Model Tips for Beginners: How to Become a Successful Model
Whether you’re the parent of an aspiring child model or you yourself are a teen model-in-the-making, getting started in the modelling business can be quite confusing. There are portfolios to put together, headshots, casting calls, and that’s before we even start talking about all the lingo used at a shoot.
But luckily for you, the Bubblegum crew have watched tons of little supermodels make their name in the industry. And yes, over the years we made a few notes on what works and what doesn’t.
So if your child has dreams of becoming the next Duckie Thot or Robyn Lawley, here are a few tips that will get you off to the best possible start.
Find a child modelling agency
The absolute first step in the process is to find yourself a reliable agency that has a proven track record of working with great clients. The agency should be in business for a while, have a solid reputation, that great client list we mentioned, and more than a few success stories involving their child and teen models.
Of course, we’d love to recommend Bubblegum Casting because we check all of those boxes, but the truth is that you should do your own research. It could be that you find another agency that fits your needs as well as we do (we hope not though!)
Whatever agency you choose, just remember that you and your child should feel comfortable and happy with the way you’re being taken care of at all times.
Get professional headshots
Every modelling career starts with a great headshot. Sure, you’ll hear the odd story about a kid who was spotted in a shopping mall or something like that, but the vast majority of child and teen models will be ‘discovered’ through their headshots.
So, why do they need to be professionally taken headshots? That’s a good question. The reason we always recommend this is because casting directors and photographers will expect to see pro headshots when they check out your child’s portfolio or talent profile. This is so they can see what your child or teen looks like in a studio environment. After all, that’s where your kid will potentially be working!
We also recommend working with a photographer who has headshot experience, so maybe don’t ask your family portrait photographer unless they’ve handled this type of thing before.
Ideally, your agency should be able to point you in the right direction of a great photographer or if they’ll have an in-house headshot service that’s included in your membership fees… like… Bubblegum Casting? 🙂
If you’re a teen, think about a niche
There are so many niches in modelling that it can be hard to keep up! There are fitness models, catalogue models, runway models, makeup models and even part models such as hand models.
Now, this is something that you won’t really need to worry about if your child is young. Generally speaking, most child models will work as commercial/catalogue models while some will get a chance to appear on the runway.
However, if your older teen is really set on becoming a model and wants to pursue this as a long-term career, it might be a good idea to think about what type of model they want to be in the future.
This way, they can get started on picking up the right skills that will help them later in their career. And speaking of skills…
Take some modelling classes
There’s a common misconception that modelling is easy peasy. Stand in front of a camera and smile or pout. Change outfits and repeat the process. If only that were the case. Modelling for kids and teens can be quite demanding. There’s a whole range of poses and positions that your child will need to be able to do on command while modelling shoots themselves can be quite tiring.
That’s why many of the most successful child and teen models have taken a modelling class at some point in their young careers. These types of classes will teach them how to find their best angles, how to pose with attitude, how to walk, and a host of other essential modelling skills.
A side benefit of taking a modelling class is that your child or teen will get a real idea of what will be expected of them when they start working in the industry. This is a great opportunity for them to decide if this is actually what they want to do.
Networking is a huge part of working in the entertainment industry as it’s so important for your child or teen to be known by the people who make decisions. This is why working with a well-known and reputable agency is a massive advantage. As soon as your child joins the agency, they now have access to the agency’s extensive network of industry contacts.
But don’t rely on the agency alone. When your child attends open casting calls or auditions, talk to the other parents and even the industry professionals who are there. Let people know who you and your child are and be sociable. But you’ll need to find the right balance as you don’t want to be too pushy. Just be nice and polite to everyone you meet because you never know who might be paying attention to you and your child.
Again, this is something that parents, children, teens are often surprised to hear when we tell them — kid models need to keep practising. That’s right, they need to work on their poses in the mirror and try to move through each pose on command. Think about it this way, when a photographer tells your child to try a different pose or facial expression, they need to have something in mind that they can go to without even thinking about it.
And that takes practice… plenty of practice.
So tell your child to spend at least 10-15 minutes practising each and every day. You can even help out too by taking some shots while they work on their poses. Trust us, this is the one tip that separates the successful child and teen models from the wannabes.
If you’d like to learn more about the child modelling industry, you can check out our in-depth guide on how to become a model. And if your child is set on modelling and you’re looking for modelling classes, you can take a look at our online school Bubblegum Academy where we have a range of acting and modelling classes available to suit kids and teens of all ages and skill levels.
Remember, at Bubblegum Casting we’re always on the lookout for new talent. If you think your child or teen has what it takes to be a model, then we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today or go ahead and apply to join the Bubblegum family! We can’t wait to hear from you.