
Yana Kozlova: https://www.instagram.com/yanakozlova…
Lilly Kruk: https://www.instagram.com/liliannakruk/
Alisa Samsonova: https://www.instagram.com/alisasamson…
Anastasia Bezrukova: https://www.instagram.com/anastasiabe…
Laneya Grace: https://www.instagram.com/official_la…
Kristina Pimenova: https://www.instagram.com/kristinapim…
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.
Having a child in the modeling industry can be both an exciting and, at times, a chaotic experience. And Lisa Pimber — whose son, Kaeden, was not only the first boy to have his face on every bottle of Downey on the shelves of Target, but was also featured in the Summer 2012 issue of Scottsdale Living magazine — has experienced it all, and shares a few tips on what it takes to be the parent of a child model.
child model parent tipsThe life of a parent with children in the entertainment industry can be both exciting and overwhelming. As for me, my son Kaeden was signed by a modeling agency at age three, and after just two months, he landed his first gig as the first boy to be pictured on the bottle of Downey.
Living in California at the time (about two years ago), we drove to auditions in Los Angeles, which is where the Downey audition was held. Kaeden wore, as requested, a light blue shirt and blue shorts, as did the 15 other boys who were selected to audition. Just a week later, we received the call that him and his dad would be flying to San Francisco for the photo shoot. We got the job!
child model, parent tipsAfter this photo shoot, Kaeden auditioned a minimum of once per week, with gigs ranging from commercials to retail stores. My husband became a full-time dad, taking Kaeden to all of his auditions and booked gigs. Take note: Because you aren’t notified of most auditions until the night before, one parent always needed to be ready and available on the drop of a dime. That was my husband, but he always enjoyed spending time with Kaeden. And, in between jobs and auditions, my husband would work with Kaeden on the alphabet, reading and vocabulary, and most importantly, manners.
child model, parent tipsKaeden’s baby sister, Hailey, came along and joined into the fun. Her first audition was when she was 11 months old for a Johnson & Johnson’s commercial. She did an amazing job, but because I refused to have her hair cut, as she only had a little to begin with, she didn’t get it. It’s my belief that if you don’t feel comfortable, you can say “no”; there are always other jobs. And, a few months later, Hailey booked Carter’s, a children’s clothing store.
Both children enjoy what they’re doing, modeling. Kaeden, now seven years old, has been in two commercials, on three Mattel toys, in one independent film, on two product labels, and on several in-store ads and Internet ads for retail stores and businesses. Hailey has been on a few clothing labels and several Internet promotions. We moved from California to Arizona about two years ago, and since then, it has been very difficult to attend all auditions due to the cost and time it takes to drive to L.A. with little to no notice.
My advice to anyone wanting to enter the talent/entertainment industry (especially child models) is to do your research first. I’ve also provided some tips below:
If an agency says they will take you, but you have to pay money upfront, do not sign. We have never had to pay a cent for our agent in California.
However, you will need to pay for your own photo sheets, composite cards and zed cards, which are basically a compilation of a few photos to take to and leave at an audition ― much like a business card or headshot. These photos are extremely important, and you should always be prepared to pay between $150-$300 a session for three to five looks. Keep in mind that you must update your comp. cards every six months; babies need to update them more often as they grow and change quickly.
Be willing to travel on a day’s notice for an audition that can take as little as three to four minutes. There have been times when we would leave Phoenix at 5 a.m. and get home at midnight for Kaeden to be at school at 8 a.m. that morning.
You cannot pick and choose the auditions. You must commit 110 percent to each and every audition or your agent may not submit you for work.
Know the children labor laws as there are several laws for working on set. For instance, if you work in California, you will need to apply for a Coogan account for your child. This means that some of his/her earning will be deposited and blocked until they reach the age of 18. This must be renewed every six months. You can find this information on the California Department of Public Relations’ Web page.
We believe education is our children’s No. 1 priority, so be sure you speak with your child’s school to arrange how they can get their assignments turned in when they can’t make it to class. When our Kaeden is absent from school, which is often, we always get homework from the teachers for him to complete so he doesn’t fall behind. And with a teacher always present on set to help the kids with their homework, Kaeden has even received Honor Roll Student of the Year at his school for all four quarters, which has made us so proud! With Hailey in preschool, her dad makes sure she knows her numbers and alphabet; this year, he plans to have her reading before she starts kindergarten.
If your child makes more than $400 a year, they must file taxes. It’s best to keep all receipts and expenses documented, just in case they need to file taxes. Kaeden has filed taxes since he was three years old, and both kids are saving their hard-earned money for school. Kaeden even has his first year of college paid for from his paychecks.
While the industry seems like a lot of fun, there’s a lot of work involved for the child ― and even more so for the parents. People always ask us, “Why do you do it? Why do you spend money to travel to auditions?” It’s all about supporting my children in whatever they want to do, whether that is to be become movie stars or models. Education will always be their No. 1 priority, but we plan on giving our children every opportunity they deserve. We will be right there to support them with whatever they decide to do outside of school, and if one day they decide they don’t want to model anymore, than we will stop and move to something else they would like to learn.
Good luck, and one last tip? Never take it to heart. If you don’t get a job, there will always be another audition and another gig. Just have fun, and enjoy yourself.
It is a common observation that plenty of clothing is designed for teens or children rather than adults. As a result of this, it doesn’t make sense for an adult to model them. It is only modeling agencies that can solve this problem with the help of child models. Child modeling may, therefore, be understood as modeling done by individuals under the age of 18. These include toddlers, babies, elementary students, and preschoolers.
Child models usually appear in TV shows, advertisements, magazines, newsletters and store advertisements. Additionally, they can appear in some traditional fashion shows and the pageants.
For young kids, modeling agents require models that understand the job and fit to do the job on their own. In common practice, models who are average in weight are best suited and more importantly, very outgoing for camera shots. Also, these models must at least be 5’6″ with average waist size of 23 inches.
Establishing a child modeling business does not require a modeling agent, but with an agent, one is guaranteed of plenty modeling jobs and better exposure. A modeling agent offers special tips on the competitions and companies that are required. Unfortunately, these agents must be paid for their services. These payments are regarded as fees and depend solely on the experience of the agent, location, percentages of the charges and total time spent during the child modeling.
Children are not regarded as adults; therefore, they are subject the child labor laws. This means that the child is not subjected to excessive time per day by the child models. Additionally, the child modeling environment is expected to be very safe and conducive so that the child is not exposed to bad morals because the age is not appropriate.
Compensation for child modeling varies and depends on the company rights sold in the form of photographs and the length of job. Regardless of the pay, child models are normally minors; therefore, the modeling agencies must validate the payment terms with the parents or any legal guardian who shall handle the money for compensation. This is necessary in order to satisfy all parties involved in child modeling.
In some cases, compensation may be awarded in other forms such as child education funding, future jobs, merchandise or clothing. Other agencies do this in order to promote themselves or their products while some do it so as to discourage the parents or guardians from using their children for monetary gain in the long run. Therefore, before child modeling is initiated, it imperative that all parties agree to the compensation terms so as to avoid legal battles in the future. Legal battles involving minors is often a setback to any child modeling firm.
Child modeling is indeed a good job that does not solely relies on long term commitments from the parents. In some cases, agencies involved in a child modeling offer contracts to parents for certain jobs for a given period of time. Parents are advised to ensure that their children are able to handle child modeling requirements before entering into contractual commitments in the long run.
Everyone tells you your dimpled darling should be a model, but does your child have what it takes? Do you?
We asked two of the top agents in the business and the mother of a child model to share their insights and their best tips for breaking into child modeling. Find out what modeling is really like for kids and parents and how to start a career.
Does your child have what it takes to be a model?
It takes a lot more than a pretty face to make a good model. Temperament and personality are just as key to a child’s success.
“No one will book a kid if they’re not nice,” says Patti Fleischer, owner of Generation Model Management in New York. “Being sweet is important. But most important, a child should be well behaved and able to take direction.”
Carey Olsen, of Ford Models in San Francisco, agrees. “Temperament is very important. A child must be comfortable speaking with strangers and taking direction from them. She should also be able to handle large crowds of kids and stay focused on the audition.”
Most successful child models are also small for their age. That way they can play the part of a younger child but have the maturity level of an older one.
Before you pursue modeling for your child, ask yourself whether he’s comfortable around a lot of other children and adults. Is he generally outgoing? Can he pay attention for long periods of time? If the answer is yes, then your child might have the right personality for modeling.
Laura, a BabyCenter mom whose 28-month-old daughter has been in modeling for a year, says her little girl’s temperament has helped her be successful. “My daughter is very outgoing. She smiles and laughs all the time. Personality definitely comes through on camera. If you have a shy child, there’s no point in forcing her into modeling. She won’t have a good time, she probably won’t get picked for jobs, and it will make you miserable. ”
Also consider whether you and your child can handle disappointment. Olsen cautions, “You can expect to go on many go-sees before you get a job. Just like in the adult world, you hear many no’s before you hear one yes.”
Even moms whose child has been modeling for a while can be bothered by such rejections. “My daughter once had a job and got paid, but they ended up using another girl in the catalog,” says Laura. “I was devastated. It hurt so much that they thought someone else was ‘better’ than my daughter.”
Another key question to ask yourself: Does your child want to be a model, or do you want your child to be a model? Most babies will let you know whether they’re comfortable around strangers and enjoy the attention, but it can be harder to tell with an older child. Some kids say they’re interested in modeling just to please their parents.
Without the drive to succeed, most children won’t do well in the industry. “It has to be something a kid wants to do and something that’s fun,” says Fleischer.
Do you have what it takes to be the parent of a model?
The bulk of the work behind a child’s modeling career is done by the parent. Be prepared for plenty of driving and waiting. Parents with a lot of free time do the best.
“It’s definitely much more stressful for me than for my daughter,” Laura says. “You’re usually given about a day’s notice for the go-see, sometimes just a few hours. You show up, fill out a form, and wait your turn. Your child is called in, they take pictures and interact, and then you go home. If they want to book you, they call your agency.”
The amount of time spent driving to various jobs also depends on where you live. The major markets for modeling are New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, but both Fleischer and Olsen caution against relocating for your child’s career.
“A family shouldn’t relocate for representation,” says Olsen. “New York, L.A., and Miami have more opportunities than a small town in Georgia, but an agent can’t guarantee anyone work.” Since kids typically work just a few times a year and make only a few hundred dollars for some jobs, an expensive move isn’t worthwhile.
For most child models, it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. They make, according to Fleischer, “a fraction of a fraction” of the amount adults make.
“Children make anywhere from $82.50 an hour to $1,200 a day and up,” says Olsen. “Each job has a different budget and different rates. It would be wonderful to say that all children will make enough money to help them with a college fund, but we can’t predict the future.”
Laura describes the typical payment for a job as follows: “My daughter gets paid between $50 and $200 per hour, usually around $100 per hour. She’s booked for minimum times. So if she’s booked for two hours but the shoot only lasts 45 minutes, she still gets paid for two hours. The agency takes 20 percent, which is standard, and then writes her a check for the rest.”
How will your child benefit from modeling?
Modeling can be hard work, but it can also be a wonderful experience for your child and a great opportunity for the two of you to spend time together. It can also introduce him to a wealth of new experiences.
Another big benefit: It can develop your child’s social skills and self-esteem. “It’s wonderful for an agent to see a child grow into a vibrantly confident kid,” says Olsen. “They get to socialize with kids outside their normal social circle. It also helps them learn to speak to adults and take direction well. Children can expect to gain confidence, interview skills, and wonderful memories.”
Laura is “absolutely happy” that her daughter is modeling. “I don’t think I would ever make this a full-time gig for her,” she says, “but she’s young and having fun. The second she says she doesn’t like it anymore, we’re out.”
Plus, if your child is successful, there is money to be made. Just don’t expect to get rich.
What steps can you take to get your child into modeling?
Step one: Get photographs of him. Step two: Find an agency. Sound simple? It is, if you know how to go about it and can avoid certain pitfalls. To get you started, here’s advice from people who know the business:
- Never pay any money up front to get your child into modeling.
“Make sure no one charges you for anything,” cautions New York agent Fleischer. “Anyone who charges a fee is not legitimate. Companies make money by a percentage of the model’s fee, not by charging a fee to work with the agency.”
- Good photos don’t have to be expensive.
To be seen by any agent, you’ll need the right pictures of your child. But, says San Francisco agent Olsen, professionals pictures aren’t necessary.
So, what are the “right pictures“? For her toddler, BabyCenter mom Laura emailed a simple snapshot of her daughter to a local agency. “Plain old snapshots, updated every month or so, are sufficient.”
“Unfortunately,” she says, “there are many scam artists in this business, just looking to jump on parents who think their kid is the next Olsen twin. Young children do not need professional head shots. They change too often. ”
Agents are looking for clear pictures that show off the child. The photos should be “very simple,” says Fleischer. “The child should be facing the camera. No hats, no sunglasses. Only the child should be in the picture. She shouldn’t be wearing any makeup.”
You can easily take this kind of picture at home with a digital camera. Make sure the pictures show your child’s features and take a variety of poses, including head shots and full-body shots.
- Don’t worry about whether your child is exactly what the agency is looking for.
What appeals to agents is variety. “I want everything from redheads with freckles to African Americans with afros,” Fleischer says. Olsen adds, “Each client has their own specific needs, and our job is to make sure we have a variety of kids to meet those needs.”
- Find a reputable agency
Once you have the pictures, find an agency that’s registered with the Better Business Bureau in your area. Fleischer recommends looking at the websites of companies that you’d like your child to model for to see which agencies they work with.
Some agencies have open calls for children. This can be an easy way to check out an agency in your area. According to Olsen, most agencies will only represent kids that live within a 200-mile radius of their office. You can telephone first to ask about the agency’s policies. Remember, a reputable agency won’t charge a fee for an open call.
You can also try searching online for different agencies, always checking to be sure they’re registered with the Better Business Bureau. Many adult agencies have a kids’ division or may be able to recommend a reputable agency that has one.
Which child model agencies are the best?
Here are a few reputable agencies to try:
381 Park Ave. South, Suite 821
New York, NY 10016
20 West 20th St., Suite 1008
New York, NY 10011
New York, Los Angeles, and Miami
What’s the best age for kids to get into modeling?
The right time for children to start modeling depends on their personality. A child’s suitability for modeling can also change with age.
If you’re thinking about getting your baby into modeling, remember that sometimes babies who are comfortable with strangers become shyer as toddlers. Fleischer recommends an early start so that “by the time they’re 2 or 3 they’re not fazed.” Call the agency you’re interested in working with ahead of time to find out its age requirements.
For an older child, “the best time for children to get into modeling is when they express interest,” says Olsen. “The kids that do best are the kids who want to model and the parents are along for the ride.”
An early start can also mean a longer career for a young model. Many kids’ modeling careers slow down at age 5 or 6, when they start losing their teeth, and the vast majority of child modeling careers are over by the time a child is 5 feet tall.