- Introduction To




As you are probably already aware, this modelling handbook is designed to help you learn all the basic fundamentals of modelling — how to get started, how to break into the talent industry, and most importantly, how to be a success!

To do this, we’re going to introduce you to some industry experts who know exactly what it takes to make it in the world of modelling and child modelling as well as offer you some insider tips gleaned from our decades of experience in the talent industry. And as the longest running kids talent agency in Australia, let’s just say we’ve seen everything this industry can throw your way.

We created this modelling handbook to accompany your video tutorials. Each chapter will run through the information explained in each module from Modelling 101 right through to advice on scams and safety.

Remember that if there’s anything that you don’t understand in this modelling handbook or the course itself, feel free to get in touch and we’ll help in any way we can.

So if you’re ready, let’s take the first steps in your new career as an internationally famous model!
If you’re going to succeed in the world of modelling, then you’ll need to understand the fundamentals of the industry.




A model is a person that is used in photography or video for campaigns, advertising, promotions of brands, and all types of other things. In a nutshell, a model helps a brand or company to convey a certain image in order to deliver a message or sell a product or service


The photos you see in big fashion magazines like Vogue are forms of editorial photography and modelling. In this type of photography, models will use their bodies and facial expressions to tell a story or to sell an idea, concept, or even a dream-like fantasy. .


A model is a person that is used in photography or video for campaigns, advertising, promotions of brands, and all types of other things. In a nutshell, a model helps a brand or company to convey a certain image in order to deliver a message or sell a product or service


Runway modelling is fashion modelling and is usually for bigger brands. As you may have guessed, it involves walking down the runway in a particular designer or brand’s clothing. Think of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.

Runway modelling is often done in front of a crowd of industry influencers and sometimes even celebrities. This makes it a great chance to be noticed and possibly make a name for yourself. Bear in mind that as this is live modelling and not photography, you’ll need to be very confident in your skills.


A TVC is just short for a TV commercial. This type of modelling is slightly different as you’ll need to play a character, play out some actions, and possibly even speak a few lines.


A modelling agency or child modelling agency is a group of industry professionals who help models on their books find suitable work.


The agency will assign an agent to a model. It is that person’s responsibility to connect models with clients who have suitable opportunities. While it’s possible to go out and find freelance work without an agent, clients usually contact agencies with the best jobs and opportunities.

The agency will also help with contracts and ensure that any payment is the correct amount for the work done. Remember that an agency is not just about your agent, there’s a whole network of industry professionals working behind the scenes to help you secure that gig.

What does a casting director do?

A casting director is a person who facilitates jobs on behalf of brands, advertising agencies, and production companies. It’s their job to find the right person for the role. For the most part, casting directors will come straight to a modelling agency or agent with a brief and the agency/agent will recommend suitable models for the role.

What does a creative director do?

Creative directors are different to casting directors in that they have a direct influence on the campaign. In fact, it’s often the creative director who will come up with the idea for the campaign and, as such, they may have very specific instructions for the type of model they require.
It’s usually the creative director who briefs the casting director about what they are looking for in a model.

What does a director do?

A director is the person who is ultimately responsible for the filming of a TV commercial or any other type of video production. You’ll rarely see a director on a photography campaign, but you may see a creative director working alongside the photographer.

What does a producer do?

The producer is responsible for pretty much everything! They’ll find a location, book the catering, hire equipment — everything that is needed to make a shoot run smoothly is facilitated by the producer or somebody working on their team.


What does a booker do?

A booker works for an agent to help them do all the heavy lifting of the job. They’ll work closely with the model to make sure that they have all the right information and that they have everything they need to make it to the job. They’ll schedule a model’s appointments and play an integral role in the everyday work of being a model.

What does a stylist do?

Not much explaining required here! A stylist will work on the set to help create a look that reflects the creative director’s vision.

Does a photographer do more than take pictures?

Yes, they often do. You see, while some photographers are quite happy to let the creative director lead the shoot, others will take a more hands on approach. These photographers will tell the models how they should pose or ask them to try different things. They may also work closely with the stylist to decide what direction they want to take.

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is one of the most important tools a model can have. It’s a selection of images that showcase the best of your skills in a variety of poses or shots from different angles. Portfolios will also often include images from your previous jobs so a casting director can see what you’re capable of.

What are comp cards?

A comp card or composite card serves as a kind of business card for a model. It can be in physical or digital format and will include some of your most recent/best images and your details such as height, shoe size etc.

What is a go see?

A go-see is a meeting between a new model and a potential client. In simple terms, you go to see the client and they get to see what you look like and may even ask you to try on an outfit and take some test shots.

What is a direct book?

This is when a client books a model without asking them to go through a casting call. This usually happens with models that the client has worked with before or if they have a very specific request in terms of looks and you’re the only model that can fill the role.

What is open casting?

This is when a client wants to see a broad range of models. You’ll go along to the casting and there will be a lot of models waiting to be seen. It can be quite competitive and even a little intimidating for new models. Just remember that many of the other models at an open casting will be just as nervous as you!


What is a callback?

A callback is what happens when a casting director is interested in you and wants to see more of you. Your agency may tell you about this through email or a text message and while it doesn’t mean you’ve landed the job just yet, it’s a step in the right direction!

What does on hold mean?

If you’ve sailed through the callback (your second audition) and the casting director is impressed, you’ll be put on hold. This means that you’ve been shortlisted for the job.

What does weather hold mean?

If you get the job and the shoot is being held outdoors, the client may give you two dates with one as the desired shoot date and the next as the weather hold date. This simply means that if the weather is bad on the first date, they’ll move the shoot to the second date. This means that you’ll need to keep both days free.

What is an extra?

If you’re interested in doing TV commercials, then you may land a role as an extra. This is a person in the background who is not the main focus of attention in the commercial. If you’re a featured extra, you may get a more prominent role and perhaps even a line.

Of course, you’ll come across a lot more words and terms as you become more familiar with the industry, but these explain everything you need to know to get started in the child modelling industry.

What are Agencies?

Junior agencies

These deal with models from newborns right up to 17 year-olds.

Adult/grown-up agencies

These focus on anyone aged 18 or over.

What does an agency do?

An agency works as the middleman between a brand, production company, or casting director and the model or talent. The brand comes to the agency because the agency has good, vetted talent while a model signs with an agency because of the opportunities. It’s important to note that while an agency will put you forward for work, you won’t match the requirements for all the opportunities that come in. For example, some clients may require a model of a specific height or ethnicity for a campaign so it won’t suit you.

The client process

Typically, a client will come directly to the agency with a brief that includes all the requirements for the job. This often includes height, age, or any special skills along with the rate of pay and dates for the assignment.

The agency will then match the client with any models on its books that meet the assignment requirements and who fall under the client’s budget range. What we mean by this is that some of the more established models have set a minimum rate that they will work for.

Once the client has chosen potential models that they may want to work with, the agency will inform the models.

In fact, the agency will manage all communications between the client and the models throughout the entire working process. The only real contact the model will have with representatives of the client will be when working on set.

The agency will also help junior models secure a work permit to work on set which is a legal requirement in Australia and in many other countries.

When the job is finished, the agency will handle invoicing and the receipt of payments so you don’t need to worry about that at all

Go see event

This is when a client wants to see a lot of models from one agency in a short space of time. These were hugely popular in the past, but since more and more casting directors and agencies have shifted to remote auditioning, they’re not quite as relevant as they once were.


How to choose the right agency?

Do your research

Google the agency and see if you can find any reviews left by models or parents of models who have worked there previously. With the child modelling industry, you’re much more likely to find some negative feedback so take care to dig a little deeper. One or two bad reviews doesn’t necessarily mean that an agency is bad. Just make sure that those one or two negative reviews are far outweighed by positive ones.

Check the agency’s social media profiles to see what kind of clients and brands they are currently working with. In some cases you may even find that the clients mention the agency on their own socials if they’re happy with the service.

Decide on your needs

If your goal is to simply do some extra work and perhaps the odd shoot now and then, you may not need to worry too much about signing with a big name agency that has all those stellar clients.

On the other hand, if your goal is to develop your career and make a name for yourself, then a top-level agency is exactly what you’re looking for.


Quick tips for choosing an agency

How many years has the agency been in business?

A new agency may not have been in business long enough for you to learn much from their reviews.

Check the company email address

A legit agency will have a proper business email address associated with its website. They will avoid using email addresses from free providers like gmail or hotmail.

Is there a lot of negative chatter online about the agency?

Read forums, check social media groups, and read reviews to see if there’s a common theme for any negative chatter. Like we said, one or two is usually not a problem, but if you start to see a pattern, it’s time to move onto another agency

Are they asking for money too soon?

If the agency is asking for money immediately, that’s a major red flag as it shows that they’re only after your membership fees. Any reputable agency will want to meet with you first before even discussing your fees.

Are they reaching out to you directly?

If an agency is reaching out to a junior model without speaking first with mum or dad, this is totally unacceptable. A reputable agency will never do this and will only speak with a junior model in the presence of a parent or guardian.


Quick tips for choosing an agency

You’ll need to make an online application first. And you’ll need to include:

A simple headshot

Preferably in front of a white background with lighting to the side or in front of you, never behind. Keep it natural with your regular hairstyle and colour and no accessories or heavy makeup.

A full body shot

Again, this should be very simple. A plain t-shirt and jeans is fine, no patterns or branded clothes.

The agency will then review your application and if they need any models in your category, they’ll call you in for an interview or arrange an online interview.
If the agency decides that you’re a good fit, they will then offer you a contract