Would your little one succeed as a model?

Published: 21st Feb 2020

Permission granted to put on your rose-tinted spectacles! Most parents believe their chubby-cheeked cherubs would shine in front of a camera…and maybe they would.

After all, your baby or toddler looks adorable and is a little darling. Tantrums are rare and for the most part they are exceptionally well behaved. You’ve been thinking about a modelling agency for your most prized possession, so what are the things to look out for before taking the plunge? Let Models Direct guide you.

A fashion shoot isn’t for everybody, and the same applies for toddlers. Before looking for reputable agencies, it’ll help in the long run to know what they usually go for. Don’t be despondent if your cherished one doesn’t live up to an agency’s standards – it’s not personal, and everyone at some stage has been rejected. Be enthusiastic and move on to the next agency. Keep your eye out for fashion catalogues, and find out which agency represents the toddlers (contracts signed by the parents, obviously!) Try local newspapers and free magazines – there are plenty in circulation and most babies will be looked after by an agency. Alternatively, look for Facebook groups and reputable agencies on the Internet near where you live, and don’t fear the “big guns” – companies like Next, Mothercare and Mamas & Papas can be contacted via their websites. 

When you’ve found a suitable agency and made the first enquiry, they’ll probably ask you to send a few photographs, together with your baby’s name, date of birth, height, hair colour and any medical information they may need to know (see transport, below). Whilst attention to detail and accuracy are both important, don’t be flustered if you can’t provide professional snap-shots – initially, the agency are just after a credible likeness. A clear photo from an iPhone will be fine for starters. 

Most agencies look for facial symmetry in a baby, with glowing skin, vibrant eyes and healthy hair. The first meeting is as important to you (the parent) as much as it is to the agency. Compatibility is a crucial two-way street, and if for any reason you’re not convinced by the agency’s professionalism, it’s best to decline any offer of representation and try another one.

Regarding the small print, contracts and terms are as per any model. Ask to see the agency’s model book, just to see the “competition” and to determine the levels of professionalism they adhere to. A clear warning sign is a lack of model book – ask yourself why they don’t have one (the reason is invariably lack of clients or shoddy practices – either way, it’s not good for you or your child).  

Once the agency have expressed interest, you need to think about practical issues. At the top of any parent’s list is the welfare of the child. Consider travel times, distances, and the time of any modelling assignments. A lot of agencies prefer not to book children or babies on an assignment which requires a lot of travel. Agencies differ, but more travelling usually equates to unhappy children. That’s not to say travelling is out of the question; just be sensible and assume that a lot of assignments will take place in large towns or cities (unless it’s for a local publication / TV company). If your child has a medical condition that could be heightened by stress, bright lights, or a little bit of commotion on set, this might affect your decision. As the saying goes, “Mum knows best”. 

Focus on fees and contracts when you and your little one have secured a job. For now, Models Direct’s checklist below will help your child succeed:

  • Research all agencies thoroughly
  • Be confident your baby has that “something extra”
  • Assess your baby’s temperament. Modelling involves bright lights and human interaction – will your baby react favourably on set?
  • Check travel distances
  • Be professional and work with the agency – both of you want to succeed! 

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