How to Get Started in Baby/Child Modeling
Adding to the college fund
If you have a child ages 0-18 months or 3+ years, keep reading.
Those are the ages that get modeling work. The terrible twos set in at 18 months; who can blame photographers for not wanting to work with an age group renowned for its tantrums?
Here are some general tips on what photographers look for:
Very easygoing temperaments. if you’ve got a baby who wakes up smiling from her nap, that’s your perfect baby modeling personality.
Small kids. if your child wears his age in clothing size or smaller, and also looks young, that means he can be cast at his age or younger. Physical development is HUGE at this stage of the game; photographers want to work with kids who can follow directions and are generally easier to deal with.
Classic good looks. This is a tough one to quantify, but think Gerber baby. Chubby cheeks, big eyes and generally appealing. There is a market for exotic-looking models, particularly multi-ethnic ones, but it’s a smaller category so there is less work to go around.
Getting started in the modeling industry takes a lot of time. Open casting calls, last-minute go-sees, this can be a full-time job for a parent. And considering your child only gets paid IF she gets booked, that can often mean two trips; twice the travel expenses.
Don’t expect to get rich. Models starting out in the industry typically do editorial spreads for magazines (e.g. not promoting a specific product), which pay about $100/hour for two hours. After the agency takes their cut, you get a check for $120. The real money? In bonuses.
Finding your baby’s picture is like the world’s most annoying scavenger hunt. Do NOT expect to get notified where and when your child’s picture gets used. Also? Photographers typically double- or triple-book shoots since they can’t be sure a child will behave; your kid’s picture may not get used.
The good news:
Living in an urban area like Hoboken is like hitting the location jackpot for baby modeling. Most casting calls and shoots take place on the lower west side of Manhattan (easy access via the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels) or at the Toys R Us studios located right up the hill in Union City.
IF your baby makes it big, then the next step is film (ie. commercials and movies). That is where the real money is. Twins have a huge advantage. Typically most agencies are given one slot to fill for a commercial, so your kid would have to be ranked #1 in the agency for her age, ethnicity and size to be given the coveted spot.
Pay rates increase as your child gets older, doubling after age 5 and tripling when they reach adolescence.
Still interested in pursuing a modeling career? Parents Magazine has a great listing of reputable baby modeling agencies. The Metro Moms Network also has a direct line to one of the top US child modeling agencies; FunnyFace Today! From now until December 15, 2011, entry form at http://metromoms.net/?p=545.
Tags: baby, child, modeling, parenting, toddler, urban living