Child modelling is a popular and lucrative industry. Not only can it give your child lots of confidence and enjoyment, but it is also a great way to save for their future.
If you’re interested in getting your child into modelling, read our expert tips to help get you started.
Where to Begin: Is Your Child Suitable for Modelling?
First, you have to ask yourself seriously whether modelling is something your child might enjoy. There’s no point forcing your shy, timid child into modelling – they will hate it, and their enjoyment and happiness should always come first.
An unhappy or uncomfortable child will also be difficult to photograph and will leave brands and agencies frustrated.
To tell whether your child might enjoy modelling, ask yourself the following questions:
– Does my child get on with strangers? If your child is sociable and confident around people they don’t know, as well as friends and family members, they will be more comfortable in a modelling environment. A professional photo shoot can be an overwhelming experience even for adults, and there will be lots of strangers present like the photoshoot director, photographer, make-up artist, hairstylist, clothing stylist and more.
– Does your child follow instructions well? Some children don’t like following orders, and that will make them struggle at a photo shoot. The photographer or shoot director may ask them to do certain poses or guide them into a better position for the ultimate shot.
– Is your child patient? There can be lots of waiting around at photo shoots. A child must have their hair and make-up done, and they will have to wait between takes. Shoots for children are much more patient than those for grown-ups, but there will be a limit.
– Is your child energetic? Agencies and brands like active, energetic children who can maintain a certain level of enthusiasm throughout a shoot. Children who hide behind their parents and who hate new environments will struggle.
– Is your child flexible? If your child likes to know where they will be weeks in advance, the modelling industry is not for them. Sometimes work and auditions can crop up last-minute, and agencies and brands will expect you to attend regardless of whether you had plans.
– Does your child like to be the centre of attention? A photo shoot will mean all eyes are on them – they need to enjoy being in the spotlight if they are to have a happy career in modelling.
– Is your child happy to make sacrifices? Your child may have to miss out on social events as well as school to attend auditions and jobs. They will also have to do more homework to catch up on work they may have missed at school.
Remember it’s not just your child who needs to be suitable – as their parent/guardian, you will be expected to attend all auditions and jobs with them. Are you flexible enough to transport them around? Is the child’s school happy to let them take days off? Regularly missing auditions may cost you future work as agencies and brands will see you as unreliable and may even believe you are not serious about modelling.
The Right Look
Unlike adult modelling, there are no set requirements for children models. Their height may categorise them by age, but it shouldn’t prevent them from finding work. Overall, an agency and brand will look for a child model who has bright eyes, a lovely smile, lots of energetic and who appears happy to be there. They will prefer models who have proportional physiques but who, above all, have a nice and engaging personality.
They will be looking for children who are photogenic and move well in front of the camera. Your child doesn’t have to be knock-out beautiful – they just need to be relatable and represent a target audience.
Brands and agencies will also want to work with children who are polite – a rude, difficult child is unlikely to be invited back.
How to Get Your Child Signed to a Modelling Agency
If you are certain your kid will enjoy modelling, it’s time to take the next steps. Finding a good modelling agency is vital as your child’s agency will help find them work.
There are lots of child model agencies around and you can discover them all online. It’s important to sit down and research the ones you like the look of – are they currently open to applications? Does your child look like they’d fit in with their other signed models? Do you agree with the company’s morals and ethics? What systems do they have in place to ensure the safety and protection of your child? Do you agree to their fees and terms and conditions?
Once you’ve made a list of agencies you like the look of, it is time to get applying. You can apply to as many agencies as you want, as many times as you want. A good rule of thumb is to only re-apply once every 6 months or so. The application process will be on the agency’s website. They will usually ask for your child’s height and dress size, as well as some photos of them.
If an agency is interested, you will be invited to a casting call. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back straight away – competition is fierce and it’s common for all models to face rejection during their careers. Try re-applying with different photos next time, and don’t give up.
Attending a Casting Call
If an agency is interested in your child, you will be invited to a casting call. This is basically an audition for your child to attend. These will take place at the agency’s headquarters, which are usually found in main cities such as London and Manchester.
The agency will want to see your child in person so they can judge whether they’d be a good fit for them. It’s important to allow your child the opportunity to speak for themselves – overbearing parents that prevent a child from shining may cost them their place.
It won’t take long, though you may have to wait beforehand. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time – turning up late will not make a good first impression.
If successful, you may be told there and then, or you may find out at a later date. Be patient and don’t hassle them to contact you.
Your Child’s Modelling Portfolio
Your child’s modelling portfolio is the main tool that will help them find work, so it’s vital that it stands out and is of a professional standard. A few phone-taken photos will not cut the mustard; you need professional, high-quality images to help your child stand out from the crowd.
A professional portfolio should contain up to 20 of your child’s best modelling photos. Some of these should be close-up shots of the face, while others should be full-body images. You will use previous work to fill your portfolio and to constantly update it, but if you’re a complete beginner you may want to think about hiring a professional to help you out. A professional photo shoot will give your child experience in front of the camera, as well as the opportunity to try out a realistic studio environment. It’s worth booking a session just so you can see whether your child will enjoy the experience.
You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase your favourite photos which can then be used in your child’s portfolio or on their z-cards. Most agencies and brands will judge your child’s modelling potential purely off the back of these photos, so as you can imagine they’re incredibly important!
Ready to Start?
Do you think your child would make a great model? Why not register with us today and find out for sure! It’s free to register and our experienced experts can assess your child’s suitability and tell you quickly whether we think your child has a future in modelling.
Not only that, but we can also invite you to a professional photoshoot that’s ideal for beginners to try out modelling. And we’ll give you the opportunity to purchase your favourite photos.
Interested? Click here to register now!