I wrote and contributed to books on film and worked in the modeling and film industries. I like to share insights into both businesses.
Modeling for Babies, Toddlers, and Children
Are you sure your baby or child is photogenic and has the most beautiful smile, but is he or she willing and excited about modeling?
If not, then don't encourage them until they are enthusiastic about the modeling business. You have to be ready, too.
You will take the time out of your schedule to take your child around to agencies meeting potential clients. As long as you can handle dragging yourselves to and fro, both you and the child will reap the rewards of a successful career.
Parents who have a full-time job can't take part in developing a modeling career for their child. The trudging around takes hours and hours in the middle of the day. You have to be ready at a moment's notice. Working a 9 - 5 job is not practical.
Baby Acting and Modeling
You need to take into account how well your baby can handle the demands of modeling. Observe your baby with strangers or the babysitter. How does he or she behave? Keep this question in mind as you consider baby modeling. A baby who can handle changes in nap time and feed time makes a great model.
It is a good idea to live close to a modeling agency—most an hour away. Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and Dallas are the top cities for modeling work. In minor cities, the modeling agency might have a satellite office.
Get a couple of good photos of your baby. You can even take the first photos yourself to see if any agency calls you back. The images could be three-quarter shots or a headshot. A portfolio is not necessary at first.
Send the photos to a couple of agencies with a letter of introduction. It would be best if you got calls back. If not, send photos to other agencies until you get an interview.
Be ready at a moment's notice. Some modeling jobs the agencies need to be filled right away. If you and your baby stay prepared, you'll get a lot of work.
By keeping your horizons open, your baby will receive offers for work in modeling, film, and television.
Baby Ads Agencies
Remember, legitimate modeling agencies will never ask you for money.
Their job is to give you money for the work they get you and your child.
No matter what age your child is, there are opportunities available for your child to model at any age. The growth of film, television, cable, and Internet industries makes it worthwhile. That means more opportunities for modeling and acting jobs.
There are countless movies with child actors starring in small and large roles. Most of them were baby and child models. Oscar-nominated Little Miss Sunshine is one example. Dakota Fanning of Charlotte’s Web worked with such notable stars as Tom Cruise (War of the Worlds) and Denzel Washington (Man on Fire). Her sister Elle Fanning is starring in movies as well.
What do you think?
Model vs Acting
The rewards you receive for helping your daughter or son pursue modeling or acting career are many. You get to spend quality time with your child. He or she will learn something new every day on the set.
Children who work in modeling or film develop self-confidence. They have a better understanding of others. Working in modeling or film is an effective way to pay for your child’s college education. Most parents act as the child’s manager and earn 20% of the child’s income.
What does it take to have a child “make it” in the film business? If a child is willing and excited about modeling and acting, that is half the battle. But, the parent needs to be as prepared and excited. Both are taking time out of his or her busy schedules.
They go to auditions, shoots, and film sets. It can take all day transporting your child actor or model around town. The work is longer than eight hours, and both of them get paid for it. It is part of being successful as a model, actor, and parent.
Moving to Hollywood is not necessary to get your child started. Many cities have a film production community. At times major film companies come to cities and towns all across the United States to film on location. Popular locations are San Francisco, Miami, New York, Austin, Texas, and Seattle.
Developing a Career
Here are some suggestions to get your son or daughter started in modeling or acting:
- Try to encourage your child to enroll in the drama department at her school. He or she can enroll in a local acting class for children.
- Before enrolling in a private acting class, ask to sit in on a course. You talk to the parents of the class – get feedback – make sure it is the right class and teacher for your child.
- Research and find a legitimate agent. Agents who register with the union are the ones your child should see. They follow the laws and regulations. If they don't, they get fined.
- Make sure you practice with your child on being in an interview with an agent or casting director. Have them practice talking about themselves. They need to practice, so they are comfortable and can make a strong first impression.
- When you meet with an agent, find out what they need as far as headshots and resumes. Sometimes agents have standard handouts they give their clients with specific instructions. Make sure you read these instructions and understand them. If you have any questions, ask them right away.
- Always be very encouraging with your child – always on the positive side.
- Remember to have fun!
Give support to your son or daughter. They will become models and break into the film business. It is a competitive field and a commendable act.
The rewards are plenty. The best you can do is keep researching and staying on top of the business. It can only make your job a lot easier. Good Luck!
© 2016 Kenna McHugh
Kenna McHugh (author) from Northern California on May 31, 2018:
Natalie, Thank you for your comment. Baby modeling is a great way for Moms to make extra money. It takes a special kind of baby who is willing to model.
Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on May 31, 2018:
What great pictures! They really add to the article. I haven't seen a lot of articles about this and I know that lots of parents want to get their babies into modeling. Thanks for the article.
Kenna McHugh (author) from Northern California on January 17, 2018:
Emmy, Thank you for reading my article. Yes. Kids have such an imagination.
Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on January 17, 2018:
lots of kids love to act when they are playing especially girls. I liked reading your article, lovely photos, thank you.
Kenna McHugh (author) from Northern California on December 07, 2017:
So true, Catherine. It's fun modeling, but you have to be comfortable.
Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on December 07, 2017:
I have done some of this modeling myself--grandma roles, not baby roles. It is a lot of fun. If your baby or child likes it, do it. Once I was at an audition. Several people are brought into a room to be filmed together. A beautiful little girl about 4 or 5 years old, burst out crying and had to leave without being filmed. It was clear that the mother had worked hard on the girl's hair an clothing. My point is--if you try to force your child, you will just be wasting your time and making your child unhappy.