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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

How Do I Get My Child Into Modeling?

(Please note, this post is not in reference to baby modeling. I do plan on doing a specific post just for baby modeling in the near future. For starter info, though, you can check out this link to a blog post I did about Baby Modeling in general: Baby Modeling Tips).

A lot of parents have cute kids. Like, really cute kids. It's natural for them to get told by everybody under the sun that their child should be a model. Sounds simple enough, right?

Yet so many parents don't even know where to begin, which I'm not surprised about. I mean, it's hard enough for adult models to find their way in the industry, no less parents who are responsible for making well informed choices for their children.

There are plenty of child models actively working in the modeling industry. If you think your kid has a shot, hopefully this post will help guide you in the right direction and avoid a negative experience:

Go for Agency Representation

I generally advise people to seek agency representation first when starting out but this is especially true for parents of aspiring child models that I can't stress enough. The industry rules and regulations that apply to child models is so plentiful, such as labor laws, permits, etc. It can be very overwhelming for newbie parents to figure out what all this means on their own and how it would apply to their child.

Signing with an agency means not only receiving protection in the legal sense from an agency but having a professional who knows what all the paperwork means and can present things to parents in a streamlined, easy to understand way. The agency's job is to not only get your child model exposure and work with clients but to also keep the process as simple as possible so that you don't have to deal with any headaches or major learning curves.

Seek Agencies That Represent Child Models

Believe it or not, not all modeling agencies have child modeling divisions. Many don't want to deal with kids and their parents, while others only exclusively deal with younger models. During the agency search, it is important to only submit your child to agencies that represent kids. The age ranges matter greatly.

This is another reason why it is important to rely on the information provided on agency websites. If the website says the agency is exclusively for babies and toddlers and your child isn't either, then don't waste your time (or the agency's) by sending in your kid's pictures. In most cases, it's pretty easy to tell which agencies have which divisions.

The bottom line: visit agency websites and if there is any mention of "child/kid models" or if you look at the model galleries on the site and there is a division for boys/girls, chances are this means they represent child models.

Age Range for Child Models

The specific age range that an agency would consider someone to be a "child model" does vary from state to state but from my research the general range for child models would be considered anywhere from 4-10 years of age.

No Professional Photos Necessary!

As with older models, agencies looking for new child models don't want to see fancy, retouched photos (think Toddlers & Tiaras...GAH!). Child models are hired by clients because they look like the average, every day kid--it's not rocket science, folks, nor is it the same playing field that fashion and runway models have to deal with. Kid models are supposed to be kids. Period.

When preparing photos to send to agencies, make sure they are digital snapshots that show your son or daughter in their most natural state. No fancy hairstyles, makeup or their Sunday's best outfit. Keep the wardrobe casual and simple. Being well groomed in the photos is fine but don't go overboard.

For more tips about snapshots as they relate to child models, visit this link to read more:

Snapshot Tips for Child Models.

No Experience Necessary!

No modeling schools, conventions, training, personal coaches, etc. are required for your child to be submitted or considered by an agency. The best way your child can make a good impression is by having a great personality, being outgoing and able to listen to directions.

Putting their best foot forward during the interview phase will be more than enough for an agency to want to bring them on board. There's no need to try and mold your child into the perfect model beforehand. Agencies are trained to recognize potential, even in people who are brand new to the industry.

How to Submit

Once you've located the child modeling agencies you want to submit to, the next step is to find out what submission types each agency offers. If they have open calls for child models, attend them instead of sending in photos because this is an opportunity for your child to meet with the agency in person and hopefully get an answer as to whether or not they're interested.

Other agencies prefer that parents submit snapshots via snail mail or email. For the agencies that only offer either or both of these submission methods, rely on the website for details about what information to include along with the photos, such as measurements/sizing info and/or a cover letter.

A lot of agencies allow for electronic submissions, where you fill in your child's information and upload photos via their form, which sends everything directly to the agency. This is a convenient and timely way to submit, especially since it tells you exactly what info and photos they want.

It is advised to submit to several agencies around the same time frame. No need to submit to one at a time and waiting for responses before moving on to the next one.

Now What?

If you've snail mailed, emailed or submitted your child's info via an electronic form, you now get to play the waiting game. Agencies only contact people they are interested in so if it's been about 6-8 weeks with no reply, take that as a pass for now. However, you are welcome to resubmit after 6 months to 1 year so there's always the chance to try again in the future.

If you brought your child to an open call, the agency will likely tell you when to expect a response from them if they don't tell you right then (usually a few days to 1 week). Of course if they tell you at the open call or interview that they aren't interested, then you've got your answer and should move on.

Should you get a reply from an agency with further interest, be excited but don't celebrate just yet because it isn't a guarantee that your child will be signed. Wait until you're in the actual interview to find out if it's a sure thing. Once the contract has been offered and signed, then you can party and enjoy the bragging rights.

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