Kids Modeling 101
Want to know how to get your child started in kids modeling?
If people always tell you your kids should be in movies or magazines, you may have decided to give kids modeling a try. But finding information on how to do this right without wasting time and money can be hard. That's why we wrote this step by step child modeling guide. Just follow the steps outlined below to get started and have fun while you give your baby, toddler, child or tween a chance to save for college through modeling gigs and kids acting classes.
1) Take Snapshots of your Kids Modeling
Just get your budding child model outdoors or close to natural light and start taking pictures. Get a few nice headshots and full body shots over a few days. Try to get different looks.
Below are a few examples:
Spreading your "shoot" over a few days will prevent your kid from getting bored and keep your pictures fresh and natural. Go for the shots that look the least posed and the most spontaneous. Make sure you have a lot of smiley shots (most kids modeling jobs are of kids smiling).
2) Get your child's pictures to modeling agencies
How do you find legitimate modeling agencies? Start by looking for kids talent agencies that have print departments (ie. Modeling). After all, why limit your child to modeling when they could be considered for kids acting jobs down the road? Talk to kids acting schools and kids acting classes. Many will have a list of legitimate children modeling agencies.
If you live outside of the major entertainment centers...
If you live in New York or Los Angeles...
Mae recommends submitting your child's pictures by mail because child modeling agencies get too many online submissions to look at each individual one.
3) Get Ready for Kids Modeling Go Sees
There are many kids modeling agencies out there. To choose the right one for your kid model, read the advice on our kids talent agency page.
Remember... You should never have to pay for representation. Some kids modeling agencies will tell you they require a registration fee for one reason or another, but the truth is that if an agency is successful at getting their clients auditions and jobs (what you want), they won't need to charge a fee. That being said, keep in mind that print jobs are usually subject to a 20% commission rather then the 10% commission that is customary for theatrical and on-camera commercial representation.
Once your kid has secured a good child modeling agency, the next step is to get professional pictures. Your child's agent will likely recommend a few good photographers to work with. After the session, you'll pick out the best shots with the agent and create a comp card (also known as "composite card" or "zed card"). You can also put together a modeling "book" of pictures (also known as "portfolio") to take along on go-sees (the name for print castings). Once your kid gets print jobs, you can put his magazine photos in his portfolio. If your son or daughter also wants to go out on kids acting auditions, you'll have to make 8x10 copies of a good headshot.
Most modeling agencies will now put pictures and resumes of their clients online, but when it comes to kids, you have to be careful that their privacy is protected. No personal contact information should be listed along with your kid's modeling pictures.
4) Get Your Little Child Model Started
Once your child has his headshots, comp cards and portfolio ready, it's time to go out on castings. Make sure to keep your child's print agent updated on new contact information, pictures and vacations you take (by "booking out" when you're going to be out of town as a family).
While you wait for go-sees and auditions, get your child model ready to work. All children under 18 years old working in the entertainment industry are required to have a work permit and a Coogan trust account. In order for your child model not to miss out on jobs, you'll want to take care of this as soon as possible. Start by contacting your state's labor office to apply for a minor work permit. You will probably have to provide paperwork from his/her school and/or pediatrician. Also talk to your bank about setting up a Coogan account to put away 15% of your child's gross income as required by law. You may want to open another account at the same time to save the majority of earnings for college.
Can't get a good kids modeling agency to represent your child?
That's it! Have fun... That's what it's all about.
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