Child Modelling Guide

Welcome to Bubblegum Casting’s child modelling guide!

If you’re a parent with a child interested in pursuing a career in the modelling industry, then you’ve come to the right place!

In this guide, we’ll provide you with crucial information on what to expect from the children’s modelling industry, how to prepare your child for success, and how to protect their wellbeing throughout their career.

Once you’re done reading this guide, you’ll have the knowledge and tools necessary to support your child’s dreams of becoming a successful model. From casting calls and photo shoots to contracts and finances, we’ve got you covered.

So, sit back, grab a coffee, and let us guide you through the exciting world of children’s modelling. But before we get started, here’s a short letter from our managing director Adam Jacobs.



Dear Parents, If your child has been signed to a modelling agency and is beginning their career as a young model, it can be an exciting but also overwhelming time. With this in mind here are some quick tips on how to manage your child's modelling career and ensure their wellbeing is always the top priority.

  1. Remember that your child is still a child. Even though they may be working in the modelling industry, it’s important to prioritise their education and overall development. Make sure they have plenty of time to play and be a kid.
  2. Communicate with the modelling agency. Make sure you understand the terms of your child’s contract and what is expected of them. Keep in regular contact with the agency to stay updated on their schedule and any changes.
  3. Protect your child’s privacy. The modelling industry can be highly competitive, and it’s important to keep your child’s personal information private to avoid any potential conflicts
  4. Set boundaries. Make sure your child knows what is expected of them on a shoot or at a casting, and establish clear rules and boundaries for their behaviour.
  5. Be prepared for rejection. Not every casting or job will be a success, and it’s important to teach your child to handle rejection with grace and resilience.
  6. Have a support system. As a parent, it’s important to have a strong support network to help you navigate the complexities of the modelling industry. Talk to other parents in the industry and seek advice from professionals.
  7. Prioritise their wellbeing. Above all else, make sure your child’s wellbeing is the top priority. If they are tired, unwell, or simply not in the mood to work, don’t push them. Their happiness and health should always come first.

We hope these tips and the information provided in this ebook will help you manage your child’s modelling career with confidence and ensure they have a positive and fulfilling experience.

Best of luck with your child’s new career.

Adam Jacobs

How to Manage Your Child’s Modelling Career

As a parent, you want to support your child’s dreams and help them succeed and achieve their goals. So if your child is interested in modelling, it’s important that you know how to manage their career and provide the support they need to succeed.

To that end, we’re going to take a close look at the following topics, each of which is an incredibly important aspect of your child’s career that you simply must have a clear understanding of.

  1. Finding the right agency
  2. Building a strong portfolio
  3. Developing a strong work ethic
  4. Managing finances
  5. Supporting your child’s mental health
  6. How to land more modelling jobs for your child
  7. Where to look for opportunities for your child
  8. Keeping your child safe

By following the tips and advice in this ebook, you’ll be ready to take on the challenging world of child modelling knowing that your child has the best support they can hope for.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get down to business!

Finding The Right Agency

As a parent, finding the right modelling agency for your child is a hugely important step in supporting their career. A reputable modelling agency can provide guidance, support, and opportunities for your child to succeed in the industry. However, with so many agencies to choose from, it can be pretty overwhelming knowing where to start.

Now, before you start your search, it’s important to understand what a modelling agency does and what to look for in a reputable agency.

What is a modelling agency?

A modelling agency is a business that represents models and provides services such as casting, talent management, and photography. A good agency will have a strong reputation and track record in the industry and will be able to provide opportunities and support for their clients.

What to look out for in a modelling agency

When looking for a modelling agency, it’s important to do your research and compare different agencies. Here are
some key factors to consider:

  • Location : Consider the location of the agency. If the agency is based in a major city, they may have more opportunities and connections in the industry. However, if the agency is based in a smaller city, they may have a more personalised approach and be able to provide more specific support for your child.
  • Reputation : Look for an agency with a strong reputation and track record in the industry. Research the agency’s website and social media to learn more about their clients and the opportunities they provide. You can also ask for references from other parents or models who have worked with the agency.
  • Services : Consider the services the agency offers. A reputable agency should offer services such as talent management, casting, and photography to support their clients. Look for an agency that offers a variety of services and can provide support throughout your child’s career.
  • Client roster : Research the agency’s client roster to see if they represent models in your child’s age range and category. If the agency primarily represents adult models, they may not have the expertise or connections to support your child’s career.
  • Fees : Be aware of any hidden fees associated with working with the agency. While all agencies will charge fees for representation, some may charge a fee for services such as portfolio development or casting. Look for an agency that is transparent about their fees and has a fair and reasonable pricing structure

Once you have researched and compared different agencies, it’s important to meet or at least speak with the agencies you are thinking about joining. This will give you an opportunity to learn more about the agency and ask any questions you may have

Here are some key questions to ask during your meeting:

  1. What services does the agency offer?
  2. What is the agency’s track record and reputation in the industry?
  3. How does the agency support their clients?
  4. What opportunities does the agency provide for their clients?
  5. What are the fees associated with working with the agency?

At Bubblegum Casting, we always recommend that you trust your instincts and choose the agency that feels like it’s the best fit for your child. If you’ve got any ‘bad feeling’ about an agency, just walk away.

Remember that the agency will be a partner in your child’s career for quite some time, and it’s important to choose an agency that both you and your child feel comfortable and confident working with.

Building a Strong Portfolio

As a parent, finding the right modelling agency for your child is a hugely important step in supporting their career. A reputable modelling agency can provide guidance, support, and opportunities for your child to succeed in the industry. However, with so many agencies to choose from, it can be pretty overwhelming knowing where to start.

Now, before you start your search, it’s important to understand what a modelling agency does and what to look for in a reputable agency.

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a collection of photos and other materials that showcase a model’s unique talents and abilities. It’s important to have a portfolio that accurately represents your child and demonstrates their potential as a model.

Tips for building a strong portfolio

Believe it or not, a portfolio doesn’t have to be shots from a child model’s previous work. In fact, the majority of parents of child models simply create their own portfolios. But before you get started on yours, here are a few tips.

  1. Hire a professional photographer : A professional photographer will be able to capture high-quality photos that showcase your child’s unique features and abilities. Look for a photographer who has experience working with models and can provide guidance and direction during the photo shoot. Besides, all clients will expect to see professionally-shot photos in a child modelling portfolio!
  2. Choose a variety of shots : A strong portfolio should include a variety of shots that showcase your child’s range and versatility as a model. This can include close-up shots, full-length shots, and shots that showcase different expressions and poses.
  3. Include natural shots : While not essential, there is nothing wrong with including a couple of natural shots that show your child in their everyday environment. These shots can help showcase your child’s personality and how they look when not posing.
  4. Be selective : A strong portfolio should include a selection of your child’s best photos. Be super selective and choose a variety of photos that showcase your child’s unique talents and abilities.
  5. Keep it current : A portfolio can include a few shots from client work so as your child books work, add the best shots. It’s also important that you update the main shots on a regular basis as children can change a great deal over the course of a year

If you are working on a budget, you can also create your child’s portfolio yourself. Here are some tips on how to do it:

While creating your own portfolio is possible, we still highly recommend having a professional do so. It’s an investment that is worth its weight in gold as casting directors and clients really do expect to see professional-grade photos in any child’s portfolio.

Most agencies will have a relationship with a professional photographer or will have some recommendations for local studios. However, the very best agencies (like Bubblegum Casting!) will handle the entire portfolio process in-house. Not only does this save you money but it also means it’s one less thing that you need to worry about. And trust us, minimising your stress is going to help you a lot!

Developing a Strong Work Ethic

A strong work ethic is essential for success in any career, and it involves being reliable, professional, and dedicated to your work. And yes, you guessed it, child modelling is no different. Thankfully, children can develop a great work ethic if parents take a few little steps to guide them along the way

how to become a better actor for auditions in brisbane
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  1. Be a Role Model: As a parent, you are your child’s first role model. Demonstrate a strong work ethic to emphasize the importance of reliability, professionalism, and dedication. Your commitment to learning about modeling sets a powerful example, motivating your child to work just as hard.
  2. Encourage Responsibility: Foster a sense of responsibility by involving your child in tasks and projects, such as household chores or school assignments. Extend this responsibility to their modeling career by allowing them to make significant decisions.
  3. Teach Time Management: Time management is crucial for success in any career. Help your child learn effective time management by setting goals and deadlines, whether related to acquiring new modeling skills or pursuing opportunities.
  4. Encourage Professionalism: Emphasize professionalism in your child’s interactions with others, including potential clients and agencies. This involves being consistently polite, respectful, and taking their work seriously.
  5. Support Their Passions: Support and nurture your child’s passions and interests. If their dream is to become a full-time model, help them develop the necessary skills and gain relevant experience.
  6. Provide Guidance and Support: Offer guidance and support as your child’s parent/manager. From driving to jobs to helping practice skills at home, you’ll play a crucial role in guiding them along the right path. Get ready to be a busy parent/manager!

You’ll notice that most of the tips above are actually aimed at parents and this is with good reason. Not only are you their new manager but as mentioned earlier, you are the number one role model in their young life. So their work ethic will likely be a reflection of yours!

Managing Finances

Once your child starts booking regular modelling gigs, the money will start coming in. Unfortunately, managing your child’s newfound financial status isn’t quite so easy as stuffing it all in the piggy bank.

Here are some tips on how to manage your child’s modelling finances effectively:

  • Set up a Bank Account: All child models are paid in their own name and are rarely paid in cash. Therefore, it’s crucial to set up a bank account for them. Remember that the account must be in their name alone.
  • Get Your Child’s Tax Affairs in Order: Every child in Australia must have a Tax File Number (TFN) to pay taxes on their income, generally around 20% of all earnings. It’s your responsibility to ensure the taxes are paid in full. Contact your local revenue office to fully understand your child’s tax liabilities.
  • Encourage Financial Literacy: Depending on your child’s age, involve them in the financial aspect of their career. This helps them understand that they are working and earning money for themselves.
  • Give Pocket Money and Set Savings Goals: To reinforce the concept that their work is rewarded, consider allowing your child to have a small percentage of each fee they earn. This way, they can decide how to use the money independently without risking their main savings.

Modelling can be an extremely rewarding career, but it’s important to note that child modelling is not something to get into to become rich. Yes, your child might save a nice nest egg for college, but they won’t be buying a fancy beach house at the age of 12. Just remember to manage their expectations as it will take a lot of hard work to earn that first paycheck.

Supporting your child's Mental Health

The child modelling industry is tons of fun and super rewarding, but it can also be demanding and stressful for both parents and children alike. That’s why it’s important to play close attention to your child’s mental and physical wellbeing throughout their career. Although it can be a lot of hard work, with the right support from you, your child can flourish and meet those challenges head on!

Here are a few tips on how to support your child’s mental health when working as a child model:

  • Talk about it: Encourage open and honest communication with your child about their experiences and feelings regarding their work. Make sure they understand that they can come to you at any point if they are unhappy about the work.
  • Help them cope with stress: The modeling industry can be stressful, so it’s crucial to help your child cope with stress and manage how they deal with it. Promote healthy habits and, above all, try to shield your child from your own stress or worries.
  • Help them maintain a healthy body image: In the adult modeling industry, there can be pressure to maintain a specific body type and appearance. It’s important for your child to know that this is not the expectation for child models. Remind them that child models come in all shapes and sizes, and how they look right now is absolutely perfect.
  • Encourage them to take breaks: Urge your child to take breaks from their modeling career to recharge and reconnect with themselves—to simply be a kid! Don’t hesitate to approve vacations or say no to modeling jobs when your child is tired.
  • Embrace rejection: Turn rejection into a positive experience, especially after open castings or auditions. Teach your child that rejection is a part of the job and happens to everyone. Discuss what they learned from each experience of trying out. Even if not applicable to all modeling jobs, maintain a positive outlook—celebrate the fact that your child was put forward for 10 modeling jobs in the past two months!

Working as a model will be tough and there will be times when your child feels like they are getting nowhere. Just remind them that even the most famous models in the world all went through the exact same thing that they are going through right now. So be patient and keep trying!

How to Land more Modelling Jobs for your Child

A strong work ethic is essential for success in any career, and it involves being reliable, professional, and dedicated to your work. And yes, you guessed it, child modelling is no different. Thankfully, children can develop a great work ethic if parents take a few little steps to guide them along the way.

Here are few:

  • Build a Strong Portfolio: Emphasize the importance of a strong portfolio. Clients are more likely to choose your child if they have an impressive portfolio showcasing their talents and versatility.
  • Research Agencies: Choose the right agency for your child. Some agencies focus solely on collecting fees without promoting the model. Do thorough research to select an agency that will actively seek the right opportunities for your child.
  • Attend Casting Calls: Participate in casting calls and open calls to connect with potential clients and agencies. This provides your child with the chance to showcase their portfolio and meet industry decision-makers. Keep an eye out for these events, as they may not always be publicly announced; some may go through agencies first.
  • Network and Make Connections: Increase your child’s visibility and opportunities by networking in the industry. Attend industry events, join modeling groups and forums, and connect with other parents and models.
  • Be Persistent and Professional: Landing modeling gigs takes time and effort. Stay persistent and professional in your efforts. Use the initial stages of your child’s career to invest time in lessons and skill improvement. Keep pushing forward, and success will follow.

How to Land Without an Agent More Modelling Gigs

Okay, so aside from the tips above, if you have opted against signing with an agency, what else can you do? Here’s our step-by-step guide.

  1. Create a professional and compelling online portfolio and resume. Include high-quality photos, credits, and information about your child’s experience and abilities.
  2. Research and identify potential clients and casting directors in your area. Follow their social media accounts and website to stay up to date on opportunities and casting calls.
  3. Attend open casting calls and networking events to meet and connect with potential clients and casting directors. Bring your child’s portfolio and resume, and be prepared to introduce yourselves and have your child ready to showcase their talents.
  4. Reach out to potential clients and casting directors directly. Use social media, email, or phone calls to introduce yourself and offer your services. Be professional and polite, and provide a link to your child’s online portfolio and resume.
  5. Be proactive and persistent. Don’t be discouraged if your child doesn’t land a gig right away. Keep reaching out to potential clients and casting directors, and be willing to audition and try out for different opportunities.
  6. Consider joining a local modelling group or association. These organisations can provide support and resources, such as networking events and workshops, to help you connect with potential clients and learn more about the industry.
  7. Stay focused and committed. Landing more modelling gigs without an agent will take a lot of time and effort so stay committed to the cause.

To be perfectly honest, we don’t recommend going it alone for two very specific reasons. The first is that it is super time consuming and you’ll find yourself taking on a lot more work than you may have anticipated. Secondly, and most importantly, your child may not get as many opportunities. This is because clients and photographers will often go straight to an agency with their brief. This means that if they find their model, the opportunity won’t be released to the general public.

Where to Look for Your Child for Opportunities

There are several ways that a parent can find child modelling work for their child. These include:

By using these tools and platforms, parents can increase their chances of finding child modelling work and supporting their child’s career.

The importance of Patience

While professionalism, politeness, and a willingness to help your baby are all important in the baby acting and modelling industries, it’s patience that is perhaps the most vital.

Why? Because very few babies will book work immediately. In fact, it may be a few months before you even get your first audition. This is perfectly normal as the industry can be super busy one moment and then super quiet the next. There are also the specific requirements of a casting director to take into account. A role may call for a baby with dark hair or one who can crawl quickly and if that’s not your baby, then of course you won’t be considered.

Just remember that this is the case with every single baby out there in the industry. They all need to wait for their time to shine, but be patient, because it will come.

Hopefully the information in this guide has given you a much better understanding of how the baby acting and modelling industries work while also giving you an idea of how to get started.

If you find yourself in need of any further help or you would like to apply to join the Bubblegum Casting family, please feel free to get in touch with us today.

Keeping Your Child Safe

Every parent knows that safety is the main priority when it comes to kids. Whether that’s at a birthday party in the park or at school, it’s all the same; safety first, always. And the modelling industry is no different. Everyone involved with the modelling shoot will work together to see that it’s a safe environment for your child, nevertheless, you should still take your own steps to ensure that this is the case.

Here are some tips on how to keep your child safe in the modelling world:

Research and Compare Agencies:
Conduct thorough research and compare different agencies to identify reputable ones with a strong industry track record. Look for agencies that offer support, guidance, and have policies prioritizing the safety and well-being of their models. Ask potential agencies about their measures to protect the children they represent.

Review Contracts and Agreements:
Carefully review any contracts or agreements you’re asked to sign on behalf of your child. Ensure a clear understanding of terms and conditions, and confirm that the contract is fair and reasonable. Don’t hesitate to seek legal advice if needed. It’s perfectly fine to ask for clarification on certain aspects of the contract.

Be Aware of Potential Risks:
While unpleasant to consider, be aware of potential risks to your child in any job or activity. This includes exploitation, harassment, and unsafe working conditions. Educate yourself and your child about these risks. If ever uncomfortable, promptly contact the agency and take steps to avoid potential risks. While such occurrences are rare in the modeling industry for children, staying informed is essential.

Communicate with Your Child:
Foster open and honest communication with your child about their experiences and feelings in the industry. Encourage them to share their thoughts and emotions, assuring them that you are always available for discussions about their feelings.

Like we said, the modelling industry is highly regulated and there are very strict restrictions on what a child can and cannot do in terms of work.

That's a Wrap

The children’s modelling industry can be a hugely rewarding and exciting experience for both parents and children. And with the right preparation, support, and guidance, your child has a genuine chance at having a successful and fulfilling career as a child model. Sure, it will be hard work, but it will be worth it!

Whatever path you and your child take in this exciting new career, we hope that the advice in this ebook has been of some help. Most importantly though, we hope that you land that first modelling gig and that it kick starts your child’s career!

Just remember that while being a child model is a job, it should be a fun and rewarding experience for your child at all times.

Want to get a more comprehensive guide into child modelling? Check out our Introduction to Modelling Handbook!

Bonus Material

A few bits and pieces to help your child get started on the road to success!

Things to include in your Casting Networks profile:

 

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Measurements (e.g., bust, waist, hips)
  • Shoe size
  • Hair colour
  • Eye colour
  • Skin tone
  • Ethnicity
  • Availability
  • Contact information
  • Location
  • Portfolio/photographs
  • Resume/experience
  • Special skills/talents
  • References/recommendations
  • Representation (if applicable)
  • Social media handles (if applicable)
  • Any additional relevant information (e.g., languages spoken, hobbies, etc.)

Example bio for casting networks for a child:

Hi, my name is (Name), and I am (Age) years old. I am an aspiring child model with a passion for performing and being in front of the camera. I have experience in photoshoots, commercials, and runway shows, and I am always eager to take on new challenges and opportunities.

I am a confident and outgoing individual with a great attitude and a willingness to learn and grow. I am also very hardworking and dedicated, and I always give 100 percent to every project I am involved in.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, playing sports, and spending time with my friends and family. I am also fluent in (Language) and have a natural talent for (Talent/Skill).

I am currently represented by (Agency), and I am available for work in (Location). Thank you for considering me for your project. I look forward to the possibility of working with you!

Checklist of Things to Bring to a casting or Photoshoot for a child

Terms and Phrases Used in the Modelling Industry

Model : A model is a person who is hired to display and promote products, such as clothing, accessories, and beauty products. Models can work in a variety of settings, including photoshoots, fashion shows, and advertisements.

Portfolio : A portfolio is a collection of photos and other materials that showcase a model’s skills and abilities. Portfolios can include professional photos, headshots, and other images that demonstrate a model’s range and versatility.

Casting call : A casting call is an event or audition where models are invited to present themselves to potential clients and agents. Casting calls can be open or closed and can involve interviews, auditions, or other types of evaluations.

Runway : The runway is the raised platform or catwalk where models showcase clothing and accessories during fashion shows. Models walk down the runway to present the latest collections and styles to audiences and buyers.

Lookbook : A lookbook is a collection of photos and images that showcase a designer’s latest collection. Lookbooks can be used for marketing, advertising, and editorial purposes and can provide inspiration and ideas for potential buyers and clients.

Print : Print modelling is a type of modelling that involves appearing in printed materials, such as magazines, newspapers, and catalogues. Print models can be featured in editorial content, advertisements, or product listings.

Commercial : Commercial modelling is a type of modelling that involves appearing in commercials that run online or on TV.

Agency : An agency is a company that represents models and arranges their bookings and contracts. Agencies provide support and guidance to help models succeed in the industry.

Booking : A booking is a job or gig that a model is hired to perform. Bookings can include photoshoots, fashion shows, commercials, and other types of modelling work.

Casting : A casting is a process in which models are selected for specific jobs or projects. Castings can involve auditions, interviews, or portfolio review and can be organised by agencies, clients, or casting directors.

Headshot : A headshot is a photo of a model’s face, used to showcase their facial features and expressions. Headshots are typically taken by a professional photographer and are used in portfolios, resumes, and online profiles.

Comp card : A comp card is a card that combines a model’s headshot, full-body shot, and basic information, used to promote their availability and skills. Comp cards are typically used by agencies to showcase their models to potential clients.

Callback : A callback is a request for a model to attend a second audition or interview, typically to narrow down the pool of candidates for a specific job or project. Callbacks are an indication that a model is a strong contender for the job and can be a sign of success in the industry.

Digitals : Digitals are digital photos that are used for online portfolios and profiles, such as on social media.

acting-audition

Example Video Script for Auditions and Castings

If your child lands an opportunity to audition for an acting role, use this video script if asked to send in a self-tape.

Hi, my name is (Name), and I am (Age) years old. Today, I am auditioning for the role of (Character Name) in (Play/Movie Title).

I am really excited to be here, and I have been practising a lot for this audition. I have always loved (modelling/acting) and performing, and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to be part of this production.

(Character Name) is a really fun and interesting character to play. She is smart, brave, and always stands up for what she believes in. I think I would be perfect for this role because I am a lot like (Character Name) in real life. I am also very determined, and I always try my best at everything I do.

I am ready to put my acting skills to the test, and I am confident that I can deliver a great performance as (Character Name). Thank you for considering me for this role. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and this production.

Inspirational quotes from successful models to motivate you and your child!

Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough or that you can’t do it. If you have a dream, go for it and don’t stop until you get there.” – Tyra Banks

“Success is not how many times you win, it’s how many times you don’t give up.” – Unknown

“I want to help and let people know that beauty can be many things and there is beauty in imperfection.” – Tobias Sorenson

“If you believe in yourself and feel confident in yourself, you can do anything. I really believe that.” – Karlie Kloss

“A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are beautiful in their own way.” – Miranda Kerr

DOWNLOAD OUR
EBOOK ON Guide Children Modelling

WANT TO BE A CHILD
ACTOR OR MODEL?

At Bubblegum, we represent some of Australia’s brightest young stars, but even so, we’re always on the lookout for fresh new faces and talent.

If your child is aged anywhere from 3 months to 18 years of age, and you think they might have what it takes to shine in front of a camera or on stage, then we want to hear from you.

We’ll set up a quick informal chat where we’ll get a feel for your child’s suitability for working in the industry.

The lucky kids that make it onto our books benefit from in-house workshops and coaching sessions to help them brush up on their skills. They’ll also get great advice and tips from the Bubblegum team, some of whom have worked as child models and actors themselves! We’ll even arrange a portfolio shoot with our in-house photographer.

We want all the kids on our books to have their chance to shine and if that means working twice as hard to make it happen, then that’s what we’ll do!

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