Well, if you think you're ready to dive into that adventure, then this post will point you in the right direction!
Btw: I've already written an intro blog post into this type of modeling, which you may want to check out by clicking on this link: Baby Modeling Tips.
It is important to note that "baby models" and "child models" are entirely different based on age ranges. Interested in getting your child into modeling? Then click on this link: How Do I Get My Child Into Modeling?
Let's keep things simple by breaking down where you should start and what steps are involved in this process:
Look for Local Agencies That Represent Babies
Believe it or not, not all agencies deal with babies or even kid models. Hit the Internet to find out what agencies are within a 2 hour's drive from where you live. Once you've got your search results, start browsing through the websites.
Most agency sites make it very clear what divisions/categories of models they represent so it shouldn't be hard to locate this information. Now that you've got your results narrowed down to the ones you can submit to, dig deeper into each of those agencies to find out how to submit yourself.
Read Submission Guidelines/Instructions Carefully
Any reputable and legit agency that represents babies will not require a professional portfolio or headshots of your baby. They just won't. It doesn't make sense to anyway since your baby is going to grow by leaps in bounds in a matter of no time.
Current, non professional snapshots of your baby will be more than enough to suffice. However, pay attention to any specifics listed on the agency websites about what kinds of pictures to send (i.e. closeup of baby's face smiling, full body shot of baby on his/her stomach and/or back, etc.).
The guidelines may vary on the age of your baby so prepare your submission accordingly. Parents of baby model hopefuls should know all of their baby's essential stats/measurements. While these will likely be listed on the agency website, common measurements they'll ask for include (but are not limited to):
- Low Hip
- Shoe size
Many agencies have directions on how to take these types of measurements accurately, which is super helpful so take advantage of that resource if you aren't sure.
Send In Your Submission & See What Happens
I'm not aware of any agencies that have open calls for baby models because...well...would YOU want to be in an agency were there are tons of parents with fussy, loud and maybe cranky babies all at the same time in one big group? Probably not. I say this because, far as I know, the main submission methods for baby modeling agencies is via email, electronic form on the website and regular snail mail.
Some agencies offer all methods of submission, while others may only accept snail mail or email submissions. Read those instructions carefully to find out which agencies will accept which methods so that you'll know what to do.
After you've sent off your baby's pictures and other materials/info, there isn't much you can do but play the waiting game. It could take a few weeks to hear back and agencies typically only respond to the people they are interested in so if you just never hear back, don't take it personally. Check the agency websites to see if they mention how long it usually takes to receive a response.
Do not call or email the agency to follow up and see if they've received your submission. Most websites state this explicitly. Even if they don't, it's bad form to follow up when it comes to submissions so just keep your fingers crossed and find something to occupy your time and thoughts with so you aren't driving yourself crazy.
The Agency Replied Back! Now What?
Receiving a response back from a baby modeling agency is exciting but you don't have bragging rights just yet. Should you and your baby get invited to an interview, this is the time to find out how to prepare. In most instances, you'll be given information and instructions related to how to prepare and what to expect.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact the person at the agency who responded to you. They will be your point of contact, unless they've put you in touch with someone else at the agency who will be interacting with you. If they give you a packet or email with info, read all of it from top to bottom and then read it again BEFORE contacting them with questions.
Agencies are pretty good at their jobs and chances are they've given you all the basic answers and info you'll need in the materials they've provided you with. It should cover the important stuff like the address, date and time of your interview/meeting, as well as miscellaneous topics such as what your baby should wear, additional materials they may request and/or a brief description of what will take place during the interview.
In the end, if you end up getting a contract offer from the agency, here are some tips to handle what to do next:
- Take the contract home so you can review it on your own time. Most agencies will tell you to take the contract home without you even having to ask. It is never okay for an agency to pressure you to sign a contract right then and there. Legit agencies know it is best to have you take the paperwork home but will give you a time frame for when they'll expect an answer as to whether or not you'll sign.
- Upfront fees are a no-no. By definition, an "upfront fee" is an expense or charge that is required before you are offered a contract. This could be for things like workshops, photoshoots, portfolios, etc. In the U.S., the only time any fees can be talked about is after you've signed the contract and are being represented by the agency...not before. Period.
- Reflect back on the interview. The agency you sign your baby with is going to be a business you'll be working with closely. So it only makes sense to join an agency you feel comfortable with. Take some time at home to reflect on the overall experience with the interview. Did you feel welcomed by the staff and treated with respect and courtesy? Was the office professional in appearance? Was the person that interviewed you knowledgeable about the industry and presented a good introduction to their agency and what it would be like to work with them? First impressions and gut instincts are important when it comes to things like this. If there are any red flags or a nagging feeling of doubt, chances are it's for a reason and you should listen.
- Don't sign if you've got questions or don't understand something! This is the biggest mistakes many parents of models and even models themselves make. Don't be so eager to get things going that you sign a contract without fully understanding what you're agreeing to. It is perfectly fine to ask the agency questions and to clarify ANYTHING in the contract you aren't sure about. This is the time to be inquisitive...there isn't much that can be done after your signature has gone onto the contract.