Anything worth having requires work. The same is the case for your child’s modeling career. Many parents are all too eager to shell out thousands of dollars for professional headshots and modeling school. They would be better suited to apply some good ole’ fashion elbow grease.
Follow these steps to launch your child’s modeling career, and you won’t have to break the bank.
Internet research is free. The first step for most child models is to find an agent. “An agent will send your child out on auditions and negotiate the contracts,” says Sibylla Nash, author of Baby Modeling & Beyond: From the Stroller to the Red Carpet. Her 10-year-old daughter started working in the industry when she was five months old. You can find an agent by researching online. Visit the agency’s website as many include their submission guidelines. The web allows you to do tons of industry research for nothing more than the cost of your monthly Internet charge.
Photos don’t have to be professional. Your submission package to prospective agencies should include recent photos of your child. There is no need to pay for professional or expensive photos, at least not at this stage of the game. Snapshots printed on quality paper will work. Take a full body shot and close up. “Keep the backgrounds simple and make sure to get a close-up of your child without food, hats, toys, etc. obscuring your child’s face,” adds Nash. Include your child’s stats on the back (i.e. height, weight, date of birth, etc.).
Send your submission to agencies by snail mail. Mail your photos along with a brief cover letter to 1-3 prospective agencies. Do not email unless the agency specifically allows it. Sending your package by express mail is a waste of money, and likely won’t improve your chances.
Go on with your life. This may be the hardest part. You have to wait for a response from the agency and fight the temptation to follow up. Some agency websites indicate their usual response time while others are silent. If you don’t hear anything, all is not lost. Try another round of letters to different agencies, or wait six months to a year to submit new photos to the same agencies. Industry needs are always changing. What doesn’t work in one season might be red hot in another. “I sent my daughter’s photo to five or six agencies when she first got started. We heard back from only one, but you only need one yes,” says Nash.
Remember that a reputable agency will not ask for money upfront. Suppose you do get the call? Don’t join the long line of intelligent parents who get scammed out of thousands of dollars. Agents make their money when your child gets paid for a job – they take a commission, usually 10%. Be suspicious of an agent who requires modeling school, pricey photographers, or other upfront services in order to take your child as a client. “If you’re unsure about an agency, Google them. The internet is your friend. Use it,” says Nash.
Launching your child’s modeling career does not have to be expensive. Be willing to put in the time and energy, and you will reap the rewards.
Have strangers ever told you that your child belongs in magazines? Have you ever considered a modeling career for your child?