Sure your child’s adorable, but could he/she be a rising model? On any given stretch of the various media outlets, you can see wide-eyed, beautiful kids showing off the latest kids couture, to being pictured with the must-haves for the parental masses. Us parents always react the same way, “My kid is cuter and can totally do that.” However, the only way to know is to connect with a variety of modeling/talent agencies.
My kids are no strangers to the lights, camera, & action! And as their mom who studied Television Production and worked in both the entertainment industry and in the fashion world, I must admit I love everything about both. Despite having a brood of children I definitely will go the distance for them, but how do you even get there?
First things first… You must have the right arsenal of RECENT images, no more than a few weeks old. Your goal is to get 4 images. (Do NOT send outdated pictures, that no longer look like your kid)
- Two of the shots need to be shot as a HEAD SHOT. The camera angle should be exactly even with the child’s face, not shot from above or below. In one of the head shots the child needs to be smiling with TEETH showing. In the other shot they can do whatever they want expression wise. A lot of agencies say submit snapshots, I feel you need to submit the real deal of professional images. Pay the money and hire a professional. This industry is competitive and I would submit only awesome pictures that represented my kids.
- Two of the shots need to be FULL LENGTH body shots. One can be normal/ whatever they want and the other should show some ENERGY/ FUN.
- In addition, take a short video stating your child’s name, age and what she likes to do. Make sure for the video that you are taking the shot of just the face and shoulders while aligning the phone horizontally. (this is always good to have as an extra perk or back up)
Once I have the images I submit a resume for each kid. You want to list what they have done and what talents they have with their specs: age, birthday measurements, hair color, eyes etc…. I also like to let agencies know my kids are Japanese, German & Italian. If they are represented by an agency you would disclose that too. Also, tell them what you are looking for.
What to do next:
1. Once you have the images printed (two head shots and two full length shots) in the 8 x10 size, you want to send them to a bunch of agencies via mail. I also like submitting pics that show personality. I feel mail works better than email. Also, include a self addressed envelope for them to mail back the images. A really good agency will respond to your submission with either a yes or a polite no. Living in a metropolitan area definitely has an advantage. If you don’t, you need to see what agencies are local to you. I found this challenging when I lived in such a small town like Wilmington, NC. However, at the time when my kids were getting work there it was because of Screen Gems studios.
2. Legitimate agencies do not ask for money up front. You need to steer clear of those. Be safe and check with the Better Business Bureau.
3. Don’t expect millions. It takes time to make the big bucks for kids. You have to be patient. If you get a national commercial that airs for years, that’s definitely where the big bucks are. I have heard of kids making up to $100,000 doing those commercials. Please note there are only a few kids that get that opportunity so don’t be hard on yourself.
4. Shop agencies! You want to submit to as many agencies and in some cases Talent Management teams. They will shop your kid to the agencies that don’t take mail submissions. You pay them, but it’s totally worth it for them to get you the work needed for your kid to grow in this business. Also, if you make more than $4300 a year you have to report it tot he IRS. Talk to your accountant about that.
5. Your child doesn’t have to be a Cindy Crawford mini, most of the time agencies like regular looking kids with missing teeth, to freckles across their face, to curly red hair. If they don’t get the job, at least us parents know we still have the cutest kids in the world.
Remember, the only way you are going to know if your kids can get work in this industry is to submit and try. It’s totally worth it and fun. Another thing is my kids grew up with mommy’s camera in their face so they are truly trained and love the camera. I would never do this if it wasn’t fun for them. So far they love it and we have some work booked in the month of August because I submitted! You should too.
I would love to hear form you, have you dabbled in the entertainment industry with your kids? Comment below about your experience.