Seven Essential Steps to Becoming a Child Model

Emily & Hanna

Emily & Hanna

Everyone who sees your child says she’s cute enough to be a model, but how do you get started? Here are seven essential steps you’ll need to take before your child gets those profitable modeling jobs that can bring big bucks and other intangible rewards like confidence building and goal setting.

Step 1. Learn to take direction. It’s very important not to push your child into modeling if they aren’t interested or don’t enjoy having their picture taken. If they do, you can help ensure their success by helping them learn to take directions well from photographers. An example would be “quiet face” to make a serene and thoughtful look.

Step 2. Practice taking pictures of your child to put them at ease in front of the camera. Thanks to digital cameras, you and your child can practice for hours at no cost. Remember, that one “great” shot may come after hundreds that are not quite perfect.

Step 3. Submit photos. Send two or three photos of your child to modeling agencies. One photo should be a head shot, the other a full-body shot. Hire a pro if you can, but keep in mind your can also do-it-yourself if you are on a budget. Keep in mind that most modeling agencies want “average” kids, not the best looking ones. Submit photos to nearby agencies, as you’ll need to be able to travel to shoots and meetings.

Step 4. Watch for scams. It can be flattering to be told how beautiful or perfect for modeling your child is and that they can bring your child fame and fortune. But beware! There are individuals and businesses calling themselves modeling agencies or talent scouts whose only purpose is to take your money.Remember that legitimate modeling agencies almost never advertise, solicit or ask for money upfront.

Legitimate agencies collect their fees – usually around 20% of earnings – only after your child has actually earned the money modeling. Also beware of scammers who want you to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on photos or videos of your child.

Step 5. Sign with a reputable agency. A modeling agency will be open with you about what they do, what kind of models they specialize in and what type of contract they want you to sign. A non-exclusive contract is best, as it gives you the ability to work with multiple agencies, which increases your child’s chances of working regularly.

Step 6. Do your “Go-Sees.” When you have signed a contract with one or more modeling agencies, you and your child will need to do “go-sees,” which are short meetings with advertising people from firms who need a model, and want to have a personal look at your child. Depending on the firms doing the hiring, your child could start modeling right away, or be passed over in favor of another child who is a better fit for that project.

Step 7. Be realistic. Child modeling is not a “get-rich-quick” plan. It takes patience, persistence and hard work to become successful. Your child could get only two jobs a month, or be signed for a lucrative TV commercial contract. No matter which jobs your child gets, they will learn valuable skills that will help them thrive all through life.