If you’re a parent of a cute child (they’re all cute, right?), then we’re guessing that you’re reading this because at some point in the not too distant past you have wondered about the world of child modelling. Does your little one have what it takes? Would they end up as the face of some huge brand’s nationwide campaign?
Well, the truth is that any child with the right attitude and great support from parents and an experienced agent can certainly make it in this industry. Better yet, if they like it and they’re good at it, they could even turn it into a lifelong career! And we’re not even joking, we’ve had several kids that have moved on from Bubblegum Casting and joined our sister agency Hunter Talent once they became adults.
But right now, you want to know what it takes to break into the world of kids modelling and luckily for you, we’re here to help. Below you’ll find five of the most useful tips for becoming a child or teen model. Tips that we’ve picked up throughout our decades of experience in the field.
So let’s get started!
Dip your toes in the water
Let’s face it—there’s no point in trying to get your child into modelling if they’re not interested. You can also say the same for kids who simply can’t handle being in front of a camera. This is why it’s a good idea for them to test the waters before you go ahead and take the plunge.
So how do we go about that? Well, it’s not a bad idea to simply whip out the camera and set up your own little photo shoot. You could even throw in a few outfit changes just to give it that authentic feel. Another possibility would be to arrange a photo session with a local photographer. You can get some nice family photos taken and see how your child responds to taking directions from a stranger.
The truth is that working as a model is an actual job. Your child will be working and people will be relying on them to follow instructions when at a shoot. So knowing whether or not your child can handle that or is willing to give it a go could save you a lot of time.
Find an agent
We may sound a little biased here, but the simple fact is that finding a reputable agent is possibly the most important piece of advice that we can give. This is because it is the agent who brings your child into the world of kids modelling through their network of industry contacts.
Unfortunately, the incredible growth that we’ve seen in the industry in recent years has also seen an increase in the number of less-than-reputable agencies. These agencies are only concerned with collecting membership fees and will rarely promote a child or offer anything that resembles support.
Now, we’re not trying to put a dampener on your child’s dreams because there are plenty of great agencies out there who will work tirelessly for your child. And it’s quite easy to spot the good from the bad. Look to see who an agency has worked with and how many well-known brands you recognise. You can also ask them about any additional support in the shape of workshops or training that they provide for their child models.
This is probably the bit where we should give ourselves a plug as the longest running child talent agency in Australia, but you know this already, right? 🙂
Get a portfolio
Now that you have an agent, it’s time to get that all-important child modelling portfolio together. This is simply a collection of photos of your child in various poses and outfits.
Before you go raiding the family album, it’s important to note that all photos in a portfolio must be taken by a professional photographer. That means no holiday snaps and no photos you took of your child in the park. This is because a photographer or casting director will want to see what your child looks like in a professional studio environment before considering them for a job.
Getting a portfolio done isn’t as easy as you might think because not all photographers specialise in this type of photography. A portfolio photographer will know exactly what types of poses must go into your portfolio. Usually, your agency can recommend a local photographer who can handle this type of work for you.
If you’re lucky enough to join Bubblegum Casting, our in-house photographer will handle all of this saving you a whole lot of stress and money!
Remember too that your child may go through growth spurts and their appearance may change throughout the year. So it’s a good idea to update your portfolio once a year.
Practice those poses
When you’re having your child’s portfolio shots taken, pay close attention to the modelling poses that the photographer requests. This is important as, like we said, these are the poses that most photographers will expect your child to be able to jump into on demand.
Practising these poses at home is also a great way to let your child become familiar with the concept of following instructions when in front of the camera. This way when they’re asked to smile or stand in a certain way, they’ll be only too happy to oblige.
Just take care not to overdo it. The last thing we want is for your child to feel exasperated by all the posing and camera work that they do at home. Five or ten minutes every day or every other day should be more than enough to keep them on their toes.
Learn to be patient
If we had a penny for every child or parent who has given up because of a perceived lack of opportunities, well, let’s just say we could afford a nice trip to Disneyland.
But here’s the thing—very few child models land a job in the first few months of their fledgling careers. In fact, some may not even get a job until they have almost completed a full year of auditions. This is a simple fact of life when it comes to kids modelling and one that you must learn to accept.
Opportunities will certainly come along, but you must be patient while you wait for the right one. Keep going to auditions when asked, keep practising those poses, and keep updating your child’s portfolio particularly if they go through any growth spurts.
If you think that your child could follow these tips and has what it takes to shine in front of the camera, then we want you to hear from you! We’re always on the lookout for fresh faces so get in touch today or apply to join Bubblegum and let’s get your child’s career off to the best possible start.