If your child is happy, confident and full of beans, they might be perfect for toddler modelling. Child, baby and toddler modelling can be a great way to build their confidence and make some extra cash to save for their future. But it can be a daunting and overwhelming experience for those new to the industry.
There’s no need to stress – it’s far more simple than you think! Read on to discover our top tips for toddler modelling.
Is Your Toddler Suitable for Modelling?
Not all toddlers are suitable for modelling jobs. As their parent/guardian, you know them best – so it’s your responsibility to decide whether they’ll be happy to pose in front of the camera surrounded by strangers in a new place, or whether it will be an unenjoyable experience for them and ultimately not worth doing.
If you’re unsure, ask yourself the following questions:
– Does my child like being the centre of attention?
– Is my child fairly patient?
– Does my child like meeting new people?
– Is my child generally happy, bubbly and smiley?
– Does my child love posing for photos, or do they shy away from the camera?
Once you’ve determined whether or not your toddler has a future in modelling, it’s time to get them an agent.
Interested in learning more about toddler modelling? Why not get in touch with us today!
Do You Have the Flexibility to Be a Model Parent?
It’s all very well if your child is suitable to the life of modelling, but what about you? As their parent/guardian, your life will be impacted just as much as theirs because you will be responsible for getting them to and from all auditions and jobs.
Auditions take place mostly in major cities such as London or Manchester, so be prepared for a lot of travel if you don’t live near one of these locations.
You may need to attend a casting call at a moment’s notice, so flexibility is key. Agencies and brands will prefer models who are capable of making all the auditions they are invited to because it sets a good, professional precedent for if they book your toddler for work. Those who regularly skip casting calls and are unable to make it to in-person auditions will be overlooked for those who are more willing to make the sacrifices necessary to get the work.
Remember, too, that brands and agencies will require models who are on time (if not early) to auditions and jobs. If you are regularly late, unable to find time or unwilling to miss pre-planned social engagements, modelling will not be the career path for you or your toddler.
Finding an Agent
There are plenty of model agencies in the UK that work exclusively with younger models, and many more who have a sub-category for child models. It’s your job to research the ones that are not only available to you, but that you also like the look of.
You don’t need to have any experience to join an agency; they’re always on the lookout for fresh faced beginners.
You can usually find the application process on the agency’s website. They will ask for your child’s age and clothing size, as well as their shoe size and contact details. Most importantly, you will be asked to attach a couple of photos of your child. These photos should clearly show your child’s modelling potential and ability. High-quality photos will stand out from the competition, so you should think about booking in for a professional photo shoot beforehand to give yourself a greater chance of being signed.
If a talent agency is interested, they’ll be in contact within a few weeks to invite you to an in-person audition. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back – modelling is a very competitive industry and rejection is part of the job. Keep applying and remember that you can apply to as many agencies as you want; you don’t have to limit yourself to just one.
You should never have to pay a modelling agency upfront. A modelling agency makes their money by taking a cut of the child’s first earnings, and from each job thereafter. It’s a red flag if you are asked for joining or membership fees, and it’s a sign of scam agencies; if this happens, try to find another agency.
Getting Your Child to Smile
So you’ve got signed by an agency, and the jobs are starting to roll in. But how do you ensure a successful photoshoot?
The honest truth is there is no way to guarantee a perfect shoot – even adults have a hard time with it! With toddlers, shoots are even more unpredictable. If a child is having an off-day (perhaps they didn’t sleep well, or they’re in a bad mood) it can be very difficult to turn a shoot around. A shoot relies on the star – the model – to be in a good mood.
While there’s no way to guarantee it, there are some things you can try to get your youngster smiling again. Try bringing their favourite snacks and toys as a way to calm them. Some toddlers love to use dummies or comfort blankets between takes. You know your child best, so bring along whatever you think will help them.
If it becomes a common occurrence and your child is unhappy at the majority of photo shoots, it might be that your child is not comfortable being a model. You may want to re-think whether it’s worth putting your toddler through something that is making them unhappy.
What to Do with an Uncooperative Toddler
All toddlers are prone to tantrums. But how do you deal with an uncooperative child? The easy answer? Don’t force them! An uncooperative toddler is usually an unhappy toddler. Even adults have off days, and toddlers are even more unpredictable. If you’ve tried cheering them up, allowing them playtime, making sure they’re fed and watered and they’re still not cooperating, it might be time to call it a day. Remember, though, that if this happens regularly, the brand and agency will lose a lot of money, and it’s unlikely your toddler will be invited back to future shoots. That’s why it is so important that you figure out whether your child enjoys the experience from the offset.
Baby Modelling – What to Expect at a Photo Shoot
A photo shoot will depend entirely on the brand – what their vision is, what their goal is, what their product is, and what they want from the shoot. Brands mostly require baby and toddler models for clothing and toy products, so shoots will likely take place in a professional studio with a white screen set-up.
The child is then dressed in the appropriate clothing and may have make-up applied (this is usually a bit of powder to stop skin from appearing sweaty under the photography lighting). Blemishes, bruises or redness may be covered with a bit of concealer.
The toddler will then be positioned in front of the camera. They may be asked to sit on a stool, or perhaps on the floor, or they may be asked to stand. They may be asked to dance, or smile, or jump – it all depends on the energy and purpose of the shoot.
As their parent/guardian, you will be with them at all times. You may be asked to step in and lend a helping hand if your child becomes shy or nervous.
Photographers and set managers will be experienced with working with young children, so the energy on set should be positive and upbeat. A shoot with a youngster won’t usually take long – the managers will be conscious that a child does not have indefinite energy or concentration. After the shoot, any make-up will be removed and clothing will be changed back. You may get a chance to have a look at the final photos.
Remember that if you decide to post any photos taken at a photo shoot on social media, you must ask for the permission of the photographer and brand first.