Every time you switch on that screen, you can’t help but smile at those cute and lovable little child models. As a parent, you’ve probably adored those faces on the screen, and chances are you wondered if your child could do something similar.
And, if you love clicking your little poser’s photographs, you’ve probably sowed the seeds of modeling in your mind. Or maybe your child has a natural flair for it, and you are just not sure as to how you can channelize it into something positive. Either way, if you would like to learn more about the child modeling industry or how you can train your little one to be a model, read our post below. Because, Momjunction has put together some essential information on children modeling here.
Scope Of Child Modeling:
Child modeling is a debatable subject. And, as with other such controversial subjects, there are both positive and negative opinions. While some people strongly advocate the benefits of enrolling children into modeling, others feel that making a child a model is a gross violation of her basic human rights. As a parent, you will be the best judge of what is right or wrong for your child, and what is fair or unfair. If you are interested in kick-starting your child’s modeling career as a child model, here are a few ways you can help:
1. It Can Be A Lot Of Fun:
Yes, it is true that modeling can be a lot of hard work for your child, especially for the first few times. But, it is also true that your child may enjoy it, so much so that you may not want to discontinue the experience for your child.
2. Enough Time And Scope For Bonding:
As a child model, your little one will have much time to bond together. From spending time traveling to and from sets to spending time on set and even going for location shoots, there is so much time that you and your child will spend outside the home and school environment.
3. Provides A Vast Pool Of Experience:
As a child model, your little one will meet a host of new people who she may not have had the chance to meet otherwise. From meeting other children to other professionals such as coordinators, photographers, makeup professionals, directors, storyboard writers, singers, actors and more, there is no end of the experience that your child will get exposed to.
4. Can Boost Your Child’s Self-Confidence:
Becoming a child model can have a positive boost on your child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. While your child may be confident, going out into the adult world and working at such a young age will come with its share of responsibility and confidence. From meeting deadlines to learning how to behave while working alongside adults, modeling can instill a sense of responsibility and achievement in your child.
5. Your Child Can Always Opt Out:
As modeling is not like a course where your child has to be enrolled for a particular time, there is always the option of stopping when your child does not want to do it anymore. As a parent, you will get the right to sign a contract after going through the various terms and conditions. Your child can continue to model for as long as she is enjoying the experience. Once you feel that it is not something she wants to do further, you can always end the term after speaking to the agent or the company through which you got her signed on.
6. Scope Of Earning Early And Investing It For Your Child’s Future:
One positive side of getting your child to be a child model is the early income she will generate. Of course, it is not right to assume that the payment will be big during the initial phase. Just as any other profession, modeling too has its ups and downs and it will take time for your child to establish herself as a steady model. Whatever she earns from her modeling projects can make up an extra amount that you can invest for her future.
What Are The Qualities That Can Help Your Child Become A Child Model?
Unlike what most parents and people feel, being cute and beautiful is not always the main criteria for being signed on as a child model. All children are cute and beautiful, but to be a model, there are other qualities that your child will need to have. Here are some other factors that can help to determine whether they are suited to the rigors of kids modeling industry:
1. Your Child Is Not Shy:
When your child gets into the modeling world, she will have to interact with many strangers and people who may not be part of the regular circle of people she is used to. If your child is shy, she will find it difficult to work with such strangers. Even if she can work, she will find it uncomfortable and will not be able to give it her best shot. On the other hand, if your child can mix freely with people and does not have inhibitions, especially when she is in the company of strangers, it is a quality that will help her in the modeling world.
2. Your Child Can Follow Instructions:
As a child model, your little one will have to follow a set of instructions from casting directors, agents, photographers and others who are part of the modeling world. If your child can understand instructions and can follow them, it will help her work smoothly. If your child likes to listen to others and do as she is asked to, it will be a boon in her field of work. Even if your child starts to work as a child model, most people she will encounter will be adults. As professionals, most of these adults will understand the fact that they are working with a child and will keep the work atmosphere conducive as such. However, it is important that your child is well-mannered and behaves properly so that the work can be completed as per the deadlines.
3. Your Child Is Flexible And Adaptable:
While most photoshoots that involve children finish within a decided time frame, there are many instances where your child may have to wait for many hours. From sitting for auditions to having meetings with the clients, the modeling industry will require that your child spends time in office routines and other formal meets. It is important that your child can stay still for such hours and adjust to the demands of the industry. If your child is constantly fidgety and cranky and finds it difficult to stay in one place while waiting, it will be difficult to be involved in modeling as a profession.
4. Does Not Have Too Many Prior Commitments:
If your child is already involved in a lot of other activities, such as soccer practice, dance, art, and others, it will be easier to manage the modeling schedule. Often, you may not get too much of a notice of a particular modeling assignment that your child needs to appear for. When you receive an urgent call, often only a day before the shoot, it could mean that you will have to change whatever other plans your child had for that particular time slot. It means that even if your child is scheduled for another class or activity, you will have to give up on that.
5. Your Child’s Personality:
It is true that one of the first things that someone sees in a child model is the cuteness factor and the overall beauty, but there is much more to modeling than just the cute face. Your child’s cute personality and good looks will not be the only deciding factor that can help her successfully work in the modeling world. There are various other factors that will come into play here. Child model coordinators will want to see how your child interacts with other actors and professionals on set. Your child may be cute, but once she gets cranky, she may refuse to smile and set her face in a frown, which will not work for the shoot. In such cases, being extremely photogenic is also not something that can help.
Before You Sign Your Child To A Modeling Agency:
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you want your child to sign with a modeling agency:
1.Choosing The Right Modeling Agency:
- One of the first things that you will need to do is to choose a modeling agency that has enough experience in working with children and getting them the right roles.
- The best way to find out which modeling agency is good for your child is to ask your friends or colleagues. If you know of someone whose child has featured in any modeling campaign, you can ask them about recommendations.
- If you do not know of any such agency, you can also check various child modeling agencies and get in touch directly with their PR agency to check for requirements about child models.
2. Questions To Ask The Agency:
- Once you get in touch with the modeling agency, there are some questions you will need to ask them to understand the work conditions better.
- One of the first things you need to ask is how you can apply for your child to be featured as a child model. The modeling agencies will also charge you a fee for enlisting your child as their client, so make sure you know the charges in advance before you already enroll your child with them.
- Also, the modeling agency that will handle your child’s portfolio will charge you a set percentage of the fee for every modeling assignment they get for your child. Make sure you know how much that amount will be.
- In some cases, a modeling agency will tell you that they will not charge any initial amount as an enrollment fee, but may ask that your child has to get professional pictures clicked by them. Sometimes, such professional photo shoots can be extremely expensive, so it is better you discuss the terms and conditions and finances beforehand.
- Make sure you also ask about how the modeling agency makes its payment to its child models. Some modeling agencies will clear the payments immediately after the photoshoots and the moment they receive the payment for the child models. In such cases, your child will get the payment the moment the said payment gets cleared. In other cases, a modeling agency may make a payment only a few times a year, more like a bulk payment of all the assignments that your child has done with them for the year.
3. What Kind Of Pictures To Take:
- Your child may be extremely cute and photogenic, but the kind of pictures you click for your child can make or break the deal with the child modeling agency.
- In the initial stages, you will have to send a few recent pictures of your child to the modeling agency. It can be a mix of colored and black and white images, but make sure you do click colored images too.
- Some of the best pictures of child models are natural pictures, where your child will not be posing too much but will instead be in her natural elements.
- Remember that child modeling agents always look out for pictures that are clear and which will show off your child’s face clearly. According to most such agents who go through pictures of aspiring child models, the images should be simple and clear.
- Make sure that your child faces the camera in most of the pictures. Do not let her dress up in hats or sunglasses, or any other accessory that could block her face from the camera. Also, it is important that your child faces the camera in her natural face and does not wear makeup.
- If you have a good digital camera at home, you can click the pictures yourself before sending it to the modeling agency. It is best that you do not edit the pictures too much, as it may take away the natural charm and beauty of the images and may work against what the modeling agency is looking for.
- Try to take some pictures and show your child in different poses, rather than making all the pictures look repetitive. Add as many headshots and full body shots as you can.
- Also, when you are getting your child clicked, do not go by what you think the agency may be looking for. Instead, go by what you feel your child will be most comfortable in doing and get her clicked in settings and poses that will bring out her best features and shots.
- How many times you should click your child’s pictures for a portfolio depends on your child’s age. For babies, the average time frame is a change in portfolio every six months till the time they start to walk. For younger children, the average time frame is a change in portfolio every 12 to 18 months. For older children, the average time frame to click a professional portfolio is every two years and earlier if you see a major change in their looks.
4. Getting Exposure On The Agency Website:
- Once the child modeling agency accepts your child as a client, make sure that she gets a good exposure on their website.
- It is important that your child’s pictures are prominently displayed in a way that other clients will be able to notice them each time they visit the website.
- If you are not happy with the way your child’s pictures are shared or if you feel there is not enough exposure happening, speak to the agency about it and see what changes can be made.
5. Know About The Casting:
- Every time your child gets called for a casting or audition, the child modeling agency will get in touch with you to inform about the time and place for the same. If you want you can also get in touch with the agency at regular intervals to know any upcoming auditions that your child can attend or any upcoming events.
- Though the modeling agency will give you all the details about the audition, make sure you ask all the relevant questions. Some things you should have full information on are things such as the time, date,
- place, exact location, and travel details for the venue. Also, ask if there are any specific wardrobe requirements for the audition or any lines or things your child should learn before she goes for the same.
- A casting agency will get back to you only if your child gets the role. The agency will also place your child’s name on an option list, which means that your child has been shortlisted, but the final call has not been made yet.
- In some cases, your child will first need a license to go ahead with the shoot. Make sure you ask the modeling agency about the same in advance, so that there is no holdup at the time of the shoot.
- If your child appears in a television commercial, the agency will give something known as a ‘buyout.’ It is, in fact, the term used for usage rights which works for a year. The amount will vary depending on the shoot and the client your child is working with.
6. Missing Classes At School:
- For your child to go to the shoots, it is possible that she will have to miss school for many days. To avoid any absence issues and to make sure that she can still sit for her exams and continue classes the regular way, you will need a license from the local council or concerned authority in your area. The said license will allow your child to take part in the shoot and also continue with classes, despite missing some.
- Also, to the above letter, you will also need a permission letter from your child’s school which will allow her to attend classes despite missing some.
- You will also need a letter of health from your child’s general physician which will state that your child is in good health.
- Some child modeling agencies help parents by getting the required license themselves, but many agencies will directly need the same from you. In many cases, the local authorities may take anywhere between a week to a few weeks to process the license. Make sure to speak to your child’s modeling agency about all the paperwork that is required, so that you do not have to go back and forth with the same and can get it all done at once.
7. Personal Copies:
- Once your child gets through a particular assignment, you should ask the agency about when you will get your copy of the same. The pictures that your child gets clicked and the shots of the commercials that your child will feature in will help to build her work portfolio over time.
- In case your child did some television work, the agency will most likely send you a MPEG file of the same. In case she featured in a catalog or such, they will send you a hard copy of the same.
- If your child appears in a poster, you can also check when the same will be taken down for a change and keep it for your collection.
Enrolling your child into modeling is a rather personal decision, one that you will have to look into before you take a call. Make a decision only when you are sure they will let your child be comfortable.
Moms, have you ever enrolled your child with any child modeling agency or tried to do so? Tell us here.